LUNAFEST short films celebrate female spirit

The College hosted LUNAFEST, a short film festival featuring the works of female filmmakers, on Friday, March 18. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the first LUNAFEST and the fourth year it has been hosted at the College. (Tom O’Dell / Photo Editor)

The “I am woman, hear me roar” spirit of Women’s History Month continued on Friday, March 18 with LUNAFEST, a short film festival in the Library Auditorium showcasing the work of female filmmakers from around the world. The estrogen-fueled screening was sponsored by the College’s School of Nursing, Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, the Student Nurses’ Association, Women in Learning and Leadership and Union Latina.

As stated in the program, the mission of LUNAFEST is to “celebrate and inspire women through the art of film and community fundraising.” The festival, which was created by Clif Bar & Company, the company that manufactures LUNA nutrition bars, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The College was the first sponsor of the festival in New Jersey and has been holding the festival for four years.

Although the films shown varied in plot and tone, they all had one thing in common: They embraced the spirit of womanhood. The audience watched their onscreen counterparts experience triumph, heartbreak and even the painful process of childbirth.

A standout of the night was “Love on the Line,” an animated film depicting two young lovers’ communication the only way they were able to: through telegraph. The audience howled as the film suggested that “sexting” is hardly a new concept.

The other films ranged from an audio account of a woman living with AIDS, a look at the life of a young table tennis champion and the story of a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s, among others. One particularly moving film, “Touch,” told the story of a woman who is saved from her suicidal thoughts when another woman begins talking to her at the subway station.

After the 10 LUNAFEST films were shown, an additional film created by College alumna and nursing professor Catrina Sparacio was presented.

Sparacio suffers from Guillian-Barre Syndrome, a disease that affects the peripheral nervous system and causes paralysis. The film, titled “Socks and Mittens,” depicted Sparacio’s struggle with the disease, which manifested after her first year of law school.

“I had to learn to walk,” Sparacio explained, commenting on her recovery process.

During intermission, assistant biology professor Matthew Wund stood up to say a few words to the crowd about the Christina S. Walsh Breast Cancer Foundation, one of the night’s beneficiaries. Walsh, who died of breast cancer in 2004, was Wund’s sister. The foundation was created so that women going through treatment would not have to worry about their financial situation, as Walsh did.

“There are patients today who really need help,” Wund reminded the crowd.

The foundation has raised over $200,000 so far.

Tickets were $5 dollars for students and $10 dollars for the general public. All proceeds went towards the Breast Cancer Fund and the Christina S. Walsh Breast Cancer Foundation.