Childlike yet sophisticated.

A fairytale set in ancient times with a modern message.

Made in China for a global audience.

An indie film with a big-budget look.

When indie director and veteran Hollywood cinematographer Richard Bowen discovered that the Cinderella story most of us associate with Disney or Grimm’s Fairytales had in fact originated in China in 768 AD, he was living in Beijing with his wife and adopted daughters. They’d moved there to help build up their burgeoning nonprofit, Half the Sky, an NGO that benefits Chinese orphans.

Bowen was so intrigued that the world’s quintessential orphan story originated from this place and was connected to a social issue he was bound to so personally that he hunted down the original text from a dusty antiquities museum, had it translated, and began writing a screenplay adaptation in the style of magic realism.

Filmed on location throughout China’s Yunnan province, a place known as “Shangri-La” or paradise on earth, Cinderella Moon makes an ancient fairy tale world come to life and reveals — in a way that a cartoon Cinderella never could — the magic that is possible underneath our everyday reality.


In a recent article in Time magazine, a writer laments the loss of true fairy tales in movies. These days, he argues, films such as Shrek and Hoodwinked are working so hard to rebel against traditional fairy tales that they’ve gone too much in the opposite direction — toward snark, irony, and an adult knowingness.

But where’s the enchantment? “Is there room,” the writer wonders, “for an original, non-parodic fairy story that’s earnest without being cloying, that’s enlightened without saying wonder is for suckers?”

Marrying art-house aesthetics with a girl-power message and family-friendly content, Cinderella Moon intends to find out.


We hope you enjoy this website, but what we really want is for you to enjoy the film…. and give you an opportunity do some good at the same time!  For a limited time, the producers are making DVD and BLU-RAY discs available for purchase exclusively on Half the Sky Foundation’s website.

One half of all proceeds from Cinderella Moon sales made through Half the Sky will be spent by the foundation to create as many real-life Cinderella stories as possible inside Chinese orphanages.

Watching Cinderella Moon purchased through Half the Sky isn’t about “making a donation” or hoping a film’s “someday profits” might do good “someday.”  It’s about directly helping a real-life child right now to overcome hardship and reach her true potential, while enjoying the ancient Chinese roots of a story you thought you knew…

…a story about an orphaned girl, born into a family-based world that only values boys, who eventually reaches her true potential (hint: it’s way beyond Prince Charming!) 

If you like what you find here, and especially if you watch the film and enjoy it, we hope you’ll spread the word.  You can like us on Facebook, check out our Youtube channel,  and invite your friends to do the same.

And who knows?  By staying true to its roots (inspired by the orphaned girls of Half the Sky) Cinderella Moon might well become a Cinderella story itself!