Mermaid figurehead by Jan Reichard

Mermaid figurehead by Jan Reichard




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


 *These deadlines are postmark or received digitally, or via email attachment, NOT the date submitted by!

 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:

Moondance International Film Festival dates:

September 7th & 8th, 2015

(US Labor Day Holiday)

Hotel Boulderado, Boulder, Colorado USA

 Check out the website for more info:




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 Moondance International Film Festival is well known for offering the best venue to raise awareness of social issues through films and showcasing talented international independent social impact filmmakers’ works to audiences. We believe that your organization has a very good potential to share this important message to our global audiences who love social impact films as well as support social and environmental change.” ~ Michelle Lam, Founder of a WebTV on-demand startup that focuses on streaming independent films, music, TV shows and sports.




By Elizabeth English


“A good writer needs to know what it’s like, and “it” can be just about anything. We have far too many writers today who have never ridden a horse, or fired a gun, or sharpened a knife, or fought with their fists, or been shot at. And so on and so on.” ~ Gene Wolfe, science fiction & fantasy writer, interview in a Barnes & Noble book review.

“Write what you know” is the vital, traditional message for all fiction and non-fiction writers, screenwriters, television writers, playwrights and journalists. You need to know the details, the visuals, the emotions, the reactions to events, and the totality of the experience, in order to write coherently about a subject, and action, a character and his or her dialog, and for your reader, or audience to relate to the story, the character and the action.

If you don’t know much, or very little, about a subject, do deep research, learn about it from others, ask an expert, read about it online or in books, go experience it yourself, pay attention as you go through your daily life, listen and look, remember what you’ve seen, heard, learned and experienced, then use it in your writing. It’s a vital element of your “job” as a writer. You would never be hired by any company if you didn’t know anything about the job and had no experience in the work required!

Expand your knowledge and your experiences beyond television, movies, even books, your home or workplace, neighborhood, town or state, or country, your computer, your smart-phone, Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube & so on. Go on out there and see the world, watch and listen to other people, experience other events than the usual. Learn to tango, ride a horse, go to a rodeo, learn to cook a foreign dish, give a themed party, go for a long hike in the woods, join a political group, plant an organic garden, take a train ride, go hiking in the woods, attend a concert or stageplay.

Build a snow sculpture or sand castle, surf the waves, swim with wild dolphins, visit with the elderly in a nursing home, practice yoga, learn to meditate, shop at a farmer’s market, volunteer to work with an environmental group or peace activists, go SCUBA-diving, attend a lecture, get involved in a political campaign, go to a museum or an art gallery, study improv acting, travel to a foreign country, play hide-and-seek with a child, listen to teenagers to learn their lingo, sit in on an Al-Anon meeting, volunteer at a hospital, sign on as an extra in a local indie film shoot, pick apples from a tree, chat with some homeless folks, go on an archaeological expedition, and, above all, pay close attention to the people and the real world around you, and remember and use your past, discover your roots. Don’t just rely on movies, TV, social media and the Internet for your writing ideas…that’s not necessarily real life!


Screenwriters absolutely need to know how movies are made, what goes into the project, the budget considerations, and how and why scripts are selected by agents, investors, producers, directors and actors. When deciding upon a location for your story, consider how that location or those locations will affect the success of the film. You also need to know what story, style and subject matter different potential clients want to see. A script is merely a story, a blueprint for a film. Imagine an architect designing a building properly, if he or she knows nothing at all about what the client wants, the details, the budget, and how the blueprint is ultimately selected by the client, is paid for and built by the contractors!

To learn how and why a script is selected and made into a movie, a TV show, or a stageplay, you can volunteer to work as an intern at a production company. Read scripts that have been rejected or won at film festivals and competitions, rejected or successfully produced by a production company or studio, and pay attention to why they work or don’t work. You can audition for a part in a film, television or theatrical show, even as an extra, or apply for work on the crew. Direct your own short film. Take note of all the credits at the end of successful films to see how very many people work on a film (and need to be paid!). Attend professional workshops and seminars on writing and filmmaking. Networking & making valuable connections is another very important method of learning about the film business from all aspects, and for getting your work and talents noticed.

Screenplays pile

Most importantly, keep writing and experiencing as many aspects of life as you can! Write in different genres to expand your knowledge and talents. Are you a writer of drama? Write a great comedy! Romance writer? Write a scary mystery or an action story. Sci-fi writer? Write a contemporary romance or drama. Have at least 3 to 5 completed, edited and polished screenplays to show. Create fabulous loglines and one-page synopses for all of them. And get a good agent or manager.



Catori Crawford, 2014 Moondance Best Actor Award

Catori Crawford, 2014 Moondance Best Actor Award






Norm Strassner

Norm Strassner

Norm is very enthusiastic about developing the Moondance website and actively supports the festival’s mission & goals.  Strassner Web & Video creates websites and produces professional videos, since opening in 1999.  Owner Norm Strassner spent nearly two decades in the Hollywood television production community as a Directors Guild member and editor for popular TV shows such as Entertainment Tonight and Real People, as well as for CBS, NBC and Paramount Pictures, among others.  Norm uses his programming talents to create a very successful line of broadcast-quality video editing systems, Strassner Editing Systems.  He now applies all these skills to producing “Moving Pictures, Compelling Stories and Dynamic Websites”.  Check out his portfolio of websites and videos, along with client testimonials, at




Dr. Linda Seger

Dr. Linda Seger

Linda Seger created the script consulting profession in 1981 and is considered one of the foremost script consultants and screenplay coaches in the world today.

She is the most prolific author on the subject of screenwriting with 9 books and is known world-wide as one of the best experts in the field of award-winning screenwriting. Linda has consulted on over 100 produced feature films, television shows, and stage plays, and her clients have won numerous awards, including Academy Awards, awards from numerous film festivals, as well as having major box-office hits. She has lectured on screenwriting in 33 countries on all 6 continents, her books on screenwriting are best-sellers, and she is a regular and very popular Moondance Film Festival workshop presenter, consultant & supporter.

Linda’s clients include writers, directors, producers, executives and production companies, in film, television, and theater. They range from beginners to Academy Award winners such as Peter Jackson and William Kelley. One of her clients, Ray Bradbury, called her technique, “a light to see by.” To discuss a script project, seminar or keynote speaking opportunity, please contact Linda. To read more about Linda’s popular, best-selling screenwriting books and her background, please click here.


agnès films

~ a community of women filmmakers ~

Sophia Coppola

Sophia Coppola is named in honor of Agnès Varda, the French filmmaker who has been making women-centered fiction films and documentaries for over 50 years. Varda, in spite of the high quality of her work, remains an obscure figure to mainstream audiences around the world. This is not surprising, since the film industry is not always supportive of women who want to work behind — as opposed to in front of — the camera. In an effort to provide support to emerging and established women filmmakers, our site aims to do the following:

  • Foster a community of women filmmakers, scholars, instructors who teach film and filmmaking, and film lovers who support each other. 
  • Shed light on the work of talented and committed women filmmakers working today.
  • Help women not trained in cinematic techniques be able to tell stories in this powerful medium.

Consider becoming a member (it’s free) and visit our contribution guidelines to learn about ways in which you can get involved with agnès films.




“Prejudices are rarely overcome by arguments and wars; not being founded in reason, they cannot be destroyed by logic.” ~ Tryon Edwards



“Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.” ~ Demosthenes



“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” ~ John F. Kennedy


"Analia", Paraguay, photo by Britt Newell

“Analia”, Paraguay, photo by Britt Newell

“For man(kind), as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive.” ~ D. H. Lawrence



“Few are those whose contribution to humanity — be it art, or music, or literature, or some other enchantment — fills the heart with uncontainable gratitude for their very existence, be it intellectually, creatively, spiritually, of paying compassionate attention, or making a supreme art of bearing witness to our world. “ ~ Maria Popova, Brain Pickings blog


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