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Neanderthals, flash mobs and aliens in flying saucers are just a few of the features of the 12th annual Moondance International Film Festival.
This year’s festival will be held from Sept. 16-18 and screens films from 11 a.m. to midnight. It features dozens of film screenings on the CU campus in Old Main Theater and Fiske Planetarium. Films come from more than 80 countries across several continents. Selected pieces are chosen for their quality and were created by people of all ages.
Elizabeth English, who is currently the executive director and art director of Moondance, founded the independent organization in 1999. English is a filmmaker, screenwriter, composer and theater director who started Moondance as a way to open people up to other cultures and world issues.
“Through film and television and music, you can actually teach people something or show them something or encourage them to action,” said English. “I started it because I wanted to make a difference.”
She said she also used this festival as a means to make women’s voices heard in a male-dominated film industry.
“That was my first goal,” she said. “For women to be represented in film and television and music. I want their stories out there. They need to be told.”
By telling these stories, Moondance has helped open doors for people of all ages, races, classes and genders. Screenwriters, filmmakers and composers alike submit their work to a rigorous selection process, where only the best of the best are chosen to exhibit their talents at the annual festival.
Some participants who got their start at Moondance have gone on to win Oscars and Grammys. English discovered blues artist, Otis Taylor, playing his guitar on the Pearl Street Mall years ago. She offered him a spot in her festival and it was there that he met his first agent. Taylor has gone on to earn four W.C. Handy Award nominations, as well as winning the award for “Best New Artist Debut.”
“It’s been a real eye-opener and I’m amazed at the talent,” English said of running Moondance.
In addition to film screenings, which are all followed by a question and answer session with the director, Moondance includes workshops on how to get an agent, how to deal with story analysts and how to write successful titles. There are also networking parties where attendees are introduced to professional filmmakers and agents.
At the end of the three-day event, an awards ceremony will be held to recognize the best films, screenplays and music. Visit the Moondance International Film Festival website for a complete listing of film screenings, events, and ticket prices.
Contact CU Independent staff writer Natalie Proulx at email@example.com.