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LUNAFEST Women’s Film Festival March 7 in Ilfeld


Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands University presents LUNAFEST – a traveling film festival featuring award-winning short films by, for and about women.

LUNAFEST  will be March 7 at 7 p.m. in the university’s historic Ilfeld Auditorium, 900 University Ave.

Now in its 13th year, LUNAFEST premiered in San Francisco in September 2012 and is touring 150 cities across the country this year. This is its first showing in Las Vegas.

The university’s Media Arts Club and the Women’s Studies Program are hosting LUNAFEST, which benefits the Breast Cancer Fund, the club, and women’s studies. The $5 cost also includes a reception catered by Estella’s Café and Pedro’s Bakery.  

There will also be a silent auction of items donated by local businesses and artists, as well as resource tables for healthy living.

“The overall message of the film festival is health and empowerment for women,” said Casondra Sobieralski, a new visiting media arts professor who is organizing LUNAFEST at Highlands. “These inspiring and award-winning films give a voice to women filmmakers, who are woefully underrepresented in Hollywood filmmaking.”

Sobieralski has served as an adviser on the LUNAFEST board for seven years. She said the nine short films featured in LUNAFEST this year were selected from 800 films submitted from around the world.

The films have screened in other venues, such as the Los Angeles Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, New York City Film Festival, San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival, and New Zealand International Film Festival. 

“We look for films that empower and promote healthy ideals for mind, body and soul, as well as films made by diverse voices in terms of race, ethnicity, nationality, age, socioeconomic class, and different sexualities and gender identities. We seek a balance in terms of mood, rhythm, and film type, including documentary, narrative and animation films,” Sobieralski said.

The nine short films featured in LUNAFEST cover topics such as women’s health, motherhood, body image, aging, cultural diversity, and breaking barriers. They range from films that celebrate remarkable older women to one that features a young student athlete.

“The films provide a platform for identification, and everyone will be able to personally relate to at least one of the films because of the diversity represented,” Sobieralski said. “These are very strong films. I hope men will also attend LUNAFEST.”

She recommended viewers be 13 or older. More details about the films are available at www.lunafest.org/the-films

Sobieralski said that for the next LUNAFEST, she will encourage talented student filmmakers in the Media Arts Department to submit their work for consideration.

LUNA, the makers of the Whole Wheat Nutrition Bar for Women, established LUNAFEST in 2000 to connect women, their stories, and their causes. Since its inception, LUNAFEST has featured 101 filmmakers and raised nearly $1.5 million for the Breast Cancer Fund and local causes.

For more information, contact Sobieralski at cmsobieralski@nmhu.eduor 505-454-3468.

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