Making its first appearance in Ogden, the traveling film festival LUNAFEST will be hosted by Weber State University on March 4 at 7 p.m. The festival was established in 2000 by LUNA, an organization that seeks to bring awareness to women’s issues and raise money for the Breast Cancer Fund and other nonprofit organizations.
Sponsored by the WSU Women’s Center, LUNAFEST will take place in the Shepherd Union Wildcat Theater and will be held in conjunction with a community resource fair that begins at 6 p.m.
One of the greatest distinctions between LUNAFEST and other festivals is that it features films that are by women, for women and about women, as pointed out by Stephanie McClure of WSU’s Women’s Center.
Between the festival and the resource fair, the event is gearing up to be a holistic way to spotlight women in the local community. Paige Davies, advocate and program specialist at WSU Women’s Center, said, “There are a lot of reasons why LUNAFEST is so awesome, but I would say the big one is highlighting women, women’s stories and their role in film.”
Contributors to this year’s festival come from all over the country, and the films are as varied as their creators. The six featured films this season will run for a total of approximately 90 minutes and cover topics from family, to competition, to the resilience of the human spirit and much more. Further information on the filmmakers and trailers for LUNAFEST can be found on lunafest.org.
While the festival necessitates that 15 percent of proceeds to go to the Breast Cancer Fund, the remaining proceeds are divvied out to nonprofit organizations chosen by the host. WSU Women’s Center has opted to donate the money raised by LUNAFEST to Soroptimist International of Ogden, an organization for professional and business women. A portion of the proceeds will also go toward scholarships provided by the Women’s Center.
By bringing together film and activism, LUNAFEST strives to enable people who want to see change but perhaps don’t know how to act on those desires.
“LUNAFEST is designed so that one person can easily make a significant difference in the lives of women. Whether that person is a filmmaker who tells an untold story, a host who raises funds and awareness for a cause or an attendee who leaves with a new perspective — each is a catalyst for impact,” McClure said in the press release.
Kit Crawford, owner of Clif Bar & Company and strategic advisor to LUNAFEST, said, “What woman doesn’t love to go to the movies with her girlfriends? Film is such a great way to bring women together, so it made sense for LUNA to create this opportunity to connect women filmmakers and their audiences with causes they care about.”
A limited number of free tickets are available at the Student Information Desk located within the Shepherd Union. Students may purchase tickets for $10, and general admission tickets are available for $15.