Lunafest to benefit support centers

By Ivan Cazares

The East Los Angeles Women’s Center and the Sexual Assault Awareness Violence Education Team will fundraise March 22 and 23 by sharing women-centered stories in the form of Lunafest. Lunafest is a traveling film festival that spotlights an array of women filmmakers.

The funds will go to the Breast Cancer Fund and the East Los Angeles Women’s Center, which provides support, resources and education for sexual assault victims. Lunafest’s stop at East Los Angeles College will coincide with women’s history month.

It will screen nine short films in the S2 Recital hall. A second screening will be hosted in the Multipurpose Room on the second floor of the Student Center the following day.

The nine short films being screened deal with displacement due to war; father and daughter relationships; life after prison; the stress of raising children as a career; and love.

The films also depict women as leaders in their communities. “I hope it sparks some interest (in young women) to volunteer, become politically active or become film-makers themselves. The stories are poignant and relevant (to current events),” East Los Angeles Women’s Center board member Christine Dosland said. Dosland is retired.

However, she remains active in nonprofit organizations like East Los Angeles Women’s Center. She also works with a women’s center in Long Beach. She pitched the idea of hosting Lunafest at an East Los Angeles Women’s Center board meeting, after being inspired by her sister who organized Lunafest for a junior baseball league.

Dosland started organizing the festival after retired ELAC kinesiology professor and East Los Angeles Women’s Center board member Marilyn Ladd suggested using the campus.

Ladd is a SAAVE student representative and works with the ELAC Women’s and Men’s center. “I’ve known since I was a student here (at ELAC) in the ‘60s that 60 percent of our student population are women.

It (seeing these films) might prompt them to go into that line of work (filmmaking), make similar films or identify with them. Maybe it will change their lives emotionally, mentally or financially,” Ladd said.

“Women aren’t recognized in the film industry,” Ladd said. She also said Lunafest is a good opportunity to give some female filmmakers the recognition they deserve and expose potential film makers and community leaders to critically acclaimed work created by women. Two of the film makers will be at a reception on opening night to interact with attendees.

One of the filmmakers, Eva Vives received an award for best short at the Sundance film festival in 2000 for her film “Five Feet High and Rising.” She casted, edited and produced the film. The reception will begin at 6 p.m. in the S2 Recital Hall on March 22.

Refreshments and snacks will be provided by sponsors, such as Lunafest, Coffee Bean, Zevia Soda, Sonora Bakery and Cosco. Lara Everly was awarded several awards in her directorial debut for her film “Me, You, A Bag and Bamboo,” including the Best Family Film award at the Canada International Film Festival in 2009. Tickets for opening night are $20 for general admission and $10 for students.

Tickets are available for purchase online at, at the door or at the ASU Office in F5-212. Tickets for March 23rd sell $10 for general admission and $5 for students. The second day has a limited number of 140 seats available.

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