The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita hosted its 11th annual Lunafest to showcase women in the film industry on Thursday.
Zonta is an international organization to “empower women and girls through service and advocacy,” according to Lois Bauccio, president of the Santa Clarita Zonta Foundation.
Lunafest is a collaborative effort between Zonta, Luna and Chicken & Egg Pictures to celebrate women in film. Each film shown was produced by women, covering women’s issues.
Since its founding in 2001 as the world’s first all-women traveling film festival, Lunafest has celebrated the work of more than 170 women filmmakers and raised more than $6.5 million for women’s causes.
“Luna does a very comprehensive adjudication process with the filmmakers. It’s a big contest. It takes them a long time to select the films,” said Bauccio.
Once the films have been selected, they are shown across the United States.
“Yes, they make Luna bars and all those things, but their main mission is to highlight women and to give them opportunities through this venue of filmmaking,” said Bauccio.
The majority of people in attendance were women.
Attendee Beth O’Malley had just recently moved to Santa Clarita and was searching for something to do when she saw the online posting for Lunafest.
“I saw something as far as women’s empowerment and I definitely wanted to sign up for this,” said O’Malley.
After speaking with a few members of Zonta, she has aspirations to become involved in the club.
After the cocktail hour, attendees took their seats inside the Canyon Theatre Guild and watched all eight of the films.
The following films were shown at the film festival:
- “How to be at home” by Andrea Dorfman. An animated poem about coping with isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- “Generation impact: The coder” by Samantha Knowles. A 13-year-old designs and builds a mobile app to help kids stay connected to their incarcerated parents by sending photos and letters.
- “Close ties to home country” by Akansha Cruczynski. An immigrant dog walker finds connection in the hearts of the wealthy pets she cares for.
- “Proof of loss” by Katherine Fisher. When a fire takes their home, a father and daughter must find a way to salvage what remains: each other.
- “When you clean a stranger’s home” by Sharon Arteaga. A first-generation high school student describes what she and her mom learn about people when cleaning their homes.
- “Wearable Tracy” by Emily McAllister. A Bronx woman’s accidental social experiment connects her with fellow New Yorkers who might otherwise forever remain strangers.
- “Between the lines: Liz at large” by Abi Cole. Frustrated with the lack of character diversity in The New Yorker’s cartoons, an artist submits her own illustrations, becoming the first Black woman cartoonist in the magazine’s near-century run.
- “To the future, with love” by Shaleece Haas and Hunter “Pixel” Jimenez. An animated self-portrait of a nonbinary trans teen caught between the expectations of his Guatemalan immigrant family and his dreams of living happily ever after with his long-distance boyfriend.
One of the event’s sponsors and a member of Zonta for over 20 years, Ivy Pierson, said that this film festival helps achieve every aspect of Zonta’s mission.
“The fact that this is all about films made by women, for women, is something that I love,” said Pierson. “I think this is a great start for women to get recognized for their work. The empowerment of women fulfills the mission of Zonta.”
For more information on the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita visit www.scvzonta.org.