LUNAFEST coming to Rifle, bringing new perspectives with the help of Advocate Safehouse Project |

LUNAFEST coming to Rifle, bringing new perspectives with the help of Advocate Safehouse Project

Kathya Gonzalez and Julie Olson both fill goodie bags for LUNAFEST.
Cassandra Ballard/ Post Independent

Looking at life from another’s perspective can be challenging, especially if you’ve never been in a position where you have to. 

“I think we have to look at life through different lenses than perhaps the ones that we were raised with,” said Julie Olson, the executive director for Advocate Safehouse Project.

Advocate Safehouse Project has been partnering with LUNAFEST each year for more than a decade to help people do exactly that.

“This year the theme is, play a part, and what I like about it is that it says, “See the world through a new lens,” Olson said. 

LUNAFEST was created by LUNA Bars as a film festival about women with the belief that sharing different perspectives and diverse stories can spark conversation, connection and change. The events are slated for 6 p.m. March 4 at the Ute Theater, and 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. March 11 at the Hotel Colorado. 

“So what I like about it is it’s really putting you in a different place and perhaps time,” Olson said about the films being presented this year.

She said that sometimes when people stick to the perspectives they’ve had since they were a child, it can be damaging to them and the people around them. This is especially something the people at the safehouse need to reflect on because they’re entire job is focused on not judging others for their decisions.

Each film this year is set from uniquely different perspectives, with only one thing in common: they are all perspectives from women. 

One of the films takes place in the 1970s, exploring gender identity and baseball through the eyes of a young “tomboy.” While another film takes place from the perspective of a woman in the Congo and her solo journey, and another, from the perspective of a Black woman learning to surf in a white dominated sport.

“The other overarching theme is films for, by and about women, but it’s to really promote female filmmakers,” Olson said.

The full event is 90 minutes long with seven curated short films from different worldly perspectives. Each film is five to 17 minutes long, with dancing after, and music by The Queen Bees.  

“Make it a girls night out,” Olson said. “Make it fun.”

Advocate Safehouse pays $250 to participate in the event, and all of the proceeds go back to the safehouse. Sponsors also help with other expenses, like helping to fund the goodie bags that are handed out at the event. 

Although LUNAFEST used to be more strict with showings, this year the safehouse was able to book an event at the Ute Theater, and two showings at the Hotel Colorado, so it shouldn’t completely sell out without an opportunity to go to at least one event. 

“Advocate Safehouse Project’s mission is to promote healthy relationships free from violence, as we strive to overcome imbalances through advocacy, collaboration, education and shelter,” Olson said.

The proceeds go to helping the safehouse with whatever needs they have, whether it’s food, housing repair, assistance to survivors and anything else that needs funding this year. 

Advocate Safehouse covers all of Garfield County and was able to help around 650 people last year And it does not just help women — men can be survivors too. 

“If you’re in a relationship, and you don’t know if it’s healthy or not, you’re more than welcome to call us,” Olson said. “We have a 24-hour helpline, and it’s 970-945-4439.”

If you go…

What: LUNAFEST at the Ute Theater

When: 6 p.m. Sat. March 4

Where: Ute Theater, 132 E. Fourth St. in Rifle

How much: Pre-sale $20 and at the door $25


What: LUNAFEST at Hotel Colorado

When: 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sat. March 11

Where: Hotel Colorado, 526 Pine St. in Glenwood Springs

How much: Pre-sale $20 and at the door $25

How to purchase tickets: In-person screening tickets can be purchased at, the Ute Theater (132 E. Fourth St., Rifle) for the Rifle Screening only, or Treadz (812 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs) for the Glenwood Springs Screening only. Virtual screenings can only be purchased online.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.