Short Film Festival Celebrates Gender Diversification in Film, and
Provides a Platform for Female Filmmakers to Share Unique Stories
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–LUNAFEST®,
a national fundraising film festival that showcases short films by, for
and about women, announces its 2017 season with the world premiere of
nine short films on September 29th at the Herbst Theater in San
Francisco. For 16 years, LUNA®,
the first nutrition bar for women, has connected female filmmakers,
their stories and their causes through film. The festival elevates
content created by female filmmakers and is a proud ally for these women
as they navigate the challenges of a male-dominated industry.
“LUNAFEST’s goal is to highlight the work of female filmmakers and the
festival is a foundational part of LUNA’s commitment to women. LUNA has
always been about more than bars – it’s in our DNA to champion women
through their adventures, challenges and ultimately, their triumphs,”
said Ritu Mathur, LUNA brand director. “For the past 16 years, LUNAFEST
has recognized and honored female filmmakers in their efforts to push
social norms and shatter the glass ceiling in a male-dominated industry.”
In 2016, LUNA commissioned a study with Dr. Stacy Smith of USC’s
Annenberg School of Communication to examine the current film landscape.
The study, “Gender
& Short Films: Emerging Female Filmmakers and the Barriers Surrounding
Their Careers,” found that women comprise only 32
percent of directors of short and mid-length films overall at 10
worldwide festivals. In comparison, women directed 18 percent of
independent feature films at one festival across 13 years, and just four
percent of top-grossing Hollywood movies in the same time frame. The
study provides further evidence that when there is diversity behind the
camera, on-screen depictions better approximate the diversity we see
around us off-screen.
“This study reminds us of the importance to continue the conversation
and support female filmmakers,” noted Mathur. “These unique stories
generate interest and excitement for the creators whose voices and
vision are largely absent from mainstream cinema.”
The titles of this year’s program include:
“Another Kind of Girl” by Khaldiya Jibawi – A 17-year-old girl meditates
on how her refugee camp has opened up new horizons and given her a sense
of courage that she lacked in Syria.
“Family Tale” by Dr. Patricia Beckmann-Wells – Through love, loss, and
determination, the definition of family is rewritten.
“Free to Laugh” by Lara Everly – A documentary that explores the power
of comedy after prison.
“Join the Club” by Eva Vives – A writer’s dilemma of whether or not to
join a networking club unfolds during one therapy session.
“Niñera” by Diane Weipert – A story that looks at the bitter irony many
nannies face: raising the children of strangers for a living while their
own children are virtually left to raise themselves.
“Nkosi Coiffure” by Frederike Migom – After a fight with her boyfriend
in the street, a woman escapes into a hair salon in Brussels.
“Partners” by Joey Ally – Professional and life partners must confront
how intertwined their lives have become.
“The Honeys and the Bears” by Veena Rao – Members of a synchronized swim
team for seniors describe the freedom of the water.
“The Third Dad” by Theresa Moerman Ib – Ten years after breaking all
ties with her father, a daughter sets out to find his grave – and
LUNAFEST receives more than 1,000 film submissions annually and screens
in front of 25,000 people. To date, LUNAFEST has supported 136 female
filmmakers and raised $3.5M for local nonprofits. For more information
on this year’s LUNAFEST season, and to find out about upcoming screening
locations, please visit, www.lunafest.org.
Launched in 1999 by Clif Bar & Company, LUNA supports women not only
nutritionally, but beyond the bar in their daily lives. LUNA champions
women through programs such as LUNAFEST®, a national traveling
fundraising festival of short films by, for, and about women. LUNA also
proudly donates one percent of its sales to a variety of women’s
nonprofits and the Breast Cancer Fund through the Clif Bar Family
Meaghan Praznik, 510-596-6592