About the Moondance Founder & Executive Director
Founder & Executive Director, Elizabeth English: The Moondance International Film Festival, artistic director, films programmer, PR coordinator and blogger for the film festival, and president of the film jury. Ms. English is an environmental & social activist, award-winning feature screenwriter, television script writer, award-winning film director/producer (short narrative & documentary), improv acting coach, cartoonist, screenwriting workshops and seminars presenter, panelist, international event coordinator, artist, graphic designer, illustrator, researcher, editor, published award-winning fiction & non-fiction writer, screenplay & film editor, script, film & music consultant, story analyst, playwright, theatrical producer/director, set designer, costume designer, film & stage music score arranger, and lyricist.
Moondance Website Developer & Film Selections Panelist
Cassia loves to bring life changing stories to life – whether on stage, in front of a camera or behind the scenes. She co-owns a small but unique video & theatrical production company, 5Penny Productions, LLC. Some of the highlights of her career include producing/editing & graphic designing a 13 episode TV show, Betweentime.org, working as an associate producer & finishing editor on Beauty Mark the feature documentary film, and producing a video that secured a large grant for FreetheGirls.org – a non-profit that works internationally with women rescued out of sex trafficking and assists them in setting up their own businesses. A deep desire of her heart is to advocate for those diagnosed with dissociative disorders in relation to early childhood sexual abuse and human trafficking. She tells stories in a way that gives the audience the ability to take a walk in the shoes of someone traumatized as a young child through Lost Voices, a documentary film she is developing. Cassia enjoys collaborating with E3 Executive Assistance & Elizabeth English to help manage and keep the Moondance International Film Festival website alive and well.
Moondance 2017 Written Works Judge
Phil Pritchard is an Actor, Director, Producer from the UK. After training in Acting & Directing in London he has worked in Theatre, Film, & TV. One particular highlight of his acting career was playing the title role in a film called ‘A Kitten For Hitler’ produced and directed by British Film director Ken Russell. On Stage he appeared in the West End in Sondheim’s ‘A Little Night Music’ which later transferred to Broadway, and more recently starred in the musical ‘BACKBEAT’ about the early days of The Beatles. He moved to the United States in 2012, has produced and directed film and theatre productions on both sides of the Atlantic, and is honored to be a judge of written works at the 2017 Moondance International Film Festival.
Chris Anastasiadis, a native New Yorker, is a professional stills photographer, director, producer, editor, writer and music arranger, as well as a long-time indie and foreign-film aficionado. He is also an avid environmentalist and professional continental chef, graduating from the French Culinary Institute, under the internationally-acclaimed Chef Jacques Pepin.
PROFESSOR OLGA ROJER
Caribbean & Northern Europe
Olga Rojer, a highly-rated and tenured professor of World Languages, Cultures, and Foreign Film at the prestigious American University in Washington, DC, is a published author on various international subjects, including the Dutch Caribbean. Professor Rojer has received a Pushcart Prize nomination for her translations. She is fluent in Dutch, Spanish, French, German, Papiamentu, and English, and is a valued reader/judge of foreign-language scripts and films submitted annually to the Moondance since 2000. Of Dutch nationality & heritage, she is also a Moondance winning feature screenwriter.
Los Angeles, California
Vittoria Colonna is an award winning writer, director and producer. Growing up between Ireland and Italy, Vittoria studied fine art painting in Rome’s L’Accademia di Belle Arti, trained as an Opera singer in Tuscany and then continued in the performing arts, completing her studies at the Gaiety school of Acting in Dublin 2004. Later she turned to directing where she found her niche. Her passion for directing has lead to numerous music video, documentary and fiction awards world wide, including her narrative fiction 4 BHANRÍON (4 Queens) picking up Best Short Narrative at Moondance Film Festival 2013 and her Oscar®-qualifying film SANDBOY, which was executive produced by Julian Lennon, and scooping the 2015 Moondance International Film Festival with Best Short Narrative, Best Film Score and Best Leading actress.
The Moondance International Film Festival, featuring its distinct cinematic visions and bold film selections, has distinguished itself around the world as much more than an annual film festival! The Moondance is a unique community, a supportive, productive, and creative year-round collaboration between independent filmmakers and movie audiences, between writers, composers and the world of top-quality filmed entertainment.
The secret to our international success and longevity can be directly attributed to upholding our founding principles, goals, integrity, values and mission. We continually strive to inspire talented filmmakers, writers, composers and audiences, locally and globally. Maintaining the Moondance reputation for top-quality indie films and productive networking, is always the first priority. Our valued sponsors, donors, supporters, friends of the Moondance, as well as our staff, team, volunteers, competition entrants, and audiences, are integral elements of our long-term success.