Can’t wait until the official Moondance 2013 call-for-entries in December?

Starting NOW, through November 30, 2012, Moondance is offering you the opportunity to get your submission in right now for this special short competition! Here’s the deal: Submit your screenplays, short stories, TV pilots, films, music & etc. (see all competition categories) for the lowest entry fee of the year, only $25, during October & November 2012. Postmark deadline November 30, only for the “FAST-FORWARD” contest.

Here’s what you can win:

  • All “FAST-FORWARD” winners, finalists & semi-finalists will receive an official certificate of your project’s award status!

  • All “FAST-FORWARD” winners, finalists & semi-finalists will be listed on the December 2012 blog & website!

  • All “FAST-FORWARD” winners, finalists & semi-finalists can get 2 free 2013 Moondance film festival movie tickets (a $30 value)!


*Application not available via



INKTIP.COM annually sponsors the Moondance with a generous offer to post the feature screenplay winners’ projects on their website for free, where producers and directors visit often to preview and select scripts for a read, an option and/or a sale! Watch for an email from InkTip, coming to your inbox soon. These are the 2012 winners of this very special prize:

A Certain Charm Betty Ellington-Smith
Coach Rob Bruce Leaf &  Denny Dressman
Count Roller Skates Todd Gordon
Fixing Jack Jennifer Ussi & Adam Couper
Hockey Night in Cromdale Penny Frazier
It Never Rains in California Timothy Earl Burger
Jason’s House Murray Spitzer
Nekropolis Kevin Walker & Jason Beever
Roughnecks! Michael L. Edwards
Separate > Equal Thomas Lidd
Song of the Lost Sister Brian MacEvilly
Vlad, the Inhaler Mark Lysgaard
The Huggisons: a Furry Sensation Rebecca Kavanaugh
Annabelle Mary MacDonald Rival & Allan Wylie
Men of Leisure Nicole L. Siddiqi
The Tweeters Wendy Brache
Wheels -The June Bug Donna Lisa

Nicole Siddiqi

Tom Lidd

Donna Lisa


Sign up now for the MOVIEBYTES.COM newsletter! MOVIEBYTES.COM lists Moondance’s writing winners each contest season, to promote winning screenwriters to buyers! A list of all 2012 Moondance writing winners has been sent to them, and that special listing is online at now!



If you would like to have your award star & official winner certificate mailed to you, please go to to pay the postage. $10 for US addresses & $20 for foreign addresses. Remember to also EMAIL your mailing address & the title of your winning 2012 project. This offer expires December 1, 2012. *Award stars & certificates are sent to 2012 winners only, not finalists & semi-finalists.



EE & son, Chris, official festival photographer

Dear 2012 Moondancers, It was really great to meet you all at last, and I’m very happy to know you were pleased with the 2012 Moondance in New York City. Thanks a million for being there with us, and for making this event a great one. I look forward to seeing your Moondance 2013 projects! ~~ Cheers, Elizabeth

  • “The festival was incredible and the connections were so helpful.  Bottom line, it was vital for me at this point in my process to be around and talk to other aspiring writers/filmmakers, as much as it is nice to hear from people who have experienced success.  It gave me back some sanity that had begun to flee as I was so alone for a long time writing without anyone to relate.  I hope to stay in touch with everyone’s process and progress.  Thank you again for the opportunity and especially thank you for putting a festival up that promotes alternative views from the norm.  Such is the very kind of film I intend to live my life pursuing.  And offer social change, unheard perspectives, and unlock the endless possibilities of this art.  Thanks again.” ~ CONNOR McLEAN, feature screenplay, “All the Day Nowhere”
  • “It was such a pleasure to be at the Moondance festival and be awarded a prize for best documentary feature. There was a great buzz to being in New York and meeting Elizabeth, a women of great integrity, innovation and tons of fun to be with. My film series ‘Blue Velvet In Sinai’ with (Oscar winner Ric O’Barry) fitted the ethos of the festival, and I am honoured to have met so many like-minded, inspirational fellow film-makers. The award ceremony on the yacht added to the fun…especially as we could see the Statue of Liberty during the awards. As so many of the films were about liberation from the confines of negative things in life – it was a perfect setting. Thank you, Elizabeth, for making my trip from the UK, specially to be at the awards, so wonderful.” ~ GULRUKH KHAN – Director / Producer

EE & Gulrukh Khan

  • Thank you so much for Moondance!! The whole concept of it and your total commitment to every aspect of it truly brings out the best in everyone and is inspiring. It was wonderful to see thought-provoking films of such substance, artistry, to meet and share the passion of the filmmakers and people involved, and be part of a very special film festival. The awards cruise was the best yet, as Tom Lidd says, “A blast”! Your description of the GAIA award I won is “The award is presented to the person who seeks to elucidate and improve the spiritual quality of all life on the planet, and contributes to the betterment of the world spirit.” This particular recognition means so much to me and the Indian NRITYAGRAM dancers — I feel this is the goal of us all in some way! Brava to you and all participants at Moondance!” ~ NAN MELVILLE, director

Nan Melville

  • My son and I had a great time in NY, it was very special for us as he has only just arrived in the US to attend high school.  This was his first trip to NY.  I felt it important to bring him because it was his comment 5 years ago about there being no Marshallese-language films that got me on this filmmaking roller coaster ride. The opportunity to screen our film in NY was huge for not just me, but the Marshall Islands as a whole.  I was so surprised and pleased to see that people who had been connected with the Marshall Islands for decades wound up coming to watch the film.  Some of those people had done some great things for the Marshall Islands, so it was heartwarming to see them again.  My college roommate was there, who I hadn’t seen for 30 years; my cousin was there, who I hadn’t seen for over 20 years.  My daughter’s friends were there.  There were even people who had adopted Marshallese children who came to show their kids a little slice of what their birthplace looked like.  It was a great experience for all of them, and I really enjoyed the Q & A afterwards. The awards ceremony on the ship was so unusual.  Boats are not new to those of us who live on islands, but boats cruising by the Statue of Liberty as we were receiving an award for our film, was!  My son felt so proud of that day, as did I.  I have attached the picture of us with our Atlantis Award.  I know that putting on that festival is an awesome task, but from those of us who benefited tremendously from it, PLEASE keep the Moondance going!  Let me know if I can be of any help to you.  I’ll keep you posted on Cricket’s journey into the festival world; it certainly had a grand start!” ~ JACK & MAX NIEDENTHAL

Jack & Max Niedenthal

  • I wanted to take a brief moment to thank you for your efforts at making the Moondance International Film Festival a positive experience for all who attended…you managed to maintain the spirit of the Moondance festival even when it wasn’t so easy to do…and used your determination to ensure the film makers had a platform for their work to be seen and to be heard. We all owe you a personal thank you for bringing this to life for all who attended and all who enjoyed the recognition of having been part of the Moondance Film Festival. So from my team, I want to recognize you…for your long-standing efforts in this but more importantly, for your efforts in helping to raise awareness, via the film format, to issues which affect women and their lives from around the globe. “Black Inside-Three Women’s Voices” wasn’t in competition of course, however we were honored with your invitation to make the work created for the UNF-GACC, the voices of three women who equally invited us into their lives, available to those interested in the issues which prematurely lead to the deaths of millions of people, predominately women and children, while breathing the toxin-laced smoke from cooking over an open wood fire to feed their families. As director of this series of short films for the UNF-GACC, I’ve been inspired to take the cookstove story to a wider audience, so I’m pleased to announce that we are in pre-production for two independent feature-length films. “When Sparrows Fall” is a slice-of-life story with locations from the Pyrenees of northern Spain to the Western Isles off the coast of Scotland, where cooking over open fires is cultural and loving, yet often deadly for women who simply want to serve their families. We want to bring this serious issue to a world stage, and now you and Moondance, with us, are part of this effort. Moondance will always be where we enjoyed our US Premiere, giving credit where credit is due. In this spirit, I want to extend our heartfelt thanks to you, from our US/London based production team, and know that we wish you the best of all things good in your efforts for the days to come.” RODNEY RASCONA, Director, “Black Inside – Three Women’s Voices”

Rodney Rascona (at right)

  • “Thank you for honoring “Coach Rob” with the Seahorse Award. Both Denny Dressman and I were thrilled when we learned we had been named winners at the Moondance Film Festival, an indication that our script, about former Grambling State University Coach Eddie Robinson, resonated with people who likely didn’t know about his achievements. We were fortunate to have good material to work with. I enjoyed meeting you at the awards ceremony onboard the yacht and look forward to seeing you again. I offer my best wishes to you and to the continued success of the film festival.” ~ BRUCE LEAF

Bruce Leaf, EE & Bermet

  • I just wanted to thank you for recognizing my script and for hosting the awards ceremony.  It was a most remarkable group of filmmakers and other people in the arts.  My wife and I had long conversations with several people whom we will not soon forget.” ~ TODD GORDON, feature screenplay, “Count Roller Skates”

  • “Spirited by your empathetic intelligence and infused with a buoyant grace, Moondance is a joyous festival that enacts a world view reminding us that, though connection is elusive, we are all noble and bound by our perseverance in envisioning resolution.  I am honored to have been included and to have had two stories awarded. Thank you.” ~  ROBIN MARTIN, 2 short stories, “Bob & Hope” & “On the Ocean Boulevard”

  • I wanted to thank you for the wonderful time we had at the Moondance International Film Festival! The producers, Rosemary and Sabrina, and Tom and I had so much fun! The award ceremony and reception was pitch-perfect – what a beautiful day on the water! All of our family and friends loved the screening of “Surreal Estate” – we’re thrilled we were able to share the film at such a great festival! Thank you.” ~ LORI ROMERO

Lori Romero & her film’s leading character

  • It was so wonderful meeting you this weekend at the Moondance International Film Festival.  I had such a great time, and am very grateful for the opportunity to meet so many impassioned individuals. The festival provided me with many networking opportunities, which were invaluable experiences. I am eager to get back to work, especially after helping with Moondance. Thank you again for the opportunity to be part of the Moondance International Film Festival, and I hope our paths cross again in the future!” ~ SAMANTHA WALSH
  • “We’re very excited to have our first screening in New York City and where the idea for Mission of Mermaids all began. After two years of work and dedication to this project and the cause behind it, we’ve come full circle. the NYC screening at the Moondance International Film Festival. M.O.M. had its NYC premiere at this lovely festival, perfect for our topic. Aside from having a Mermaid as their logo, their mission is right in tune with our own. ~ SUSAN ROCKEFELLER, director

Nan Melville & Susan Rockefeller

  • Elizabeth, I want to thank you for your great encouragement and the enormous positivity you showed me, and to say how proud I am to be recognised in a festival whose ethos I so respect. It means a great deal to me. Although attending the festival would have battered me financially, I’d have been there in a heartbeat. I’ve no doubt that I’d have met some fantastic people, and, who knows, perhaps even done business, too. You’re doing a terrific — and, more significantly, important — job. (My friend Eilis Mernagh, a former Moondance winner/attendee, refers to you as a legend.) I’ve had a number of successes this year, but this win is particularly special to me. I promise to keep producing accountable, life-affirmative work. And I look forward to competing in Moondance again in the future. As my old school motto used to say, ‘Certa bonum certamen’ (‘Fight the good fight’). ~ BRIAN MAC EVILLY, screenwriter, “ Song of the Lost Sister”, Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland

Brian Mac Evilly

  • In searching for appropriate film festivals to submit to, yours in particular struck me not only because the spirit and vibe seem so positive, but because you make a point to emphasize film scores, something that seems pretty rare in the independent film world, but something that is so important to us and our film (it being a musical and what not).” ~ MARK BLACKMAN
  • On behalf of Rich West and myself, I want to thank you so very much for honoring our film “The Last Paperboy” by selecting it for your film festival.   Its screening in NYC, and especially at the Tribeca Cinemas, was beyond words. I was thrilled to be there and was especially happy to meet you and to network with all the wonderful people who attended Moondance. I think I may have made some new friends for life. Especially exciting was the cruise around NY. Your thoughtfulness in stopping the awards presentation so we could step outside and see the Statue of Liberty was a kindness that I will never forget. The emotions I felt in seeing the Statue surprised me and will be with me for a long time. It was extremely kind of you. Regarding the awards, the star is lovely. I plan to mount the Star and certificate in a frame and proudly hang it on the wall. Thank you again for a very special weekend.” ~ SHERI RATICK STROUD Wonder Pictures

Sheri Ratick Stroud

  • My short story, “Another Way to Die”, was a 2012 Moondance International Film Festival Semi-Finalist. The award has led to my newest book, Gladiator, cracking Amazon’s top 100, twice. I have now received an invitation from Southern Writers Magazine to guest-post on their blog, and my first print book, Bounty Hunter, will have a full-on launch at Joseph Beth Booksellers, one of the largest independent book chains in the United States. Thank you, Elizabeth at Moondance; you and your festival make all artists dreams come true.” ~ AMY MCCORKLE

  • I want to take a moment to thank you for giving me the award for “The Huggisons” (feature screenplay for kids). I got the good news on the very day I was moving into a new apartment here in Chicago to spend a year in the States pushing my screenplays (I am American but normally live over in Marrakech, Morocco and yes…with my seven cats). It is surely a “going into the unknown” time in the US for a year is a bit intimidating and so receiving the award that day confirmed perhaps I’m on the right track :) . I’ve got “The Huggisons” with a friend of a friend who is an animator at Disney, and Zero Gravity Management has requested to see a different script I wrote (an embarrassingly raunchy romantic comedy). …So I threw in The Huggisons into the Zero Gravity package, as well, and was very proud to mention in the pitch that I was a winner of YOUR contest. ~ REBECCA KAVANAUGH, Morocco/US

  • Thank you so much for including my short film “Death, Inc.” at Moondance 2012. I had an amazing experience at the festival in NYC, culminating with that glorious awards cruise to the Statue of Liberty and back. It is an honor to be able to be a Moondance winner. The experience is fuel for pursuing my dream to write and direct a feature film. Thank you! ~ SANDRA PAYNE


Please send .jpeg photos from Moondance, for the online 2012 festival photo album, to:, with MOONDANCE PHOTOS in the subject line of your email.




Directed by Gulrukh Khan

This Moondance Award-winning 4-part series (for Best documentary feature) has been made with Ric O’Barry (Oscar winner for ‘The Cove’ in 2010). It is the very beautiful story of a solitary dolphin who turns up on the coast of a fishing village in the Sinai desert, Egypt. The Bedouin there are ‘challenged’ in speech and hearing. The dolphin, whom they name Olin, changes their lives and village life forever. She has a baby and that further develops this powerful story of love, interspecies connection and humankind’s involvement with its natural world. Ric O’Barry and other dolphin specialists share profound scientific and other knowledge about dolphin healing and why it is important to keep these precious creatures out of captivity. The story in the Sinai is the microcosm of a greater global picture that unfolds throughout the series. You can support this important environmental issue by watching the series online at


Beluga family, photo by

Action Alert! SeaWorld Imports 18 Belugas Largest Import of Belugas Ever! We Must Stop this NOW or More Dolphins and Whales Will Suffer the Same Fate. This odious transaction would support the capture and international trade of this highly intelligent and social species. It is not acceptable to subject these animals to being ripped from their pod-mates and home waters and flown half way around the world in extremely noisy Russian planes. The highly stressful flight from Russia will be nothing less than inhumane, and thus violates the marine mammal protection act. There have been no captures of wild dolphins in US waters since 1993, mainly because of public pressure and opposition. 

We are counting on each and every one of you to help us block this import and return these captured belugas to the wild or permanent sanctuary. Please take a few minutes to help these wonderful whales and let the U.S. know that we won’t tolerate the cruelty of importing dolphins and whales for captivity. Go to: www. for more info.



Don’t miss reading all the great filmmaking & writing articles written by the pros exclusively for Moondance.

Read all about: how to win a screenplay competition; how to win a film festival competition; winning titles & loglines for films & scripts; screenplay submissions; movie script writing; writing character, dialog & action; how to get an agent; what Hollywood wants to see; directing indie films, documentaries, short films, animation; film scores; stage plays; short stories; TV MOW; TV pilots; kids films; music videos; radio plays, and more!

The editor is always open to suggestions & submissions for the Moondance E-ZINE, too! E-mail suggestions & articles to:,
with MOONDANCE E-ZINE in the subject line.


MERMAID7SEAS PRODUCTIONS. Focusing on the elements crucial to creating a compelling and readable script, or a winning, marketable film, our helpful comments, suggestions & edits will allow you to concentrate on solving the problems that will make your material move toward receiving a CONSIDER or a RECOMMENDED from a studio or prodco reader, and will assist in advancing your script or film up toward WINNER in screenwriting competitions & film festivals. An advantage of this low-cost professional critique & editing service by the founder, executive director & artistic director of Moondance, and her professional team, is that we will help you prepare your screenplay or film before sending it to producers, agents, managers and others who may have requested it. EMAIL:


At the request of a winning Moondancer from Australia, please watch this amazing, musical 3-KITE BALLET by master kite-flyer, Ray Bethell, a resident of Vancouver, B.C.. He is the most famous and the best multiple kiteflyer in the world.!




Alaska Women Mariners onboard at the 2012 Moondance Awards ceremony

Frontiersman Newspaper, NEW YORK — Adding to her list of accolades, Capt. Anna Young has won the coveted Moondance Film Festival’s Filmed Television Pilot Spirit Award on Sept. 17 in New York City. Young arrived in Alaska 50 years ago and is a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, third generation Alaskan, as well as a 100 Ton Captain and fishing boat owner. Her 29-minute film, “Alaskan Women Mariners gives the world a bird’s eye perspective of Alaska’s fishing world. Included in the film are fishing all-stars like Alaska’s youngest 100 Ton Captain, Capt. Lilly Lane of Homer, Chelsea Bollinger of Kodiak, Capt. Sarah Brooks of Ninilchik, Sydney-Jane Armstrong of Homer and Capt. Lindsey Johnson of Ketchikan. The win includes bragging rights for the Mat-Su Valley, too, since Capt. Brooks lives here, but fishes on the Kenai Peninsula. Young was a salmon drift gillnetter in Prince William Sound in 1989, when the Exxon “Valdez” oil spill occurred, and was the first responder out of west Prince William Sound in Whittier, to assist on her boat F/V “The Sugar.” Most recently she lent her expertise and services to remove debris from Alaska coastal waters because of the Japanese tsunami disaster. ~ Heather Resz, Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, Managing editor

ALASKA BUSINESS MONTHLY Alaska’s Premiere Business Site. “This award is a wonderful testament to the world of fishing and maritime industry in Alaska and how integral women have been for its success,” said Anna Young. “I’m not only honored to receive the award for our film, but also very proud of Alaskan women who dedicate their lives to this growing market despite abundant risks and harsh environments in a historically male-dominated industry,” added Young. Captain Young is now in the process of promoting her film for interest by U.S. and international producers in television and big screen for larger audiences in a multiple-episode T.V. series and cinematic format.


At the 2012 Guam International Film Festival, close to 200 films were entered from 27 countries, only 53 were chosen to be shown at the festival, hundreds upon hundreds of actors from all over the world were in these films: Tonight, Salome Fakatou, a little ten year-old Bikinian girl from the Marshall Islands has won the Grand Jury Award for Achievement in Acting (the only award given for acting) for her role in Ainikien Jidjid ilo Boñ (The Sound of Crickets at Night)!  It’s really what we have been trying to promote with these films; self-esteem for the children of the RMI. The crowd went crazy when she was chosen.” ~ JACK NIEDENTHAL, director

Salome Fakatou, at left & sister



Imagination is more important than knowledge…” ~ ALBERT EINSTEIN

The happiest excitement in life is to be convinced that one is fighting for all one is worth on behalf of some clearly seen and deeply felt good ~ RUTH BENEDICT

“Usefulness, whatever form it may take, is the price we should pay for the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the privilege of being alive.” ~ ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

Eighty percent of success is showing up.” ~ WOODY ALLEN

Act as if it were impossible to fail.” ~ DOROTHEA BRANDE

“I, alone, cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ~ MOTHER TERESA

“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore.” ~ ANDRE GIDE

“All of a sudden, I’m back to knitting. I’m not sure what possessed me; perhaps it was the need to ravel what feels like something coming unraveled. As I knitted, I thought things over, row by row. Whenever my thoughts got in a rut, I told myself: You did that row already. Next. Knitting relaxed and soothed my mind. I understood, suddenly, why it was so important for women to knit for their sons and husbands overseas during war, in the old days. (Do they still?) How knitting kept in play the sense of being able to control the outcome, the sense of staying in touch, the sense of being able to protect and cherish a loved one, knowing that what your fingers touched will soon caress one who holds your heart. Knitting kept me from skidding out in anxiety. Will the moon rise over another meadow? Of course. Will the stars shine over other trees? Of course. I don’t yet see the pattern. But the next adventure is stitches away. Everything is, in the grand scheme of things.” ~ DOMINIQUE BROWNING,


NOTE: Replying? Have a question? Change the email subject line! Please don’t just click on REPLY, if you want to comment or ask a question about this blog, because your email to me will stack up in Gmail, and I have to scroll through the entire blog to find your email, along with the many others who just click REPLY to the blog. Changing even a word, or adding a /, in the subject line of the email to me will make it arrive as an individual email. Thanks for the email courtesy!

Please forward this news blog to your friends and colleagues!

Charlotte Zink,


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