LUNAfest

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Ladies, if last month’s True/False Film Fest left you wanting more, buy a ticket for LUNAfest, an evening of short films, by, for and about women at The Blue Note on April 22. The traveling festival highlights the work of nine female filmmakers who’ve created thought-provoking and inspiring films about women’s issues.

The film festival was established by LUNA, part of the Clif Bar company, which makes nutrition bars for women.

“One of the creators of the LUNA bar, it turns out, worked for a community action agency in another state years ago, and wanted to support our mission,” explains Darin Preis, executive director of Central Missouri Community Action, which sponsors the event. “Nonprofit organizations around the country have adopted this fundraiser, and I have been looking for a good anchor fundraiser for CMCA as we look to diversify our revenue.” CMCA will receive 85 percent of the evening’s proceeds. The other 15 percent goes to the Breast Cancer Fund.

Approximately 500 people are expected to attend the event at The Blue Note — along with 20,000 others at more than 150 screenings across the country.

“What woman doesn’t love to go to the movies with her girlfriends?” asks Kit Crawford, co-owner of LUNA. “Film is such a great way to bring women together, so it made sense for LUNA to create this opportunity to connect women filmmakers and their audiences with causes they care about.”

Preis agrees. “We believe that these films will help raise awareness and help us raise funds for programs that can support women getting out of poverty,” he says, noting that despite the serious purpose of the fundraiser, “we do expect that it will be fun, enlightening, and thought-provoking; we hope to draw a large crowd and sell out The Blue Note.”

LUNAfest tickets are $20 ($15 for students) at www.thebluenote.com; doors open at 4 p.m.

Spotlight Film: Every Mother Counts: Obstetric Fistula

LUNAfest is the first festival to screen this documentary, which examines a deadly yet preventable birth complication resulting from poor maternal health care. Director Christy Turlington Burnes (yes, the supermodel) travels to Bangladesh and Tanzania in search of real stories about this condition, which affects 50,000 to 100,000 women each year. In 2008, she launched Every Mother Counts, an advocacy and mobilization campaign to increase education and support for at-risk pregnant women.

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