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Friday, March 1, 2024
Home News Lunafest shines spotlight on female filmmakers

Lunafest shines spotlight on female filmmakers

Lunafest shines spotlight on female filmmakers
Sharon Arteaga’s film ‘When you Clean a Stranger’s Home’ is one of seven short films and documentaries scheduled to hit the screen at Lunafest. -- Photo from YWCA Facebook Page.

The YWCA is hoping to challenge perceptions and spark conversations through sharing stories about women by women during Tuesday’s fourth annual Lunafest film festival at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library.

Seven short films and documentaries featuring “bold individuals, powerful images, and impactful language” are scheduled to hit the screen starting at 7 p.m. 

YWCA communications and marketing coordinator Jesse Kendall said it’s important for the YWCA to host events like Lunafest because part of their mission is empowering women. 

“Women’s voices are not as prominent in the film industry as we would like them to be,” she explained. “Giving a platform for these films is an essential part of promoting empowerment.”

Education is a huge part of fighting discrimination, Kendall added.

“If people understand a person’s story, they’re more likely to sympathize with it and take a second-look at something they would otherwise make assumptions about. Women in film is one of those things.”

Lunafest coincides with YWCA’s Week without Violence, which launched Monday. This year they are focusing on “tech-facilitated violence” and looking to take action against “online hate, abuse and harassment and its far-reaching impact on women and gender diverse people’s safety, well-being and freedom”, according to the YWCA Prince Albert’s website.

“Data collected by Environics Data, commissioned by YWCA Canada, draws a startling picture of online violence in Canada,” states the website. “44 per cent of women and gender-diverse individuals sixteen to thirty have experienced online hate speech [and] 83 per cent have witnessed hate speech aimed at others.”

A few of the upcoming films to be presented on Tuesday evening include an animated poem about coping with isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, a documentary about a 13-year-old girl who builds an app to help kids stay connected to their incarcerated parents, and an accidental social experiment in New York City. 

Kendall said out of all the films, she can’t choose just one that she’s looking forward to most. 

“It’s hard for me to pick a favourite. Last year I was pleasantly surprised by all of them and how well done they were and how much information you got from them. It was very informative.”

Admission to the event is by donation either at the door or online at https://www.ywcaprincealbert.ca/lunafest, those interested in attending are asked to RSVP in advance.