By Kristin Dvorak | Photo courtesy Girls on the Run of South Central Wisconsin
Girls on the Run of South Central Wisconsin is going beyond the walls of the community to make a difference by hosting LUNAFEST, a female-driven film festival with an international scope.
LUNAFEST is a festival by, for and about women where filmmakers have the opportunity to share an untold story, hosts can raise funds and awareness for a cause and attendees will certainly leave with new perspectives.
This year’s LUNAFEST will be held at Madison’s Best Western Plus InnTowner on Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. The festival, which is open to the public, will feature a diverse collection of eight films created by female filmmakers from all over the world.
LUNAFEST events have raised over $1 million for women’s organizations across the globe. “All of the funds raised through this year’s LUNAFEST will stay local and go directly to ensuring that no girl will ever be turned away for an inability to pay for our program,” says Girls on the Run Executive Director Christine Benedict.
Girls on the Run is a nonprofit organization that brings together girls and women to exercise more than just their muscles, but their minds, creativity and compassion, too.
Benedict explains that through the organization “girls learn that their worth comes from within, that healthy relationships matter and that they can be a force for good in their community.”
Each season, girls sign up for an individual team of 15-18 members, led by three to five volunteers. The groups meet for lessons twice a week for 10 weeks where they get some exercise and then have discussions and celebrations.
By the end of the season, each team executes a community impact project and celebrates by completing a 5K run. Hosting LUNAFEST is this year’s project.
Benedict describes the community impact projects as a way to “demonstrate the unimaginable strength that comes from helping others.” Previous projects include establishing local food pantries, running positive messaging campaigns at community schools and collecting donations for local humane societies. To learn more about Girls on the Run of South Central Wisconsin, visit girlsontherunscwi.org. For more information about LUNAFEST, visit lunafest.org.