The Moondance selected film screenings are online-only! All winning & selected films will screen on our own Vimeo Pro site. Now our best films will have the opportunity for not only a one-time local theater screening but also an international audience of many thousands of viewers, on a computer or any mobile device, for a long time to come, instead of maybe an audience of 50-100 or so, screened only once at a local film festival’s theatrical venue. This is truly today’s preferred, state-of-the-art & most important global networking, promotional & networking advantage!
Please watch this inspiring Moondance winning music video directed by Moondance award-winner Lou Hamilton: flash mob in London’s Trafalgar Square to bring public awareness of child sex trafficking and exploitation.
If of thy worldly goods thou art bereft
And from thy slender store
Two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole,
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.
~ Saadi (1184-1283), Persian poet
MOONDANCERS WRITE US:
• “I am glad to know that MOONDANCE continues to be a bright star on the international film festival circuit.” ~ Chris Nebe, Moondance award-winning documentary filmmaker
• “You still have one of the most respected film and creative venues for aspiring whomever who actually do real work, and the global response seems to know it.” ~ Gino Mateo, Canada,Moondance award-winning writer
Longtime Moondance award-winning filmmaker, workshop presenter, friend and mentor, Joseph Consentino, passed from this journey to another on Friday, January 19, 2018.
After graduating from St. John’s and Columbia Universities with degrees in journalism, Joe became a photojournalist for Saturday Evening Post, Look Magazine and Sports illustrated. His photographs have been celebrated in numerous books, collections and exhibits including a portrait of Edward Steichen, which resides at the Museum of Modern Art. Joe endeavored to add greater dimension to his lens by telling stories through documentary film making, and a new chapter began.
Together with Sandra (film editor and producer) Joe created Consentino Films Inc. and Big Bear Films, LLC. They honed their craft with respectful dignity, winning several Emmy Awards, and were nominated for an Academy Award.
Through the Ridgefield Playhouse Film Society, which Joe founded, evenings were spent enjoying films and interesting Q&As with actors and directors. Their respect for Joe made them want to participate and educate us as an audience. These events provided a window into the work and tenacity necessary to bring movie magic to life.
Another “major” passion of Joe’s was baseball. Upon graduating from St. John’s University, he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox organization and played for several seasons before an injury ended his career. After moving to Ridgefield and starting a family, Joseph applied his baseball acumen to the small diamond – coaching hundreds of young children in the Ridgefield Little League. As his players progressed through high school he started the town’s first travel baseball team – the Ridgefield Nighthawks American Legion team.
In 2003, Joe, along with George Foster (former Cincinnati Reds and NY Mets All-Star), took his love for the sport one “diamond” further by founding the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL). Joe’s goal was to give student athletes a better chance to have their talents recognized by Major League scouts. Since its inception, over 135 NECBL alumni have played in the Major Leagues.
Joe’s family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to: www.gofundme.com/joseph-consentino-memorial-fund All funds received will be used to sponsor a major improvement for an existing Ridgefield Little League ball-field in Joseph’s honor.
SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:
“The most fearless hearts, the audacious dreamers, have always maintained a sense of optimism that often flies in the face of the available evidence.” ~ Martin O’Malley
“Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
Our Moondance Mermaid has taken a very well-deserved break and a hiatus from the festival, after 18+ years! She’ll be relaxing on some sunny shores, swimming with wild dolphins, and helping to save our precious coral reefs and marine environments. See you again, next time! Splash!
New beginnings, fresh starts, reaffirmations and promises for a brighter future all come to mind as we ring in the New Year around the world. Out with the old, in with the new: may you be happy, the whole year through. Let this New Year be the one where all your dreams come true. Wishing you a happy, peaceful, successful and prosperous New Year!
*PLEASE NOTE: Our Moondance Mermaid has taken a well-deserved break and a hiatus from the festival after 18 years! She’ll be relaxing on some sunny shores, swimming with wild dolphins, and helping to save our precious coral reefs and marine environments. See you again, next time! Splash!
>> The news/blog will continue to go out to subscribers!
>> The Moondance magazine continues to be available, will all its insider tips and suggestions!
>> Info from the 2017 festival remains available on the website.
>> Many thanks to all the talented Moondancers, staff, readers and volunteers!
Now there’s no need to get dressed, drive to town, find parking, pay $12-15 for a movie ticket, buy expensive popcorn & a drink, sit in a theater to watch a movie, then drive home…maybe pay the babysitter…because at Moondance, you can enjoy watching all of our fabulous, award-winning indie films online, any time, anywhere, on any of your mobile devices, for only $1.99, and several of them are free! And these are the top indie films by super-talented filmmakers from around the world. You might never get to see these movies in a theatrical venue. Take a look at our 2017 film scheduleHERE!
To quote the late film critic, Roger Ebert, “See you at the movies!”
GAME:short film, director: Jeannie Donohoe (USA) 16 minutes. The director is also a former Moondance short film winner, for “Lambing Season”. She was selected from over 4,600 applicants to write and direct “Game” for Lexus Short Films. GAME is a story about going all the way, pursuing your dreams, and playing at the top of your game. AJ doesn’t see herself as a girl basketball player. She sees herself as a basketball player. She asks the world to do the same. The relationship between Coach and AJ, over the course of this short film, speaks to the willingness to reward ambition, hard work, and equal talent with equal opportunities.
LEARNING TO DRIVE:short film, director: Roderick Stevens (USA) 19 minutes. Inspired by the true story of a feisty young man with Down syndrome, determined to become independent and to convince his scatterbrained brother to teach him how to drive.
KOSNIN:short film, director: Sara Seligman (USA) 12 minutes. 10-year old Héctor wants to ‘fly,’ like the voladores in his community. His single mother can’t afford the costs, but Héctor is determined to achieve his dream, and through hard work and a little help, sets out to do what others in his community have done for generations – FLY!
TOGETHER AS THE WIND BLOWS:music video, director: Jose Manalang (Japan) 6 minutes. This is a vibrant music video about the plight of talented Filipino workers searching for respect, equality and greener pastures abroad.
HANOOZ NA (NOT YET):short film, director: Arian Vazirdaftari (Iran) 15 minutes. It`s 21 year-old Hasti’s Birthday. She studies abroad and her parents in Iran want to congratulate her via Skype. But…well, you can imagine what happens, when the old world meets the new world.
2017 MOONDANCE AUDIENCE FAVORITE FILM ANNOUNCED:
LE PASSÉ DEVANT NOUS (PAST IMPERFECT)
LE PASSÉ DEVANT NOUS (PAST IMPERFECT), feature film, director: Nathalie Teirlinck (Belgium) 110 minutes. When Alice’s ex-boyfriend dies in a car accident, she’s unexpectedly confronted with her six-year-old son, whom she had abandoned at birth. His presence not only threatens her routine existence as a high-priced escort but also exposes strongly suppressed emotions. Doubt strikes again. Will she be able to be a mother, this time?
A SPECIAL MOONDANCE SELECTION OF FILMS
ON MYSTERIOUS CHINA!
Directed & Produced by MONAREX HOLLYWOOD
Read more about these Mysterious China film selections HERE!
Excerpts from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)
Film festivals are a vital piece of the film ecosystem, and their impact is evident across our culture. Film festivals highlight the worldwide passion of cinema and showcase the value of film, both creatively and economically. More than anything, film festivals deliver a new, unique way to experience the movies, always driven by the power of a good story.
A platform for new talent: Each year, filmmakers submit their creations to a range of film festivals in the hopes of getting their work premiered. If a film attracts the attention of festival curators, an independent creator could have their work showcased in front of an influential audience. Film festivals have helped open doors for many of today’s iconic filmmakers including Quentin Tarantino, Morgan Spurlock and Darren Aronofsky.
Attracting new audiences: When a new or independent filmmaker brings a film to a festival, the viewers have the opportunity to connect with the story through experiencing the film firsthand. This process can give the filmmaker insights and even unlock new avenues for the film with producers, distributors, and others who can bring it to a wider audience. READ MOREHERE!
INSIDER TIPS FOR SCREENWRITERS:
Discover how to: enhance the narrative momentum in your screenplay, stylize your script in a way that keeps the narrative moving, open your story in a way that generates instant momentum and audience investment, create a sense of inevitability in your screenplay, utilize the importance of cause and effect and conflict in narrative, and the importance of tailoring specific characters & dialog to the story, as well as structuring each scene so as to build or maintain a vital sense of story progression, and to keeping your story perpetually engaging.
• “Thank you so much for everything…and for your talk with the producers. We all really appreciate your support of the film (and my previous film) and all of the exposure it will receive through Moondance and the award! It’s a great honor. Thank you!!” ~ Jeannie Donohoe, director: (“GAME” won the 2017 Moondance, and her “LAMBING SEASON” is another previous Moondance Winner)
• “I want you to know that I have huge respect for your film festival and I’m so grateful for the selection of my film. I’m so supportive of your mission as a festival and want to contribute, if possible, even if in some small way.” ~ Jenna Cavelle, director, “OPEN SEASON” a Moondance 2017 winning short narrative film.
“We are truly honored, especially given the reputation and prestige of the Moondance international film Festival and its wonderful mission of peaceful resolution and unity. Thank you again so much for your support and encouragement.” ~ Kemmy Moran, director, web series pilot 2017 winner, “Beverly Hills Ghost”
THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed individuals can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead
” “A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest.” ~ Albert Einstein
Now there’s no more need to get dressed, drive to town, find parking, pay $12-15 for a movie ticket, buy expensive popcorn & a drink, sit in a theater to watch a movie, then drive home…maybe pay the babysitter…because at Moondance, you can enjoy watching all of our fabulous, award-winning indie films online, any time, anywhere, on your desktop, laptop, or on any of your mobile devices! And these are the top indie films by super-talented filmmakers from around the world. You might never get to see these movies in a theatrical venue, otherwise!
Award-winning stories from Luxembourg, Iran & Italy!
THE PAST WE LIVE IN,short film, director: Jérôme Weber (Luxembourg) 15 minutes. Félix celebrates his 92nd birthday in the company of his family, as his past catches up with him. “The Past We Live In” is the story of a former forcibly recruited WWII soldier, who now suffers from dementia and relives an emotional wartime friendship by confusing his 7-year old nephew with an old friend from the second World War.
WEAVERS OF IMAGINATION, short multi-award-winning documentary film, directors: Sadegh Jafari & Marziyeh Vaziri (Iran) 21 minutes. This is the story of a group of talented blind men and women who weave intricate Persian carpets by using Braille. Weaving carpets requires precision and sight and it is difficult even for the sighted people. These unsighted people wish that there was a place where the sighted people did not bother & ridicule them, they would have more respect for their work, and a better life.
PARSIEN (LIMIT)(RATED R), short film, director: Javad Daraei (Iran) 8 minutes. A lonely man in a quiet village neighborhood asks for help from people he sees passing by, until someone suddenly enters his home…
FEAR, LOVE & A LITTLE RED CAR, feature film, directors: Salvo Campisano, Filippo Arlotta (Italy) 93 minutes. This film (sub-titled 90BPM) also won the 2017 Moondance for Best Actor (Salvo Campisano), Best Film Score (Alexander Cimini) & Best Supporting Actor (Lucia Fossi). This is an intense, beautifully filmed dark comedy story that will surprise and thrill you until the last frame. Start the countdown! A tiny red car drives off with a screech of tires, and a man begins his run to catch it. During the chase, the man finds himself involved in a series of very strange encounters with a diverse cast of odd characters who will help him in his struggle to achieve self. Time passes, the red car is always farther away. What will happen at the end of the countdown ?
Feature documentary film, directed by Michael M. Conti (USA)
Discover why Saint Hildegard is considered to be the patron saint of creativity, and about her continued impact today. This 12th-century abbess became famous as a Christian Mystic and visionary, as well as a musical composer and writer, and whose natural medicine is still practiced in Europe today. Saint Hildegard is venerated around the world for her widely recognized impact on today’s theologians, artists, musicians, the medical profession, and educators. The film is an homage to her, but is also a call to all of us, to listen, to still ourselves and to heed the call of our souls and whatever unruly messages exist within. The filmmaker traveled internationally to capture many of the stories you will see in this beautifully visual, memorable and inspiring film. The film evokes a calling: that sweet spot of creativity that we all yearn to discover and utilize, an inherent desire, which is also deeply spiritual in nature. (65 Minutes) Available in English, German, Spanish and Japanese
TEHRAN, Nov. 05 (MNA) – Iranian documentary ‘Weavers of Imagination’, directed by veteran Iranian documentarian Seyyed Mohammad Sadegh Jafari grabbed the best foreign language doc. film award in Cardiff International Film Festival. Moreover being nominated at the second edition of Italian Social and Industrial Film Awards, Weavers of Imagination had earlier been announced as the winner of best documentary film at US Moondance Festival and India’s International Festival (Lifft India). Mehr News
MANY THANKS TO THE 2017 MOONDANCE
SCREENPLAY READERS, JUDGES & FEEDBACK WRITERS!
Phil Pritchard, Alexandria Billings & Olga Rojer
And much appreciation to the rest of the 2017 Moondance Team:
Michael Conti, Chris Anastasiadis & Vittoria Colonna
WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE TO BE A WOMAN IN HOLLYWOOD
What we see in movies matters: it affects our hobbies, our career choices, our emotions and even our identities. Right now, we don’t see enough women on screen or behind the camera — but waiting for Hollywood to grow a conscience isn’t going to fix the problem, says Naomi McDougall Jones. Join forces with her as she outlines her four-point plan for a total representation revolution in Hollywood.WATCH HERE: TED TALKS
GEENA DAVIS: THIS IS A WATERSHED MOMENT IN HOLLYWOOD
Sexism has been “entrenched” in Hollywood since its inception, but the industry has hit a turning point as men join women in their outrage over recent allegations of rampant sexual harassment and assault, says Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis. “I do think this is a watershed moment and what’s going to be different about it now is not just women supporting women. It’s that men needed to become involved…So that is what will make the difference. We can’t just talk amongst ourselves and fix it. We have to have partners,” Davis said.
SEXISM IN HOLLYWOOD
Where are all the women and girls in film? Social scientist Stacy Smith analyzes how the media under-represents and portrays women — and the potentially destructive effects those portrayals have on viewers. She shares hard data behind gender bias in Hollywood, where on-screen males outnumber females three to one (and behind-the-camera workers fare even worse.)WATCH HERE: TED TALKS
Brave Enough to Be Angry
NYT Opinion by Lindy West, Nov. 8, 2017
Not only are women expected to weather sexual violence, intimate partner violence, workplace discrimination, institutional subordination, the expectation of free domestic labor, the blame for our own victimization, and all the subtler, invisible cuts that undermine us daily, we are not even allowed to be angry about it. We are expected to keep quiet about the men who prey upon us, as though their predation was our choice, not theirs We are expected to not complain as we are diminished, degraded and discredited. Feminism is the collective manifestation of female anger. They suppress our anger for a reason. Let’s prove them right. (Excepts) READ MOREHERE
A MOONDANCER SPEAKS UP
THE DOLPHIN’S CALL
by Leotien Parlevliet, Netherlands
Behind their seeming smile, the dolphins call desperately: ¨Mother Earth is at stake¨. Once the forests are burning, the seas and oceans poisoned, most species wiped out, the bees gone, fertile soils changed into sandy plains and the birds stop singing. Once all these sounds die out and a dead silence falls, there’s no turning back, as a copy simply can’t be made. The dolphin’s call is loud and clear, and can no longer be denied. This cannot go on. Take action now and join our fight!
A SKYTRIBE CHRONICLE,Short multi-media Film, Director, Greg Lauer, (USA) 15 minutes. Director’s statement: Director’s statement: “I was flying high on a very successful art career, my paintings selling well, living the artist’s dream in Boulder, Colorado. Filled with daring and replete with connections, I moved to California to hit it big. I did not. Eight months later, after a complete failure-to-launch, and the utter inability to paint, I admitted defeat and let go of my artistic dreams and aspirations. Clawing my way back to Colorado, trying to escape the nightmare of California, my vehicle broke down twice on the Nevada border and I gave up. Out of the ashes of self-defeat, stranded in café in the desert, a mysterious event occurred, by which the following 20 years of art-making were completely inspired.”
LE PASSÉ DEVANT NOUS (PAST IMPERFECT),feature film, director: Nathalie Teirlinck (Belgium) 110 minutes. When Alice’s ex-boyfriend dies in a car accident, she’s unexpectedly confronted with her six-year-old son, whom she had abandoned at birth. His presence not only threatens her routine existence as a high-priced escort but also exposes strongly suppressed emotions. Doubt strikes again. Will she be able to be a mother, this time? *This film seems to be the 2017 Audience Favorite, based on number of plays on Vimeo!
THINK FAST, short film, director: Bridget Stokes (US) 12 minutes. The film tells the story of a powerful woman, constantly surrounded by oppositional forces, who manages to dig deep and find the grit it takes to persevere. But what happens when everything you’ve worked for is suddenly ripped apart by a ringing phone? In Sara Wagner’s case, all hell breaks loose. Then RING! Sara answers, but It’s a desperate Wrong Number Caller who misdialed a suicide hotline! A ready-to-jump teen on speaker, and a ticking clock. It’s now or never, if Sara must save a life to save her career, and she’s got to THINK FAST!
ORIGIN, feature documentary film, director: Mary Jo Ramsey-Smith (USA) 57 minutes. Exploring the perils of the ever-expanding human presence on the planet. Seeking transformative ways to change the way we think/speak/act toward one another … and this world. ORIGIN is an exploration based on the work of philosopher Jean Gebser in The Ever-Present Origin.
TEHRAN, Oct. 11 (MNA) – Iranian 3D animated piece ‘Light Sight’ directed by Moslem Tabatabaee has won eight international awards from its recent screenings in festivals in UK, US, India, and Bosnia. The 3D animation also scooped best animation awards at the 18th Moondance International Film Festival on Sep. 15 in the US.(Mehr News, Iran)
JAN STANTON’S THINK FAST TO BE FEATURED ENTRY IN 13TH ANNUAL LA FEMME FILM FESTIVAL
THINK FAST, a “will she-won’t she” black comedy about a driven businesswoman who must choose to either hang-up on a wrong-number suicidal hotline caller — or commit career suicide by missing a deal deadline, will be a featured short at the 13th Annual LA Femme International Film Festival in downtown Los Angeles, Oct. 19-22. Written and executive produced by Jan Stanton and directed by Bridget Stokes, THINK FAST had its L.A. premiere at LA Shorts International Film Festival earlier this year, and also competed at the Vail Film Festival; it has also been selected for theSILICON VALLEYInternational Film Festival in December. The film won an award at the Moondance Film Festival and is about to premiere in Australia at the Sydney Indie Film Festival.(BroadwayWorld)
* Click on the book cover to read more & purchase
The updated and revised third edition provides new insights and observations from Christopher Vogler’s ongoing work on mythology’s influence on stories, movies, and humanity itself. The previous two editions of this book have sold over 180,000 units, making this book a ‘classic’ for screenwriters, writers, filmmakers, and novelists.
* Click on the book cover to read more & purchase
~ Make Films that Transform the World! ~
Industry veteran Jon Fitzgerald has developed a new manual for making socially activist films on a low budget, from concept development through production, from marketing through distribution. In straightforward sections, with descriptive breakdowns for each category, the book presents a new paradigm for social impact filmmaking in the modern age ― including case studies on numerous films and advice from industry professionals on each topic.
THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY:
“Freedom” by Zenos Frudakis
“I am not what happened to me; I am what I choose to become.” ~ Carl Jung
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”~ Anaïs Nin
THE DIRTY DOZEN
There are, and have been for generations, many, too many, Harvey Weinsteins in the world, and not just in Hollywood, of course. People who are guilty of rampant sexual harassment, abuse and threats against women & girls; but men and boys need to speak up more, too. Take a hard look at the plethora of news reports from just these 12 industries for a disgusting sample of the kinds of unacceptable treatment victims have been subjected to, (and fearful of speaking up about), in the US and internationally:
“What was previously accepted is now untenable to anyone of a certain consciousness.” ~ Quentin Tarantino
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