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LUNAFEST 2012: Films By, For and About Women

This post originally appeared on my blog

As avid moviegoers, one of our favorite events of the year is LUNAFEST, a film festival of short films by, for and about women. This eclectic group of films –whether they make you laugh or cry — will make you think long and hard about yourself and about your sisters all around the world.

LUNAFEST will take place in 150 cities this year, and we suggest you get on their site right now and buy tickets to the event near you. Proceeds benefit the Breast Cancer Fund, an organization which focuses on prevention and to which we will be donating all the money we used to contribute to Susan G. Komen, as well as local non-profits. In San Diego, the event was hosted by Boobs on the Move, a grassroots effort to empower people to stop breast cancer through active prevention and generosity.

Amy and I attended the San Diego event last week with our great friend, Elin Stebbins Waldal, author of Tornado Warning: A Memoir of Teen Dating Violence and Its Effect on a Woman’s Life. We were blown away by every film. Here’s Amy’s take on the evening:

LUNAFEST is an event custom-made for me, featuring shopping for a cause at the raffle table in the lobby of a historic theater, soulful live music, an audience full of women and nine female-powered films. I was in my element!

The program started with a wonderful performance by singer Laura Roppe, author of Rockin’ the Pink, her autobiography of being a cancer survivor and former lawyer turned singer. If her songwriting skills are any indication, it is sure to be a great read. I was especially touched by the songs “I’m Still Here” and “Little Daughter.” I was seated behind Laura’s daughter and her grandmother, who were both glowing while Laura sang these very personal songs.

The films were as diverse as the female population itself, ranging from the quirky stories of Worst Enemy and A Reluctant Bride to serious issues explored in Susan Koenen’s I am a Girl, about an amazingly brave 13-year-old girl trying to figure out how to tell the boy she has a crush on that she was actually born male, and Every Mother Counts: Obstetric Fistula about a devastating effect of poor maternal healthcare in countries like Bangladesh and Tanzania. Intimate slices of lives are examined in The Wind is Blowing on My Street, which was shot in Tehran; Missed Connections which may result in some fairy tale happily ever afters; and Lori Petchers’ powerful Life Model about a 75-year-old nude model whose acceptance of her own body empowers female viewers of all ages. One of my favorite films was Andrea Dorfman’s How to be Alone which was billed as “a poem and ‘how-to’ manual about being alone.” You can watch this movie, which stars poet/singer/songwriter Tanya Davis, below.

Every attendee got a goody bag filled with tasty Luna Bars and important information for women of all ages from the The Breast Cancer Fund, which identifies and advocates for elimination of the environmental and other preventable causes of disease. Before I put on my eye makeup or fill up my reusable water bottle, I will visit their website to make sure I am making the best, most informed decision about what to put on and in my body.

What could be better than doing good by going to the movies?!


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