Lunafest film festival looks to generate leadership opportunities for local women.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
In ancient times, before Christ and, apparently, before men would do just about anything to see a naked breast, the Greeks excluded women from the original Olympics. So, in 776 B.C. the women formed their own games, The Games of Hera, honoring the queen of all the gods. It wasn’t until 1900 that women were allowed to join Olympic competitions. And we’re still waiting for a female shot-putter or softball pitcher to shatter the glass ceiling over the rest of society.
Today, of the 250 top-grossing films, less than 5 percent are made by female filmmakers. That’s according to Lunafest, which aims to change this statistic, or at least tell women’s stories through film.
Since 2000 this national film festival has showcased films by, for and about women. This year Lunafest holds its premier local event at the Osio Theater. The nine short films explore relationships, body image, diversity and happiness, among other things. One documentary looks at a female Olympian’s success. Another fictional film follows a Palestinian girl in her quest to buy a birthday cake.
About 85 percent of the proceeds will benefit Girls Inc. of the Central Coast, which offers leadership programs for teenagers. The remaining 15 percent goes to the Breast Cancer Fund, a group that advocates for elimination of environmental causes of breast cancer. To date, the festival has raised more than $350,000.
Stroller Strides, a local fitness program for moms, will host the Monterey festival. “Lunafest and the films have this theme about empowering women,” says owner Carri Hanson, “and with Girl’s Inc., the whole purpose is to empower young women in high school and give them leadership opportunities and teach them decision-making skills.”
Hanson wants to make Lunafest an annual, local event. Someday, equality will follow.