ST. CHARLES – A lively evening of short films that empower women will raise funds for scholarships for female high school students and other local programs that help women and girls succeed. LUNAFEST will be presented at 6 p.m. March 19 for the fourth year by the Zonta Club of St. Charles-Geneva-Batavia at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
“They are such powerful films,” Zonta Club President Christie Plotzke said. “It’s great to be in the room that night with everyone seeing them for the first time. People leave the event very affected.”
Clif Bar & Company through LUNA produced the first all-women traveling film festival in 2000, showcasing short films by, for and about women.
The night will feature the screening of eight selections by award-winning filmmakers. This season’s featured films will range from animation to fictional drama, and cover topics such as women’s health, body image, relationships, cultural diversity and breaking barriers.
“It’s a wonderful way to help your organization and provide a cool thing to the community that’s not normally seen in our communities,” Plotzke said.
That evening, raffle tickets will be sold for chances to win baskets at intermission, filled with such items as wines, gift cards, lotions, oils, candles and jewelry.
Extending an invitation to everyone to attend, Plotzke said the LUNAFEST audience is composed mostly of women, but also includes men, and last year drew many high school students.
“These films speak to people on multiple levels of age and gender and all kinds of things,” she said.
Plotzke said proceeds from the event will stay in the community, going toward the club’s student scholarships and the other local organizations it partners with to help women advance.
Clif Bar’s LUNAFEST gives a portion of its proceeds to Chicken & Egg Pictures, a nonprofit organization that’s described as supporting women nonfiction filmmakers whose artful and innovative storytelling catalyzes social change.
Plotzke said the evening will begin with an introduction to Zonta and what its members do.
“The Zonta Club of St. Charles-Geneva-Batavia is a local club of Zonta International, and we are a volunteer organization primarily of women working to empower women and girls locally and globally through service and advocacy,” she said.
The projects of Zonta include teaming with community organizations to eradicate domestic violence, sexual violence and human trafficking.
Plotzke said the club’s scholarships go to young women who are pursuing higher education in fields historically dominated by men, such as science, technology, engineering, aeronautics and mathematics. Business and public affairs are among other emphasized fields. Zonta also offers scholarships at the district and international level, such as the Amelia Earhart Fellowship, helping women doctoral students in aerospace-related sciences or engineering.
Aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart was one of the first Zonta members, Plotzke said.
LUNA notes the films are not rated, but suggests audience members be age 13 or older. To learn more about the works and view a film trailer, visit lunafest.org and click on screenings and go to lunafest.org/filmmakers.
If you go
WHAT: Zonta Club presents LUNAFEST film screening
WHERE: Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles
WHEN: 6 p.m. March 19
COST: $25 for adults and $10 for students, if purchased online; $5 more at the door, where cash only is accepted