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Short Films by Courtney Cox, Jessica Yu Arrive Tonight with 9th Annual Lunafest

Created as part of her postgraduate work at Stanford University's film school, the black-and-white mini-documentary Roz (and Joshua) is compelling evidence of director Charlene Music's skills and inestimable potential as a storyteller. It is also, at roughly 180 seconds in length, heartbreaking and hopeful at once in its depiction of Roz, a homeless woman trying to regain custody of her teenage son.

Roz, who recently found low-income housing in Mountain View and work as a housekeeper, will appear with Music at the ninth annual Lunafest, which kicks off with a VIP reception tonight at City Hall. The festival features 10 short films by, for and about women, from Jessica Yu's myth-busting documentary about the mysteries of childbirth (The Kinda Sutra) to Courtney Cox's tale of a single woman in her early 40s who realizes she doesn't need a husband or boyfriend for happiness (The Monday Before Thanksgiving).

Lunafest, which will return to the area Feb. 6 at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz, is a traveling film festival founded in 2000 to promote women filmmakers, raise awareness for women’s issues, and support women’s nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada. All proceeds are donated to charity, with 15 percent set aside for the Breast Cancer Fund and the remaining 85 percent contributed to organizations throughout the hosting community. Each filmmaker receives $1,000 for her efforts.

There are more than 140 Lunafest screenings each year. Following the 6 p.m. VIP reception, tonight's will be held at the Herbst Theatre, with a special Q&A session with participating filmmakers to follow. Tickets range from $10 for inspired students to $50 for VIPs. For more information, click here.