Tag Archives: Lunafest

Zonta Club Of Burbank Presented Best Lunafest Yet

LunaFest features award-winning short films “by, for and about women.” Last Saturday, the Zonta Club of Burbank returned LunaFest to the Laemmle Theater in NoHo, and engaged the audience with eight greats:

****Tryouts (14:00 minutes) features a Muslim American teenaged girl who wants to join her high school’s cheerleading squad. This gem of a film invites us to separate the essentials of our traditions from our accustomed expressions of them.

**Tits (4:45 minutes) is an earnest story of a young woman learning to appreciate her body without needing approval from an image-obsessed culture.

****Chica’s Day (10:00 minutes) is worthy of comparison with The Sixth Sense. It’s one of those rare films that can give the same event two very different meanings.

***Lady Parts (6:05 minutes) shows us a straight-shooting auto repair shop run by women. Somewhere Rosie the Riveter is shouting, “About time!”

****Miss Todd (12:53 minutes) was magnificent! Inspiring story, captivating heroine, marvelous singing, humor, wit and brilliant animation that put every penny on the screen. Memo to Disney: There’s a full-length animated feature in this tale of a pioneering (1910!) aeronautical engineer with the Wright stuff for showing the world how to fly.

***Flor de Toloache (3:30 minutes) is a red hot, all female mariachi band. Que bueno!

***A Good Match (13:00 minutes) highlights an often-neglected dilemma of relationships past and present. What happens when you break up with the boyfriend but you really got along with his mom? Breaking up is very hard to do indeed.

****Viva (7:39 minutes) is a documentary portrait of Cornwall’s grandmother of punk, now in her ninth decade. Betty White, meet your rebel twin.

The best LunaFest yet.

The Zonta Club of Burbank raised $2,000 in net proceeds from tickets and sponsorships. Every dollar of these funds will benefit the Breast Cancer Fund (breastcancerfund.org) and the Zonta Club of Burbank Area Foundation (zontaburbank.org), which provides grants to individual women and funds projects that empower women.

“We were proud to be hosting our 3rd annual LunaFest and each year, this event has been gaining momentum,” said BRITTANY VAUGHAN, President of the Zonta Club in Burbank. “LunaFest is a wonderful example of how Zonta is working to empower women through service and advocacy.”

“I really appreciate the strong support from Charter Business FiberSolutions, Burbank Optometric Center and Alisa Cunningham Properties,” said LunaFest chair NICKIE BONNER.

LUNA, “the makers of the Whole Nutrition Bar for Women.” established LunaFest in 2000. LUNA wanted to “promote women filmmakers, raise awareness for women’s issues, and support women’s nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada.” Thanks to organizations like Zonta, LunaFest will be traveling to over 150 cities and screen in front of an estimated 25,000 people.

For more information about LunaFest films and the stories behind them, please visit lunafest.org.

Lunafest Returned With Shorts Long On Quality

Tlunafesthe Zonta Club of Burbank returned LUNAFEST to the Laemmle Theater in NoHo USA. Like last year, LUNAFEST features a program of award-winning short films “by for and about women.” The appreciative audience took a break from their usual, feature-length diet and instead sampled some tasty cinematic tapas:

Granny’s Got Game (10:45 minutes) profiles seven 70-something women who still play winning basketball, aches and pains and bruises be damned.

Flying Anne (21:00 minutes) follows a young girl’s coming-to-terms with Tourette’s Syndrome with the help of supportive adults.

The animated short Sidewalk (4:15 minutes) is one woman’s walk through life with her ever-changing body.

In First Match (15:00 minutes), a young woman prepares for her first coed high school match and contends with her conflicted father.

Sound Shadows (8:00 minutes) helps us appreciate how amazing it is that the ears can become the “eyes” of the blind.

Maria of Many (3:46 minutes): immigrant, domestic worker, activist. Like so many newcomers before her, she’s building a better world for her daughter…and in the process, her daughter’s generation.

Set in a present-day Athens beset with economic hardship, Running Dry (10:00 minutes) shows us a woman with a trickle of euros but a fountain of empathy.

Date With Fate (3:56 minutes) rhymes with mate. Enough said.

Tiny Miny Magic (7:45 minutes) convinces us that snail mail can still be a fast lane to unexpected romance.

Eight of these films had screened at various major film festivals, with Maria of Many premiering at LUNAFEST. Collectively, they deliver more entertainment value than most feature films.

The funds raised through the NoHo LUNAFEST showing will go to support the Breast Cancer Fund and the service projects of the Zonta Club of Burbank. Event chair NICKIE BONNER thanked Charter Business Fiber Solutions, Alisa Cunningham properties and the Burbank Optometric Center for their strong support.

“Zonta International has been working to advance the status of women for nearly a century and in Burbank since 1936,” said GRACE FARENBAUGH, President of the Zonta Club of Burbank. “We help women in the developing world, and we also help women here at home through grants and other programs.”

This year LUNAFEST will travel to over 150 cities and screen in front of an estimated 25,000 people. For more information about LUNAFEST films and the stories behind them, please visit LUNAFEST.org.

Nine Successful Lunafest Films Reviewed

The navaratna mala, or nine-gems necklace, is a sacred and royal object throughout Asia and often associated with the sun, moon and other celestial bodies. A few weeks ago, at the Laemmle Theater in NoHo USA, Lunafest adorned an delighted audience with a matinee-length navaratna mala of nine cinematic gems “by for and about women.”

Each film lent its own faceted reflection of women’s contemporary lives:

Georgena Terry (5:48 minutes) profiles the woman who designed bike frames with a revolutionary idea: bicycles meant for women should be designed for women’s bodies.

Chalk (18:00 minutes) follows a young female gymnast as she competes in an elite training camp while making age-old discoveries about bodies, boys and friendship.

Self-Portrait With Cows Going Home And Other Works (10:30 minutes) focuses on renowned contemporary photographer Sylvia Plachy…who is camera-shy.

The Bathhouse (5:50 minutes) is an animated short about women escaping the streets of the modern city and transformed by a bathhouse paradise.

When I Grow Up (9:30 minutes) shows us a typical morning of a struggling mother and her daughter as they sell tacos and dream of a better life.

Flawed (12:20 minutes) is a whimsical animated tale about accepting yourself, flaws and all.

Blank Canvas (3:28 minutes) introduces us to a woman going through chemotherapy, who turns her baldness into a blank canvas for self expression.

Whakatiki: A Spirit Rising (12:48 minutes) is a story about a day at the river that awakens the spirit of a woman held captive by years of broken promises.

Lunch Date (11:07 minutes) is a story about a woman whose boyfriend sends his 14-year-old brother to break the news that he’s dumped her.

Eight of these films had screened at various major film festivals, with one premiering at Lunafest.

They say the secret to writing a short story is “knowing exactly when to begin and when to end.” That rule was put to very effective use in every one of the nine films, which collectively offered an experience as satisfying as viewing a first-rate movie of traditional length. One hopes that all these films will find a cable channel savvy enough to offer them to a wider viewing audience. (And some would’ve made a charming segment on a news feature like 60 Minutes.)

Lunafest supported the Breast Cancer Fund and the Zonta Club of Burbank. (See myBurbank.com Zonta article.) Judging from the size of the audience and their reaction, Lunafest was a fundraising success as well as a critical one. Lunafest will definitely return next year.

Zonta Club Of Burbank Continues To Champion Women

The Zonta Club of Burbank has been helping and supporting women in the Burbank area since 1936.  Many Burbankers may have heard about the Woman of the Year luncheon, which every fall has been recognizing women who are outstanding community leaders. It’s also Zonta’s signature fundraiser, enabling the club to help women throughout the year.

Zonta -2

Photo By Ross A. Benson

Zonta has been awarding “Wings” grants to adult women who have endured a major setback, and who want to re-launch by earning a degree or completing vocational training. For young girls and boys, Zonta has been donating biographies of remarkable women like Amelia Earhardt to Burbank elementary schools.

Zonta’s members have also been aware of the social ills that can fall especially hard on women and the children who depend on them. On behalf of the Burbank Temporary Aid Center, Zonta has collected not only food but items of personal hygiene desperately needed by homeless women.

Zonta -1And the Burbank club has always strongly supported Zonta International’s campaign to eliminate violence against women, a serious social problem that worsens noticeably during hard economic times.

But as laudable as these programs are, they don’t completely explain why the Zonta Club of Burbank has survived while many other service clubs have not. Long time Burbankers may recall that Women’s Club of Burbank, at one time hugely influential, did not survive the sea change in women’s roles. And there was once six Zonta clubs in the San Fernando Valley, with only the Burbank club remaining.

Why? “We have to constantly modernize to appeal to women of all ages,” explains member Nickie Bonner. “We have to compete with corporations that are repairing their image by having their employees do pro bono community service. And young people like my daughter are being lured by newer organizations that are using tools like social media to engage their members and advocate for a cause.”

Editors Note: Read Greg Simay’s reviews of the film recently viewed at Lunafest that support the Zonta Club.