Lunafest: ladies’ night out

Go girl, seek happy nights to happy days.
– William Shakespeare, English poet, playwright, and actor, from Romeo and Juliet

Today is Valentine’s Day, a day of celebration with your significant other. Enjoy the card and the flowers from your garden, the dark chocolates and red wine. Let it be the beginning of a wonderful weekend.

Then think ahead to March 8th, and start planning a fabulous Ladies’ Night Out. Make a long list. Pick up the phone. Blast an e-mail. Send out a text. Gather all of your girlfriends and tell them about Lunafest – a traveling film festival of award-winning short films by, for and about women.” Lunafest seeks to “connect women through film,” which makes it the perfect destination for you and your women friends.

The fabulous women directors, eight of the nine, plus the young lady wrestler.

The fabulous women directors, eight of the nine, plus the young lady wrestler (far right), star of Olivia Newman’s short film First Match, at the San Francisco premiere of Lunafest in October 2013.

But the film festival is more than just a fun night out, though there is a lot of emphasis on fun. Established in 2000 by LUNA, makers of the Whole Nutrition Bar for Women, the film festival raises funds for its main beneficiary, The Breast Cancer Fund, a national organization dedicated to “preventing breast cancer by eliminating our exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation linked to the disease.” When organizations across the country host their Lunafest film festival, they also support local nonprofit groups. So when you attend, you’re supporting a community-wide fundraising event. The Lunafest East Bay Organizing Committee, in its seventh year, is raising funds for the El Cerrito Community Foundation and El Cerrito High School’s Information Technology Academy, a small learning community supported by the nonprofit organization, TechFutures. ITA integrates core academic classes with the technology field, comprising digital art, web design, and computer systems management.

Director Danielle Lurie next to the poster of her short film, Tiny Miny Magic.

Director Danielle Lurie next to the poster of her short film, Tiny Miny Magic, my personal favorite.

This year we’re hosting a dessert circle after the film screening. Local small-businesses Braxtons’ Boxes and Green Girl Bake Shop will be tempting you and your friends with cookies and cupcakes, and dairy- and gluten-free ice cream sandwiches, respectively. Well-Grounded Tea & Coffee Bar is graciously donating complimentary decaffeinated coffee, completing the local community aspect of Lunafest in the East Bay.

Get inspired by the filmmakers’ unique visions and artistry. Support worthy causes and organizations. Seek elimination of breast cancer. Commune with your girlfriends. Meet new friends. Be a part of the local and larger community. Prepare to be delighted, touched, and engaged. All in one magical evening.

You can purchase your tickets here. You can reach out to me to purchase your tickets. Prices are $50 VIP (for the pre-event reception), $20 general, $5 teacher/student, and $25 at the door. Doors open at 7pm, with the event starting at 7:30pm, at the El Cerrito High School’s Performing Arts Center, 540 Ashbury Avenue, El Cerrito, CA 94530.

Director Celia Bullwinkel by her Sidewalk film poster.

Director Celia Bullwinkel by the poster of her short animated film, Sidewalk.