LUNAFEST of short films by, for and about women to benefit Soroptimist

April 17, 2013
Santa Paula News

Do you love film? Have a taste of the eclectic? Want to enjoy an evening of unusual fundraising?

Come to Santa Paula’s very first LUNAFEST® on Saturday, a mini-film festival where in one evening you’ll enjoy nine short films created by, for and about women. This unique evening will benefit the scholarship funds of the sponsoring Santa Paula and Fillmore chapters of Soroptimist International, as well as the Breast Cancer Fund.

The April 20 LUNAFEST®will be held at Santa Paula’s Masonic Lodge, 102 N. 7th St., starting with a reception at 7 p.m. Tickets are only $20 each for this evening of film, fascination and fun that also includes refreshments for purchase and raffles. The series of films will take about two hours with an intermission.

SISP President Heidi Juarez said she came across LUNAFEST® when attending a Camino Real District conference with former SISP President Barbara Kroon. Said Juarez, “We liked it” not only for the artistic value and its cause promoting women filmmakers, but also for its “fundraiser-in-a-box factor.” SIF President Tammy Hobson also signed on for Fillmore Soroptimist to be an event co-sponsor. 

Established in 2000 by LUNA, the makers of the “Whole Nutrition Bar for Women,” the LUNAFEST® festival connects women, their stories and their causes through film. 

Billed as a traveling film festival that spotlights the work of a diverse array of talented women filmmakers with intelligent, funny and thought-provoking themes, said Juarez, there’s another aspect to LUNAFEST®: “There are so very few women filmmakers, just a tiny percentage,” and their work should not only be promoted, but also used as a model for other women with an interest in filmmaking.  

The “fundraiser-in-a-box” component means that LUNA not only provides the films, but also the posters, banner and online ticket reservations for the evening, where 100 percent of all net proceeds go to charity.

Since its inception, LUNAFEST® has grown from a single annual event to a coast-to-coast force, with more than 150 North American screenings each season. To date, 101 filmmakers have been featured, nearly $1.5 million dollars has been raised, and thousands of attendees have come away moved, entertained and inspired.  

LUNAFEST’s® own main beneficiary, the Breast Cancer Fund, is dedicated to eliminating the environmental causes of breast cancer. Through education, policy initiatives and other innovative campaigns, the Breast Cancer Fund mobilizes the public to help stop this devastating epidemic affecting 1 in 8 women. The split is 85 percent to the local sponsor and 15 percent donated to the Breast Cancer Fund.

 LUNAFEST®, said Juarez, is “a good mix of film.... Some are serious, some are funny,” and it includes animated short films, several documentary works, and tales of tantalizing fiction.

The two animated films are very different, one created with the watercolor like drawings of Dorfman and the second by a Korean artist that depicts a rejuvenating visit to a women’s bathhouse. Most of the works have been screened at prestigious national and international film festivals, with many wining top prizes. 

Each year about 950 films are submitted to the LUNAFEST®festival. “What impressed me,” noted Juarez, “was the quality of the films and that the LUNAFEST® - films made by, for and about women - is a perfect fit with Soroptimist.” 

Soroptimist - in Latin meaning “Best for Women” - is an international service organization of professional women whose mission is to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world. Fillmore and Santa Paula Soroptimist clubs award scholarships to community service-minded students and women reentering the workforce to further their education, promote breast cancer awareness/prevention and have programs centered on stopping domestic violence.

Come Saturday, Juarez said, Soroptimists will primarily concentrate on being film festival hosts: “The Masonic Lodge has been great and is perfect for the festival. We hope it goes well and becomes an annual event.”

For more information on the films, to see the trailer, and to make online paid reservations (credit/debit card), visit and click on Attend an Event in the menu, then the April 20 date at Santa Paula-93060. To make reservations and pay with a check, call 805-231-0769. You will receive payment instructions when your reservations are confirmed.

Although it is expected the event will be a sellout and advance reservations are highly recommended, there will be a limited amount of seating for walkups who can pay by cash or a check at the door. For more information visit

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.