Only about 5% of commercial films have female directors and only a third of all speaking roles in films go to actresses. Aren’t women still 51% of the population?! Pretty appalling. Also, pretty evident when you watch an action flick and see the heroine running for her life looking like she has a fresh blowout and just applied a new coat of lip gloss.
Given that backdrop, I was thrilled to get an invite to the kickoff to LUNAFEST last week. Established by LUNA Bar, the makers of the Whole Nutrition Bar for Women, LUNAFEST is a traveling film festival spotlighting the work of women filmmakers with a collection of short films by, for and about women. Not being a film festival regular I wasn’t sure what to expect beyond the women-centric element. The films were a highly entertaining mix of documentary and fiction short films on a huge array of topics at once funny, touching, heartbreaking, empowering and inspiring.
Women In Film: Supporting Films By, For and About Women
While I enjoyed each short film at the event, several have stuck with me since the event. The film”Viva” was a particular standout. It puts a smile to my face each time I think about it. “Viva” is the throughly inspirational documentary short of an 82 year old British granny (her photo is on the cover of the LUNAFEST program above) who is also known as the ‘Grandmother of Punk’. Her story is a revelation on topic of reinvention. Faced with a devastating divorce that upturned her comfortable life, Viva embraced the changes that were forced upon her. As a part of her new life she moved to a new city and took a new job as a crossing guard. The truly revelatory part of Viva story is the new hobby she took on that utterly transformed her trajectory and social circle. At night, with admittedly lack luster vocal skills, Viva became the lead signer for her son’s punk band “The Bricks.” In so doing she found fame, helped launch a music festival and found a completely new life for herself. Over forty years later, it is clear Viva still gets a kick out of herself and the crazy turn she made. Viva’s life epitomizes the ability to embrace change and view challenges as opportunities. –A message we’ve tried to incorporate into our lives and Project Eve’s community yet one we all need to be reminded of.
Having experienced these wonderful films it is clear to me that, beyond knowing that an action heroine would put a knot in her hair and skip the lip gloss, LUNAFEST’s female filmmakers have captured wonderfully nuanced views of women in the world, how we relate to it and to one another. I was entertained, inspired and am still smiling days later. In addition to supporting films by, for and about women 100% of LUNAFEST’s net proceeds go to charity, the main beneficiary is the Breast Cancer Fund but the events can also help their hosts raise money for local non profits. Established in 2000 LUNAFEST connects women, their stories and their causes through film. To date, 118 filmmakers have been featured, nearly $2.5 million dollars has been raised and thousands of attendees have come away moved, entertained and inspired.I highly recommend finding and attending one of the 170 LUNAFEST screenings. LUNAFEST will be traveling to 150+ cities and towns over the six month. Find an location near you and treat yourself to a great event and support a great cause!
Thanks to Luna Bar for sponsoring this post and including Project Eve in such an entertaining and inspirational event!