Lunafest — a short feast of films for women

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Jorie Parr

Anna Schumacher will discuss her film, Finding June, at Lunafest, Jan. 30, at the Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs

A film fest that’s fun, enlightening and benefits a good cause? That’s Lunafest, a morning full of short movies by, for, and about women. It’s billed for Saturday, Jan. 30 at Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs.

It’s even affordable. Tickets for $15 include a petit dejuener of coffee and pastries at 9 a.m., with show time at 9:30. It’s hosted by Soroptimist International of Palm Springs and La Quinta, with Camelot donating the auditorium.

The unique 90-minute line-up features nine films ranging from animation to fictional drama with themes of women’s health, body image, motherhood, aging, cultural barriers and breakthroughs. Filmmaker Anna Schumacher (Finding June) holds forth after the screening, fielding a Q and A session.

Proceeds benefit the Breast Cancer Fund and local Soroptimist charities, with 10 percent going to Luna, the whole wheat nutritional bar for women. So far Luna, which created and funded the fest, has raised more than $456,000 for the Breast Cancer Fund and more than $785,000 for other women’s nonprofit organizations, valley event co-chairman Joan Boiko reports.

This marks the fifth year in Palm Springs, the 15th for Lunafest. Last year it scored such a hit here that a crew of local women — they weren’t even Soroptimists — banded together to boost the event. They maintained it should also be screened to teenage girls. In the end, it was decided that instead of bringing the girls to the movies, they’d take movies to the girls.

Boiko, who is also communications manager for Palm Springs Unified School District, facilitated. So now the program will be shown without admission charge Jan. 18 to 25 in four high schools — Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs, Cathedral City and Rancho Mirage.

For film synopses and trailers, visit www.lunafest.org. For tickets, it’s www.lunafespalmsprings.com or call (760)202-7810.

By the way, since Luna is involved, we had to ask if the complimentary refreshments include Luna bars.  Boiko said “Yes.”