By: Morgan Watters
LUNAFEST is a package of short film festivals that travels internationally through Canada and the United States. It was started by Clif Bar & Company, which makes LUNA bars. To get more information about LUNAFEST, I asked Barbara Williams, the president of Michiana Charitable Festivals, a co-host with Indiana University South Bend for LUNAFEST Michiana 2023.
This year’s LUNAFEST will take place at 1 p.m. on April 15 at the St. Joseph Public Library Community Learning Center.
“I first became aware of it when I was in California for an international film festival,” Williams said. “When I was in line for one of the films, I was handed a flier, so I went to [LUNAFEST] in 2005. It was wonderful! The films were great and there was a gathering of women in an auditorium.”
Williams said LUNAFEST involved watching films by women and then discussing them.
“I had said, ‘this we have to do in South Bend.’ We got a group together and held our first LUNAFEST here in 2018,” she said. “It was extremely well attended with about 120 people for the first showing. In 2020 we were planning it in an auditorium at Indiana University South Bend, but we all know how that turned out.”
Williams said she and a friend formed a nonprofit to partner with IU South Bend and set up a scholarship for women students who have experienced a gap in their educational career, and they hope to award the first scholarship in Fall 2023.
“The whole program is designed to focus on women filmmakers, because mot filmmakers in general start by making short films and then move on to make full length films,” Williams said. “Women are underrepresented, so we have short films that are made by women filmmakers with mostly women crews. They tell women’s stories and girls stories.”
This year, there will be seven short films shown at LUNAFEST.