LUNAFEST film festival comes to the Rio Theater Jan. 26

LUNAFEST, a fundraising film festival dedicated to promoting awareness about women's issues, highlighting women filmmakers, and bringing women together in their communities, will take place at the Rio Theater on Saturday, January 26, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Nine films by women filmmakers highlight women as leaders in society. See the film lineup below. The films range from animated shorts to fictional drama and cover topics such as women's health, body image, spirituality, relationships, cultural diversity, and breaking barriers.

Tickets are $5/students, $10/general from the UCSC Ticket Office--(831) 459-2159, Tuesday through Saturday from 12 to 4 p.m.--or by calling the UCSC Women's Center at (831) 459-2072 (all are tickets subject to a $2 service charge).

The Rio Theater is located at 1207 Soquel Avenue in Santa Cruz.

All proceeds from the local LUNAFEST festival go to WomenCARE, the UCSC Women's Center, and the Breast Cancer Fund. Thus far, LUNAFEST, which is sponsored by LUNA, the nutrition bar for women, has raised over $100,000 for the Breast Cancer Fund and over $250,000 for other women's nonprofits.

Local Gold Circle Sponsors of the 2008 LUNAFEST include Seagate, New Leaf Community Markets, and Laura Fernandez from Coldwell Banker

2007-08 LUNAFEST films:

  • My Other Mother

    When her baby sister dies, Margo's other mother shows her how to grieve.

    Director: Diana Keam, Capetown, South Africa

 LA Short International Film Festival (finalist of Female category)

 Flying Broom International Film Festival, Turkey;
 Sithengi Film Festival, South Africa
; The Right Eye Film Festival, South Africa

  • Make A Wish

    A young Palestinian girl will do whatever it takes to buy a birthday cake.

    Filmmaker: Cherien Dabis

 Sundance Film Festival; 
Berlin International Film Festival; 
Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival; 
Dubai International Film Festival; 
Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films

  • Dona Ana/Mrs. Ana

    A seller of medicinal plants shares the joys and hardships of her life along with her love of strawberries.

    Animators: Laura Acevedo and Carolina Escobar

    Filmmakers: Marion Vasquez and David Sanchez

 Berlin International Film Festival; 
Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival; 
Madrid Festival of New Cinema and Contemporary Art; 
Sao Paulo International Film Festival; 
Slow Food Film Festival

  • Happiness

    Iwona buys a box of happiness at a strange discount store and has to decide what to do with it.

    Filmmaker: Sophie Barthes

 Los Angeles International Short Film Festival (nominated Best Female Director); 
Nantucket IFF (Showtime Tony Cox Award for Best Screenplay in a Short Film);

 DokuFest (Kosovo);
 Era New Horizon (Poland); 
South By Southwest; 
Sundance Film Festival

  • Godir Gestir/Family Reunion

    Katrin leaves New York to visit her native Iceland, in this whimsical tale of family secrets.

    Filmmaker: Isold Uggadottir

 Nominated for Icelandic Academy Awards (Edda Awards); 
North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (Best Women's Short); 
Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival (Best Narrative International Female Short)

 Copenhagen Gay & Lesbian Film Festival; 
Sundance Film Festival

  • Daikon Ashi

    A young girl struggles with adolescent rebellion and the reality of family ties.

    Filmmaker: Ru Kuwahata

 Dong-A LG animation festival, Korea (2nd prize);
 Student Academy Award regional finalist

 NY International Children's Film Festival; 
Melbourne Animated Film Festival; Australia 
Parsons DV and Animation Festival

  • Breaking Boundaries: The Sandra Von Ert Story

    A documentary reflection on one female Olympic athlete's determination and success.

    Filmmaker Jennifer Grace

 Scene First, Wilmington, North Carolina

  • The Guarantee

    A dancer's hilarious story about his prominent nose and the effect it has on his career.

    Filmmaker: Jesse Erica Epstein

Newport International Film Festival (Best Short)

 AFI/Silverdocs Documentary Festival, Silver Spring, Maryland
; Full Frame Documentary Festival, Durham, North Carolina

  • Pockets

    A pocket becomes an abstract metaphor for the journey of motherhood.

    Filmmaker: Sophie Ohara

 Fest-i-Kult Intercultural Film Festival, Ankara, Turkey; 
Heart of Gold Film Festival, Queensland, Australia; 
LA Children's International Film Festival, Los Angeles; 
San Francisco Children's International Film Festival