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A femme film-fest fundraiser

A still from a documentary titled 34x25x36 being screened as part of Lunafest. The film by Jesse Erica Epstein is about a mannequin factory outside L.A.

Lunafest

A still from a documentary titled 34x25x36 being screened as part of Lunafest. The film by Jesse Erica Epstein is about a mannequin factory outside L.A.

The films explore everything from women's wrestling to sex-change surgery to sewing, not the typical fodder for Hollywood blockbusters.

But they all have one thing in common: They were made by women, are for women and are about women.

The films are among 10 documentaries included in this year's Lunafest. The event, in its eighth year, comes to Tampa for the first time April 16.

The festival runs from October through May at more than 150 venues nationwide, reaching an estimated 20,000 viewers. Created by Luna, the maker of the Whole Nutrition Bar for Women, the event aims to promote female filmmakers, raise awareness of women's issues and support women's nonprofit groups.

All proceeds of Lunafest go to charity — 15 percent to the Breast Cancer Fund and the rest to women's organizations in host communities. Over the years, the event has raised more than $200,000 for breast cancer education and more than $470,000 for women's groups. Tampa's screening will benefit the Alpha House of Tampa, which helps pregnant women in crisis.

Co-hosts are Barbara Keskiner and Aly Zamore, whose mother survived breast cancer, and came across Lunafest through their business, Divine Events, which puts on social and educational events for moms.

Tampa's Lunafest screens at the Home Theater Gallery, which will rotate the movies in three viewing areas. Guests will mingle and sip on wine. Renee Warmack will chat about her documentary on influential local women, Ten at the Top in Tampa Bay.

"It's not a formal sitdown where you watch all the movies at one time,'' Keskiner said. "It's more of an opportunity to talk and socialize and watch some movies in between.''

The films range in length from 3 to 20 minutes, with a few of them subtitled. The directors hail from as far as London, Toronto and Lisbon, Portugal. Others come from Austin, Texas, Berkeley, Calif., and Minneapolis.

Lunafest

Lunafest is Thursday at the Home Theatre Gallery, 3300 S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Tickets are $20 for general admission at 7 p.m. and $45 for VIP, which includes food and wine starting at 6 p.m. Showtime is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets available at the door or at

divinetampa.com.

A femme film-fest fundraiser 04/09/09 [Last modified: Thursday, April 9, 2009 6:26pm]

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