Photo by Clark Little

Let’s make a big splash in 2015!


Due to popular request, we have extended the early-bird entry fee through January 2015! All categories of submissions have a discounted $50 entry fee.




Withoutabox for Moondance International Film Festival is now fully active for this season’s call-for-entries: www.withoutabox.com/login/1240

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Moondance International Film Festival estimated dates:
September 18, 19, 20, 2015
Proposed location: Boulder, Colorado USA
Stay tuned for more info as we get closer to the event dates!

Our film festival themes, selected with particular emphasis and attention paid to the very best of American independent filmmaking, European cinema, and entertaining, meaningful movies from around the world, all of which have an aesthetic sensibility and complexity, reflect on the unique art of visual storytelling and cinema, itself. 

Check out the website for more info:

WEBSITE:  www.moondancefilmfestival.com
NEWS-BLOG: www.moondancefilmfestival/com/blog
EMAIL: director@moondancefilmfestival.com


Moondance promotes, encourages, educates and rewards non-violent conflict resolution in the arts & film. Our much-coveted Columbine Awards are given to the film-makers &/or writers who best depict alternatives to violence as a method of dealing with conflicts, whether personal, local, national or international, and/or show why violence as a solution to conflict is ultimately counter-productive and inhumane. Our mission is to present a vibrant and growing collection of films and writings, which is an ideal means for communication across perceived boundaries of race, culture, age and gender.

Our objective is to identify and address the root causes of violence and contribute to the just and peaceful transformation of violent conflict resolution. The core of conflict transformation work is the building of a sustainable peace between all people. This involves a process of profound change in attitude, transforming situations characterized by fear and killing into environments in which reconciliation, respect for other people, social justice and participatory democracy can take root.

The creation of the Moondance Columbine Award is a response to the rise in violent conflict between individuals, neighborhoods, in schools, different cultures and genders, within countries and the subsequent abuse of individual and collective human rights in minor and major conflict situations. Today there is an evermore pressing need for conflict resolution and peacebuilding 


Moondance, via the Columbine Award project, has as its goals:

  • Facilitating dialogue at different levels and sectors of society in conflict.
  • Encouraging and motivating the international community to address the structural causes of conflict.
  • Generating international awareness for the issues and concerns arising out of our work and through the written works and films honored at Moondance, and created by young people, men and women
  • Opening up an on-going dialogue with creative people on how non-violent conflict resolution can be accomplished and promoted throughout the international entertainment industry.
  • Cultivating an awareness of solutions to violent conflict resolution, honoring creative diversity, developing an intercultural dialogue, and stimulating this creative resource.


“American Gothic” by Grant Wood

“American Gothic” by Grant Wood

At Moondance International Film Festival, we look for documentary films that entertain, inform, inspire, encourage and educate. We believe that films can contribute to a healthier society, and that films should encourage the active involvement of audiences to connect and act collectively to address global challenges. Moondance screens doc films that are innovative, distinctive, compelling, educational, engaging, and relevant to varied audiences, and which encourage active participation.

Our film programs are always well rounded, entertaining, and enlightening, highlighting diverse cultures, opinions, and stories. We welcome individual expression and are committed to presenting diverse points of view. Moondance aims to entertain, increase awareness, provide multiple viewpoints, address complex social issues, provide forums for deliberation, and strengthen ties between varieties of international audiences.
Some thoughts for doc filmmakers from a film festival director who selects which films are selected for screening at the festival:

  1. Go easy on the “talking heads” interviews! Please, please, please shoot the interviewee(s) in various situations, not just sitting straight on to the camera and talking, talking, talking. Take them outside, in their homes or workplaces, interacting with others, and with different reactions and emotions evident. Show, don’t just tell. Film is, of course, a visual medium, and needs great visuals to make it successful. Do a lot of voice-overs with varied images of the subject matter at hand. 
People relate to, and remember more of, what they’ve seen, than what they’ve heard.
  2. Get a good, friendly, persuasive interviewer, especially if you’re the cinematographer. Allow yourself or the interviewer to have a part in the film. When you or the interviewer ask the interviewee a question, or comment on/respond to what they’ve said, consider getting in the frame! The interviewer should be considered as a secondary, but vital, element in the film, since the audience will also identify with the interviewer, and relate to him or her, as well as to the person or persons being interviewed.
  3. After the shoot, remember to set a mic in the same empty room(s) or outside area(s) for an hour, and capture soft ambient sounds to lay in to the film during post. Wind blowing, car horns, footsteps walking by, vehicles going past, birds chirping, airplanes flying overhead, a dog barking, a phone ringing, and so on. A dull, silent, unchanging aural atmosphere is deadly and “feels” stuffy, airless, lifeless, claustrophobic, and unreal, even if there’s an underlying musical film score.
  4. Add an appropriate and memorable music score! Think of your short or feature doc film as if it were a narrative film.
  5. Film editing should be invisible, and must transition and flow easily and logically from scene to scene.
  6. Lighting and sound should be of the same quality and tone, throughout the film, as much as is possible.
  7. Start late and end early! Edit your doc film to be as short as possible, while still getting the salient point or points across. Don’t duplicate scenes and responses from interviewees. We get it, already! Move along. Use only the very best filmed segments to tell your story.
“Peaceable Kingdom”, Jenny Stein, director,  2009 doc film winner

“Peaceable Kingdom”, Jenny Stein, director, 2009 doc film winner

Some of our most popular recent doc films screened at Moondance were on such unique & varied subjects of Lyme disease, free-diving with killer whales, traditional reindeer herding in Finland, the mistreatment & saving of farm animals, breast cancer recovery, 9/11 conspiracy, saving the rainforests, traditional arts in China, the Gulf War, and crop circles in the UK, for just a few examples. Each film, and all doc films selected over the years have had a story; a clear beginning, middle and end, as well as a protagonist and antagonist(s), much as good screenplays and narrative films must have, to be successful.



Over 200 InkTip.com screenwriters who have posted their scripts at www.inktip.com have gotten an agent, found a director and/or producer, or have had their scripts purchased & green-lighted for production! InkTip & Moondance are long-time partners, and InkTip annually offers Moondance’s screenplay winners a free posting award.




 Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

Girls are watching more media than any other activity including sleeping and school – and – are being greatly influenced by what they see.  Only 1 of 3 characters portrayed in family-rated films is female.  With little inspiration, big dreams may never take flight.

Inspired girls become women with endless possibilities.  That’s why our mission is to dramatically increase positive portrayals of female characters in entertainment targeting children 11 and under.  Our groundbreaking research and educational outreach influences leading business decision makers and content creators across all aspects of entertainment.

Imagine this — in the time it takes to create a television show or make a movie, we can change what the future looks like.  These leaders can eliminate gender inequality and stereotype in children’s media, virtually overnight. Our institute is transforming how girls and women are portrayed in film and television. Yet, we really need your help to build on our momentum and success.

Join us today by making a contribution to the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Together, we can engage, educate, and influence others to improve how girls see themselves today.  Let’s see how far girls can climb!


rooftop filmswww.rooftopfilms.com

Rooftop Films is a New York-based non-profit whose mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists. But Rooftop Films is more than a film festival. We are a community. We are a collective collaboration between filmmakers and festivals, between audience members and artists, between venues and neighborhoods.
Our goal is to nurture a vibrant independent filmmaking community not only by exhibiting the work of low-budget filmmakers but also by providing essential support systems for those who otherwise have none. Rooftop Films is keeping this vital mode of filmmaking alive and well in New York City and beyond. Rooftop Films commits $1 of every ticket sold and every film submission fee to fund new productions, an innovative approach to the exhibition/production cycle, which uses the support of our community to produce dynamic films. SUBMIT YOUR FILM HERE!
“No thing is beautiful by itself. But all things await the sensitive and imaginative mind that may be aroused to pleasurable emotion at the sight or sound of them. This is beauty! ~ Robert Henry
china winding highwayWinding Highway, Hunan Province, China“If you want to succeed, you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel only the worn paths of accepted success.” ~ John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

door knob“It is character that gets us out of bed, commitment that moves us into action, and discipline that enables us to follow through.” ~ Zig Zigler

crocus in leaves

“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Inspire and encourage me, and I will never forget you.” ~ William Arthur (edited)


image of oak tree branch & acorn

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great people make you feel that you, too, may become great.” ~ Mark Twain

Mahatma GandhiGandhi at his loom

“There is no greater satisfaction for a just and well-meaning person who has devoted his or her best efforts to the service of a good cause.” ~ Albert Einstein


Wendell Berry extols the ennobling effects of solitude, the kind gained only by surrendering to nature’s gentle gift for quieting the mind: True solitude is found in the wild places, where one is without human obligation. One’s inner voices become audible. One feels the attraction of one’s most intimate sources. In consequence, one responds more clearly to others’ lives. The more coherent one becomes within oneself as a living, aware creature, the more fully one enters into the communion of all creatures.

MOONDANCE QUIZ answers/suggestions:

  1. Literary genres:  adventure, children, comedy, epic, fairy tale, fantasy, gothic, horror, legend, mystery, romance, saga, sci-fi, , thriller, western
  2. Music genres: blues, classical, country, folk, hip-hop, jazz, Latin, metal, new-age, pop, reggae, rock, rock & roll, trance




WEBSITE: www.moondancefilmfestival.com
NEWS-BLOG: www.moondancefilmfestival/com/blog

No trees or natural habitats were harmed in the creation of this news-blog!