Lunafest empowers women


By Christian Booz

Sharon Grasso, the Program manager of Pulbllic Health Services District gives out the Folic Acid to attendees for Better Birth Outcome Project at Luna Festival on Oct 7. (Photo by Jing Wang)

Lunafest, a film festival which “celebrates and empowers women through film,” did exactly what it set out to do this past weekend. With a large turnout of both men and women, the series of nine films captured women’s issues and raised awareness for breast cancer, reproductive health and post partum depression among other things. The proceeds of the festival went towards breast cancer research as well as the Flagstaff Medical Center’s pregnancy adjustment group.

The festival had many booths set up dealing with women’s health. They included post-pardum depression, breast cancer awareness and woman’s health vitamins, as well as a raffle table full of various items such as dance lessons and trail mix.

Women’s health was an overarching theme throughout Lunafest. Kathy Greenberg, who organized the event, said women’s well being has an effect on the city itself.

“When women are healthy and happy,” Kathy says, ”the community is as well.”

Many came to the festival to better understand issues surrounding the female gender and to feel empowered by the women on screen.

“It’s a fantastic cause.” Alissa Greenberg, a masters English student, says. ”All the ticket proceeds go to local charities, and it’s a great way to support empowered women as well as be one.”

Some students came to a better understanding of the hardships women face everyday.

“Women as a whole are an unrecognized minority and it is important to understand the hardships they face,” said  freshman secondary education major Angelica Salazar.

Many people also had the current political situation on their mind when attending Lunafest.

“With the current political climate, raising awareness of women’s issues is twice as important,” Alissa says.

The nine films (out of the 950 submitted), all made by women, captured both empowered women and women’s issues including body image, love, societal roles, disease, relationships with parents and hitting puberty. This was achieved through multiple mediums including animation, profiles and a stop motion film.

Lunafest highlighted the diversity of women, including their roles as well as their ethnicity. The women in the films were all of various backgrounds and all had different issues.

“As you watch the films,” Yeilder says, ”you can see there is a great diversity in women as well as in the things they face.”

The films showcased the varying roles of women, from mothers to athletes to artists. The festival was clearly aimed at exploring the diverse roles women have in society.

“Women are beautiful and diverse; groups of women are electrifying,” Greenberg says. Through the festival and the films shown, it is easy to see that women are strong, powerful and can be just as successful as men.

After the nine films were shown, many in the audience felt like the movies touched a place in their hearts and taught them something new. Everyone clapped at the end of each film and felt as though they captured women very well. Many felt closer to women going through things they didn’t fully understand before hand, such as cancer.

“It gave me perspective on some issues such as cancer,” says Mia Kahn, a freshmen English and comparative cultures major.

“I felt more connected to other women and women’s issues,” said Andersen.

Though the vast majority of the patrons were female, there were a select few males in the audience. A junior HRM major, Will Han, felt good about watching the films and found the varying mediums of film interesting.

“It got me thinking about women’s issues like disease, adolescence and the difficulty they go through — such as the intense competition in women’s lives,” Han says.

Lunafest celebrated empowered women through film and did a great job doing so with its varying mediums and stories. Understanding the issues surrounding women is an important part of being a member of society. After watching the nine films of Lunafest, I have personally gained a better understanding and respect of women and their varying roles in society. When viewed with an open mind, the films of Lunafest can change the thoughts of many in regards to women’s issues and rights.


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October 2012
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