Lunafest commences despite being put on hold for 2024

May 7—ANDERSON — Members of Soroptimist International of Anderson gathered at the Paramount Theatre on May 4 to provide an evening of women-centered entertainment.

About 100 were slated to attend, according to Sandra Leslie, Chairwoman for Soroptimist International of Anderson, an organization focused on helping and empowering women and girls.

About seven films were shown, according to the Lunafest website. Each film discussed the experiences of diverse types of women, including queer women.

"Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night" is about Noor, a queer Pakistani Muslim women who brings her girlfriend home for family game night.

The other films explored gender identity and life after war.

Leslie said the films expose folks to others' stories and offer opportunities to learn about others.

Listening to others' stories, for Leslie, is part of what it means to be an empowered woman.

The film festival is also a fundraiser for Soroptimist International of Anderson's various projects

"We help with Willow Place here in town, we help with Alternatives. Our focus is women and girls," she said.

Lunafest is sponsored by Luna, a company specializing in nutrition bars for women.

However, May 4 could be the final Lunafest as the company has decided to re-evaluate its direction.

"As the LUNA brand explores its next steps, the decision has also been made to put LUNAFEST on pause in 2024," the company stated in the email.

"Given these changes, the Lunafest Team will be transitioning off the program at the end of June 2023."

Leslie is holding out hope that this is not the end, that Lunafest will return.

Nationally, Lunafest has existed for roughly 22 years; this is its ninth year in Anderson.

Follow Caleb Amick on Twitter @AmickCaleb. Contact him at caleb.amick@heraldbulletin.com or 765-648-4254.