Lunafest, Short Film Fest 'By, For, About Women' Comes to Tri-C Saturday


The 10th Annual Lunafest Film Festival comes to Tri-C Corporate College East Saturday afternoon. It’s a one-day cinematic event showcasing the work of female filmmakers worldwide.

“Short films by ... for ... about women” is the tagline of the traveling festival created by LUNA Bars in 2000 as a platform for new female voices, and to increase the opportunities for women in the industry.

Hosted locally by the Cleveland chapter of Chums Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to the educational success of students in poverty or other economic hardship, the event will begin with a one-hour champagne reception at 11 a.m. Nine short films will then screen, followed by a Q&A, via videoconference, with some of the festival’s featured filmmakers.

More than 1,000 short films were submitted to this year’s festival. The nine that will appear in Cleveland include Funa Maduka’s Waiting for Hassana, a story of girls being kidnapped from a school in Africa (a story that should resonate after the recent news that 110 girls were abducted by the terrorist group Boko Haram in Nigeria).

Emily Sheskins’ Jessyilla, which chronicles an adolescent girl who dreams of becoming a boxer, and Anna Edgar’s Girls Level Up, which explores a camp for girls interested in math and science, are also part of the slate.

“Lunafest has really raised our impact on students in Cleveland communities,” said JoAnn Wallace, president of Cleveland Chums, in a press release. “Beyond exposure to stories by these extraordinary filmmakers, we have been able to increase our annual scholarships program from one or two a decade ago, to eleven today. Our students return to Lunafest year after year, even after graduation, to volunteer and participate.”

Tri-C Corporate College East is at 4400 Richmond Rd. in Warrensville Heights. Tickets are $40 and include the champagne reception at 11 a.m. and free parking. The screenings should conclude by 1:30 p.m.. Proceeds from the event will benefit the programs of The Cleveland Chums (especially the scholarships for local students mentioned above), the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and Lunafest’s primary national beneficiary, Chicken & Egg Pictures, a film company supporting female documentary filmmakers.

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