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2005 WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL WRAP

The sixth annual Woodstock Film Festival wrapped October 2 after five packed days of events in four mid-Hudson valley towns including Woodstock, Rhinebeck, Rosendale, and Hunter.

The festival's growth was apparent as audience, industry, and celebrity attendance burgeoned. Sold out films, panels, and concerts received outstanding reviews as quality played a key role in the success of the festival, whose moniker 'fiercely independent' did not let down. While celebrities-including Kevin Bacon, Steve Buscemi, Ethan Hawke, and Aidan Quinn basked in the artistic quality of the event, they all noted the important social issues that were addressed in many of the narrative films and documentaries at the festival. Former NPR journalist David D'arcy exclaimed at the closing night ceremonies that with the sad state of journalism, independent filmmakers and film festivals like Woodstock are becoming the only places where real world issues are being discussed.

By carefully balancing entertainment, cultural diversity, and important social issues in a setting that has a longstanding tradition for social consciousness, the Woodstock Film Festival creates a natural progression by which programming can focus on matters that affect our lives and our world while seeking to heighten awareness and to stimulate dialogue and positive resolution.

To support or sponsor our continued efforts, please visit Woodstock Film Festival


CLOSING NIGHT AWARDS

The Honorary Maverick Award was presented on closing night to independent film acting icon and director Steve Buscemi by longtime friend and fellow actor Aidan Quinn.

The Honorary Trailblazer Award was presented to indie film business visionary John Sloss by actor Ethan Hawke, with whom he worked with on BEFORE SUNSET, CHELSEA WALLS, THE NEWTON BOYS, TAPE, BEFORE SUNRISE, and WAKING LIFE. For more information on 2005 award winners, visit Maverick Awards.


FESTIVAL SOUVENIRS

This year’s captivating poster and t-shirt were the result of the generosity of Tiziano Magni, photographer for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition and innumerable fashion icons, and supermodel Angie Schmidt. For a look at our other souvenirs, including mugs, caps, and other shirts, visit http://www.woodstockfilmfestival.com/store/souvenirs2004.php.


 

WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL (WFF) GOES TO HOLLYWOOD

American Cinematheque and Woodstock FIlm Festival partner for LA premiere of THE AMERICAN RULING CLASS. For the first time ever, the WFF is partnering with the prestigious American Cinematheque to showcase a selection from the 2005 festival in the Cinematheque’s historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

On Thursday, November 10, the American Cinematheque will present THE AMERICAN RULING CLASS as part of its Alternative Screen Independent Film Showcase series. The filmmakers, as well as Woodstock Film Festival Executive Director Meira Blaustein, will be present for a Q&A and a gathering of old friends and new from both coasts after the screening. The screening will take place at 7:30 PM at the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. Tickets are $9 a person. Visit www.americancinematheque.com.

Frustrated with the traditional documentary form, writer Lewis Lapham, director John Kirby, and producer Libby Handros created THE AMERICAN RULING CLASS, the first ever dramatic-documentary-musical. This hybrid satire seeks to answer the questions: “Is there an American ruling class? If so, how does one join?” That's what Yale grads Mike and Jack want to know. Lewis Lapham, the jaded socialite-cum-muckraker editor of Harper's, is Mike and Jack's guide in this star-studded journey through America's establishment. We get to meet Kurt Vonnegut, Walter Cronkite, Mike Medavoy, Robert Altman, Barbara Ehrenreich, Vartan Gregorian, Martin Garbus, Bill Bradley, Larry Summers, James Baker, Pete Peterson, Hodding Carter, and the insistent opposition voice of Pete Seeger. Mike attempts to find out whether a good banking job is all that his future holds and Jack wonders if his offer from Goldman Sachs is the right first step to take. Whatever the answers, you'll love to hear from these mentors in the ruling class—which might or might not exist. Judge for yourself.


IN THEATERS

 

THE BOYS OF BARAKA

This year’s audience award winner for best documentary, THE BOYS OF BARAKA, opens at the Film Forum in NYC November 30. Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s film follows a group of extraordinary 12-year-old boys from the most violent ghettos of Baltimore who leave everything they know to attend an experimental boarding school in the most rural corner of Kenya, East Africa. Visit Loki Films for more info.


USHPIZIN

The award-winning Israeli film USHPIZIN is at a theater in your area.Winner of the 2004 Best Actor award at the Israeli Film Academy for writer-star Shuli Rand, director Gidi Dar's film, USHPIZIN, is a revelatory--and humorous--look at the daily lives of ultra-Orthodox Jews learning, living, and loving in modern-day Israel. USHPIZIN opened in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on October 19, and will open in other cities on October 26 and November 2. Visit www.ushpizin.com for a list of these cities, to view the trailer, and to learn more about this wonderful film.

Also from picturehouse in theaters is THE THING ABOUT MY FOLKS, co-starring Paul Resier and Peter Falk. The film was shot in Woodstock and surrounding towns.


WHERE THE TRUTH LIES

The closing film of the 2005 Woodstock Film Festival, WHERE THE TRUTH LIES, has been beset by controversy and a NC-17 rating. The Atom Egoyan pix, distributed by THINKfilm, opened in limited release in NYC and LA follows a young journalist known for her celebrity profiles, who is consumed with discovering the truth behind a long-buried incident that affected the lives and careers of showbiz team Vince Collins and Lanny Morris (Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon). Peter Howell, of the Toronto Star, says "It's the stuff of grand intrigue, and Egoyan relishes it." Visit http://www.thinkfilmcompany.com for complete details.

 


NINE LIVES

One of the big hits of the 2005 Woodstock Film Festival, NINE LIVES, from Magnolia Pictures opens theatrically. Directed by Rodriguo Marquez (son of Gabriel Garcia Marquez) and featuring Robin Wright Penn, Glenn Close, Holly Hunter, Sissy Spacek, Dakota Fanning, among others, the pix is a moving exploration of the individual experiences of nine women as told through nine single unbroken takes. See NINE LIVES.


NEW YORK DOLL

Also opening is Greg Whiteley’s NEW YORK DOLL, which relates the meteoric rise, resounding fall, and recent all-too-brief resurrection of the seminal New York glam-rock-punk band, The New ork Dolls, but it is foremost a story about the band's amazing bassist and leader, Arthur "Killer" Kane. NEW YORK DOLL IS a First Independent Pictures release. See the release schedule online at NEW YORK DOLL


THE ROOST

It's Showtime for THE ROOST! Opens Friday, October 21st! It's midnight and Frightmare Theatre is about to begin! Your Host sets the scene: After a violent car accident a group of friends become stranded in the middle of nowhere. Quickly deciding to search for help, they come upon a deserted farm. Once the secrets of the barn are unleashed, the night of terror begins! "A movie with bats in its belfry, THE ROOST celebrates and restores the 1970’s B-horror pic with zero gloss and terrific, rough-hewn craft. Imagining what happens when a group of young people en route to a friend's wedding get sidetracked at a farm taken over by vampire bats, debuting helmer Ti West taps into the realist-horror spirit of mentor and executive producer [upstater] Larry Fessenden." (Robert Koehler, Variety)


NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH

For fans of the horror genre, the 2005 Woodstock Film Festival presented a surprise midnight screening of NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH by local film producer Michael J. Brody at his new venue, The Church. The film will open the New York City Horror Fest and will be featured at the International Horror Festival in Phoenix. The film directed by Graeme Whifler (maker of the cult classic DR. GIGGLES), has been called “simultaneously hilarious and utterly disturbing” by Erik Krisopher Myers of The Bloody News.

Brody’s last film, MILWAUKEE, MINNESOTA, (2003 WFF) is in great demand at netFlix and other DVD outlets. To order your copy, visit MILWAUKEE, MINNESOTA.


LOCAL FILM PRODUCTION

Bill Stitt of Catskill Mountain Pictures, returned to his home in Woodstock October 23rd, after working 22 days as Logistics Manager for Historical Entertainment on location near East Nassau in upstate New York. 

"H.E. is a company out of Cascade, Maryland, that specializes in period wardrobe – both military and civilian -- props, arms (from knives to cannons) and people with enormous knowledge about the history of battles in the United States.  They were called in by Partisan Pictures, who is producing a 13-part series on the American Revolution having already completed THE FRENCH REVOLUTION and THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION also for the History Channel" says Bill. In addition to solving logistical problems for the production, Bill was at various times recruited by the wrangler to help wrangle horses, the effects team to help lay smoke for battle scenes, and the casting department, who outfitted him first  as a musket–carrying Hessian Soldier engaged in skirmishes, in the woods and then as  an angry farmer resisting  the Continental army’s attempts to relieve him and his family of their cow and other foodstuffs. For more info, contact Bill at CatsMoPix@aol.com


BOMB

Ian Olds, winner of this year’s Diane Seligman Award for best student short with TWO MEN, will wrap production on his latest short, BOMB, featuring Melissa Leo, in the following weeks. The film is produced by Suzi Yoonessi, whose recent short NO SHOULDER, shot in Woodstock last spring. Ian and 2004 best student award winner Cary Fukunaga (VICTORIA PARA CHINO) will both be honored in November with Princess Grace awards, presented by Prince Albert of Monaco.


OLIVER STONE PIX

Rumor has it that Nicholas Cage has been spotted locally in conjunction with the upcoming Oliver Stone film about 911/WTC, which will not be filming in NYC because of the explicitly of his screenplay and related controversy.


AVAILABLE ON DVD

Following the first US theatrical screening in 33 years, THE CONCERT FOR BANGLADESH will be released on DVD by Warner Strategic Marketing, October 25th, 2005, as a 2-disc package. Contents will include the original 99-minute film restored and remixed in 5.1, as well as 72-minutes of extras. All artists' royalties from the sales of the DVD and the CD will continue to go to UNICEF.

THE CONCERT FOR BANGLADESH was the first benefit concert of its kind in that it brought together an extraordinary assemblage of major artists collaborating for a common humanitarian cause - setting the precedent that music could be used to serve a higher cause. Besides George Harrison himself, the concert film features some of his friends, including: Ravi Shankar, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Leon Russell and Billy Preston.

To purchase the DVD, visit THE CONCERT FOR BANGLADESH.


AVOID EYE CONTACT

Now available on DVD is the second edition of AVOID EYE CONTACT, featuring independent New York animators Bill Plympton, Patrick Smith, John Dilworth, Signe Baumane, PES, and others. NYC is a place of constant change, invention, and chaos: AVOID EYE CONTACT sums up these urban qualities in animated terms. All films are international winners, each with a distinct look united only by genre and the gritty soul of NYC. Visit Square Footage Films .


 

SPONSORS

  The Woodstock Film Festival is extremely grateful to all the sponsors that helped make the 2006 events a reality. Please visit them all online at http://woodstockfilmfestival.com/sponsor.htm

MARKERTEK - OUR PRESENTING SPONSOR SINCE 2001

Markertek is one of the nation's largest direct marketers of broadcast & studio recording supplies and equipment. Whether you've visited them before or recently discovered them, you'll find that their way of doing business is simple. Markertek is the best professional supply solution for customers because they are the easiest, simplest, and most efficient place to find and buy everything you need for your studio or project. For all your audio and video needs, visit Markertek


The Woodstock Film Festival (WFF) 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, and diversity. An offshoot of WFF, the Woodstock Film Commission (WFC) promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting local film, video and media production. Recent WFC's projects include The Night Listener (starring Robin Williams), The White Countess (by James Ivory), The War of the Worlds (by Steven Spielberg, starring Tom Cruise), Before It Had a Name (starring Willem Dafoe), The Thing About My Folks (starring Paul Reiser and Peter Falk), and many more.