Turning Point to host unique ‘LunaFest’ film festival

Event takes place April 16 in Warren

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published April 9, 2016

 Turning Point Macomb will host the traveling LunaFest film festival on April 16. Showings are planned to begin at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Warren’s Renaissance Unity Church.

Turning Point Macomb will host the traveling LunaFest film festival on April 16. Showings are planned to begin at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Warren’s Renaissance Unity Church.

Photo provided by Turning Point Macomb

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WARREN — Six short films by and about women, most reflecting a message of empowerment, will be at the center of Turning Point Macomb’s inaugural presentation of the award-winning LunaFest traveling film festival this month.

Turning Point, based in Mount Clemens and dedicated to providing emergency support, shelter and prevention services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, will host the event at Warren’s Renaissance Unity Church on April 16, with showings of the six films beginning at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“The films are by women, about women and done by women from all over the world, and they’re all very empowering. Turning Point is all about empowering women,” said Karan Bates-Gasior, Turning Point’s fund development director. “The model we use for our survivors is an empowerment-based model. It just kind of seemed like a natural fit.”

LunaFest was established in 2000 by LUNA, the makers of a specialty nutrition bar for women. The traveling festival and the related films spotlight issues of importance to women, including the effects of domestic violence and sexual assault, which Turning Point is dedicated to mitigating.

The event at Renaissance Unity will also feature activities, including a chance to create survivor quilt swatches and to participate in the “Start by Believing” campaign designed by End Violence Against Women International.

“The premise behind (Start by Believing) is when a woman or man is sexually assaulted, how they’re perceived when they first discuss it makes all the difference,” Bates-Gasior said. “Believing them is the crucial first step.”

Turning Point’s support of Start by Believing and LunaFest coincides with Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April.

The short films to be shown during LunaFest this year include “Balsa Wood,” about two mixed-race siblings and their lunch visit with their extended Filipino family; “Boxeadora,” a story about one woman’s defiance of the female boxing ban in Fidel Castro’s Cuba; and “Finding June,” a story about communication and understanding seen through the eyes of a woman diagnosed with breast cancer.

More information about the six featured films for 2016 can be found at www.lunafest.org. All of the proceeds from the festival will go to charity.

“This is an opportunity to celebrate the creative endeavors of women filmmakers from around the world in a fun way that will stimulate thoughtful discussion,” Turning Point CEO Sue Coats said in the release announcing LunaFest at Renaissance Unity.

General admission tickets for the festival cost $20 in advance or $10 for students. General admission tickets at the door cost $25.

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.turningpointmacomb.org or call (586) 463-4430, ext. 226.

Renaissance Unity Church is located at 11200 E. 11 Mile Road in Warren.

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