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Movie Review: LunaFest


It’s always an annual treat when Cincinnati World Cinema brings in the current Lunafest collection. This long-running series of short films by and about women is an excellent way for budding filmmakers to get noticed, and also do some good in the process. As always, a portion of the proceeds from these showings will go to the national Breast Cancer Fund, and locally, to the Eva G. Farris Education Center in Covington.


In any collection of short films, reactions will be different for different people. You may find some inspiring, some funny, some ho-hum. But that’s the luck of the draw, and just like with the British commercial programs, there’s always something new just around the corner. The shortest film is three-and-a-half minutes; the longest eighteen.

For me, here are a couple of the highlights. I was intrigued by Self-Portrait With Cows Going Home, about noted photographer Sylvia Plachy. She has done work for filmmakers such as Albert Maysles, Rainer Werner Fassbender, Sam Fuller, and even the iconic art world figure, Andy Warhol. Sylvia comes across as the kind of person, and artist, who could engage anyone in lengthy, fascinating conversations.

Snappy animation is always an eye-catcher, and Canada’s Flawed is an absolute stunner. An artist falls in love with a plastic surgeon, and tells the story of their relationship with drawings as she narrates. The style is breathtaking, the approach is both serious and humorous, and gets my vote for best in show.

What do you do with a bald head when your hair is a victim of chemotherapy? The three-and-a-half minute Blank Canvas shows one woman’s solution, and it’s as interesting as it is heartwarming.

The British film Lunch Date also charmed me. An attractive young lady awaits the arrival of her lunch date at a restaurant, only to be greeted by his 14-year-old brother, whom he has ungraciously sent to tell her he’s breaking up with her. Sad for the girl, awkward for the brother. But in the course of their conversation about the matter, we get the impression that maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing. It’s written, produced by, and stars the director Sasha Collington, who does a marvelous job.

Lunafest 2012 will have two showings in the theatre at Covington’s Carnegie Arts Center…this afternoon at 4:00 and on Tuesday at 7:00 pm. There’s a social hour one hour before each screening. At the Tuesday showing, you may avail yourself of dinner-by-the-plate from Europa Bistro. The post-film discussion offers award-winning director and producer Melissa Godoy on Sunday; NKU graduate Crystal Kendrick, owner of her own marketing firm, on both Sunday and Tuesday; and Meera Rastogi, an Assistant Professor of Psychology at UC.

Here’s your chance to enjoy food, friendship, and fascinating filmmaking all while supporting excellent causes that help women locally and nationally.