For International Women’s Day, film festival in Merrifield salutes female filmmakers

A film screening during the 2022 Lunafest at Angelika Film Center (courtesy Girls on the Run Northern Virginia)

Though they won’t appear among the best director nominees at the Oscars this Sunday (March 12), female and gender non-conforming filmmakers will be celebrated tonight (Wednesday) at the Mosaic District.

The Merrifield neighborhood’s Angelika Film Center (2911 District Avenue) is hosting Lunafest — a traveling film festival that showcases movies by and about women — to mark International Women’s Day.

With doors opening at 6 p.m., the festival will screen seven short films from 7-9 p.m. The screenings will be preceded by a “social hour” with light hors d’oeuvres, drinks and a raffle, according to the event page.

All proceeds will go to Girls on the Run Northern Virginia (GOTR NOVA), a nonprofit based in Fairfax that offers running programs designed to teach girls life skills like teamwork and self-confidence.

“We love hosting Lunafest each year because it allows us to bring our community together to celebrate new perspectives and be inspired by the ideas of what our program participants could become and achieve,” GOTR NOVA Development Manager Catherine Reeves Keller said. “All of the proceeds from the event go back to GOTR NOVA to fund our programming and empower our participants.”

Lunafest was created in 2001 by Luna, a brand of Clif Bar & Company that makes a nutrition bar targeted toward women. Since then, the festival says it has raised over $7 million for nonprofits, featured 175 filmmakers, and hosted over 2,900 screenings in the U.S. and Canada.

The festival lineup includes a mix of live-action and animated films:

Reclaim Your Water: Natasha Smith — As a member of the Ebony Beach Club, Natasha Smith surfs, skates, and makes her own waves.

Miss Chelove: From Java to the Streets of D.C. — As she paints a mural, artist Cita Sadeli (aka Miss Chelove) opens up about her life, her cultural heritage, and how she fell in love with grafti in the 1980s.

Pete — The true story of Pete Barma explores gender identity, Little League Baseball, the people who inspire change by being themselves, and the superheroes who champion that change.

This Is Beth — As celebrated rock climber Beth Rodden grapples with her body image, she rediscovers the love of her sport… and herself.

More Than I Want to Remember — After her southeastern Congo village is bombed, 14-year-old Mugeni sets out on a remarkable solo journey across the globe, determined to reunite with her lost loved ones and lift up the Banyamulenge people.

Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night — All cards are on the table when Noor, a queer Pakistani Muslim woman, brings her Puerto Rican girlfriend, Luz, home for the rst time on the family’s annual game night.

Swimming Through — Amid a brutal Chicago winter and the global pandemic, Deirdre, Helen, and Jennefer’s friendship grows as they commit to a daily sunrise plunge together in Lake Michigan.

Tickets to the festival cost $30 and can be purchased online.

Read more on FFXnow…

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