Written by Andrea Pierson; posted by Dustin Jenkins
In April, O.U. Film alumna Rani Crowe (M.F.A. ‘13) was featured as a local, guest filmmaker at Lunafest in Dayton, Ohio. Crowe screened her second-year film, Estragon's Boot.
Lunafest is a traveling curated film festival of short films by, for and about women, sponsored by the Luna Bar company. The festival is hosted in different cities by local women's groups such as the Dayton Women's Rights Alliance. All profits go to regional women's organizations. The Dayton Lunafest raised money for the BREAST CANCER FUND & PLANNED PARENTHOOD SOUTHWEST OHIO REGION.
“This was a special event for me because I am from the Dayton area,” says Crowe. She has passionately worked with different groups in the Dayton area for years, “creating work that supports strong female voices and opportunities for female artists.”
Crowe previously directed The Vagina Monologues in Dayton to raise money for the local women's shelter, worked to develop a short theater performance for the Trotwood Madison High School girls to perform on their Girl Empowerment Event, developed a girl empowerment collaborative/devised theater piece with elementary girl students from New Lebanon Schools while building their theater summer camp program, and was a Girl Scout Leader in Brookville. Part of her artistic mission also values creating work connected to her home community.
Crowe enthusiastically says, “The Neon Cinema is an awesome resource in Dayton. I have seen many great films there over the decades and it is where I used to go see Rocky Horror Picture Show as a teenager.”
Last year Crowe sent Estragon’s Boot to screen at SWANDAY (a Support Women Artists Now event in Dayton). Joy Schwab (Dayton Women’s Rights Alliance) was her contact for that event really loved the film. Crowe was then invited by Schwab to screen Estragon's Boot as the local filmmaker. She introduced her film and followed the screening with a Q&A session.
Crowe made Estragon’s Boot in her second year of the O.U. Film M.F.A. program. It is adapted from a ten-minute play she discovered during a 2009 play festival in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The play was called Estragon's Boot and was written by Daniella Vinitsky-Mooney who was finishing her M.F.A. at New York University when she submitted it. Crowe, who was producing the play festival, had Dayton area actors J. Gary Thompson and Heather Atkinson (from the Zoot Theater Company) adopt the play and present it as a staged reading at the festival. “When I was making my second year film, I wanted the challenge of adapting someone else's work and trying to capture it [in another medium],” Crowe says. She called in the same two actors and made the film. It is a stylized piece about power in the workplace and male/female dynamics. Crowe admits, “It was a little rough due to some issues with sound and my technological abilities at this point in my filmmaking abilities, but it has a charm and content that I still kind of love and value.”
Lunafest was a success for both Crowe and the Dayton area. Crowe simply states, “The event was very nice… An afternoon of films made by, for and about women. It was an honor to screen in a movie theater that I have valued over the years and an honor to be part of an event raising money for causes I believe in.”