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

 

Congratulations to all Zontians for the absolutely incredible evening on September 13th, when we hosted the 9th Annual Lunafest to a full house at Canyon Theater Guild in Newhall.

The evening began for VIP ticket holders with a lovely gourmet repast of hors d’oeuvres and desserts, perfect for every taste.  Volunteer hostesses met every need of the patrons, and the outside garden location glittered with special lighting and movie-themed décor to get everyone in the mood.  Inside, plenty of popcorn provided the final touch for the movie-goers.

As a prelude to the screenings, Committee Chair and Club President, Barbara Meyer, welcomed everyone and introduced local documentary film maker, Stephanie Seldin Howard, who spoke about the challenges for a woman in producing a film.  Her compelling talk inspired everyone to view her film, “The Weight of Honor”, which chronicles the lives of caregivers and families of veterans who have been wounded, both physically and mentally, in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Once again, we partnered with Luna Bars and “Chicken & Egg Productions” to present ten short films by and about women.  It was unanimously agreed upon that this Lunafest presented the best films to date.  We loved them all.  One featured the iconic actress, Marion Ross, who upon her entry into heaven has to decide which of her 3 husbands who had preceded her in death she wants to spend eternity with.  Another with the theme of the generational confusion over gender identity, features parents who want their lesbian daughter to think they are “cool” with her choice.  The outcome is hilarious.

Following the intermission, we heard from another great speaker, Newhall resident, Marguerite Happy, who is a Hollywood stunt woman.  She shared her experiences in the stunt world and the challenges of working as a woman in that unique man’s world.

At the end of the screenings, one of the event’s favorite traditions, the raffle, sent many happy fans home with amazing prizes.

Many thanks to our sponsors, advertisers, donors, volunteers and ticket buyers.  Everyone did their part to make the event great, and everyone in our club should be proud of the accomplishment.  And we all agreed that moving the event from Thursday to Friday was a great move, and Friday the 13th proved to be a lucky date for us after all!

Video clips of 2019 films just released. 

Lunafest sponsor program available Here

The Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Meet the Lunafest speakers

Stephanie Seldin Howard

STEPHANIE SELDIN HOWARD

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / DIRECTOR / WRITER

Stephanie believes empathy is the driving force behind storytelling, something she attributes to her 25-year career as a broadcast news producer. The Omaha, Nebraska native is the recipient of a Los Angeles Emmy Award coupled with two additional Los Angeles Emmy nominations. Stephanie has produced specials and documentaries for CNN, Fox News Channel, and Reuters as well as local coverage for KNBC-TV and KTTV-TV in Los Angeles. She was the co-producer of “Refusenik,” a documentary about the decades-long movement to free Jews held against their will by the Soviet Union.

In 2014 Stephanie was awarded the Roy W. Dean Grant from From the Heart Productions making her documentary The Weight of Honor possible. She is a member of the International Documentary Association, Film Fatales, and Film Independent.

Stephanie's film, THE WEIGHT OF HONOR is the first comprehensive documentary to chronicle the lives of the caregivers and families of veterans who have been catastrophically wounded in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The film's subjects are the spouses, parents and children who give a rare glimpse into their lives, as everyone grapples with finding a "new normal" after the devastating effects of war time injuries. Filmed over five years, in many states, this journey reveals the thoughts and struggles of the caregivers tasked with the 24/7 care of once able-bodied and self-assured sons and husbands, but are now dependent on others. The life of the caregiver is often unsung and hidden.

THE WEIGHT OF HONOR reveals disrupted lives, ongoing uncertainties and their courage and strength as they make a new home during the most calamitous time of their lives. Included are key interviews with veterans who are now serving in congress and experts who give their insight into the new reality of what it means for a wounded warrior to come home.

For more info go to: https://theweightofhonormovie.com/the-filmmakers.  Also on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/WeightOfHonorDocumentary/

Marguerite Happy

Stunt Woman

Raised in Salinas, California by Jim and Sally Martins with one brother Kearney, Marguerite married Clifford Happy in 1977 and moved to Newhall. After 42 years of marriage they are most proud of their two sons Sean, Ryan and daughter in law Erica. Her father-in-law, Don Happy, helped her become an extra in the motion picture business at age 18. While working on the film "1941" in 1979, stunt coordinator Terry Leonard converted her during a fight scene and her stunt career began. Credits include: "Little House on the Prairie", "How The West Was Won", "Thelma and Louise", "Men in Black II", "The Mask of Zorro", "Runaway Bride", "Charlie's Angels Full Throttle", "Pure Country", "Rodeo Girl", "Shadow Riders", “Bonanza: The Return”, "Triumphs of a Man Called Horse III”, and "Bad Girls", to name a few.

Marguerite is a loyal Gold Card member of the oldest woman’s sports organizations in the country, The Women's Professional Rodeo Association.  She was voted on by her peers to serve two terms as WPRA California Circuit Director , and now serves as a WPRA California Circuit  Spokeswoman and enjoys competing in the Barrel Race and Team Roping.

She rides limited outside horses and gives horsemanship and rodeo event lessons to all ages.  Her goal is to teach others to believe in themselves and their equine partner using the power of positive thoughts, riding with confidence and authority.

She was inducted into the Hollywood Stuntmen's Hall of Fame in 2011 among the majority of stunt men and was humbled to become the second stunt woman ever to be recognized by The Reel Cowboys with a Silver Spur Award for her contribution to Western Film and Television.

She has enjoyed serving as The Master of Ceremony for The Miss California Rodeo personality and appearance contest for numerous years and was proud when The Happy Family was inducted into the California Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2011.

She has had much gratification when invited to assist on “Stunt Panels” in Oklahoma City, The Lone Pine Film Festival, the Memphis Film Festival, sharing behind the scene happenings and insight on safely filming action scenes.  She can be found in Books; including “Stuntwomen The Untold Hollywood Story” by Mollie Gregory and most recently “Hollywood her story An Illustrated History Of Women And The Movies” by Jill S. Tietjen, P.E. and Barbara Bridges.

Although “retired” she continues to work in the picture business when the phone rings; as it is always a pleasure to work with her peers.

To view her stunt reel click here

lunafestAfter seventeen years of supporting the Breast Cancer Fund, LUNAFEST has made a strategic change in 2018. To build on their commitment to women filmmakers, they’ve partnered with Chicken & Egg Pictures. Chicken & Egg Pictures shares the core values of celebrating and championing women storytellers. The nonprofit organization provides mentorship and critical financial support to female nonfiction filmmakers. Not only have the films gained recognition, they have made an impact on social and economic issues. Together, LUNAFEST and Chicken & Egg Pictures are creating a strong community for women in the film industry.

LUNAFEST by the Numbers

  • $4.1M raised by LUNAFEST
  • 145 featured filmmakers
  • 1,646 screenings hosted
  • 100% donated to charity

 

Notice regarding the opportunity drawing: Should you wish to enter this drawing without making a donation, you must send in a post card requesting a raffle ticket to the following address: 23742 Lyons Ave. No. 220117, Santa Clarita, CA 91322.