April 2005 Newsletter

MAD HOT BALLROOM
BREAKING NEWS - CANNES
LOCAL PRODUCTION
AT A THEATER NEAR YOU (Double Dare, Funny Ha Ha, A League of Ordinary Gentlemen)
STILL IN THEATERS (Assisted Living)
ON DVD (Acts of Worship, Blue Rodeo)
BOOKNOOK (Mission from Mars)
CALL FOR ENTRIES - 27TH ANNUAL IFP MARKET

WFF EARLY DEADLINE and SUMMER SCREENWRITING WORKSHOP ANNOUNCED

 


WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL PRESENTS MAD HOT BALLROOM

The Woodstock Film Festival invites parents, kids and anyone who enjoy independent film to a sneak preview benefit screening of Paramount Classics MAD HOT BALLROOM, April 30 at 1PM at the Tinker Street Cinema in Woodstock, NY. The film is directed by part time Hudson Valley resident, Marilyn Agrelo, and was line produced by Brian David Cange, another part time upstate resident, and 2003/04 WFF staffer. The filmmakers will present the film and be available for Q&A afterwards.

MAD HOT BALLROOM is an inspiring look inside the lives of New York City school kids on a journey into the world of ballroom dancing –  a new and unexpected arena where they discover home truths about  attitude, movement, style  and commitment. Told from the candid, sometimes hilarious perspective of the boys and girls themselves, the picture chronicles  their transformation from typical urban kids to “ladies and gentlemen,”  as their school  teams aim towards a final citywide competition. The film will be releases in selected theaters on May 13.

Tickets are available online at Mad Hot Ballroom tickets



Melissa Leo with
Sam Rockwell and Peter Riegert at
the 2004 Woodstock FIlm Festival

BREAKING NEWS

3 FILMS WITH LOCAL TIES HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED IN COMPETITION
at the prestigious CANNES FILM FESTIVAL, which runs May 11-22.

"The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada," U.S., Tommy Lee Jones features Hudson Valley actor Melissa Leo.

"Broken Flowers," France-U.S., is directed by part time upstater Jim Jarmusch and was edited locally in Kingston, NY.
(from 11/04 newsletter) Sharon Stone, Jessica Lange, Tilda Swinton and Chloe Sevigny recently starred alongside Bill Murray in director Jim Jarmusch's "Untitled Project." Filming took place in northern New Jersey and upstate New York. Local Actor/Director Larry Fessenden, who is in Iceland directing his follow-up to "Wendigo" got to punch Bill Murray out for several takes in his appearance as Will. The WFC set the filmmakers up with post production digs in Kingston,  NY so the entire film will be edited locally.

"Last Days," directed by Gus Van Sant, was shot in the Hudson Valley.
(from 11/04 newsletter) Gus Van Sant (“Elephant,” “Gerry,” “Good Will Hunting,” “Finding Forrester”) recently shot "Last Days," about Kurt Cobain entirely in the Peekskill area. "Last Days" will have a semi-documentary visual style and won't really offer any conclusions as to why a Cobain-like character (Michael Pitt) killed himself, although there will be plenty of hints and suggestions in this fictionalized setting.



Travis and Vincent set the scene

WOODSTOCK FILM COMMISSION NEWS

EARTH TO ANYONE.
Travis Satten and Vincent Peone, both Saugerties natives and student filmmakers attending the School of Visual Arts in NYC, recently produced “EARTH TO ANYONE” in the Hudson Valley. Locations included some exquisite historical settings for the story, which focuses on a bright young kid living on a farm in the 1960's who is fascinated with extraterrestrials. The film features Adam Rejto, Jill Knell, and Ray Wasik.

 The second day of production was delayed due to rain, which caused massive flooding in the upstate region.  Rescheduled for April 17, production took place at the historic Tack Tavern (circa 1710) in Stone Ridge, NY. The Tavern, which was purchased by Emily Crane in 1917 is a historic landmark that has hosted a variety of guests over the past 295 years including George Washington’s troops (the General slept across the street), Jacqueline Kennedy, Ernest Hemingway, and Lily Tomlin, among others.


AT A THEATER NEAR YOU

DOUBLE DARE
Winner of best documentary and best editing awards at the 2004 Woodstock Film Festival, DOUBLE DARE is being released theatrically this month by Balcony Releasing. The film opens in L.A. on April 22, N.Y. and Chicago on May 6, and Boston on May 13, followed by select cities around the country. Director Amanda Micheli, Stuntwomen Jeannie Epper and Zoë Bell and other "special guests" will appear in person opening night in L.A., N.Y., and Boston.  To see the trailer and complete schedule info, visit http://www.doubledarethemovie.com

DOUBLE DARE is a double-barreled, action-packed documentary about two Hollywood stuntwomen, Jeannie Epper and Zoë Bell. Jeannie, who refuses to retire at sixty-four, doubled for Wonder Woman in the 70's, and Zoë landed the coveted job of doubling for Xena at the age of eighteen. Director Amanda Micheli creates a bittersweet portrait of two dedicated women in male-dominated Tinseltown as they struggle to stay working, stay thin, and stay sane.


FUNNY HA HA

Andrew Bujalski’s FUNNY HA HA, which world premiered at the 2002 WFF, is being released theatrically on April 29 by Goodbye Cruel Releasing. In NYC, the film opens at Cinema Village April 29 (Andrew's birthday!).

Andrew, who won the prestigious 2004 IFP Someone to Watch Award for the film, will be doing a Q&A after the 7ish and the 9ish screenings. Times are not set. Visit Funny Ha Ha for updates. 

The feature narrative follows a twenty-three-year-old girl (Marnie) living alone in Boston. We join her as she ping-pongs between several awkward and ill-advised boy situations, all the while gamely attempting to maintain her humor and dignity.

The ONION called the film "Invigoratingly Original", FILM COMMENT called it "Wonderful!" and INDIEWIRE said "It's a film that dares to show life as it is really lived."


LEAGUE OF ORDINARY GENTLEMEN

On May 13, Magnolia Pictures is releasing Christopher Browne’s LEAGUE OF ORDINARY GENTLEMEN. Doc follows four professional bowlers’ whose lives are interrupted when their league is purchased by a trio of Microsoft programmers who hire a Nike marketing guru to turn professional bowling into the next second-tier sports franchise.

Visit Magnolia Pictures for more info



"Like a cross between Errol Morris
and Todd Solondz"
- New York Times

"Filled with observant, graceful touches that suggest the assured hand of a veteran filmmaker." - Washington Post

STILL IN THEATERS

With an appearance on Charlie Rose and coverage from the New York Times Magazine, it's no understatement to suggest that ASSISTED LIVING (WFF 2003) has done a phenomenal job with self distribution. The Hollywood Studios rejected ASSISTED LIVING because they thought it was "unusual," "genre-less" and "too hard to market." Today, riding a wave of great publicity and buoyed by grassroots assistance ASSISTED LIVING opened in the Studios' backyard in two LA area theatres. Spread the word and check out playdates at http://www.assistedlivingthemovie.com

"One of the strongest debuts for a young American indie moviemaker in several years. A stirringly realistic, humane c -drama, full of invention, truth and life." - Chicago Tribune




ACTS OF WORSHIP 

DVD NEWS

ACTS OF WORSHIP

Hart Sharp Video recently released ACTS OF WORSHIP  (WFF 2002), by Rosemary Rodriguez. The DVD/VHS is now available at major outlets including Blockbuster, Netflix, Amazon.com, and Bestbuy.com.

The film is a story of addiction, friendship, loss, contradiction and redemption involving Alix, a homeless addict, and Digna, a successful photographer, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. As Digna befriends Alix and attempts to set her on the path to recovery, both women find their emotional and ethical cores put to the test.

Rodriguez recently helmed an episode for Third Watch ("Too Little, Too Late"), which aired April 8 on NBC.


RON MANN WINS 2005 JUNO AWARD, MUSIC DVD OF THE YEAR

Ron Mann (“Grass,” “Go Further”) recently won a JUNO  (the Canadian equivalent to the Grammy) for his tribute DVD, “BLUE RODEO: In Stereovision!"

The DVD also recently went triple platinum in Canada!!!

Ron's DVD celebrating 20 years of Blue Rodeo features a reunion concert with the original 5 members i.e. Jim Cuddy, Greg Keelor, Bazil Donovan, Bob Wiseman and Cleave Anderson! The DVD also includes twelve historic performances; an appreciation written by Paul Quarrington; two brand new songs; and even burning Snowmen!

Purchase BLUE RODEO: IN STEREOVISION from the DVDSWELIKE website


 

 


 A Month of Sundays

 

 

BOOK NOOK

MISSION OF MARS
By: Bonnie Langston, Freeman staff (04/14/2005)

A former resident of Kerhonkson has been chosen to be part of the Discover Great New Writers Program, which takes place at Barnes & Noble bookstores across the nation during May, June and July.

She is Julie Mars, and her book is "A Month of Sundays: Searching for the Spirit and My Sister," published by GreyCore Press of Pine Bush. A book signing is scheduled for 7 p.m. June 11 at Ariel Booksellers in New Paltz.

The nonfiction work takes readers not only on a journey with Mars to Upstate New York as she cares for her sister, Shirley, a victim of pancreatic cancer. It also takes them on her spiritual search, visiting religious institutions ranging from a Baptist church to an Islamic Center during a month's worth of Sundays.

Mars, a writing teacher at a community college in Albuquerque, also is the author of the novel "The Secret Keepers" (GreyCore). She is putting the "final polish" on a humorous novel about an "over-educated, menopausal New Yorker who gives up her life in the semi-fast lane, her career aspirations, and possibly her husband" to become an organic farmer in upstate New York. Mars herself was born in New York State, at West Point, where her father was a civilian instructor,

She lived during the mid- to late 1990s in Ulster County, where she belonged to a writing group with published authors Nina Shengold, Laura Cunningham, David Smilow and Becky Stowe. In addition, the screenplay "Bensonville," which she co-wrote with Julie Reichert, was read a few years ago in the Hudson Valley Film Festival. The film [reading] was directed by Meira Blaustein, co-founder of the Woodstock Film Festival.

 Read the full interview with Julie Mars at The Daily freeman


CALL FOR ENTRIES - 27TH ANNUAL IFP MARKET

"Future Independent Film Classics Begin Here"
===============================================================
Want to know more about attending the 27th Annual IFP Market & Conference?
Consider attending one of our many informational sessions with Wendy Sax and other staff members. It’s a great opportunity to receive advice about the goals of the different sections, the many ways independent filmmakers have used the IFP Market to advance their work in the marketplace over the last 25 years. Rolling deadlines begin May 2.
==============================
MORE THAN $150,000 IN AWARDS
Cash Awards- $5,000 screenplay, $5,000 short and two $5,000 awards for African-American filmmakers. More than $100,000 in goods and services.
==============================
SUBMISSION & REGISTRATION FEES
-Submission: $40-$50
-Registration: $200-$450 (paid on acceptance)
-Students attend free
=============================
INFORMATION & APPLICATIONS
Rolling deadlines Begin- May 2
-September 18-23, New York City
-Apply Online: http://www.ifp.org/newyork/market27
-Info: marketreg@ifp.org  or 212-465-8200 x222

CALL FOR ENTRIES – WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL

Named one of 20 FILM FESTIVALS WORTH THE ENTRY FEE by Movie Maker Magazine

 The WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL (Sept. 28 - Oct. 2, 2005) is currently accepting submissions in all categories. Maverick Awards are presented for Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Short Documentary, Best Short Film, Best Student Film, Best Cinematography, Best Film Score, Best Editing and Best Animation. Cash, prizes and/or services are given out in each category. Audience Awards are presented for Best Feature and Best Documentary.

 Entry fees range from $25-$50.  To apply online, and for details, visit WFF Call for Entries


SUMMER SCREENWRITING WORKSHOPS in Bearsville and Tribeca

Six-week workshop begins starts June 2 in Bearsville, and June 6 in Tribeca.

The Woodstock Film Festival is presenting six-week screenwriting workshops with screenwriter/journalist Lisa Katzman in Bearsville and in New York City (Tribeca). The goal of the workshop is to develop a feature length screenplay. Each workshop is limited to eight people.

Workshop activities are geared for beginners as well as for individuals with some experience in this form of dramatic writing. Sessions will be balanced between working on screenplays through a sharing of work, writing exercises, and a discussion of assigned screenplays and films. Participants need a willingness write regularly outside of class, to share work in class, to be open to the process of hearing and giving feedback, and to re-writing.

In Bearsville, a six-week workshop will be held between Thursday, June 2 and July 7. In Tribeca, another six-work workshop will be held from Monday, June 6 through July 11. All workshops sessions will meet from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The fee is $350.

For additional info, registrants should visit WFF Screenwriting Workshop or contact the Woodstock Film Festival office by email at screenwriting@woodstockfilmfestival.com, or phone (845) 679-4265.


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The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501 (C) 3 organization with a mission to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music, and art-related activities that promote artists, culture, inspired learning, diversity, and sustainable economic development through film, video and media production and exhibition. The Woodstock Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production.

Want to sponsor the 2005 Woodstock Film Festival? For info, call (845) 679-4265 or visit
 http://woodstockfilmfestival.com/sponsorwoodstock.htm

 

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