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LUNAFEST: 20 Years of Short Films by and About Women

“Generations are now growing up knowing that representation is possible. They’re growing up knowing what it feels like to be seen.” - Meg Shutzer, 2021 LUNAFEST Filmmaker

In 1999, the founders of CLIF Bar & Company introduced LUNA, the first nutrition bar for women. Specifically crafted to fuel women’s bodies, minds, and ambitions, LUNA quickly set its sights on disrupting yet another industry in dire need of representation and equality. And so in 2001, LUNAFEST became the world’s first traveling film festival by women and about women.

We shaped a national platform to shine a spotlight on the women in film who dared to break through the status quo—who were determined to amplify the stories of other women, elevate voices of under-represented groups, and focus on diversity in narrative.

Since our first premiere in a single theatre in 2001, LUNAFEST has celebrated the work of over 170 filmmakers in over 2,500 screenings nationwide. And with 100% of LUNAFEST proceeds going to nonprofits, we’ve raised over $6,000,000 for missions that move women forward.

But our work is far from over.

LUNAFEST infograph women in film over 20 years

Celebrating 20 Years of Short Films for and About Women

As we reflect on the past 20 years, we see how each film has ignited change. These powerful stories have compelled conversation, influenced culture, and inspired communities. By seeing themselves up on the big screen, a whole new generation of women are reimagining what is possible.

And at this critical moment for equality and opportunity, it is the time to feed the spark.

LUNAFEST in 2021

Today, our fight is more important than ever. Because Someday is Now.

This year, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of LUNAFEST we’ve taken new steps to further our mission. For the first time, LUNA has co-produced three of this season’s films alongside our partner, Chicken and Egg Pictures— a nonprofit organization that, through mentorship and financing, supports women filmmakers whose artful and innovative storytelling ignites social change.

This new endeavor allows us to deepen our commitment to women in film. This season we’re showcasing seven stunning documentary shorts that send the resounding message that Someday Is Now. Each story reflects the diverse perspectives of the filmmakers and their subjects.

Check out this year’s complete lineup of films and filmmakers.

About the LUNAFEST 2021 Short Film Festival

Knocking Down the Fences profiles AJ Andrews, professional softball player and first woman to win a Rawlings Gold Glove Award, as she struggles to make a career as one of the best professional softball players in the world. The film’s director, Meg Shutzer, says. “I’m very hopeful that growth for women in this industry will be big. I’m so thankful for the people who have been doing this work ahead of me, knowing that it matters, and helping those of us who want to tell these stories to get them into the world.”

Filmmakers Tracy Nguyen-Chung and Ciara Lacy reflect on the exploration of their film, Connection. “We made this film at a moment in time when we weren’t sure where it would fit,” said Nguyen-Chung. Connection follows the story of Autumn Harry, a lifelong angler who had never fished beyond the waters of her reservation until she picked up a fly rod. “What strikes me is that there’s so much continuity between what Autumn talks about, the work she does, the way she shares her story, and the vision she has for her community. And now we’re experiencing this moment and the opportunity that lies ahead with the first native women leading the Department of the Interior.”

Here’s another spark.

This year, Ciara Lacy will become the first native Hawaiian woman to show a film as a Director at Sundance. “I can think of other people who I would have loved to see there before me. I believe I’m there now because of them,” she said. “I can think of a lot of reasons why this is just now happening. But I think now is better than later. And I’m grateful for the now.”

Join the movement and support women in film

Women are still painfully underrepresented in the entertainment industry. But you can change that. From now through November, we’re calling for your support to get these stories onto screens everywhere.

There are two ways you can join the movement:

1. Host a LUNAFEST and raise money for a cause that's important to you.

2. Attend a virtual LUNAFEST screening in a community near you.