LunaFest to feature stories by and about women

John M. Cuelenaere Public LIbrary. -- Herald file photo.

A travelling film festival hoping to tell women’s stories is making a return to Prince Albert this year.

2019 marked the first time LunaFest came to Prince Albert. The festival features seven short films screened in succession. Each film is made by women and tells stories about women.

The first-ever LunaFest was held in 2001.

‘Almost two decades ago, we saw that women were painfully underrepresented in film,” LunaFest says on their website.

“In 2001 we created the first all-women travelling film festival.”

The first event was a small screening in California. It now travels to about 200 communities, raising funds for local women’s causes along the way. It has raised over $5.2 million, featured 162 filmmakers and hosted 2,019 screenings. 

This year’s Prince Albert screening was scheduled as close as possible to International Women’s Day, which was celebrated Sunday. The film festival comes to town Thursday evening at the John M. Cuelenaere Library.

“LunfaFest is a series of short films by, for and about women,” explained Estelle Hjertaas, who helped to organize the event.

“Everyone is welcome. They rate the films ‘E’ for equal.”

Hjertaas also helped with last year’s event.

“The films we had last year were very, very powerful,” she said.

“We wanted to have it right on International Women’s Day, but scheduling didn’t allow that.”

The local event will be fundraising for the YWCA. The YWCA is also helping to plan and host the film festival.

“The YWECA runs many programs, including shelters for women, youth and our only shelter that includes men, homeward bound and many other programs,” Hjertaas said.

“(The festival) is just going to generally assist the YWCA.”

The seven films run a total of 96 minutes. The suggested age is 14 plus. While all are welcome, some of the films deal with mature content.

The festival is admission y donation.

‘We want everyone to come, even if they can’t afford to make a donation,” Hjertaas said.

“The most important thing is seeing films and bringing those perspectives from women to everybody else.”

The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Thursday downstairs in the library theatre.

2020 films

Purl 

By Kristen Lester & Gillian Libbert-Duncan 

An earnest ball of yarn gets a job at a fast-paced, high-energy, bro-tastic start-u

Ballet After Dark 

By B. Monét 

A young woman finds strength after an attack by creating an organization to help survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence through dance therapy.

There You Are 

By Lisa Donato 

A trans woman must dress like a man to say goodbye to her dying grandmother.

Xmas Cake —This American Shelf-life 

By Petra Hanson & May Yam 

This coming-of-middle-age story follows a pop singer’s journey from hot to not, and what ensues across cultures from New York to Tokyo.

Game 

By Jeannie Donohoe 

A new kid in town shows up at the high school boys’ basketball tryouts and instantly makes an impression. Will talent and drive be enough to make the team?

Lady Parts 

By Erin Rye & Jessica Sherif 

A struggling actor finally gets her big break, only to realize the glass ceiling can also be a camera lens.

How to Swim 

By Noa Gusakov 

In the last days of her pregnancy, a terrified mother-to-be kidnaps a maternal stranger for an afternoon of hijinks.