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Zonta Santa Clarita Holds First Celebration Of Women In Film, Screens LUNAFEST Films

The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley celebrated several local women working in the film industry and screened LUNAFEST films in Old Town Newhall Thursday evening.

On Thursday evening in Old Town Newhall, the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley, a branch of an organization which works to empower women, held their first celebration of women in film honoring 11 local women and viewed short films from the traveling film festival LUNAFEST.

“We really wanted to identify and honor the women who we suspected were here as senior leadership in the industry,” said Cindy Kittle, “It’s important for the community to recognize that we have women in Santa Clarita of phenomenal talent and expertise all around us.”

The women honored as part of the event were:

  • Amber Hollinger, a Peabody-winning and Emmy and Annie nominated animation director with the Walt Disney Company
  • Caressa Douglas, senior vice president of global strategic partnerships for Branded Entertainment Network, which works with brands looking to place their products in Hollywood productions
  • Erin Schmidt, executive vice president for Branded Entertainment Network
  • Karen Bryden, owner and president of SCV Locations, a company that helps Hollywood productions with finding and using filming locations
  • Kristina Long, senior director of business for Alliance Integrated Technology — a technology provider for the media and entertainment industry — with experience working as a producer, supervisor and in post production in the industry
  • Sarah Hudson, principal at Hudson Spider, LLC, manages business operations for the company which sells specialized lights for use in the entertainment industry during shoots
  • Sara Caldwell, an independent producer and member of the faculty at the film schools at College of the Canyons and UCLA
  • Glenda Mullins, an independent scenic artist and member of the Art Director’s Guild
  • Michelle Campbell Ross, a lawyer and chief executive officer of Vision Media, a company that works to boost audience engagement for clients in the entertainment industry
  • Lori Berlanga, a production supervisor who works independently and for LA North Studios
  • Monica Harrison, owner and principal for L.A. Film Locations, a company that owns filming locations for use by those in the entertainment industry

“They are setting a good example for other women,” said Barbara Cochran, a trustee for the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley’s foundation board and one of the sponsors of Thursday’s event. “We wanted to honor them because of their accomplishments and to let other women know that they can achieve the same things.”

After celebrating the women, those attending the event had the option to walk to the Laemmle theater to watch several short films — which were created by women — selected for the annual traveling film festival LUNAFEST, launched in 2001 by the company that created LUNA Bars.

“The film industry is notoriously male-oriented, and it’s difficult for women to get ahead because they’re not in the good ol’ boys club,” Kittle said. “That’s why LUNA started the LUNAFEST program and why we brought it to Santa Clarita 10 years ago. Its whole focus was to give women the opportunity to produce a small film and enter it into a competition and then have it seen all over. That aligned with our mission.”

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Zonta Santa Clarita Holds First Celebration Of Women In Film, Screens LUNAFEST Films

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About Zena Taher

Zena Taher moved to Santa Clarita when she was 12 years old. She has always been a voracious reader, which led her to take an interest in writing professionally. She graduated College of the Canyons in 2021 with a double major in journalism and communications and is currently attending California State University Northridge.