The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

LUNAFEST visits Iowa City to lift girls up

Returning for the seventh year in a row, film festival aims to promote female empowerment


Sitting in front of a projector, several young women from the community can prepare to affect the world around them from what they’ve witnessed on screen.

Girls on the Run of Eastern Iowa will host LUNAFEST today at the Englert, 221 E. Washington St., for the seventh year in a row, screening a line of films with the theme of empowering women.

LUNAFEST, created by the organization LUNAbar of California, is one of the first all-women traveling film festivals since its inception in 2000, according the official website. Displaying films made exclusively by female directors, LUNAFEST has had screenings in more than 175 cities across the United States.

Chelsea Archibald, the interim executive director for Girls on the Run, said she believed the theme of the film festival resonated with the organization’s mission.

“Girls on the Run inspires girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running,” Archibald wrote in an e-mail to *The Daily Iowan*. “We envision a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. LUNAFEST showcases talented women filmmakers and works to amplify the voices of strong women everywhere.”

Similarly, Archibald said, she believed women needed a stronger voice in the cinematic arts.

“Film festivals are a source of entertainment for the viewer and are often an outlet for artistry, self-expression, and social commentary for the directors,” she said. “Women directors are underrepresented in the film industry. Acknowledging areas in which women can be better represented and have a stronger voice is important in all areas of our society. [Girls on the Run] is happy to host a film festival by, for, about women.”

Outside of motivation, Archibald pointed out different benefits from the collaboration.

“LUNAFEST is great to work with,” she said. “It has the film festival all packaged and ready for organizations to use as a fundraiser. They even provide marketing materials for the event. This year, we made a donation to LUNAFEST’s beneficiary, Chicken & Egg Pictures, and all the proceeds will stay with [Girls on the Run].”

In preparation for the event, Girls on the Run submitted an application for screening in November 2017.

“We look at calendars and work to secure a venue about a year in advance,” said committee chair Katie Molzen. “We take what we learned from the previous year’s event and start committee meetings about six months in advance and meet about once a month. Most of the committee work involves securing sponsorships for the event, securing donations for the reception and silent auction, and working out logistics and marketing for the event.”

Molzen agreed that the nine featured films echo the goal for Girls on the Run.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Sarah Stortz
Sarah Stortz, Arts Editor
Twitter: @sstortz_
Sarah Stortz is an Arts Editor at The Daily Iowan. She has been on staff since her freshman year, previously as a news reporter, digital producer, and arts reporter. She is a senior at the University of Iowa, studying journalism & mass communication with a certificate in nonprofit management and a minor in theatre arts.