Moondance Founder & Executive Director
Founder & Executive Director, Elizabeth English: The Moondance International Film Festival, artistic director, films programmer, PR coordinator and blogger for the film festival, and president of the film jury. Ms. English is an environmental & social activist, award-winning feature screenwriter, television script writer, award-winning film director/producer (short narrative & documentary), improv acting coach, cartoonist, screenwriting workshops and seminars presenter, panelist, international event coordinator, artist, graphic designer, illustrator, researcher, editor, published award-winning fiction & non-fiction writer, screenplay & film editor, script, film & music consultant, story analyst, playwright, theatrical producer/director, set designer, costume designer, film & stage music score arranger, and lyricist.
MICHAEL M. CONTI
ONLINE FILM SCREENINGS COORDINATOR
Michael M. Conti, is a Boulder, Colorado-based filmmaker. He ran The Shoot Out 24 Hour Filmmaking Festival Boulder for nine years as executive director. Besides teaching as an adjunct professor in digital video editing and videography for 15 years, Michael also provides video services for corporate, government and spiritual clients around the country through his company, Michael Conti Productions LLC. His current filming passion has made him into an internationally-known artist with the release of his inspirational documentary, The Unruly Mystic: Saint Hildegard. The film premiered in Germany, and screened at Harvard Divinity School, Emory University, and other important venues. This film is a part of a three-part series, including The Unruly Mystic: John Muir, now touring the US to enthusiastic audience response with over 50 theatrical screenings. On a side note, in 2003, Michael worked as Co-director & Cinematographer with Director Elizabeth English, making LOSING JULIA, based upon her screenplay, and which premiered at the 2004 Moondance.
MOONDANCE FILMS JUDGING PANELIST
Phil Pritchard is an Actor, Director, Producer from the UK. After training in Acting & Directing in London he has worked in Theatre, Film, & TV. One particular highlight of his acting career was playing the title role in a film called ‘A Kitten For Hitler’ produced and directed by British Film director Ken Russell. On Stage he appeared in the West End in Sondheim’s ‘A Little Night Music’ which later transferred to Broadway, and more recently starred in the musical ‘BACKBEAT’ about the early days of The Beatles. He moved to the United States in 2012, has produced and directed film and theatre productions on both sides of the Atlantic, and is honored to be a judge of films at the Moondance International Film Festival.
MOONDANCE WRITTEN WORKS READER & FEEDBACK
After studying screenwriting at the University of Washington, Nick Zielinski began his entertainment career as an intern at The Late Show with David Letterman. Since then, he’s worked as a script reader and contest judge for several companies, including Epicenter Literary Management, Red Ampersand, The BlueCat Screenplay Competition, and others. Nick is originally from Seattle, and responds positively to stories about rain.
AUDIO/RADIO/PODCASTS SCRIPTS & PRODUCTIONS CONSULTANT
Six-time Spirit of Moondance Award winner in Audio Drama, Sable Jak has been writing, producing and occasionally acting in Audio Drama for a long time. She spent 12 years with the Jim French Productions, Inc. company in Seattle, WA and was considered a staff writer for the last 8 years there before the company closed due to Mr. French’s poor health. She finished her tenure there with a double-length “closed door” mystery and a 5-part serial for the company’s flagship series “Harry Nile.” In addition to audio dramas she wrote “Writing the Fantasy Film” for Michael Wiese Productions, Inc. and had a monthly column with Scr(i)pt magazines (many articles that can still be found on the web.)
Lawrence “Larry” Albert
AUDIO/RADIO/PODCASTS SCRIPTS & PRODUCTIONS CONSULTANT
Larry Albert’s career spans stage, screen and radio, in the capacities of acting, directing and writing, in addition to being a great audio drama script-doctor. He has acted in over 600 audio dramas and directed over 400. He worked at Jim French Productions for 20 years before the company closed due to Jim’s failing health. He played “Harry Nile” (Jim’s flagship character) for 14 years with the company, and continues to do so for new scripts being produced. Currently he can boast the accomplishment of being the one actor who has played Watson in Sherlock Holmes audio dramas longer than anyone else. He and actor John Patrick Lowrie (the longest running Sherlock) have teamed up to create Aural Vision Productions, LLC to continue producing commercial audio drama.
FILM JURY MEMBER, U.S.
Chris Anastasiadis, a native New Yorker, is a professional stills photographer, director, producer, editor, writer and music arranger, as well as a long-time indie and foreign-film aficionado. He is also an avid environmentalist and professional continental chef, graduating from the French Culinary Institute, under the internationally-acclaimed Chef Jacques Pepin.
PROFESSOR OLGA ROJER
FOREIGN-LANGUAGE WRITTEN WORKS JUDGE
Olga Rojer, a highly-rated and tenured professor of World Languages, Cultures, and Foreign Film at the prestigious American University in Washington, DC, is a published author on various international subjects, including the Dutch Caribbean. Professor Rojer has received a Pushcart Prize nomination for her translations. She is fluent in Dutch, Spanish, French, German, Papiamentu, and English, and is a valued reader/judge of foreign-language scripts and films submitted annually to the Moondance since 2000. Of Dutch nationality & heritage, she is also a Moondance winning feature screenwriter.
Los Angeles, California
Vittoria Colonna is an award winning writer, director and producer. Growing up between Ireland and Italy, Vittoria studied fine art painting in Rome’s L’Accademia di Belle Arti, trained as an Opera singer in Tuscany and then continued in the performing arts, completing her studies at the Gaiety school of Acting in Dublin 2004. Later she turned to directing where she found her niche. Her passion for directing has lead to numerous music video, documentary and fiction awards world wide, including her narrative fiction 4 BHANRÍON (4 Queens) picking up Best Short Narrative at Moondance Film Festival 2013 and her Oscar®-qualifying film SANDBOY, which was executive produced by Julian Lennon, and scooping the 2015 Moondance International Film Festival with Best Short Narrative, Best Film Score and Best Leading actress.
The Moondance International Film Festival, featuring its distinct cinematic visions and bold film selections, has distinguished itself around the world as much more than an annual film festival! The Moondance is a unique community, a supportive, productive, and creative year-round collaboration between independent filmmakers and movie audiences, between writers, composers and the world of top-quality filmed entertainment.
The secret to our international success and longevity can be directly attributed to upholding our founding principles, goals, integrity, values and mission. We continually strive to inspire talented filmmakers, writers, composers and audiences, locally and globally. Maintaining the Moondance reputation for top-quality indie films and productive networking, is always the first priority. Our valued sponsors, donors, supporters, friends of the Moondance, as well as our staff, team, volunteers, competition entrants, and audiences, are integral elements of our long-term success.