Growing up in the city, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by beautiful architecture- the homes, my school, the Legion of Honor, etc.. One of my favorite places, and one of the most iconic, is the Palace of Fine Arts. It is a monumental structure originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in order to exhibit works of art. One of only a few surviving structures from the Exposition, it is the only one still situated on its original site. It was rebuilt in 1965, and renovation of the lagoon, walkways, and a seismic retrofit were completed in early 2009.

#SFnatives are on a first name basis with the PoFA and refer to it simply as "The Palace". I absolutely love spending sunny days sitting on the grass with a picnic and watching tourists marvel at its beauty. More than just a photo-op, the Palace has an amazing theater, where I have seen many performances, including The San Francisco Ballet School Showcase, Ben Gibbard, comedy shows, lectures, and more.

Last Thursday, I had the special privilege to attend the LUNAFEST Film Festival Premiere at the Palace Theater. LUNAFEST is a traveling film festival that features short films about women by female directors. The whole purpose is to connect women through film. I absolutely love their slogan, "For, By, About Women". They were really speaking my language. As a woman who has three sisters, an alumna of an all-girls school, a Kappa lady, a former SF Ballet School employee, and a natural girls-girls, I grew up attending events that celebrated women, but something about LUNAFEST was different. I couldn't put my finger on it the whole night. I think it was when I was driving home, eating my miniature S'mores LUNA bars that I realized what it was: LUNAFEST was funny! I was laughing at the films (yes, at times I was tearing up, this is ME we are talking about here)!

But, LUNAFEST was more than funny. It was inspiring, creative, engaging, motivating, and touching. I walked away from the evening feeling grateful and like soul sisters with some of the writers and directors. For them, film is their creative outlet, their business endeavor, their passion. For me, Perfect 10 SF delivers all of the same fulfillment. We're all born to create, dream, achieve-- I think the challenge and frustration is just finding through which medium and at what point in our life. 

The night was about celebrating and connecting women who are "game-changers". Luckily, I have grown up with the most amazing woman as a mother. I mentioned her earlier and how she has influenced my style and passion. But what I think really makes a game-changer is a woman who recognizes her own skills, talents, passions, shortcomings, and can use those to support other women. My mom done this for, not only my sisters and me, but for thousands of women in the bay area through her entrepreneurial spirit, love, and vision.

 If the people, LUNA Bars, drinks, all-female Mariachi band, and films weren't enough, there was also the amazing aspect that a portion of the proceeds from the night benefitted The Breast Cancer Fund. They are revolutionizing the approach to breast cancer research by targeting prevention and environmental changes instead of curing it once it occurs. 

Established in 2000 by LUNA, the makers of the Whole Nutrition Bar for Women, LUNAFEST connects women, their stories and their causes through film. This traveling film festival spotlights the work of a diverse array of talented women filmmakers with intelligent, funny and thought-provoking themes. Since its inception, LUNAFEST has grown from a single annual event to a coast-to-coast force with more than 170 North American screenings each season. To date, 118 filmmakers have been featured, nearly $2.5 million dollars has been raised and thousands of attendees have come away moved, entertained and inspired.

LUNAFEST may be headed to a city near you! You can find the tour dates here. It you’re interested in hosting your own LUNAFEST, you can submit an application here.

Many thanks to LUNA Bar for sponsoring today’s story and inviting me to such an inspirational event!!! All opinions are my own. I am thankful to sponsors who help keep shoes on my Perfect 10 feet!

Lifestylecaroline curran