Lunafest: A part of the local #MeToo movement | PostIndependent.com

Lunafest: A part of the local #MeToo movement

Julie Olson
Advocate Safehouse Project

If you go

Lunafest

Saturday, 5 and 7:30 p.m. All profits go to Advocate Safehouse Project, a nonprofit that provides support for survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence. Several area businesses will offer weekend discounts with Lunafest tickets.

Hotel Colorado, 526 Pine St., Glenwood Springs | $20 advance; $25 at the door | eventbrite.com, www.lunafest.org, or purchase tickets in person at Treadz in Glenwood Springs, Midland Art Company in Rifle or Susan’s Flowers in Carbondale

This year’s lineup includes:

Yours Sincerely, Lois Weber: A tribute to the highest-paid silent film director at Universal Studios in 1916.

Girls Level Up: A young woman who grew up in a conservative Muslim neighborhood in the Middle East helps middle school girls in the United States realize their dream of designing their own video game.

Waiting for Hassana: A harrowing first-person story of one girl’s escape from Boko Haram captivity and her heart-wrenching lament for one of the many girls still unaccounted for.

Last Summer, in the Garden: A poetic and philosophical rumination on nature, seasons, cycles, and the unavoidable speed bumps in the road of life.

Fanny Pack: A comedy about a young Indian-American woman who wants to follow her dreams and a fanny pack-clad Indian father who chases his daughter through an airport hoping that she will follow his.

Joy Joy Nails: In an upmarket strip mall, Sarah manages a nail salon with an ever-cheerful, K-pop pumping, manicured iron first.

Toys: A father tries to toughen up his daughter by giving her toys intended for boys, but his efforts backfire when she proves a little too capable for comfort.

Buttercup: As Maggie struggles with her mother’s death, a surprise visitor helps her find joy again.

Jesszilla: Jesselyn Silva is serious about boxing and at age 10 trains seriously with dreams of becoming a professional fighter.

You may have noticed people dressed in black at the Golden Globe Awards. That attire at the Hollywood event became a way for people to show their support of the #MeToo movement.

Glenwood Springs will have an opportunity to do the same during Lunafest, an annual film festival that celebrates and inspires women through film. Each Lunafest event raises funds for a nonprofit in the area in which the festival takes place. The local beneficiary is Advocate Safehouse Project.

This will be Garfield County’s 17th Lunafest, and ASP’s history is even longer. The 30-plus-year-old organization promotes healthy relationships, free from violence, through education, advocacy, empowerment and safehousing. It is the only program in Garfield County to offer comprehensive and confidential services to survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence and their children. In fact, it has the only safehouse program in the Roaring Fork Valley and one of only 11 domestic violence shelters on Colorado’s Western Slope.

During 2017, ASP handled nearly 2,600 calls, worked with 423 clients and provided 24 families with 20 children 2,292 nights of emergency shelter. All ASP services are offered in both English and Spanish.

Some of you may know that Tarana Burke, a social activist and community organizer, created the phrase “Me Too” in 2006 as part of an awareness campaign to promote “empowerment through empathy” among women of color who have experienced sexual abuse. On Oct. 15, 2017, actress Alyssa Milano encouraged spreading the phrase #MeToo to raise awareness of the enormity of sexual assault and harassment.

Milano reignited this campaign by tweeting: “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” According to Facebook, #MeToo was used by more than 4.7 million people in 12 million posts during the first 24 hours.

Burke stated in an interview that the #MeToo movement has expanded beyond empowerment of survivors to include determining the best ways to hold perpetrators responsible and a culture shift that teaches the importance of respect, boundaries, and consent. Burke said another point of the #MeToo movement is to let the victim/survivor teach society what is and what is not sexual assault. Burke has stressed the significance of community action and healing when it comes to stopping sexual violence but said society needs to learn how to effectively implement this community action. She expresses that for some survivors a safe space to tell their stories, and simply listening and taking them seriously, is what they need most.

Consistent with the #MeToo movement, one of Lunafest’s films, “Joy Joy Nails,” directly addresses sexual assault in the workplace.

One hundred percent of proceeds from the local event will be donated to ASP, a direct effort to eradicate these issues and support local women who have faced them.

Julie Olson, MSW, has worked in the field of domestic and sexual violence for 25 years. For the past 23 years, Olson has been the executive director of Advocate Safehouse Project.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.