Stardust & Moonbeams at Chandler International Film Festival

Stardust & Moonbeams at Chandler International Film Festival, Southwest Premiere of Award-Winning Story of Female Empowerment. Written, Directed, Shot, Produced, Edited, Composed, Based on Novel by Women.

Female empowerment takes center stage in the provocative short film Stardust & Moonbeams, which has its Southwest premiere on Saturday, January 19, in the “Best Woman Filmmakers” program at Chandler International Film Festival.

Based on the novel Stardust & Moonbeams (forthcoming, BZB Publishing, Tucson), written by Madelyn Ritrosky, PhD, and Dena Huisman, PhD, the short is produced and written by Ritrosky and touts an award-winning production team. The female-led team includes director/co-editor Terri Farley-Teruel as well as ASC award-winning cinematographer and cinematic pioneer Nancy Schreiber. In the middle of its festival run, the short has played eleven festivals, earned five award nominations, and won a best message award. The film pays homage to and posthumously credits composer Rosella Smeltzer, never credited for her achievements in the male-dominated music business of the 1930s and ’40s.

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Set at the end of the Jazz Age, Stardust & Moonbeams (novel and film) tells a story of inspiration and female empowerment amidst the newly burgeoning sexual revolution.

Beth is tired of seeing only male viewpoints everywhere she looks. Female nudes don’t cut it for her. Focusing her photographic eye on her husband, it’s lights, camera, lose your clothes, Will – the very antithesis of traditional nude artistry. Taking their artistic advocacy for sexual equality another step, they have a cocktail-party surprise for their friends. Cary, Janet, Matt, and Cherilyn get to be a test audience. Potentially scandalous images of male nudity taken by a female photographer turns the tables on cultural norms, leading to lively discussion that resonates today.
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The production team includes award-winning director Terri Farley-Teruel, recipient of 13 film festival awards; cinematography by Nancy Schreiber, nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and the first woman to receive the ASC President’s Award; executive producer and screenwriter Madelyn Ritrosky, contributing reporter for Tucson-based Entertainment Magazine and co-author of the Stardust & Moonbeams novel. Filmmakers Kalynn Huffman Brower and Jo Throckmorton are producers. The film features songs from the era by songwriter Rosella Smeltzer, who is credited posthumously in honor of her lifelong dedication to composing music. Stardust & Moonbeams is pleased to showcase Smeltzer’s first music credits.

Stardust & Moonbeams was shot in Bloomington, Indiana, at Farmer House Museum, which features works of local artists in its Bellevue Gallery and is dedicated to the preservation and cultural memory of the area.

To learn more about the film, visit

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Press Contact and Interview Availabilities:
Writer/producer/author Madelyn Ritrosky
[email protected]

Read more about Stardust & Moonbeams.

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