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In the Land of Moonstones | Drama Short Film | New York City, NY

Moonstones BTS 0960
Nicola Rose, left, directs Natalie Keating and Rand McAvoy on set of “In the Land of Moonstones.” Photo © Elizabeth R. Mealey.


In the upcoming short film “In the Land of Moonstones,” there’s a scene between the 11-year-old main character and her grandmother. Our young heroine, having fallen in love for the first time, is heartbroken thinking her crush may not love her back. Her grandma, who is also her best friend, has an interesting take on the situation: It doesn’t matter, she says; having fallen in love is the only part that matters. You know what it’s like now. You’ll recognize it when it comes again.


Be that as it may, no love is quite like the first. It’s that jarring novelty, that thunder of new emotions, that drew me to this story. There’s something about first love that people always remember. Indeed, almost every person I tell about this film immediately recalls aloud their own first love, with a mixture of amusement and humiliation and glee. In other words, first love hits us in the guts. It continues to do so long after the actual feeling has passed. The objects of our affection, themselves, may be totally unmemorable — but we never forget what we felt like around them.


“Moonstones” isn’t just about first love. It’s about first loss. It’s about friendship between generations — in this case, between grandma and granddaughter. Most of all, it’s about figuring out who we are, as we navigate adolescence. Early adolescence is amazingly rich territory for a director. I found my 11-year-old protagonist’s emotional journey to be much more intense than an adult’s. The newness of her feelings, combined with this specific character’s sensitivity, allows her a clarity of observation that an older person might not have.


As of this writing (April 2018), “In the Land of Moonstones” is in post-production. My team and I shot the movie in New York between October 2017 and January 2018. The road remains long ahead for post-production and everything beyond. Toward that end, I’ve begun a fundraising campaign at Your donation to it will help me fund the following:


1. Post-production (editing, music, color, sound, and more)
2. Supplemental pay to the production crew


If for no other reason, visit the above link just to watch our campaign video. In it, you’ll meet our lead actors, 12-year-old Natalie Keating and Rand McAvoy, who brought such genuine depth and freshness to their characters, that I often forgot they were acting. It’s worth a watch just to hear their eloquent, thoughtful takes on their characters. Watch, enjoy — and contribute if you can. Even a dollar means the world to a tiny indie movie like this one.


I hope you’ll help me fund this film about first love, first loss, and friendship. It’s hard to think of themes more universal or relatable, and I’ve never been so eager to share a project with the world.


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