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LUNAFEST makes first visit to North Texas courtesy UT Arlington

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

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Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

ARLINGTON – The University of Texas at Arlington’s Women’s and Gender Studies program will be host of next month's LUNAFEST, a national touring film festival dedicated to raising awareness of women’s issues and highlighting women filmmakers.

The festival, sponsored by LUNA nutrition bars, features 9 short films and opens at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at the Maverick Activities Center’s Lone Star Auditorium, 500 W. Nedderman Drive. Tickets are $5 per student with UT Arlington identification, and may be purchased online at Tickets are $10 for everyone at the door.

Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Breast Cancer Fund and the UT Arlington Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

This year’s films range from animation to fictional drama, and cover topics such as women’s health, motherhood, body image, aging, cultural diversity and breaking barriers.

Patty Newton, UT Arlington graduate student and filmmaker, on the set of "PURSUIT."

After the LUNAFEST films conclude, Patty Newton, a Master of Fine Arts candidate in film and video in the UT Arlington Department of Art and Art History, will preview her own short film, “PURSUIT.” Newton wrote and directed the light-hearted romantic comedy that poses the question “What if I never try?”

The UT Arlington’s Women’s and Gender Studies program supports artistic endeavors by women such as LUNAFEST as a way of engaging students, said Desiree Henderson, interim director of UT Arlington’s Women’s and Gender Studies program.

“We seek to show students that women are relevant in all areas — including film,” Henderson said.

The touring film fest runs through April and stops in nearly 30 locations nationwide.

The films scheduled for Nov. 11 at UT Arlington are:

  • Every Mother Counts: Obstetric Fistula, by Christy Turlington Burns. The film provides a look at one of the most common and painful injuries women suffer during childbirth.
  • I am a Girl!, by Susan Koenen. Joppe has always known that he’s a girl – and won’t let a little biology get in the way.
  • Life Model, by Lori Petchers. A look inside the world of an aging nude figure model and the beautiful artwork she inspires.
  • Reluctant Bride, A, by Shideh Faramand. Stuck at her younger sister’s engagement party, an unmarried Persian woman dodges and weaves suitors and romantic setups like a pro.
  • Worst Enemy by Lake Bell. Is our heroine way too neurotic to be a “normal” girl?
  • How To Be Alone by Andrea Dorfman. A poem and “how-to” manual about being alone.
  • Lady Razorbacks by Laura Green. When a group of Pacific Islander women start a rugby team in East Palo Alto, the field becomes a sanctuary.
  • Missed Connections by Mary Robertson. On Craigslist’s “Missed Connections” forum, those who regret their timidity make appeals to the Ones Who Got Away.
  • The Wind is Blowing on My Street by Saba Riazi. An accident that leaves a young girl on the street in Tehran without a headscarf leads to an unlikely connection.

This will mark the first time that the touring film festival has stopped in North Texas. So far, LUNAFEST has raised more than $456,000 for Breast Cancer Fund and more than $785,000 for other women’s non-profit organizations.

Henderson said the evening will include a short intermission during which attendees will be able to purchase concessions, t-shirts and other items.

For trailers and more about the film festival, please visit

A campus map and parking information is available at

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of 33,449 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit to learn more.


The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.