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Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Women and Gender Resource Center highlights female filmmakers at annual event


As the saying goes, “Who runs the world? Girls,” and it’s girls that are ruling a power-packed film festival tonight on campus. 

The Women and Gender Resource Center will showcase female filmmakers at their annual Lunafest event tonight at 6 p.m. in the Ferguson Theater.

Lunafest is an annual film festival put together by the makers of the Luna nutrition bar to benefit local organizations and the Breast Cancer Fund, which seeks to raise awareness about prevention services for women.

Every year Lunafest chooses a group of short films created and submitted by women from all over the world to be a part of local Lunafest screenings. Local organizations can then sign up to host a Lunafest event and are sent the films to be shown.

“We’re always trying to raise awareness about gender issues and promote equality and equity of women in all aspects of life,” said Paige Miller, program coordinator for the Women and Gender Resource Center. “So I think it’s really important that we feature these films made by women so that we can sort of promote these women who are filmmakers, but then the actual funds that are raised help us do the programs and services that we do here at the Women and Gender Resource Center.”

Last year, they raised $3,497 for the Women and Gender Resource Center and the Breast Cancer Fund. According to the official Lunafest website,, 15 percent of every dollar goes to the Breast Cancer Fund, while the other 85 percent goes to local organizations.

The center has been hosting a Lunafest event for over 15 years now and it’s become their signature event during Women’s History Month in March, Miller said. The films shown, she said, always have a focus on women’s issues such as health and other concerns.

“If you look at maybe feature films there’s not as many women directors and that sort of thing,” Miller said. “So all these phones are directed by women are produced by women and women at their center of the story.”

The films will begin screening at 7 p.m. Before that, there will be a dinner with food from Taziki’s and a silent auction featuring NASCAR tickets, restaurant gift certificates and quilts donated by members of the West Alabama Quilters Guild.

One member donating a quilt is Ana Schuber, program manager for the New College Lifetrack program and an adjunct professor in the women’s studies department.

“I quilt for the love of doing it,” Schuber said. “I consider it to be an art form and as many quilts as I make in a year I can’t use them all and part of doing what I do is love it to share it so part of what I do is to donate…. when I’m quilting I have a lot that I can offer.”

Schuber also helped create the Women and Gender Resource Center when she was a women’s studies graduate student at the University in the ’90s. She and other graduate students were inspired to try and get it started while they were on a trip to a conference at Vanderbilt and saw a women’s resource center on that campus.

“It’s so important to be there for the young women coming through this campus, to be a mentor to these young women, to be there when they just need to talk,” she said. “Through the years and, it’s been a long bunch of years, I’ve seen students really struggling with stuff and to be able to sort of take them by the hand and say ‘Come on over here, there’s people over here who can help you’ I think that’s probably the thing that keeps me involved in it.”

Some of the films Schuber has seen at Lunafest over the years still haunt her, she said, including an Iranian film about Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, that reminded her of the time she spent there in her childhood.

“We are a visual culture we spend a lot of time watching videos we spend a lot of times watching movies television shows and if you are an aficionado of that particular type of genre you understand that men are still very much involved in the making of films and the production of films,” she said. “And Lunafest is not just for the United States is films from all over the world and the fact that women are involved in writing the scripts, putting them together, acting in them, producing them, no matter that they’re short films, they generally they say something very important.”

Some of this year’s films include “Another Kind of Girl,” by Khaldiya Jibawi, about how her experience in a refugee camp changed her life, “Nkosi Coiffure” by Frederike Migom which follows a woman in Brussels who escapes into a hair salon after a fight with her boyfriend in the street and “The Honeys and the Bears” by Veena Rao that follows a group of senior citizens who are members of a synchronized swimming team.

Tickets for Lunafest can be purchased at the door. Student tickets are $10, faculty and staff tickets are $12 and general admission tickets are $15. 

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