Lunafest features ‘films for, by and about women’

Fundraiser also helps local women and girls

Soroptimist International of Oak Harbor is once again hosting the national film festival, Lunafest, which is described as “films by women, for women and about women.”

Nine films will be shown the evening of March 27 at the Elks Lodge in Oak Harbor. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with refreshments and light hors’ d oeuvres. Screenings begin at 6:15 p.m. General tickets are $12; students $5.

Lunafest was launched in 2000 by the company that makes Luna energy bars as a way to showcase and champion women in film.

“It’s about giving women the opportunity to tell their stories and opening the door for filmmakers who might not otherwise be given the chance to show their art,” Kit Crawford, Clif/Luna Bar owner, said in a press release.

There are 2.13 male short-film directors to every one female director, according to Lunafest research.

The company encourages local groups to host the traveling film festival as fundraisers for causes benefitting women and girls.

Proceeds from the event will help fund Soroptimist local programs that improve lives of women and girls with awards, scholarships, mentorships and grants, said Marilee Paddock. The group also funds free heart screenings and mammograms for low-income women.

Proceeds from ticket sales and a raffle will also help sponsor the “Dream It Be It Program” for local high school girls.

Lunafest screenings are in more than 175 cities across the nation.

The festival is a perfect fit with the mission of Soroptimist, Paddock said. Soroptimist is a Latin word, meaning “best for women.”

“Improving the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment,” is the goal, Paddock said, all accomplished through volunteers.

Soroptimist International of Oak Harbor also runs the popular thrift store, Upscale Resale.

“We are an international organization with the same mission throughout the world,” Paddock said.

“The films that the Luna Company has chosen for Lunafest come to us from around the globe. The films are by women, for women and about women. Everyone can relate, even if the film is with subtitles.”

A local filmmaker will also make her debut.

Oak Harbor High School sophomore Anna Kate Fahey made a short film called “Travel with Cheerios.”

“The video concerns fellow student Emma Wezeman who caught the attention of General Mills when she started posting artistic photos of Cheerios,” Paddock said. Fahey produced it at OHHS Digital Filmmaking/Wildcat TV Productions, which is run by students.

This year’s Lunafest lineup include stories of many cultures, some conflict and some comedy.

“Girls Level Up” is about young Pakistani women who grew up in a conservative Muslim neighborhood in the Middle East helping Silicon Valley middle school girls realize their dream of designing their own video game.

“Fanny Pack” is a comedy about a young Indian-American woman who wants to follow her dreams and a fanny pack-clad Indian father who chases his daughter through an airport hoping that she will follow his.

A Korean-owned nail salon in a Connecticut strip mall is the site of a tale of romantic competition in “Joy Joy Nails,” where “claws come out and the terrible truth under the varnish is revealed.”

“Waiting for Hassana” tackles the much more sobering topic of the kidnapping of 276 teenage girls by the extremist organization, Boko Haram. It’s a harrowing first-person account of one girl’s escape from captivity and a heart-wrenching lament for her closest friend Hassana — one of the many girls who are still unaccounted for.

Tickets for Lunafest are available at Upscale Resale, 210 SE Pioneer Way.


Doors open, 5:30 p.m, screenings begin 6:15 p.m, March 27 at the Elks Lodge, 155 NE Ernst Street.

“Joy Joy Club” by Joey Ally

“Joy Joy Club” by Joey Ally

Photos provided
                                “Girls Level Up” by Anne Edgar

Photos provided “Girls Level Up” by Anne Edgar

“Fanny Pack” by Uttera Singh

“Fanny Pack” by Uttera Singh

More in Life

Grief in the middle of the ocean

Chris Jordan’s film shows the plight of man through the eyes of albatross

WhidbeyCon draws fans of magical, monstrous

The magical, mythical, super and monstrous converged in one, free and family-friendly… Continue reading

Easter events on Whidbey

Wednesday, April 17 • Office of Tenebrae, 7 p.m., April 17, St.… Continue reading

Photos by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group<em></em>
                                <em>Yu Williams, left, and Polly Schweer pose on the mounds of plastic that they bundle to get ready for hauling from Freeland’s Island Recycling. “They are the miracle workers of this place,” says owner Jill Campbell. </em>
Recycling cumbersome, but as necessary as ever

Confused about plastic, glass, paper? Ask questions at transfer stations

Farmers markets open for season

Vendors and visitors braved wind and rain Saturday as Coupeville launched the… Continue reading

The ocean under a microscope: Carla Stehr merges art and science

From Carla Stehr’s viewpoint, the ocean is very small. Tiny. Microscopic, in… Continue reading

Family brings flowers to Greenbank Farm

Greenbank Farm, currently known for its retail stores, pies and dog park,… Continue reading

Whidbey Has Talent show allows students to shine

Whidbey Has Talent and isn’t afraid to show it. For a third… Continue reading

Foibles and fun of love shine in Whidbey Playhouse ‘She Loves Me’

All the high notes of romance hit by talented cast

Hazel Williams
Whidbey woman celebrates 103rd birthday

It was no April fools joke. Hazel Williams turned 103 years old… Continue reading

Volunteers get jump on improving trails

By Ron Newberry for the Whidbey News-Times It may be a year… Continue reading

Museum offers free tickets to Health Homes clients

Stephanie Ashcroft’s clients sometimes have a hard time getting out and doing… Continue reading