Nine moving, passionate, real-life stories showcasing what real women are made of — by their drama, humor, struggles and triumphs — are coming to the local big screens for the 14th annual LUNAFEST.

LUNAFEST, a traveling fund-raising film festival established in 2000 by LUNA, the makers of the whole nutrition bar for women, spotlights the work of a diverse array of talented women filmmakers with intelligent, funny and thought-provoking themes.

LUNAFEST will make its way through Southern California with a stop at Rancho Cucamonga's Chaffey College on March 23 sponsored by Soroptimist International of Baldy View and Soroptimist International of the Foothills.

 

Other local LUNAFEST stops are in North Hollywood on March 22 at Laemmle Theather NoHo7 sponsored by Zonta Club of Burbank Area; Redondo Beach on March 30 at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center sponsored by the Soroptimist International Manhattan Beach; Redlands on April 4 at ESRI sponsored by Zonta Club of Redlands and American Association of University Women (AAUW) Redlands; Los Angeles on April 11 hosted agt and sponsored by United University Church; Newhall on May 1 at Canyon Theater Guild sponsored by Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley; Hemet on May 2 at the Histori Hemet Theater sponsored by Soroptimist International San Jacinto Hemet Valley; and again in North Hollywood on May 8 at Laemmle Theather NoHo7 sponsored by the Adat Ari El Sisterhood.

 

Advanced tickets are now on sale or can be purchased at the door for the Rancho Cucamonga screenings. Seating is limited.

The two-hour event will include such stories as 70-year-old basketball playing grannies, a high-school female wrestler in her first coed match, blind dating, multi-mom-ing, changing body and body image and a young girl living with Tourette's syndrome.

Juanita Braunwalder, president of the Rancho Cucamonga-based Soroptimist International of Baldy View, said LUNAFEST is a perfect event for the nonprofit as members — business and professional leaders — aim to engage in awareness, advocacy and action in the service of community and society to improve the lives and status of women and girls.

 

“LUNAFEST fits in with our mission statement and brings awareness of different topics that concern women's issues,” Braunwalder said.

Proceeds go toward Soroptimist sponsored scholarships and the Breast Cancer Fund, LUNAFEST's main beneficiary.

Though the films' creators and their subject matter are women, everyone is welcome.

“I encourage men to attend,” Braunwalder said. “The more men understand women, the better communication we can all have.”

Community sponsors include Mile One Real Estate Dino Andriani, Capital Connection, La Parolaccia Restaurant in Claremont, InterValley Health Plan, Ontario's Graber Olives, 3M, Costco and Valenta Eating Disorder Clinic.

 

“I love the Soroptimists; they support women and community empowerment,” said Robin Gorder, community outreach specialist for Valenta. “LUNAFEST supports women filmmakers who are telling stories of important topics. Supporting Soroptimists and LUNAFEST is our way of raising awareness and reaching out to those in our own community.”