By Colleen Sparks
A festival at the Madison Center for the Arts this month will shine the spotlight on female filmmakers around the globe and also help transform the lives of local women.
LUNAFEST will feature seven, independent, short films all created by women in the movie industry on Sunday, March 15 at the arts center at 5601 N. 16th St. It kicks off with a reception at 4 p.m. and then the showing of the films starts at 5 p.m.
Soroptimist International of Phoenix, the local partner for LUNAFEST, will use the revenue generated from the festival to help empower women and girls in Maricopa County and Mexico. The Phoenix Soroptimist chapter provides scholarships to women pursuing education in vocational, technical or undergraduate universities while another offers funds that may be used for other, everyday living expenses to women who are the primary financial support in their families. A third program offers financial help to a school with female students in Mexico. The local Soroptimist organization hopes to raise and distribute $20,400 this year for those programs, as well as other causes.
“Soroptimist International is an international, global organization that’s working to transform the lives of women and girls,” said Karen Leone, chairwoman of the LUNAFEST Committee and a delegate with Soroptimist International of Phoenix. “We transform that through education and enabling opportunity. We’ve been in Phoenix 82 years. We want to grow both the club and the impact.”
LUNAFEST gets its name from the LUNA nutrition bars created for women by Clif Bars & Company. To inspire women and push for equality the company began LUNAFEST nearly two decades ago. The festival travels to nearly 200 cities every year, raising money for local women’s causes.
This year’s movies are recommended for those ages 14 and older. The total program for the films is 96 minutes.
The films include “Purl,” an animated tale of a ball of yarn that gets a job in a fast-pasted start-up, from filmmakers Kristen Lester and Gillian Libbert-Duncan of Pixar Animation Studios. The filmmakers for the seven short movies live in Los Angeles, New York, Israel, China and other parts of the world.
There will be a raffle for prizes. Tickets to LUNAFEST are $20 each. To purchase tickets, visit themadison.org.