Don’t delay! Send in your 2018 submissions to Moondance now! Beat the crowd!
THE REALLY BIG NEWS #1: MOONDANCE WINNING AND SELECTED FILMS FOR 2018 WILL BE SCREENED, SEPTEMBER 21 & 22, IN A BEAUTIFUL THEATRICAL VENUE: THE MAIN SANCTUARY OF THE HISTORIC UNITY CHURCH OF OAK PARK, ILLINOIS! Oak Park has the distinction of being the former homes of Ernest Hemingway, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and other well-known creative people, such as Richard Bach, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and John Sturges, filmmaker (The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape), as well as the notorious Sam Giancana, mafia crime boss.
Oak Park is only 8 minutes by train to the great city of Chicago!
BIG NEWS #2: WE HAVE EXTENDED THE SUBMISSIONS PERIOD TO JULY 31ST! THE WINNING SUBMISSIONS IN ALL CATEGORIES WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN MID-AUGUST AND WINNING & SELECTED FILMS WILL BE SCREENED SEPTEMBER 21st & 22nd. PLAN TO ATTEND THE 2018 MOONDANCE TO SEE THE FILMS!
Submissions closing date: July 31st
CATEGORIES: FEATURE, SHORT, DOCUMENTARY, ANIMATION & DRONE FILMS, FEATURE & SHORT SCREENPLAYS, MUSIC VIDEOS, FILM SCORES & ORIGINAL MUSIC, STAGE PLAYS, SHORT STORIES, TV PILOTS, WORKS BY & FOR KIDS, AND MORE!
Thank you for watching our winning films & supporting the Moondance!
SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Photo by Atmo, Wildquest.com
Swimming with the wild dolphins underwater is an unforgettable experience. It’s a moment where past meets future. The moment of Now. Being a guest in their world is a humbling experience and when they choose to connect with us our hearts are filled with unconditional love. Its a moment of bliss. Dolphin Bliss.
Big Change #1: Moondance winning and selected films for 2018 will be screened in a local theatrical venue. (We just weren’t happy with the films being online on Vimeo in 2017.)
Big Change #2: We have extended the submissions period a month to July 31st! The winning submissions in all categories will be announced in mid-August and winning & selected films will be screened in late September.
Don’t miss reading all the great filmmaking & writing articles written by the pros exclusively for Moondance. 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!
GreenWave is an ocean farmer and fisherman-run organization dedicated to building a new blue-green economy that creates jobs, mitigates climate change and grows healthy food for local communities. GreenWave’s 3D Ocean Farming model was named as one of the 25 Best Inventions of 2017 by TIME Magazine, and GreenWave’s Founder, Bren Smith, was named one of 25 People Shaping the Future by Rolling Stone. “This is only the beginning. There are 10,000 edible plants in the ocean.” Underwater vertical farming may become the future of food, thanks to commercial fisherman Bren Smith, who invented a sustainable way to produce seafood. Learn more about the project in this VIDEO:
PANGOLINS ARE THE MOST ILLEGALLY TRADED MAMMAL IN THE WORLD. WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?
Pangolins are the only mammals that are covered in scales. Pangolin scales are made of keratin, just like our finger nails, and make up 20 % of their body weight. When it is threatened, a pangolin will curl itself into a tight ball, which is impenetrable to predators. This unique mammal can consume up to 20,000 ants a day. That’s about 73 million ants a year! Pangolins can close their ears and nostrils using strong muscles to protect them from ant attacks.
They have long, sticky tongues, which are often longer than their body and attached near its pelvis and last pair of ribs. If a pangolin fully extends its tongue, it is longer than the animal’s head and body! Pangolins are hunted for meat, for use in traditional medicine, as pets, and as fashion accessories.
Pangolins are difficult to maintain without expert care and thus rarely survive in captivity. It is crucial that conservation efforts focus on the areas where pangolins are being hunted, to stop their removal from the wild.
Being fearless, Moondance is where monotonous conformity is considered mediocrity, and extravagant individualism, innovation, uniqueness and experimentation is encouraged, awarded and applauded!
We look forward to previewing your submissions!
RULES FOR THE BLUES
Most Blues begin, “Woke up this mornin’…”
Iconic blues musician, Howlin’ Wolf
Blues cars: Chevys and Cadillacs and broken down trucks. Blues don’t travel in Volvos, BMWs, or Sport Utility Vehicles. Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Jet aircraft and state-sponsored motor pools ain’t even in the running. Walkin’ plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin’ to die.
Teenagers can’t sing the Blues. They ain’t fixin’ to die yet. Adults sing the Blues. In Blues, adulthood means being old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.
Blues can take place in New York City, but not in Hawaii or any place in Canada. Hard times in St. Paul or Tucson is just depression. Chicago, St.Louis, and Kansas City still the best places to have the Blues. You cannot have the blues in any place that don’t get rain.
Breaking your leg ‘cuz you skiing is not the blues. Breaking your leg ‘cuz a’ alligator be chomping on it is. You cain’t have no Blues in a office or shopping mall. The lighting is wrong. Go outside in the back to sit by a dumpster.
Good places for the Blues: lonesome dirt road or highway, jailhouse, empty bed. Bad places: Ashrams, gallery openings, Ivy League institutions, golf courses
No one will believe it’s the Blues if you wear a suit, ‘less you happen to be a’ old black man, and you slept in it. Do you have the right to sing the Blues? Yes, if: you’re older than dirt, you’re blind, you shot a man in Memphis, you can’t be satisfied. NO if: you have all your teeth, you were once blind but now can see, the man in Memphis lived, you have a retirement plan or trust fund.
Acceptable Blues beverages are: bad wine, bad whiskey or bad bourbon, moonshine, swamp water, black coffee. The following are NOT Blues beverages: mixed drinks, wine coolers, Snapple, mimosas, sparkling water.
If it occurs in a cheap motel, behind a dumpster, in a shotgun shack, or next to the train tracks, it’s a Blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to die. So is the electric chair, substance abuse, and dying lonely on a broken down cot. You can’t have a Blues death if you die during a tennis match, in a spa or hot-tub, or while getting liposuction.
Persons with names like Sierra, Sequoia, and Rainbow can’t sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.
I don’t care how tragic your life: if you own a computer or cell-phone, you cannot sing the blues. You best destroy it – with fire, a spilled bottle of Mad Dog, or get out a shotgun. Maybe your big woman just done sat on it.
Harry and Megan now have the titles of Duke of and Duchess of Sussex, a nod to the last Duke of Sussex, Prince Augustus Frederick, a son of King George III who supported the abolition of slavery and also backed civil rights for Jews and political dissidents.
“Barak and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others.” ~ Michelle Obama
“Keep throwing those darts at the dartboard. Don’t listen to the critics…” ~ Will Ferrell
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
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