Students and Ann Arborites gathered Wednesday in the Michigan League to watch short films by and about women as part of LUNAFEST, a film festival created and funded by LUNA, the makers of a women’s nutritional bar. The traveling film festival aims to celebrate women throughout the world through film.

Each year, LUNA chooses the films it will feature and then selects organizations to screen the movies throughout North America. This festival is the first time it’s been screened on campus since 2007 and the first time it has been organized by Students Against Rape, the group that organizes the Take Back the Night Ann Arbor Rally and March in April.

The program featured nine short films ranging in duration from four to 20 minutes, all of them created by women and all addressed topics pertaining to women around the world. Many of the films have garnered awards and critical acclaim and been distributed around the world.

“The idea is to bring women together in their communities while highlighting women filmmakers,” said Law student Carlyn Williams, co-leader of University Students Against Rape.

Some of the films included in the festival are “Granny’s Got Game,” which follows a competitive basketball team of 70-year-old women and “Flying Anne,” which documents the challenges faced by an 11-year-old Dutch girl as she copes with Tourette’s syndrome.

“This is a really good opportunity for people to see women in their communities doing things in their everyday lives and not making them out to be sex symbols or damsels in distress,” said Law student Samantha Honea, co-leader of University Students Against Rape.

All of the money raised by the event will go towards charity. Most of the proceeds will help University Students Against Rape organize the Take Back the Night Ann Arbor Rally and March, with remaining earnings supporting the Breast Cancer Fund.

“I think it’s a really great way for us to raise money for this cause,” said Medical School student Joshua Stoolman, a Take Back the Night participant. “LUNA bar is a big name so to have somebody who sponsors a film festival like that and help this organization is really a great thing.”

Students from the Alpha Phi Omega community service fraternity helped distribute event brochures and LUNA bars to attendees. The Women’s Law School Association and Central Student Government also co-sponsored the event.

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