LUNAFEST - Short Film Festival by, for, and about Women


The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley produced it’s 2020 LUNAFEST® film festival as a drive-in movie night on September 26th at Castaic Lake.  LUNAFEST®, the annual travelling showing of short films by and about women, was presented this year as an innovative and fun experience, perfect for these pandemic times. It was the first time LUNAFEST®, a national project created 20 years ago by the makers of Luna Bars, was shown as a drive-in.

This was the only major fundraiser we have been able to produce this year, and proceeds from the event will support Zonta’s projects to assist women and girls who are victims of domestic and sexual violence, human trafficking, a lack of educational and employment opportunities, and more.  Zonta was selected many years ago to represent LUNAFEST® in our geographical region.  $4.1M has been raised internationally by LUNAFEST® since its founding, featuring 145 women filmmakers.  It has been an important activity for Zonta SCV for many years.

Co-Chairs Laura Troost and Barbara Meyer led a great committee made up of Patrice Rifkind, Terry Kanowsky, Adele Macpherson, Fran Fiel, Darleen Lyons, and Lois Bauccio, assisted by the hard work of Ken Rifkind, Koren Young, Gabe Talamantes, and Bill Lyons as well as a crew of young people who assisted with signage, parking and traffic control.  The committee and its helpers embraced the challenges of producing an entirely new concept as a fundraiser. (Ours was the first nonprofit drive-in to be produced in the SCV.) An exciting on-line auction led by Patrice Rifkind was the first digital auction attempted by our club, and Patrice and her helpers needed to learn all new skills to produce it.  Exclusive auction items such as a harbor cruise aboard Mike Lebecki’s boat and a private cocktail party at Fred Arnold’s lakeside home brought in additional revenue.

Well over seventy viewers (many of the 39 cars had 4 or 5 riders) were delighted by the amazing films, by the video inserts that Laura Troost produced to talk about Zonta and our programs, and by their boxed meals that consisted of typical movie snacks of hot dogs, popcorn, Moon Bars, movie candy and of course, Luna Bars.

The event also featured live entertainment provided by Alesia XO, a wonderful local band (formerly known as Dole Humphries) who donated their time to play a fabulous set of music that was “applauded” with flashing headlights and honking horns, adding to the atmosphere of the magical night under the stars.

The committee is so proud of this event. The energy that night was truly electric, and the atmosphere of being under the stars by the lake was fantastic; it was the first time that Zonta has done an event at Castaic Lake. It was also the very first time in memory that every single person who bought a ticket attended the event.

Our thanks to all who attended, who donated and who volunteered. It was a great night!