Lunafest returns to Burbank to cast more light on female directors

For the eighth consecutive year, the Zonta Club of Burbank Area will host a short-film screening, this year showcasing eight female directors.

There are still tickets available for Lunafest, a traveling film festival created by the Clif Bar & Co. that supports and promotes aspiring female directors and doubles as a fundraiser for local nonprofits.

The local screening will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday at the New York Film Academy, 3300 W. Riverside Drive. Tickets can be purchased at

Nickie Bonner, treasurer of the local Zonta Club, said the organization had previously hosted the film festival at the Laemmle Theatres in North Hollywood.


However, the venue change was made after members of the New York Film Academy attended last year’s event and wanted to be involved with it.

That was great news for Bonner, who said that moving the screening to the film school would allow for a panel discussion about the featured movies, which is something attendees have asked for.

“We are having ... a panel discussion with two of the filmmakers,” Bonner said.

The two directors will be Marie Jamora and Jackie Files.


Jamora’s short film is titled “Flip the Record,” which is a coming-of-age story about a Filipino American teen who learns about her identity through hip-hop music and turntablism.

Files’ animated short, “Today, Tomorrow, Yesterday,” is a story about a woman who finds her old diaries as she moves out of her childhood bedroom.

“All the films focus on themes that all of us could relate to,” Bonner said. “They tackle situations or issues that most of us have faced in our lives. No matter what stage you are in life, you can always find something to relate to in these films.”

Bonner said the money generated from the event will go toward the local Zonta Club’s Wings Grants program, which helps women who have overcome a setback in their lives by providing them with an education grant.

Coincidentally, Bonner said a previous Wings Grants recipient happened to be a student at the New York Film Academy, and she was able to find a career in the film industry.

Zonta Club of Burbank Area is part of Zonta International, a global organization empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.

While this Lunafest will act as as a fundraising event for the Zonta Club, funds will also go toward Chicken & Egg Pictures, an organization that supports women filmmakers.

In light of the #MeToo movement and the shake-up in the film industry, Bonner said it is important that female filmmakers and directors get the same level of respect and attention others in the industry receive.


“There is a climate of wanting to help women filmmakers, and Lunafest is a big part of that,” Bonner said. “The power of Lunafest is that it exposes people to films that they would not otherwise see. Everyone sees Hollywood blockbusters, but many people don’t see these amazing short films made by women.”

Twitter: @acocarpio