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Since 2001, LUNAFEST® has been flipping the script, creating opportunities for women in film. These talented women directors bring stories from all over the world­–sharing new perspectives and lighting a fire in the industry. 

Discover the groundbreaking women from prior seasons who have pushed progress and paved the way for the filmmakers in this year’s line-up.

Films feature strong women, powerful images, and impactful language. Stories reflect the diverse perspectives of the filmmakers and their subjects. May contain content that is not suitable for children or teens.

The 2021 Season features seven (7) short films with a total running time of 86 minutes.

2021 season

overexposed: Filming an Arctic Odyssey
By Holly Morris

A behind-the-scenes look at the film team that captured the daring story of the Women’s Euro-Arabian North Pole Expedition.

Holly Morris

Holly Morris has told, and championed, pro-woman stories on the global stage for two decades. She is an internationally known filmmaker, author, and presenter (works include “Adventure Divas” and “Globe Trekker.”)

Her most recent film, “The Babushkas of Chernobyl” (lauded as "an affectionate and stirring documentary" by The New York Times), premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival, where it won the Jury Award for Directing, the first of nearly two dozen awards received before being broadcast worldwide. The film’s story, which is based on Morris’s print journalism and also forms the basis of her popular TED Talk, is about a defiant community of women who live inside Ukraine’s radioactive “Exclusion Zone.”

Her newest feature film, a high stakes Arctic documentary called “Exposure, will be released in 2021.

Knocking Down The Fences
By Meg Shutzer

AJ Andrews, the first woman to win a Rawlings Gold Glove Award, struggles to make it as one of the best professional softball players in the world.

Meg Shutzer

Meg Shutzer is a queer, award-winning documentary filmmaker and investigative reporter from Oakland, California. Her first documentary, “New Generation Queens: a Zanzibar Soccer Story,” premiered at the Manhattan Film Festival in 2015, played on four continents, and won numerous awards at film festivals.

A Line Birds Cannot See
By Amy Bench

Separated from her mother at the border, a 12 year old sets out on a harrowing journey to the United States to find her.

Amy Bench

Amy Bench is a Texas-based filmmaker and visual artist who is drawn to the immediacy of film and photography to tell stories of community and resilience. Trained as a cinematographer, her observational style highlights small details of the human experience that transcend formal explanation. 

Amy’s animated documentary “A Line Birds Cannot See” won Special Jury Recognition at SXSW, Best Animated Short at Bend Film Festival, and the 2020 Ellie Award in video for excellence in digital magazine journalism.

Amy is a member of the 20-person artist collective and gallery ICOSA, based in Austin, Texas. She received her MFA from The University of Texas at Austin in 2010.

The Scientists Versus Dartmouth
By Sharon Shattuck

A young neuroscientist and her colleagues make a life-changing decision to speak up for women in science everywhere.

Sharon Shattuck

Sharon Shattuck is an Emmy-nominated documentary film/TV director and cohost of the podcast “Conviction: American Panic” from Gimlet/Spotify. She's the cocreator of the New York Times Op-Docs science series, “Animated Life,” which was nominated for a 2016 Creative Arts Emmy. 

Her work has appeared on PBS, National Geographic Channel, Netflix, Slate, Vice, The New York Times Op-Docs, The Atlantic, ProPublica, Spotify, and Radiolab. She has degrees in forest ecology and journalism.

Until She Is Free
By Maria Finitzo

Mixed-media artist Sophia Wallace imagines a culturally cliterate world, where all people are equal and able to live with rich possibility and purpose.

Maria Finitzo

Maria Finitzo is a two-time Peabody Award–winning social issue documentary filmmaker whose 30 years as a filmmaker has resulted in a body of work that has won every major broadcast award, including most recently the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, and has been screened in festivals and theaters around the world.

Her films are novelistic in their structure, providing multiple points of connection for an audience. She allows the narrative arc of her character’s story to evolve, colliding with other subjects from the film, creating a complex, nuanced story that serves as a vehicle to deepen our understanding of society through everyday human drama.


By Tracy Nguyen-Chung & Ciara Lacy

A lifelong angler, Autumn Harry had never fished beyond the waters of her reservation—until she picked up a fly rod.

Tracy Nguyen-Chung

Tracy Nguyen-Chung is a filmmaker, strategist, and founder of After Bruce, a boutique PR agency whose clients have included “The Farewell,” “The Great Hack,” International Documentary Association, LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, and more. She also coproduced “The Great Hack,” an Emmy and BAFTA-nominated feature documentary that world premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and is now streaming on Netflix. 

Ciara Lacy

Ciara Lacy is a Native Hawaiian filmmaker and director of “Out of State,” which premiered at the LA Film Festival and was broadcast on “Independent Lens”. Her work has shown at festivals around the world as well as on Netflix, PBS, ABC, and Al Jazeera. In the digital space, she has created content for The Guardian and The Atlantic.

Betye Saar: Taking Care of Business
By Christine Turner

There’s no stopping this legendary artist, even at age 93.

Christine Turner

Christine Turner is a filmmaker based in New York. Her critically acclaimed documentary “Homegoings,” about a funeral director in Harlem, premiered at Documentary Fortnight at MoMA and was broadcast nationally on the PBS series “POV.”

With over a decade of experience in television production, Christine also collaborates on nonfiction series and documentaries for broadcast.