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)!

* The Fast-Forward contest is not just a less expensive way to enter the main film festival competition. No event will be held for it, and no winning films screened at an event. The 3 possible awards for Fast Forward are listed here on the blog & on the Moondance website. Fast Forward is a way to get your project important early notice at Moondance, and to fill the hiatus before the main competition starts on December 1, 2012!




New York City street scene, sunset

“I wanted to thank you for the Moondance Film Festival. It was such an amazing opportunity in such an amazing city. I noticed on your blog that my pilot would be posted on That is a yet another pleasant surprise that you have thrown my way! Also, I made a great connection at the festival from the panel “NY Women in Film and Television.” One of the panelists agreed to be my mentor! She has kept in contact with me, read my script, and says it cracked her up, and when she gets time, she is passing it along to several producers. One more time, thank you for all that you do. ~ NICOLE SIDDIQI

“Thanks so much for reviewing “Snapatoonies” and giving us your Semi-Finalist category - much appreciated. This was our first film award, so as you can imagine, we are very excited to have placed at Moondance with “Snapatoonies”. It has been a very busy two weeks for us – we have just now signed an exclusive worldwide agency agreement with a London Distribution company, who already have some interest, and they are taking it to MIPCOM/Kids. Hopefully we will have something by next year to enter into your competition again. In the meantime – our sincere appreciation. Best wishes for a great year” – LEE AND JORDI BRIGHTON, Australia




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.



Ancient Cornwall labyrinth petroglyph

WAYSEERS: All you rule-breakers, you misfits & troublemakers, all you free-spirits & pioneers… watch & listen to this amazing & inspiring 10-minute WAYSEERS video!


THE FREE HUGS CAMPAIGN Free hugs is a real-life controversial story of Juan Mann, A man whos sole mission was to reach out and hug a stranger to brighten up their lives. In this age of social disconnectivity and lack of human contact, the effects of the Free Hugs campaign became phenomenal.


Wild Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins photo by Atmo,


  • Affordable script notes, editing & coverage!
  • Film feedback and critiques!
  • Titles & loglines for the best first impressions!


Mermaid7seas Productions donates 10% of all consulting fees to the Moondance International Film Festival!



Questions from a UK filmmaker:

What stands out for you in a short indie film? ~~First & foremost: story. Unique story, well-told. Or even an old story, told in a new & unique way. Title and logline, plus short synopsis count a lot, too, and can make the best first impression. (see my article on First Impressions in the Moondance E-zine)

What do you reject almost immediately? ~~ Clichés. Poor openings. Too many credits at the opening. DVDs that are not cued up to the start. Bad lighting, jumpy editing, inappropriate score. Boring, slow, been-done-a-million-times opening scenes like this: dark bedroom, guy in bed, alarm clock rings, hand reaches out, trying to find clock, knocks clock onto floor, gets up but we see feet only, follow feet to the bathroom,  toilet flushes, shower runs, teeth are brushed, feet go to the kitchen, guy drinks coffee, gets dressed, goes out door, gets in car, car drives on highway, guy on cell phone….ad infinitum. Or: camera slowly pans along past long, long hallway walls of photos showing history of family from day one to present time. No story. Indicates no creativity, no fresh thinking, or not thinking of viewer, egotistical director/editor.

Is everything equal when you judge the film, the production values, the acting, the direction, the music or do you have a priority? ~~Not so much the script, as I usually don’t see it for film submissions, and I know from experience that the film does not always follow the original script. My first judging priority is quality, top quality of all of the above, plus lighting, sound, costuming, color, framing, and editing. If even one of these elements is not top quality, the film will probably be rejected. I also consider the audience…will they like it, too? (see my articles on Adventures in Judging a Film Festival, in the Moondance E-zine and Filmmakers Read This) All of the above comments relate to both narrative and (except for acting) to documentary films.

What was it about the most successful shorts in 2012 at Moondance that really stood out for you? ~~All of the above desired points were covered, and none of the bad ones. Good story, well-filmed, superb acting, thoughtfully directed, invisible editing, lighting, sound, appropriate score, & etc. Plus, and this is important to me, personally, as a film viewer/judge: I learned something, felt involved and could relate to the story, was inspired to learn more, and/or was cheered by the story. I had a reaction, suspension of disbelief may have occurred, & the film was seamless & memorable.  ~~ELIZABETH ENGLISH, Moondance Founder, Executive Director, Artistic Director



Read 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! CLICK HERE!



Jones Beach (NY) Sunset photo by Chris Anastasiadis

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and places to pray in, where Nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” ~ JOHN MUIR, Scottish-American naturalist and preservationist


Al Capone's 1938 Cadillac

“Hollywood is a place where people spend money they don’t have to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.” ~ WALTER WINCHELL (paraphrased), American newspaper and radio commentator


“One of the difficulties with all our institutions is the fact that we’ve emphasized the reward instead of the service.” ~ HARRY S TRUMAN


painting by Andrew Wyeth

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night.” ~ EDGAR ALLAN POE


Beech trees of Mariemont, Belgium

The end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

~ T. S. Eliot


“If you seek what is honorable, what is good, what is the truth of your life, all the other things you could not imagine come, as a matter of course.” ~ OPRAH WINFREY


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 popular news blog to your friends and colleagues!

Bookmark this page