Treat your mother, daughter, or both to Lunafest

The more a daughter knows the details of her mother’s life . . . the stronger the daughter.
– Anita Diamant, American journalist and novelist, from The Red Tent

Last week I gave a well-deserved plug for Lunafest, the traveling award-winning short film festival “by, for and about women,” which will be shown at the El Cerrito High School’s Performing Arts Center on Saturday, March 8th, at 7:30pm. Lunafest seeks to “connect women through film,” which not only makes it a great Ladies’ Night Out but a wonderful Mother/Daughter Night Out, too.

Karen Grassle with my friend, Lisa, and her starstruck daughter Savanna, both of whom are fans of Little House on the Prairie.

At last year’s Lunafest: Actress Karen Grassle with my friend, Lisa Harris, and her starstruck daughter Savanna, both of whom are fans of Little House on the Prairie.

In our efforts as mothers to build well-rounded daughters, we expose them to various cultural, intellectual, political, social, and other events. We help build strong girls to become independent and creative thinkers, doers, and humanitarians by showing them what other women have created – be it a book, a piece of artwork, a play or film, a set of songs, a humanitarian or environmental initiative, and so on – and celebrating those achievements. Because Lunafest’s films are “by, for and about women,” the festival is an ideal event for our daughters to learn what is possible in the realm of filmmaking, an industry that has been dominated by men since its inception. It celebrates the myriad voices and experiences of women, which informs their life stories and makes their storytelling unique.

For us adult daughters, taking our mothers to Lunafest is a way to acknowledge and celebrate our role models for their hand in developing our appreciation for beauty in its many forms. We are also activists and fundraisers when we attend. 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.” Many of us have mothers, mothers-in-law, and grandmothers who fought breast cancer. Attending Lunafest acknowledges their struggles and successes, as well as honors their memories.

Catherine van Campen by her film poster for Flying Anne.

At the San Francisco Lunafest premiere: Catherine van Campen by the poster of her short film, Flying Anne.

When organizations across the country host their Lunafest film festival, they also support local nonprofit groups. So when you attend and bring either your daughter or mother or both, you and your family are supporting a community-wide fundraising event. The Lunafest East Bay Organizing Committee, in its seventh year, is also 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.

So bring your daughter and invite your mom. Bond with them over nine wonderful short films. Treat them to a cookie, cupcake, or vegan ice cream sandwich and decaffeinated coffee, courtesy of local women bakers and businesswomen. Most of all, have fun.

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.

Eight of the nine women filmmakers at the San Francisco premiere of Lunafest.

Eight of the nine women filmmakers and one star of the short film, First Match, at the San Francisco premiere of Lunafest. Celebrate women and their artistic visions!