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  • For your best chance to win, send in your entry early!

 See our submission categories HERE!

Read our submission guidelines HERE!

Entry Form HERE!

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

Moondance International Film Festival planned dates:

September 20, 21, 22,, 2015

 • Check out the website for more info:

 WEBSITE: www.moondancefilmfestival.com

NEWS-BLOG: www.moondancefilmfestival.com/blog

EMAIL: director@moondancefilmfestival.com

The Moondance International Film Festival is much more than an annual film festival! It 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.


Martin Luther (1483-1546) famously said (way, way before computers, cameras & the Internet were in use), “If you want to change the world, pick up a pen and write.”  And that’s exactly what we want to accomplish at the Moondance! We hope to change the world by inspiring universal stories and themes. Our ultimate goal is to connect talented writers, filmmakers & composers with industry insiders who can make dreams a reality.


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“Thelma & Louise” inspires film contest!


  • Filmmakers have a chance to create a sequel to or a short film inspired by “Thelma & Louise,” which stars Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon and is turning 25 this year. Sponsored by the Utah Film Commission and Zions Bank, winners will receive $5,000 and a screening at the next Sundance Film Festival Women’s Leadership Celebration. The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)
  • Brit Marling of Sundance TV’s “Babylon” believes female writers are helping turn the tide for women in Hollywood. “Watching Kristen Wiig and Lena Dunham and a lot of women take the reins and be like, ‘I’m not finding the characters that I need. I’m just going to sit down and write them,'” is bringing about the shift, Marling said while speaking on a panel at the Sundance Film Festival.



 “Moondance Is unique. It seems to vivify good things to everyone who comes into contact with it.  I simply mean its encouragement and open arms to creativity, across the globe, dazzles me with its generosity, chutzpah and reach. The award I won does indeed open doors! The Manhattan Theatre Club in New York, and the Geffen Theatre in L.A. both asked for submissions.  I am sure it was paid attention to because of your name and the festival’s impact.” ~ Gino Matteo, writer, Moondance 2014 winner for “Nellie”

“I’ve entered screenplays in your festival three or four times and it has been a blast!! Thanks for all the work you do to make it a rich experience.” ~ Jack Vendargriff, screenwriter

“Moondance is a personal first choice of mine, since your festival is so intimate and has such a great reputation for quality!” ~ Marlane Barnes, filmmaker



Downton Abbey

For all you “Downton Abbey” fans, here’s a clever, wry & fun spoof on the show, played by many of the regular cast members:




“Watch this Oscar® award-winning short animation video, Disney’s Paperman.  It’s a 5-minute masterpiece with a powerful theme that offers the choice: Push papers or let our dreams take flight.” ~ Michael Maurer, writer-producer.com 




“It is by believing in roses that one brings them to blossom.” ~ French Proverb



“To one in whom love dwells, the whole world is but one family.” ~ Buddha



“Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.” ~ Sydney Harris


Two GREEK chairs

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” ~ Winston Churchill



  • Please forward this news-blog to your creative artist colleagues!



WEBSITE: www.moondancefilmfestival.com


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What Agents Want (and Don’t Want) to See

By Elizabeth English*

First, call or write to literary agents who are listed as being willing to look at unsolicited screenplays. Do not send a script unless you are invited to do so!

How to find listed agents:

  • The Hollywood Creative Directory’s Agent/Management directory
  • Writers Digest
  • Writers Guild of America (East & West)

Guidelines for getting an agent:

  1. Write killer titles, loglines and one-sheet synopses for the all the scripts you want to submit to agents.
  1. Write up a one-sheet document with titles and loglines of all your completed screenplays. You may be asked to send these before sending in a screenplay.
  1. Presentation of script: be sure to have a plain cardstock cover, front and back; a title page with all your contact info; three-hole punch white paper; two solid-brass brads in the top and bottom hole.
  1. “Attachments”, in the form of actors, director, producer, and most importantly: money, to your project, will always help get almost any agent interested. Mention this, if applicable, in your cover letter. These days, however, most agents only want to see submissions as attachments via email. Be sure to have a great cover letter with your contact info and with the script attachment.
  1. Have more than one screenplay completed. At least three of your best screenplays need to be ready to go, when and if requested.
  1. In your initial phone call or e-mail, try to find out what genre of story that agent is looking for, at the moment. Agents generally know exactly what the buyers want to see, and will usually only request those genres. But needs change all the time, and at a moment’s notice, so let them know what you have, even if they’re not looking for that at the time of your call.
  1. Story: This is the first thing agents look at, when considering whether to read your script or not. Unique story, well-told.
  1. Writing ability and style. Everything depends on this.
  1. Dialog: your ability to write good, memorable and believable dialog is paramount.
  1. Format and structure: in submitting your work to an agent, you should be sure the script is in proper format and structure. There are many books and online articles on these vital subjects. Edit every word of the script with a fine-toothed comb, and correct all spelling, punctuation and syntax errors.
  1. Budget: yes, a screenwriter needs to know about this. Many buyers are looking for specific subjects with very specific production budgets. Currently, a low-budget feature film will be $10-20 million, for example. If your script requires action scenes and/or CGI graphics, double that figure.
  1. If you know The Business at all, make the agent aware of this, so he or she will know you are a professional.
  1. Let the prospective agent know you are open to re-writes and edits of your scripts. You will almost always be asked to do re-writes, sometimes “on spec”, so prepare yourself mentally and be agreeable to it.
  1. Be willing and able to pitch your screenplay to production companies and studios, with the agent, in person. If you live far from L.A., let the agent know you can arrange to go there for pitching appointments.
  1. Be friendly and easy-going, yet professional and self-confident. Hollywood, even though it’s a “snake-pit” at times, is run on connections and contacts. If they don’t like you, and don’t feel they can work with you, you don’t have a chance there.
  1. Be honest! Never, ever hype yourself or your script unless the information is absolutely provable. If you’ve won a contest with your script, let them know. And if you’ve been submitting your scripts around to everybody for years, and they ask, tell the truth. Production companies and studios keep lists of what has been submitted, and you don’t want to embarrass your new agent!

How to get “discovered”:

  • com is a good website to post your scripts on, to be seen by many agents, producers, and development company executives)
  • If you live in or near Los Angeles, attend parties and other events where Hollywood types will be.
  • Enter film festival competitions, and win!

What should an Agent do for you?

  • Send out your loglines and one sheet synopses, and scripts to Development Executives at production companies and studios
  • Give suggestions on potential edits and re-writes that may be needed to sell the script
  • Set up pitch sessions for you at production companies and studios
  • Get the best deal he or she can for you, above schedule of WGA minimums.
  • Encourage and inspire you to create new material and projects.

What agents DO NOT want to see:

  • A script sent to them “cold”, with no phone call, e-mail or letter first
  • A script that is too long (over 130 pages), or too short (under 90 pages)
  • A script that is bound incorrectly (no brads, no cover, no title page)
  • A script that is not formatted correctly & has grammatical and/or spelling errors
  • A cover letter that is more than one page long
  • A script that is mostly descriptions of people and locations, like a novel
  • A script with unrealistic or stilted/boring dialog
  • A script with more than 100 scenes (each scene costs money)
  • A script with a prospective production budget over that what is requested
  • A script that is not in the genre requested
  • A writer who calls or e-mails sooner than 2 weeks after the agent received the script
  • A writer who is unwilling to consider re-writes and edits
  • A script that has any typos, misspellings or poor syntax
  • A script without conflict in the plot and story-line
  • A script without interesting, memorable characters



  • Lew Hunter’s Screenwriting 434
  • Linda Seger’s How to Make a Good Screenplay Great
  • Linda Seger’s How to Make a Good Screenwriter Great
  • David Howard’s A Writer’s Guide to the Craft and Elements of a Screenplay

Books & Magazines:

  • Lew Hunter’s Screenwriting 434
  • Linda Seger’s How to Make a Good Screenplay Great
  • Linda Seger’s How to Make a Good Screenwriter Great
  • David Howard’s A Writer’s Guide to the Craft and Elements of a Screenplay
  • Creative Screenwriting
  • Scr(i)pt Magazine


  • Creative Screenwriting
  • Scr(i)pt Magazine


  • www.absolutewrite.com/
  • www.americanfilmfoundation.com
  • www.asascreenwriters.com
  • www.craftyscreenwriting.com
  • www.davetrottier.com
  • www.fadeinmag.com/
  • www.hollywoodnetwork.com
  • www.inktip.com
  • www.mermaid7seas.com
  • www.moviebytes.com
  • www.mwp.com/books/writing
  • www.ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/wcmartell/
  • www.screenplay.com/
  • www.screenstyle.com
  • www.ScreenTalk.biz
  • www.screenwriterstore.co.uk
  • www.ScreenwritersUtopia.com
  • www.ScriptForSale.com
  • www.scriptsales.com/DoneDLinks.htm
  • www.thestorycoach.com
  • www.wga.org
  • www.wordplayer.com
  • www.writersstore.com
  • writerswrite.com/screenwriting



Contact Elizabeth English at: mermaid7seas@gmail.com, with GET AN AGENT in the subject line. 



Moondance Recommends the Geena Davis Institute

Uncategorized by Elizabeth English

Screen Shot 2013-11-02 at 8.31.33 PM

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

Uncategorized by Elizabeth English


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.