Nine short films, all under 20 minutes, will be shown at the LUNAFEST in Richmond, a festival featuring films
solely made by, for and about women.
The festival, which will be held on Feb. 7, is hosted by the Zonta Club of Berkeley, “an international service organization focused on advancing the political, economic, social and educational status of women worldwide” (zontaclubberkeley.com). The club hosts LUNAFEST in a wide variety of places throughout the country.
“First Match” will be one of the films featured at LUNAFEST, which was created by first-time filmmaker Olivia Newman. Newman submitted “First Match,” a film about wrestling, to be shown at LUNAFEST last year, but it was not selected.
“[LUNAFEST] had told me that there was another film about wrestlers selected and to submit the film again next year,” Newman said.
“First Match” is about Mo, who is the only girl on her high school wrestling team in New Jersey. The film depicts Mo’s attempts to win over not only her teammates and coach, but also encourage her single father to truly accept her wrestling, especially in a co-ed context.
“There is no question that this is about a girls’ experience,” Newman said. “Through her eyes, it’s a very subjective film. It’s about Mo and there are not any parallel storylines.”
Another film of the nine to be featured at LUNAFEST is the 10 minute version of the full length film “Granny’s Got Game,” created by another first-time director and lifelong basketball player, Angela Alford.
The 74-minute version of the film, which can be viewed on DVD, is a documentary about seven women who played basketball in high school in the 1950’s, but did not have the opportunity to keep playing after. Nearly 20 years ago they started a team called the “Fabulous 70’s.” Alford’s documentary follows the team to Houston TX, where they compete in the National Senior Championship.
“When I first heard about these women I thought that they must be genetic anomalies; however when I met them, I realized that they have the same problems as other elderly women and athletes,” Alford said.
Two of the women are breast cancer survivors, and proceeds from both the film and the film festival go towards breast cancer funds.
These two films and seven others can be seen on Feb. 7 starting at 6:30 pm at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, Calif. To find out more about LUNAFEST, visit www.lunafest.org.