LUNAFEST: It’s Time to Flip the Script
Get your popcorn ready, our feature presentation is about to begin.
Sixteen years later, we’ve seen that mission expand, and along with that expansion, we’ve seen it succeed.
Of all LUNAFEST directors since 2000:
Why is this so important? Because when it comes to an equal representation of women, the mainstream movie world is still stuck in the silent film era.
- 4% of directors
- 11% of writers
- 19% of producers
It’s enough to make you throw tomatoes at the screen.
Women bring unique angles and storytelling to the world. When their voices are muted, those stories aren’t told. We knew we wanted to do something to amplify what women said, and empower how they said it. That power grows with every film that women direct, write, produce, and win awards for. At LUNAFEST, female filmmakers are able to show their work, network, and talk about their talent without apology — all essential parts of the growing swell of strong, smart women making diverse, entertaining movies.
We’re thrilled that LUNAFEST keeps getting bigger and stronger, and this season’s nine films are no exception. Want to know more about this year’s features? What a coincidence, we have that information right here!
DIRECTOR: THERESA MOERMAN IB
FILM: The Third Dad
“I love that LUNAFEST brings films to its audiences, instead of expecting them to come to you...Reaching various demographics in a wide range of communities is important to me, so I'm very excited to have been selected for this year's LUNAFEST line-up."
Memory and folklore are consistent themes in’s work. As a multidisciplinary artist, The Third Dad is her first film. Poetically merging archive material, new footage and an immersive soundscape, the film is a personal journey that interweaves memory, self-discovery and a desperate attempt at reconciliation.
Director: Diane Weipert
“There's the buzz of change in the industry at the moment, but that might just be because these issues are finally in the zeitgeist and everyone is watching. My hope is that the pressure continues. That women in the industry continue coming together in professional groups, with the commitment to help one another.”— Diane Weipert
Raised in Spain and Latin America,found the inspiration for her LUNAFEST short in her own neighborhood in San Francisco. Niñera looks at the bitter ironies many nannies face, raising the children of strangers for a living while their own children are left to virtually raise themselves.
Director: Veena Rao
“We have made a lot of progress in recent years, but women and people of color still make up only a small percentage of directors in Hollywood. People want to see more of themselves on screen and that starts with getting more women and people of color in leadership roles in film, TV, and advertising.”—Veena Rao
Veena Rao finds touching, unusual stories in the nooks and crannies of the world. Her LUNAFEST short documentary follows members of the Harlem Honeys and Bears, a synchronized swim team for seniors, as they describe the freedom of the water.
Director: Frederike Migom
Film: Nkosi Coiffure
“Nkosi Coiffure is about women and the discussion literally and figuratively excludes men. It’s about a woman who, through other women, finds courage to stand up for what’s best for her.”— Frederike Migom
Frederike Migom studied theater at AADA in New York, performing in several plays and short films before moving to Paris to study filmmaking. Her LUNAFEST short, Nkosi Coiffure, is the tale of a woman in Brussels who, after a fight with her boyfriend on the street in Brussels’ Congolese neighborhood, escapes into a hair salon. The African women in the salon initially support her, but when they find out what the fight is about, opinions differ…
Director: Dr. Patricia Beckmann Wells
Film: Family Tale
“I admire all women who are in the occupation of storytelling as an artist. Emerging as an individual takes persistence. I admire women animation directors in control of their own stories.”—Dr. Patricia Beckmann Wells
As an independent animator, author, professor, and illustrator, Dr. Patricia Beckmann Wells certainly has a lot to, ahem, draw on. Her animated LUNAFEST film Family Tale chronicles a love story that leads to the creation of a very large family.
Director: Lara Everly
Film: Free to Laugh
“Free to Laugh — it’s not my story. It’s the women’s stories, and it was just so wonderful, you know, having them be so brave and sharing, sharing their stories with everyone.”—Lara Everly
A graduate of the esteemed Upright Citizen's Brigade, director, writer and actress Lara Everly believers in the power of comedy. Free to Laugh is a touching, complicated true story about several women just out of prison, who use a three-day comedy workshop to help heal and adjust.
Director: Khaldiya Jibawi
Film: Another Kind of Girl
“This small camera can make so many beautiful moments. I get surprised by what I can capture. After I would film, I would sit down and look at the shots. I couldn't believe these would be the shots I took, and this little camera made it happen.” — Khaldiya Jibawi
Khaldiya Jibawi, 18, is from Dara'a, Syria. She fled the civil war three years ago and now lives in Za'atari Refugee Camp in Jordan, where she made a film chronicling daily life as a refugee. This was her first time using a camera and making a film. She continues to make videos when she can, and would like to start initiatives in the camp that will help other girls express their stories — through media, a comedy troupe, and theater.
Director: Eva Vives
Film: Join the Club
“Humor is kind of how I get through everything in life that’s tough.”—Eva Vives
In 2000, Eva Vives won Best Short at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals with Five Feet High and Rising, a short she cast, edited and produced. With humor and insight, Join the Club chronicles the challenges of women’s self-doubt through the story of a writer whose dilemma of whether or not to join a networking club unfolds during one therapy session.
Director: Joey Ally
“I really want to work with unconventional protagonists and put them into other spaces that we don’t get to see them in all the time and in other styles … It is really crazy to realize that there are just not enough LGBT stories told.”—Joey Ally
Six years ago, Joey Ally volunteered at Sundance almost on a whim. Now she’s got a slew of movies under her belt. Partners follows the story of professional and life partners Kate and Leigh, who have hit a slump in their sex life — forcing them to reconsider their relationship and how intertwined their lives have become.
Each year, various organizations bring LUNAFEST to their communities and raise funds for local non-profits as well as our main beneficiary, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners.
To host your own LUNAFEST screening, go here.