Local Filmmaker Showcased at Highly Anticipated LunaFest

Members of the Soroptimist International of Clovis prepare to meet guests at LunaFest. (Contributed by Susan Buckley)

Soroptimist International of Clovis hosted the highly anticipated traveling film show, LunaFest, at the Mercedes Edwards Theatre on Sunday, July 10, 2022. A virtual option was also available, allowing viewers to watch remotely.

Nine short films, all under fifteen minutes, were made by and about women. They contained stories of grit and strength and inspired a variety of reactions: laughter with Andrea Dorfman’s animated film, How to Be at Home, which dealt with pandemic isolation, to Katherine Fisher’s poignant Proof of Loss. Akanksha Cruczynski’s Close Ties to Home Country expertly blended humor and longing.

Wearable Tracy and When you Clean A Stranger’s Home gave fresh insight into immigrants’ lives. To the Future, With Love presented an animated view of an immigrant non-binary trans teen’s optimistic expectations.

Generation Impact: The Coder is the tale of a creative 13 -year-old girl who designs and builds a mobile app that helps children stay in touch with incarcerated parents. Between the Lines: Liz at Large is the story of Liz Montague, age 24, as the first Black cartoonist for the New Yorker magazine.

Local filmmaker, Haley White, appeared in person to talk about her film, Dance Unbound, a Big Tell award winner.

“The film is about my friend Amy…who used dance to heal her grief,” she said.

Amy Querin lost her husband to cancer and turned to dance to heal. She created the outreach nonprofit, The FresNO Dance COllective (NOCO), “to expand the culture of dance through performance, education, and outreach in the Fresno community.”  Querin uses dance’s physical and emotional outlets to help others heal wounds. Dance Unbound demonstrates the power of dance for inmates at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla.

Established in 2000 by LUNA®, makers of the first nutrition bar for women, LunaFest began as a premiere in California and in 2001 grew as a traveling film show. Interest increased, and 170 filmmakers showcased their work in 2,700 screenings nationwide.

Not only does LunaFest give female filmmakers a platform, but their audiences gain fresh perspectives, understanding, and inspiration that serve to connect communities.

“LunaFest is yet again a wonderful example of being a voice for women locally and around the world,” said Susan Buckley, Clovis Soroptimist president.

The event has helped raise over $6.5 million for women’s causes at the local level.

The nonprofit Chicken and Egg Pictures provide mentorship and critical support to women nonfiction filmmakers. To learn more about LunaFest films and filmmakers, visit lunafest.org/filmmakers.

Denim and Diamonds, the fall Soroptimist International of Clovis event, is planned for Friday, October 21, 2022.  Enjoy an evening of fun, dinner, and dancing. For more information, visit siclovis.org.