Get your entry in EARLY for this great opportunity to showcase your talents, and for a good chance to win the Moondance!


For festival news, call-for-entries, insider tips on making a great film trailer, special recommendations, great photos & some things to think about!


MOVIEBYTES.COM lists Moondance as one of the top 10 film festival competitions worth the entry fee!









~~~~ FILM TRAILERS! ~~~~

At Moondance, we feel that great trailers are in a special class of their own.

We want to honor & recognize those filmmakers who can create a great one!

Do you have a really good 1 to 3-minute trailer to send to Moondance?

Haven’t quite finished your film yet, but want to promote it now?

Submit the trailer here:

The entry fee is only $25!

• All winning trailers will be screened at Moondance 2013!

We look forward to previewing your submissions!



  • Living in the 21st Century is to engage in the consumption, production, and distribution of sounds, images, and information that enables creative talents and audiences to realize and gain a more sophisticated perception and contemporary understanding of the world around us.

  • Media, defined as the multiple TV channels, radio, print media, the Internet, social media, and interfaces through which information, ideas, and emotions are stored, shared, and reciprocated – and the ways in which that plethora of media shape our understanding of the world, our perceptions,  and our ability to act in it, for the common good, can make it a better place for all.

  • Awareness of all forms of media can promote a heightened ability to analyze, contextualize, create and use all forms of media, and emerging trends affecting the traditional media distribution channels, as a vital exercise in creative expression and positive change, through international entertainment mediums.

  • Media is inextricably linked to questions of power, rights, human development, peace, national and international social and environmental issues, creative expression, knowledge, entertainment, collaboration, self-determination and vital calls for action.

  • Films screened at Moondance are original, entertaining and uniquely distinguished by our focus on story, top quality, social justice, peace, women, and environmental activism.



In our continuing efforts to promote & provide top-quality original filmmaking, writing and music composition by talented artists from around the world, the Moondance International Film Festival is very pleased to announce that our festival competitions have received great submissions, in all categories, from these countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Curaçao, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Korea, Lebanon, Macao, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Serbia/Montenegro, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tasmania, Thailand, Turkey, UK, United Arab Emirates, United Arab Republic, USA, Venezuela, Viet Nam and Zambia!





By Elizabeth English

Do you want to have a really good 1-3-minute trailer to send to producers, studios, film festival competitions, for your website & in social media ?

Haven’t quite finished post on your film yet, but want to promote it now?

Great trailers are in a special class of their own; little polished gems that showcase your film, and make people want to see more! But film trailers can be more difficult to make really well than the entire film, itself.  It can be more time-consuming, judicious editing must be a main concern, you have to tell the main story, theme & concept quickly, harder scene decisions need to be made, and you need to sell your film in less than three minutes.

Can you tell the main story, introduce the lead characters, show the main conflict, and give the viewer a visual, memorable impression in under three minutes? And, remember, you need to hook the viewer in the first few seconds! You probably don’t even have a full 3 minutes to do the job, unless the first 10-30 seconds are fantastic.

You need to know how to turn your great story into a great 1 to 3-minute (or less) trailer. There is and always has been only one real secret to success in the entertainment industry. Tell a great story. Period. And you need to figure out how to tell that fabulous story in only two to three minutes or less!

Can you say “logline”? The screenplay for your film probably has one. Use that 25-word or 3-line mini-synopsis as the script for your trailer. When scripting your trailer, use a clear 3-act structure. Here’s an example of a feature animation logline that could easily be edited from film footage for a trailer: Orion, a rare green dolphin, grows up to save the world of sea creatures and their habitats through a series of fabulous adventures, conflicts and mystical occurrences. An epic saga of a larger-than-life hero dolphin, LEGEND OF THE GREEN DOLPHIN creates an undersea realm of incredible sea creatures and their beautiful watery habitats in the world’s seas and oceans. Orion seeks his purpose in life, and, along with his silvery dolphin companion, a wise old whale, the compassionate human he encounters, and a delightful Mermaid, he finds his way to his spiritual vision, and his reason for being. (underlined text suggests  film clips to consider using in the trailer)

You need to know how to get your film enthusiastically viewed by an agent and then a financial sponsor, producer, director, film festival judges, and even actors. Learn what they’re looking for. In order to raise money to make a film, it is essential to produce a high-quality trailer that will capture the imagination and confidence of grant-makers and investors. Your first impression to these movers and shakers is all about the fine art of pitching your film, your TV series concept or story idea, via your eye-catching trailer, which should be a dynamic collection of its greatest elements.

“SELL THE SIZZLE; NOT JUST THE STEAK!” A great title for your film is the first (and maybe only) introduction to a sponsor, an agent, a producer, director, film distributor, or studio. “You’ve got 3 minutes; pitch me what you’ve got,” is what you’ll hear from the entertainment industry movers & shakers who might buy your project. But you probably won’t even get that meeting, or a reply to your query letter, if you don’t have an interesting title and trailer that catches their eye. Know how to “dress” your film for success, make it stand out from all the others, and get it noticed in the first round.

You’ve got to cram a lot into a short, one-to-three-minute trailer: genre, conflict, character, action, location, time, any crisis to be resolved, hint at the potential transformation of the main character, marketability, and it needs to sizzle! The trailer is the key that opens the door to getting your full film considered. The same amount of thought that a filmmaker takes in directing the film should also be taken in creating the trailer. A trailer is not a mini-version of your film! It’s much, much harder to direct and edit a good two- or three-minute trailer than it is to shoot the short or feature film.

A great trailer can mean getting a million hits on YouTube and maybe going viral. For indie filmmakers, it’s a chance to have their low- or no-budget movies seen on iTunes and rented from Netflix. A movie trailer is the principal way most movies get exposure, these days, and is one of the most important marketing and promotional tools that is affordable and available to any filmmaker.

A viewer should be able get the full story concept of the film from these one to three minutes. He or she should know immediately what the whole movie is about and get excited about the story-line and idea, and can visualize the finished film. The trailer must propel the viewer through the experience of the film, itself, and build up excitement and anticipation

Always consider who your target audience is. What’s the demographic for your story? Who’s going to be viewing your trailer? If your film has several different points to make, or could be of interest to different age-groups or a variety of audiences, film festivals, competitions, or distributors, you might even want to consider making several different trailers in order to attract them. It’s like going fishing; you need to have the right lure, the right bait!

Film festival programmers and promotions staff absolutely need fabulous trailers for the films they’ve selected for screenings, to show at media screenings prior to the event, get good media reviews for the festival’s films, and in order to entice audiences to buy movie tickets to see those films.

Watch this good example of an exciting 1 ½-minute trailer of “Red Tails” by George Lucas,  on YouTube:


  • Be more inventive than other filmmakers. For example, assemble fake news footage into a montage, or show the biggest action first, even if it doesn’t happen right away in the film, or a comedy routine & leaving out the punch-line, or fade quickly from black & white into living color.
  • While introducing the movie’s story and its characters, a trailer most often follows the order of the film’s story and plot, but it doesn’t have to!
  • Don’t give away too much. Offer only brief glimpses of your most impressive scenes, accompanied by a quick fade-out & segue from one to the next.
  • Teasers: While trailers often focus on plot or character descriptions, teasers establish the mood and tone of a film. A good trailer will artfully combine all of those powerful elements.
  • Single words written across the screen have more impact than whole sentences; break your taglines up into its component parts and sprinkle them throughout the trailer. “MURDER” – “IN THE CAVE OF” – “THE RED DRAGON” or “FORBIDDEN” – “LOVE” keeps your viewer watching to see what’s next!
  • Don’t forget, the title is the MAIN thing you want viewers to remember. Save at least 10 seconds at the end of the trailer for a slow reveal.
  • If you have name talent as a director or known stars as leads, name them and show them in their roles first, to catch people’s attention (especially if any of them are half-naked or in mortal danger).
  • Has your film been an official selection or an award-winner at Sundance, Cannes, Moondance, Toronto, or anywhere well-known? Got a great film review in The New York Times? Quote it! Let it be known right away. Nobody wants to be the first one out on the dance-floor, but they’ll often “like” something someone else approves of, recommends, and likes, first.
  • You haven’t got much time to introduce your lead characters, so sum each one up with a few brief scenes that reveals who they are and what they do in the film. Yet do this in a way that coherently tells the story at the same time!
  • Trailers for thrillers and comedies have a much faster cutting and editing style, and with louder music, than do dramas, romantic comedies, or documentaries. It’s a good way of ratcheting up attention and excitement for the film.

Watch the official trailer for “Beasts of the Southern Wild”:

Quote from a FILMMAKER Magazine article by Stephen Garrett:

There are also many familiar editing tropes in trailers: dissolves, fades from black, fades to black, white flashes with the metal-door slams, fast-paced flutter-cuts, double exposures, speed adjustments, audio rises, audio drones, audio stings. These effects are like the images from the film itself: they are tools in a toolbox.



~~~~~~~ CELEBRATE EARTH DAY! ~~~~~~~

APRIL 22nd

Show extra love for our Mother Earth: reduce; recycle; re-use; walk or bike, don’t drive; clean up; go organic; don’t pollute; plant a tree; start a garden; hug an environmentalist; and remember: Every Day is Earth Day!


REMEDICa Australia offers a range of luxurious, effective and natural skincare products based on natural remedies combined with modern science, as an alternative to synthetic chemical-laden products. Intensive phyto-nutrient-based product lines for healthy, radiant and, most importantly, self-reliant skin. No animal testing, ever! Remedica is owned by the daughter of an award-winning Australian Moondancer, too!

Elizabeth’s favorites: Regenerate-Visage, Pure Olive Squalane, & Hibiscus Lip Balm!

Natural Skin Care Solutions | Organic Soap | la Savonnerie | Natural Skin Care For Problem Skin | Acne | Australian Bush Botanical Soaps | African Skin Care | Australian Made Skin Care | Natural Soap | African Organics | African Black Soap from the woman’s co-operative of Ghana | African Fair Trade Shea Butter | Natural Insect Repellent | Organic Skin Care | Monoi De Tahiti | Bath And Body

Web Address:


• • • WAYSEERS • • •

Be What You Were Born to Be! More than ever, the world needs YOU.


WAYSEERS are the change-agents of society. Wayseers are the ones who know first, who sense earliest the disturbances in the fabric…Wayseers are the free spirits, the misfits, the rebels and revolutionaries, the passionate creatives, the innovators, the visionaries, the pioneers…


Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, St. John, Leonardo Da Vinci, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Rosa Parks, Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Amelia Earhart, Buddha, Jacques Cousteau, Oprah Winfrey, Joan of Arc, John Lennon, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa…



Wild dolphins in Bimini, photo by Atmoji,

Oceanic Preservation Society

Boulder, Colorado, creators of the Academy Award-winning film “The Cove



MAKE A FILM FOUNDATION is a non-proft organization that teams children who have serious or life-threatening medical conditions with film industry professionals, who help them create short film legacies. We grant children their wishes of writing and starring in their own movies. Sponsors include: SONY Studios, HBO, Warner Bros., and the Annenberg Foundation.

“PUT IT IN A BOOK” award-winning short film, sponsored by MAFF & screened at Moondance 2011


Are you tired of paying  high prices for ink cartridges?

Order ink cartidges from: PRINTPAL.COM is committed to bringing top quality products to our customers at factory-direct prices. The printer supplies we offer are just as good as the name brands, but much more inexpensive. In fact, they are up to 80% less expensive!

Moondance has been regularly ordering low-cost ink cartridges online from this company for many years. Their products are equal with the high-priced ones, and their customer service is wonderful. Free shipping in only 2-3 days, too! PrintPal has generously offered all Moondancers a 10% discount! Use coupon code CARD10 when placing an order.




Reclining Buddha, Shanghai Jade temple, China

“Consciously choose a sense of inner peace over that voice of negativity. 

A life of happiness lies in your own hands, and more importantly in your own mind. It’s just waiting for you to choose it.” ~ YEHUDA BERG


“ The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change for the better; the realist simply adjusts the sails.” ~ WILLIAM ARTHUR WARD


“Akbar”, photo by Nasrin Mohammadi

“Courage faces fear, and thereby masters it; cowardice represses fear, and is thereby mastered by it.” ~ MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.


“Sea Glass at Sunset”, photo by Barb Youchah

“Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” ~ FRANZ KAFKA


Photo by Sharee Basinger

“I invented this rule for myself, to be applied to every decision I might have to make in the future. I would sort out all the arguments and see which belonged to fear and which to creativeness, and other things being equal, I would make the decision which had the larger number of creative reasons on its side. I think it must be a rule something like this that makes jonquils and crocuses come pushing through the cold mud in the early spring.” ~ Katharine Butler Hathaway, American writer


Cornwall Pathway, photo by Michael Wiese

“The torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided. It is sometimes better to abandon one’s self to one’s destiny.” ~ Napoleon I


It takes great courage to stand up for something, because the moment you decide you want to do good in this world…(you need to) be brave in the face of criticism and opposition. Follow your heart, you’ll never get lost, and you will prevail.” ~ Yehuda Berg, Kabbalah


Boston: In a terrorist attack on Monday, explosions rocked an area near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, leaving many people dead and seriously injured, including children, runners and spectators. Now is the time for us to do everything in our power to stop violent acts like this, by actively endeavoring to create a world of peace, international friendship and good will, in order to help prevent this type of senseless tragedy from happening again and again.



The Elephants’ Journey To Pay Respect

Lawrence Anthony, a legend in South Africa and author of 3 books including the bestseller The Elephant Whisperer, bravely rescued wildlife and rehabilitated  elephants all over the globe from human atrocities, including the  courageous rescue of Baghdad Zoo animals during US invasion in  2003.

On March 7, 2012 Lawrence Anthony died.

 He is remembered and missed by his wife, 2 sons, 2  grandsons and  numerous elephants.

 Two days after his  passing, the wild elephants showed up at his home led by two large  matriarchs.

 Separate wild herds arrived in droves to say  goodbye to their beloved man-friend.

A total of 31  elephants had patiently walked over 12 miles to get to his South  African house.

Witnessing this spectacle, humans  were obviously in awe not only because of the supreme intelligence  and precise timing that these elephants sensed about Lawrence , but  also because of the profound memory and emotion the beloved animals  evoked in such an organized way: Walking slowly – for days –  making their way in a solemn one-by-one queue from their habitat  to his house.

So, how after Anthony’s death, did the  reserve’s elephants — grazing miles away in distant parts of the  park — know? “A good man died suddenly,” says Rabbi Leila Gal  Berner, Ph.D., “and from miles and miles away, two herds of  elephants, sensing that they had lost a beloved human friend, moved  in a solemn, almost ‘funereal’ procession to make a call on the  bereaved family at the deceased man’s home.”


If there ever  were a time, when we can truly sense the wondrous  ‘interconnectedness of all beings,’ it is when we reflect on the  elephants of Thula Thula. A man’s heart stops, and hundreds of  elephants’ hearts are grieving. This man’s abundantly loving heart  offered healing to these elephants, and now, they came to pay loving  homage to their friend.”

Lawrence ‘s wife, Francoise, was  especially touched, knowing that the elephants had not been to  his house prior to that day for well over 3 years! Yet they  knew where they were going.

The elephants obviously wanted to  pay their deep respects, honouring their friend who’d saved their  lives – so much respect that they stayed for 2 days 2 nights  without eating anything.
Then one morning they quietly left,  and made their long journey  back.


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21 Suggestions to Better Your Chances of Winning Screenplay Competitions MOONDANCE APRIL NEWS & VOTE NOW FOR MIFF!
21 Suggestions to Better Your Chances of Winning Screenplay Competitions
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