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Film News: Chicago Helps Benefit LUNAFEST Film Festival

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CHICAGO – When a company makes a commitment to a cause, the way that they follow through speaks volumes about that commitment. Kit Crawford, the co-owner/CEO of the company that makes LUNA Bars, has brought in her passion of the arts through LUNAFEST, a film festival featuring women filmmakers and the donation of its proceeds to women’s causes. It was in Chicago on November 17th.

Jenn Gibbons of Recovery on Water (ROW) Presents at LUNAFEST, in Chicago on November 17th, 2011
Jenn Gibbons of Recovery on Water (ROW) Presents at LUNAFEST, in Chicago on November 17th, 2011
Photo credit: Patrick McDonald for HollywoodChicago.com

Founded in 2000, the LUNAFEST film festival has made its mark going all around the country, with the main beneficiary being the Breast Cancer Fund, and then sharing proceeds from the events with local women’s charities or organizations. For this Chicago round of the film festival, the organization that benefited was Recovery on Water (ROW). ROW promotes cancer recovery through exercise, specifically rowing and crew activity in the Chicago area. The co-sponsors for this event was StyleChicago.com.

“We’re really a tiny non-profit, with a small operating budget,” said Jenn Gibbons, head coach and founder of Recovery on Water (ROW). “For us, what we get tonight is huge, we can buy another boat and serve even more women.”

The November 17th event was typical of the LUNAFEST film festival. It was presented at the Thorne Auditorium at Northwestern University’s lake front campus. There was a cocktail hour – featuring wines from the Clif Family winery, and food from RA sushi, Roti Mediterranean Grill and Native Foods Cafe. After a presentation from sponsors and the charities, the films were presented in the auditorium. Whether it’s on a larger scale like this event, or a smaller gathering around a large screen TV, the opportunity to put together a LUNAFEST night is part of the energy of the concept.

’Missed Connections,’ Directed by Mary Robertson, was part of LUNAFEST, in Chicago on November 17th, 2011
’Missed Connections,’ Directed by Mary Robertson, was part of LUNAFEST, in Chicago on November 17th, 2011
Photo credit: LUNAFEST

The festival presents an excellent and eclectic slate of women in film. From the relationship and coping comedies “A Reluctant Bride” (directed by Shideh Farmond) and “Worst Enemies” (Lake Bell), to the amazing mini-documentaries “I Am a Girl” (Susan Konen), “Missed Connections” (Mary Robertson) and “Life Model” (Lori Petchers), this celebration of women’s films and filmmakers is a must-not-miss experience. By combining a film festival with charity fundraising, LUNA Bars have raised the bar.

The next LUNAFEST in Chicago is December 8th, 2011. For more information, click here. For information about the event locations, films and hosting a LUNAFEST, go to LUNAFEST.org.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Senior Staff Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2011 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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