NEW Moon Fest
Nantucket Arts Nantucket Events

New Film Event Comes to Nantucket

by Suzanne Daub

Nantucket has a long history of empowering women. Because the Quaker population here valued equality and education, islanders educated their girls as well as their boys at a time that was not common. Nantucket women were independent, intelligent, curious, creative, and industrious. They were poets, artists, scientists, adventurers, writers, businesswomen, physicians—several of them world-renowned. Nantucket women were in the forefront in the fight for abolition and equal rights. On our island, women could express themselves.

On Saturday, May 25, NEW Moon Fest: Nantucket Empowering Women will premiere in the ‘Sconset Casino. This original film event will showcase the voices of women filmmakers and storytellers from around the world. Co-chairs Lisa Getter, executive director of NCTV, and Lisa P. Soeder, attorney and entrepreneur, worked together to design the event as a rite of spring, an evening of camaraderie with a curated selection of short films that pay tribute to the feminine spirit.

NEW Moon Fest is described on their website——as a way to “celebrate women filmmakers and storytellers contributing to the making of cinema both in front of and behind the camera.”

This film event “will get our community together after a long winter,” explained Getter. It will be an occasion “where they can see friends, catch up, dress up, and see some great films. And we hope it will inspire the audience to make their own films.”

This time of year, added Soeder, “people are excited to see people—in this era of divisiveness, the stories of women need to be seen.”

Soeder, who brought LunaFest® to Nantucket in 2010, also noted that the NEW Moon Fest team believes “in the power of women to come together and to make a significant impact—whether as writers or as filmmakers or as actors who tell untold stories, as a host that raises funds and awareness for a cause, as a researcher who uses those funds towards progress, or as an attendee who leaves with a different perspective. Each is a catalyst for change…We can say that here on our island because we have choices and opportunities that make change possible. We are the lucky ones.”

NEW Moon Fest

NEW Moon Fest will begin at 5 pm with a festive gathering featuring food, beverages, live music, and a silent auction. When the lights go down, between six and ten short films will be shown. At press time, the selection committee is still finalizing the program, but they’ve revealed that there will be a range of topics and the program will include live action narrative, documentary, and animated films. After the screenings, the audience may enjoy desserts and mingle as they discuss what they watched.

Since November 15, 2023, more than 100 original short films from Canada, Argentina, Italy, Portugal, Iran, Russia, Rwanda, Greece, South Africa, Australia, Mexico, France, Afghanistan, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, and 12 different states in the US have been submitted to NEW Moon Fest for consideration. Of those submissions, about ten percent were animated. The 35 people tasked with selecting which films will be shown at NEW Moon Fest 2024 brought different backgrounds and insights to the process, ensuring the films chosen are of high quality in subject matter and production. “It’s been a joy to see everyone come together [to accomplish this], though it was difficult to limit the number of films so we can stay within time constraints,” said Soeder.

“The films are a tribute to the women before us and those who walk with us and come after us. They are powerful, empathetic…stories told with honesty and integrity that affect real people; stories of strength and resilience. The films are inspirational,” Soeder commented. Laurels will be awarded to filmmakers for the Most Empowering Film, Best Director, Most Empowering Actor, Best Cinematography, Most Empowering Screenplay, Most Empowering Animation, and a Wild Woman Award. Members of the audience will have a chance to vote for their favorite film, which will be give the peoples’ choice laurel, called The Grey Lady Award.

Soeder expressed hope that attendees “will immerse themselves in the films and emerge with a slightly changed perspective…put themselves in the shoes of others, and come closer to understanding what others are going through.”

“I hope [our audience] feels something from each film: inspiration, empathy, courage…” Getter added. This is a celebration meant to “spotlight the strength of women’s voices. We are confident that the future of NEW Moon Fest will contribute to NCTV’s overarching vision of fostering quality programming that engages, entertains, and connects our island community.”

Tickets to the 2024 NEW Moon Fest are available at for $125: admission includes one drink ticket and a swag bag. On the website page for ticket purchases, there is also an option to donate a ticket to someone who could otherwise not buy one and an option to donate to the event.

Contributions will ensure the growth and longevity of NCTV’s NEW Moon Fest: Nantucket Empowering Women. A portion of these funds will go to support and empower women/individuals served at A Safe Place.

Articles by Date from 2012