The women’s and gender studies program will be hosting Lunafest on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Lone Star Auditorium in the Maverick Activities Center. The festival showcases films made by women, for women and about women.

The national festival is comprised of eight short films by female filmmakers, but graduate film student Kelly Gray’s film Branch will be featured before the original lineup.

The audience can expect to see dramatic, comedic and animated short films ranging from three to 17 minutes.

The women’s and gender studies program has hosted Lunafest since 2011. According to the festival’s website, this will be the only showing in Texas this year.

Tickets are $10 regularly and $5 with student ID.

Dustin Harp, women’s and gender studies program director, said next year the program will be hosting a series of events to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of women’s suffrage. Harp said Lunafest serves as the biggest fundraiser for the program.

Gray said she received an email from Harp saying that they were looking for female filmmakers to showcase their films.

Gray’s film, Branch, is about a black woman who turns to supernatural forces for revenge when her bookstore is vandalized.

Gray said she chose Branch because of a recent incident in Deep Ellum in which an African-American woman was physically assaulted by a bartender.

She thought it would be important to show a film about a black woman overcoming a tragedy.

Gray said festivals that showcase the work of female filmmakers are important because for so long their stories were told by men.

“How does a white male know how I think? How does he know how I feel? How does he know how I move about in my daily life and the struggles and the emotions that I go through as an African-American woman?” Gray said.

Gray said the festival can be beneficial because it can educate people on short films and how easy they are to make on a budget.

Lunafest will be the last Women’s History Month event hosted by the women’s and gender studies program.


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