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Lunafest film event benefits young girls

Linda Bottjer
The agelessness of beauty is the subject of "Life Model," one of the films featured at Thursday's Lunafest.
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Films create good feelings, promote deep thoughts and inspire viewers to action. Lunafest’s films do this as well as benefit young girls from the Truckee and Tahoe.

Lunafest is Thursday, Dec. 8, at the Olympic Village Inn in Squaw Valley.

It is the fourth year Girls on the Run – Sierras has had the fundraiser sponsored by the makers of women’s nutritional Luna Bars.

Girls from third through eighth grade are introduced and encouraged to healthy living through exercise, life skills development and mentorship.

Similar themes are reflected in a variety of the seven films to be shown beginning at 7:30 p.m.

“Lady Razorbacks” is a work by filmmaker Laura Green whose family owns a summer house at North Shore.

As a M.F.A. student at Stanford this was not the film she first intended to make.

Serendipity through a fellow student’s article on Pacific Islander women’s rugby team brought her a subject close to home, in East Palo Alto. Here women, Fijians, Tongans and Samoans, gathered with the primary goal of losing weight.

According to Green, she was struck at the immense fun the women had while overcoming ethnic diversities and old prejudices through a sport known for its “full intensity and full contact”.

This type of film is why Green enjoys the genre of documentaries.

“They are a way to tell stories and discuss the world around you.”

The agelessness of beauty is the subject of “Life Model.” A 75-year-old models nude for a life drawing class. In our often youth-obsessed society the oft-unclaimed symphony of venerating the body, soul and life experiences is explored and heralded.

Christy Turlington Burns, once a proclaimed supermodel of the 1980s and ’90s, evolved into a writer, filmmaker and humanitarian. Her “Every Mother Counts: Obstetric Fistula” shares the epic problem many woman in Third World nations, such as Bangladesh and Tanzania, face before, during and after childbirth.

“I am a Girl” throws the focus on transgender issues felt by a young teenager when first struck by puppy love.

Instead of the usual popcorn the Lunafest in Tahoe ramps up the film food by serving appetizers like sushi by Mamasake and Fireside Pizza.

Wines will by poured by several wineries such as Sonoma County’s Canihan Family Winery and Truckee River Winery.

According to the latter’s Kate Shaw, the poured wines will be their 2007 Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel, a 2010 vintage or Russian River Valley Chardonnay and a Gary’s Vineyard Pinot Noir also from 2007.

“Our owners are locals and are always passionate about supporting the local community,” Shaw said.

The support of other local businesses, from a dinner for six at PlumpJacks to a day spent with chef and restaurateur Mark Estee, can be found at the events’ three silent auctions.

Girls on the Run – Sierras Executive Director Danielle Rees expresses gratitude of everyone’s support and urges more people to volunteer with the organization.

Those that do will find continual inspiration through the young.

“We have one girl who never thought of herself as an athlete,” Rees said.

“She was very quiet and could usually be found off reading. Now in middle school she is on the cross country team and competing at national events.”


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