Elizabeth English

Moondaners Write Us: The Halperins

“We have had a long relationship working together with the Moondance International Film Festival to assist films and filmmakers in giving their voices and stories a wide international audience and a broader life. You have chosen films that have made my job of promotion easier to talk about in the media, and it has always been my intention to put a light on subjects that can enrich and enlighten. This year you screened films about  “Our Common Roots,” which shows us how to improve our health and well being from wild plants in nature; films with stories about families like “A Fish Story,” and “Dovid Meyer,” two uplifting films about faith and overcoming tragedy, “We Are Voices for a Future Without Genocide,” a feature-length music video, and “Paper,” a short narrative film which opens the question of “what would you do?” to survive abuse/poverty. Thank you for asking to again show films we have worked with through the years, such as “Little Dancer,” “Zen Noir,” and “Punk Love,” which were all award winners that went on from Moondance to have lives in theaters or to kick off a career. It is a joy to work with these talented filmmakers, and we are so grateful at Magic Lamp Releasing, and now Global Film Village, Inc. to be a part of your moving forward.”

~ Marla & Marc Halperin


Moondance Recommends the Geena Davis Institute

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The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media is the only research-based organization working within the media and entertainment industry to engage, educate, and influence the need for gender balance, reducing stereotyping and creating a wide variety of female characters for entertainment targeting children 11 and under.

bwmoonMOONDANCE & WOMEN: Our work on reaching out toward women filmmakers, women writers and women composers everywhere in the world is primary and ongoing. Women writers and filmmakers from all six continents, and from a wide diversity of ethnic and linguistic groups are an integral part of our mission and goals. We seek to inspire and invigorate this creative potential of women to perceive, conceptualize, and produce their works for the benefit of the world society. We are dedicated to preserving their accumulated accomplishments and visions as expressed through the art of film, music and writings.

Moondance promises to raise awareness of the invaluable contributions of women to the entertainment community. Equity for women in the film industry does not mean stifling some voices so that others may be heard; it does not demand the compromising of personal standards to achieve success. Equity creates new standards, which accommodate and nurture differences. Equity fosters the individual voice, investing women with confidence in their own authority. Equity unleashes the creative potential. We see the equal treatment of all women and the equal respect for all responses they explore as essential to their and our ultimate goals.

Women filmmakers, composers and writers are vocal and active participants in the social forces that shape our culture. They portray women as three-dimensional, complex human beings and thus defy the demeaning and pervasive stereotypes perpetuated by the mainstream media. We are dedicated to promoting visibility for women in Hollywood and their impact on the film industry, and we see this as a means to disrupt and correct the misogynous, fantastical, passive, destructive and denigrating visual representation of females that has, historically, been rendered by men in media and has for so long and so plentifully pervaded our visual culture.

Watch Geena Davis do some archery tricks while to prove a point about strong women on screen:



Moondance Recommends Chrysanthemum Tea


chrisanthChrysanthemum tea has many purported medicinal uses, including an aid in recovery from influenza, acne and as a “cooling” herb. According to traditional Chinese medicine the tea can aid in the prevention of sore throat and promote the reduction of fever. In Korea, it is known well for its medicinal use for making people more alert and is often used as a pick-me-up to render the drinker more awake. In western herbal medicine, Chrysanthemum tea is drunk or used as a compress to treat circulatory disorders such as varicose veins and atherosclerosis.

teaIn traditional Chinese medicine, chrysanthemum tea is also said to clear the liver and the eyes. It is believed to be effective in treating eye pain associated with stress or yin/fluid deficiency. It is also used to treat blurring, spots in front of the eyes, diminished vision, and dizziness. The liver is associated with the element Wood which rules the eyes and is associated with anger, stress, and related emotions, potential benefits against cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, vision-related diseases (such as age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma) or from neuroprotective, anticancer or immunomodulatory activity.

chrisanth2With a history that dates back to the 15th century B.C., chrysanthemum mythology is filled with a multitude of stories and symbolism. A symbol of the sun, the Japanese consider the orderly unfolding of the chrysanthemum’s petals to represent perfection, and Confucius once suggested they be used as an object of meditation. It’s said that a single petal of this celebrated flower placed at the bottom of a glass of wine will encourage a long and healthy life.

In the Chinese culture, the chrysanthemum signifies a life of ease. Buddhists are fond of using this flower as offerings on alters. Symbolic of powerful Yang energy, this flower is an attractant of good luck in the home. Giving white chrysanthemums means: tell the truth, be honest, a request for utter candor. In Eastern meditative and Ayurvedic traditions the chrysanthemum is associated with the heart chakra.  A common practice is to focus on the beauty of the chrysanthemum with a goal to blossom the beauty held within the heart….stimulating the heart chakra. The chrysanthemum blooms in the cold autumn air and foretells the coming of winter, which symbolizes the virtue of withstanding all adversities.


Dovid Meyer Premiere at Moondance

DOVID MEYER: The Orphan From Jerusalem

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Written and directed by Rabbi Moshe Mones (Paul Mones on Google and imdb.com) and produced by Mones and Darren Schwartz, this film, on the redemptive power of faith, parallels Mones’ own life.

Mones became seriously ill in 2010 and, by the next year, he could barely walk. His doctor introduced him to Darren Schwartz, who told him of a small book he had read: “Dovid MEYER: The orphan From Jerusalem.” Mones read the book and it was, indeed, something special, a blessing. A gift. A miracle. From it, Mones has learned that life is full of immeasurable surprises.

A brief synopsis of the film: the Kalmans, a proper British, non-observant Jewish family, think they are hiring an au pair for their two children. Hoping for a Mary Poppins-type nanny, the family is shocked when the au pair who appears on their doorstep is Dovid Meyer, a 13-year-old Hasidic boy. They agree to keep him for few days, not knowing how he is about to change their lives. One young boy, full of life, humor and faith, brings a spiritual awakening to the Kalmans and unites two desperate families as he spreads his wisdom, wonder and magic into our world.

See original article here.


Moondance Wins 2013 Colorado Excellence Award

Moondance Wins 2013 Colorado Excellence Award

excellenceawardThe Moondance International Film Festival has been recognized as a 2013 Colorado Excellence Award recipient.

The panel of industry executives and consultants oversees an annual survey commissioned by the Small Business Institute for Excellence in Commerce (SBIEC) on various industries and determines which companies meet and exceed the industry benchmarks that have been set forth. Moondance International Film Festival was one of those selected this year!




International Representation at Moondance

flagsTalented filmmakers, writers & composers from all over the world, some 46 countries & counting, submit their projects to the annual Moondance competition.  Some film festivals claim  to be international but Moondance, with our commitment to representing the voices and viewpoints of the underrepresented, strives to attract talented writers, musicians and filmmakers from as many countries and in as many languages as we can.

This year, at Moondance 2013, we were pleased to welcome films from ___,_____, and _____.  In fact, half of our “audience favorite” films were from countries other than the United States.

Our 2014 call-for-entries opens December 1, 2013, so get ready to send in your submission & represent your country!

If you have any great ideas on how to encourage more international submissions, please share them!



Some Things to Think About:

by Elizabeth English
Some Things to Think About:


“Many people might have attained wisdom if they had not assumed they already possessed it.” ~ Seneca


“True champions aren’t always the ones who win, but are those with the most heart.” ~ Mia Hamm


“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” ~ Louis L’Amour


“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small steps, small things brought together.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh


“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”
~ Paul Valery


The chambered nautilus is the title and subject of a poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes, in which he admires the “ship of pearl” and the “silent toil/That spread his lustrous coil/Still, as the spiral grew/He left the past year’s dwelling for the new.” One can find in the shell of the nautilus inspiration for one’s own life and spiritual growth, and living in the present, as each new segment is larger and more beautiful than the last, but with the silken thread of memory always going back to the beginning.


2013 Audience Favorites!



afishstoryA FISH STORY

Feature film, directed by Matt Birman, written & produced by Sam Roberts (USA & CANADA). After his sudden and tragic death, a devoted father’s search for heaven brings him back to his distraught family and his isolated lakeside wilderness fishing camp, for a few precious days, in the body of a wanted man.

dovidmeyerDOVID MEYER

Feature film, directed by Moshe Paul Mones (USA).  A proper British family advertises for a Mary Poppins-type of au pair for their children, but a 14 year-old Hasidic Israeli boy, an orphan from Jerusalem, shows up, to rattle the household’s lives in many miraculous ways.



Short film, directed by Anis Lassoud (Tunisia). In a small countryside village, Ahmed is a 9 year old boy with a passion for running. Under the influence and with the help of Ba Zdig, the village idiot, he dreams of becoming an Olympic Champion. He not only runs for that reason, but also because he needs it, it is his vocation, for the simple pleasure of it and to attain a passionate weightlessness.

thepainterTHE PAINTER

Short film, directed by Nate Townsend (USA). Obsessed by events that changed his life decades ago, an amateur artist finally returns to the farm where it all began. One man’s journey in search of redemption, closure, and peace.


Short film, directed by Wanuri Kahiu, (Kenya). Pumzi is a sci-fi film set in a futuristic Africa, 35 years after World War III, “The Water War.” The outside world is deemed extinct, and leaving one’s indoor community has been outlawed. Asha, who lives and works as a museum curator in one such community, risks it all for her belief that a greener life exists on the outside. An Africa First film.



Feature documentary film, directed by Laura Beachy, Ryan Balton, & Cory Sage (USA).  Somerset, Pennsylvania, was a picture-perfect small, rural  farming town, where life embodied a quiet, pleasant innocence. That is, until September 11, 2001, when United Flight 93 crashed in Somerset’s sheltered countryside, claiming 40 innocent lives, and forever changing the people on the ground.


Feature documentary film, directed by Caroline Rowland (UK). In the summer of 2012, the most talented young athletes from around the world responded to the call to compete in the London Olympic Games.


Feature documentary, directed by: Joseph Consentino & Sandra Consentino (USA). Beginning in March 2003, Iraqi taxi-driver Fadil Kadom’s video diary includes his family’s preparations for war, the days of bombs and missiles, and Baghdad’s ultimate fall. NBC News cameraman, Craig White, embedded with the US Army, brings the war into focus, live – from combat to the disintegration of Iraqi civil society.



Short documentary film, directed by Matthew Alexander Levy (USA). Artfully edited to include archival images we will all recognize, “Do You Remember Where You Were When” is a film, by a talented young New York City filmmaker, about television’s unrecognized impact on creating a mythical and pervasive collective memory for us all.


thediverTHE DIVER

Animation film, directed by Damon Mohl (USA). The strange and poignant life of a plastic toy diver, as he lives out his days in remarkable landscapes and circumstances: thrown by a boy into a pond to sink or swim with fishes, left and forgotten in a dark toy box with other discarded toys, in this amazingly beautiful and yet familiar world. A startling realization sets in, on a deeper level, as we start to realize that this story may parallel some aspects of one’s own life.

ellaELLA (She)

Animation film, directed by Juan Montes de Oca, 19 minutes, (SPAIN). In Palma de Mallorca, through the eyes of a 5 year-old innocent kid, a lovely and moving story unfolds of life’s coincidences, miseries and joys, as the boy learns about an old man’s stories of his ill-fated life in New York, and his long-lost love.



Music video, directed by David Cho & Evan Urman (USA). A wild, fantastic  musical day in the boring life of a fictional Kim Jeng-un, as a young boy, and his only good day, ever.


Music video, directed by Nick Dimitriadis (UK). An artist seeks inspiration for his next project, in this fabulous cinematic storytelling adventure. With his incredible adventures into the realm of the impossible and surreal, his quest will take him to some rather unusual places…

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