Lunafest Film Festival event to feature unique stories, local performances
Made by, for and about women, the eighth annual Lunafest film festival will make its way to Steamboat Springs on Thursday.
The nationally touring film festival will kick off at 7 p.m., featuring nine films filled with stories of reflection, hope and humor created to ignite discussion and make a difference in local communities.
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Designed to benefit a local organization that serves women in the Yampa Valley community, Lunafest will benefit the Young Bloods Collective’s SPEAK — Performances from Women in the Yampa Valley.
Before the film reel starts, there will be two performances from the 2017 SPEAK: “Masculinity Makeover,” performed by B. Torres, and “Smile,” performed by Emily Waldron, who will share the vision for the 2018 show.
The inaugural three-day SPEAK event that took place in March at a variety of locations featured performances of original works that were written, compiled and presented by women who live in the Yampa Valley.
“I think so much of our entertainment culture is made up of stories told by men, with men as the protagonist and as the villain, the script written by men, the marketing done by men,” said Waldron, SPEAK’s creator and producer. “In my adult life, I’ve started to see that slowly begin to shift. I think the reason that SPEAK and Lunafest resonate so deeply currently is because we are finally being shown the complexity of female life and emotions through the lens of female filmmakers, writers (and) actors.
“There is a hunger among women to hear stories that they can relate to. There is a hunger among women for camaraderie, for tricks to improve the world, and in Lunafest and SPEAK’s stories. We feel that hunger, we glimpse that camaraderie.”
Waldron created SPEAK after participating in “The Vagina Monologues” several times. She felt impacted by each of those stories, but wanted more.
“SPEAK was created to fill that need for more stories, more female voices,” Waldron said. “Sending out the call for submissions last winter and then watching submissions pour in — good, stunning, moving submissions — was one of the scariest moments and one of the most gratifying in my life. I put my faith in our community, asked to hear their stories and was overwhelmed with the response. I realized that the hunger for this type of storytelling was much greater than I had ever imagined, and, so, SPEAK is becoming an annual event.”
For Torres, who had never performed an original piece before, SPEAK was a breath of fresh air in Routt County.
“Storytelling gives us an opportunity to immerse ourselves in a world different than our own reality,” she said. “It opens our perspectives a little bit more and allows us to explore other worlds. In sharing parts of ourselves, we can empower other people to express themselves, as well.”
The featured Lunafest films include: “Another Kind of Girl,” by Khaldiya Jibawi; “Free to Laugh,” by Lara Everly; “Niñera,” by Diane Weipert; “Partners,” by Joey Ally; “The Third Dad,” by Theresa Moerman Ib; “Family Tale,” by Dr. Patricia Beckmann-Wells; “Join the Club,” by Eva Vives; “Nkosi Coiffure,” by Frederike Migom; and “The Honeys and the Bears,” by Veena Rao. According to the Lunafest news release, the total run time of this season’s program is slightly less than 90 minutes.
“Lunafest and Young Bloods Collective’s SPEAK are an ideal and natural pairing,” said Brie Kole, YBC co-founder and president. “They both invite all walks of life to see things from another point of view. That’s such a special experience to feel for the first time, and I think, with everything going on in the world, to have such a mutually beneficial event go down, in Steamboat no less, it really epitomizes, “think globally, act locally.”
A $10 donation at the door supports Young Bloods Collective’s efforts to improve lives of women in the Yampa Valley through SPEAK and the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners’ work nationwide.
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