December 2005 Newsletter

Contents:
2005 RECAP
LOCALLY PRODUCED FILMS HEAD TO SUNDANCE
THE NIGHT LISTENER
STEPHANIE DALEY

IN THEATERS:
THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA
THE WHITE COUNTESS
FOLLOWING SEAN

DISTRIBUTION NEWS:
ANYTOWN USA

OUR BRAND IS CRISIS

MORE LOCAL PRODUCTION NEWS
MUSIC NEWS
3 & LEVON

SPONSOR NEWS

 

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL

In 2006, we will continue to bring the world's best independent films and emerging talent to light, and to present outstanding workshops, panels, and concerts. Our educational programs and special events will be presented throughout the year, and we look forward to the growth of local film production through the Commission.

This past year, through specific programs including Exposure and the Youth Initiative, we focused on presenting issues that matter in order to stimulate dialogue and positive resolution, as well as to educate and entertain. Our sponsors allowed us the opportunity to create festival events that were highly valued by industry representatives and filmmakers that in 2005, included (among others) Steve Buscemi, David Schwimmer, Melissa Leo, Aidan Quinn, Ethan Hawke, Kevin Bacon, Daniel Day Lewis, Ellen Kuras, Bob Berney, John Sloss, Bingham Ray, Ted Hope, and many emerging filmmakers.

Continued support has enabled us to make important upgrades, to develop audiences, and to retain a year-round office with staffing sufficient for all programs including the Woodstock Film Commission, which worked with more than 34 production companies in 2005, on films like THE NIGHT LISTENER starring Robin Williams and STEPHANIE DALEY with Tilda Swinton and Melissa Leo. These work opportunities resulted in local jobs, and economic development.

We look forward to a continuing dialogue with you in 2006 as we strive to grow and provide more exciting opportunities. Thank you for your continued support.


 

LOCALLY PRODUCED FILMS HEAD TO SUNDANCE

Continuing what is becoming a well-heeled tradition, two films that were produced locally, will be heading Sundance this coming January for their world premieres.

In 2002, Rebecca Miller’s PERSONAL VELOCITY which was shot in Ulster County, won the Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and Ellen Kuras received the award for Best Cinematography.

In 2004, the Sundance directing prize for dramatic feature was awarded to Debra Granik for her film DOWN TO THE BONE, which was produced in the Woodstock, Saugerties and Kingston area. New Paltz resident Vera Farmiga earned a special-jury prize for her performance in the film, which was recently released theatrically to critical acclaim. For her powerful performance as a married woman with kids fighting to clean up her act, Farmiga was just honored by the LA Critics Award as Best Actress for 2005.

The 2005 Sundance entries that were shot locally include THE NIGHT LISTENER and STEPHANIE DALEY.


THE NIGHT LISTENER

In February 2005, the Woodstock Film Commission was contacted by Hart/Sharpe Entertainment, which had previously filmed YOU CAN COUNT ON ME in the area. Location managers Bill Stitt and Michele Baker scoured Ulster and Orange counties to find locations that could stand in for rural Wisconsin for THE NIGHT LISTENER, a thriller based on the 2000 novel by Armistead Maupin.

The film stars Robin Williams as Gabriel Noone, a late-night radio storyteller who befriends Pete Lomax, a 13-year-old listener of his syndicated show whose horrific past draws Noone into an unusual father-son relationship. Maupin, who adapted his book for the film, was on set every day as an adviser. For additional information read Hallie Arnold’s Daily Freeman article . For Sundance screening times, click here.


STEPHANIE DALEY

In August 2005, New Paltz native Hillary Brougher whose first feature film THE STICKY FINGERS OF TIME was edited by advisory board member Sabine Hoffman, locally produced her Sundance Filmmaker Lab project entitled STEPHANIE DALEY locally in the Tannersville, Catskill, and Kingston area.

The film features Tilda Swinton (THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, BROKEN FLOWERS,  THUMBSUCKER, ORLANDO) Amber Tamblyn (JOAN OF ARCADIA, SISTERHOOD OF TRAVELING PANTS), and Hudson Valley resident Melissa Leo (21 GRAMS, NO SHOULDER, PATCH, RUNAWAY, HIDE AND SEEK) 

Swinton plays pregnant forensic psychologist Lydie Crane who is hired to learn the truth behind the case of 16-year-old Stephanie Daley, who is accused of concealing her pregnancy and murdering her infant.

Hilary Brougher grew up in upstate New York, and started making super-8 movies at age 14. She attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City. After film school, she worked in film production for several years. In 1996, Brougher wrote and directed her first feature, THE STICKY FINGERS OF TIME, which premiered at the 1997 Venice, Rotterdam, and Toronto International Film Festivals.

The film is in Dramatic Competition at Sundance. For screening times and additional info, click here.


IN THEATERS:

THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA

Melissa Leo can also be seen in theaters this week alongside Tommy Lee Jones and Woodstock legend  Levon Helms in THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA. The film received two prestigious awards at the Cannes Film Festival. Actor Tommy Lee Jones won the award for Best Actor for his lead in the film, which he also directed. Mexican screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (21 GRAMS, AMORES PERROS) was presented with the best screenplay award.

THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA follows the story of a man shot and quickly buried in the high desert of west Texas. After the body is found and reburied in the town cemetery, Pete Perkins (Tommy Lee Jones), a local ranch foreman kidnaps a Border Patrolman and forces him to disinter the body. With his captive in tow and the body tied to a mule, Pete undertakes a dangerous and quixotic journey into Mexico.

See the trailer online here.



Ralph Fiennes & Natasha Richardson
in THE WHITE COUNTESS

 

 

 

 

 


Ismail Merchant at the 2002 WFF

 

 

 


ADR for THE WHITE COUNTESS

THE WHITE COUNTESS

THE WHITE COUNTESS opened Wednesday December 21 in select theaters. The film, which stars Ralph Fiennes and Natasha Richardson was directed by NY upstater James Ivory and produced by Ismail Merchant, who very sadly and unexpectedly passed away in May during post production. His uniquely intelligent independent style will be greatly missed.

Ismail Merchant was the indefatigable engine of the enterprise, whether raising funds, choreographing shoots, courting collaborators and supporters, or even, in the early, lean days, cooking lavish Friday night feasts to reward underpaid cast and crew; his self-taught, loaves-and-fishes cookery evolved into the sophisticated recipes of Ismail Merchant’s Indian Cuisine, his 1986 cookbook. “My style is pragmatic and experimental,” Merchant remarked, “and not so different from the way I go about finding finance for my films.”

Throughout this unique four-decade partnership, Merchant Ivory has nurtured a congenial extended family of talented friends and collaborators in India, NewYork, and London; at Ivory’s upstate New York country house, where what must be the most inviting of editing studios was built; and around the world, wherever the latest project took them. Longtime collaborators like composer and music director Richard Robbins, and recurring onscreen faces like Vanessa Redgrave, Madhur Jaffrey, James Wilby, Greta Scacchi, and many others, contribute to a continuity of vision and quality that permeates the Merchant Ivory filmography.

THE WHITE COUNTESS is set in Shanghai, 1936 -- a crossroads for political intrigue, refugees escaping turmoil, gathering military forces, international business, and underworld culture. Two people caught in this maelstrom forge a bond on the brink of the Japanese invasion: a beautiful Russian countess, reduced by circumstances to supporting her family as a bar girl and taxi dancer; and a blind former diplomat, devastated by the loss of his family in political violence and disillusioned by the world’s inability to make peace. The story revolves around THE WHITE COUNTESS, the elegant nightclub created by the diplomat to shut out the chaos and tragedy that surround him.

In May 2005, with help from the Woodstock Film Commission, CA Sound Inc gathered extras from throughout the Hudson Valley at ArtFarm recording studios to record ADR for THE WHITE COUNTESS. Extras created many of the background conversations for the nightclub and other scenes. A vast amount of nationalities and dialects including Shangainese, Mandarin, Russian, French and the Kings English were represented.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOLLOWING SEAN

In 2001, the Woodstock Film Festival screened a work in progress by Ralph Arlyck entitled SEAN NOW AND THEN. Four years later the film, now FOLLOWING SEAN is ready for release and is being distributed by executive producer Steve Lieber of Upstate Films and Shadow Distribution.

Arlyck, an Upstate New York resident and film production teacher at Vassar College, first met Sean while living as a graduate student in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury neighborhood at the height of the 1960s.

The city was awash with the trappings of America’s cultural revolution—the San Francisco State University campus flooded with cops in riot gear, the Haight filled with drifters and idealists, and, on the third floor of Arlyck’s building, a come-one-come-all crashpad apartment.  It was from this top floor commune that the precocious 4-year-old Sean would occasionally wander downstairs to visit and talk—and one day Arlyck turned on his camera.

Sean’s casual commentary on everything from smoking pot to living with speed freaks was delivered with wide-eyed sincerity throughout the soon-to-be famous 15-minute film.  This First Child of the notorious decade may have shaken the audience with his simple sentence— “Sure, I smoke pot”—but it was his barefoot impishness and confidence which seemed to encapsulate the mood of the time: a promise of infinite possibility.

Thirty years, three generations, and a lifetime later, Arlyck has returned to San Francisco in search of who the adult Sean may have become.  And what he finds, to his surprise, tells him as much about his own east-coast migration as it does about the Californian life he left behind—that the choices we’re handed and the choices we make are, very often, quite odd bedfellows.

For screenings and additional info, visit Following Sean


DISTRIBUTION NEWS:

FILM MOVEMENT FEATURES ANYTOWN USA

In December 2005, Film Movement is featuring the release of ANYTOWN USA by Kristian Fraga. The doc, which screened at the 2005 WFF is a witty, endearing film which offers a behind-the-scenes look at a hard-fought mayoral race in a small town in New Jersey in 2003. The race -- pitting incumbent Steve Lonegan, a conservative Republican with an eye on higher office, against Democrat Fred Pesci, a rettired councilman who is pulled back into competitive politics -- is turned on its head when local football hero Dave Musikant launches an independent insurgency with Jesse Ventura's campaign manager as his advisor. Adding to the uniqueness of the campaign is the fact that two of the three candidates (Lonegan and Musikant) are legally blind.

For more info, visit Film Movement


OUR BRAND IS CRISIS

U.S. and Canadian theatrical and DVD rights for Rachel Boynton's documentary OUR BRAND IS CRISIS (2005WFF) have been bought by Koch Lorber Films.

The doc, with inside access over three years follows James Carville, Jeremy Rosner and others from the Greenberg Carville Shrum firm as they travel to South America to help Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (Goni) become President of Bolivia.

The film will screen in more than 25 U.S. and Canadian cities after a March bow at the Film Forum in Manhattan


MORE LOCAL PRODUCTION NEWS

LIGHTS, CAMERA, FLEISCHMANNS!
Courtesy: Ben Fenton, River Run B&B
Reprinted from Belleayre Region Guide, winter 2005 edition

Several years ago, Fleischmanns was the backdrop for the movie “Julian Poe,” a film starring Christian Slater.  There are many scenes featuring the Main Street of the village.  Some locals were even used as actors and extras.  This past summer, Fleischmanns was once again home to the stars for the filming of a small, independent film called “Undone.”  An original horror/suspense screenplay written by Colin Paolo, the film is set in present day rural Massachusetts and stars Kassie DePaiva and Heather Tom, both of the ABC soap opera “One Life to Live.”  The film also stars Forbes March (also of “One Life to Live”), Robert Clohelly (most famously of “Hill Street Blues” and the HBO hit series “Oz”), Roy Thinnes (an impressive actor who most recently appeared in “The Eyes of Van Gogh” and “A Beautiful Mind”), Brad Bellamy (a guest star on many TV dramas) and Ken Triwash (who has appeared on “Law & Order” and the movie “Swim Fan”).  The film also featured actor/director Jim DePaiva, who played “Max” on “One Life to Live” for several years, and has directed episodes of “One Life to Live” and “As the World Turns.”  Jim and Kassie DePaiva are married and have 2 children together.  The film was produced by Spot Creative Productions of New York City.    

Several members of the crew were recent graduates of film school, many from New York University.  This was one of the first big projects for some of them, and they took their jobs very seriously.  But, not unlike new college graduates entering the workforce, many had future goals of becoming writers, producers and directors. (for the complete article, visit UNDONE.


MUSIC NEWS

3 - WAKE PIG

The band 3, which kicked off the 2003 Woodstock Film Festival brought the house down early this month at the Bearsville Theater with a concert to celebrate their new signing with Metal Blade Records and the release of their fourth CD entitled WAKE PIG. The ever-evolving band packs the CD with thundering rhythms, cloud-burst guitars, majestic melodies and astonishing lyrics. The reviews have been astounding.

Suzanna Paradise writes, “Take the better elements of My Chemical Romance, Coheed & Cambria, Tool, include rapid-fire acoustic guitar infused with dynamic percussion, energetic drumming, heart stammering bass, and you have the band 3. Hailing from Woodstock, NY, the band formed in the mid 1990's, immediately accruing a strong local following. After a couple releases on Planet Noise Records, they caught the attention of Metal Blade Records.”

The band is headed down south from end of Jan thru Feb. and in need of some threedomfighters (Street Team Members) to help get the word out on the streets. If you want to help us promote some shows please e-mail to Ryan.

If you want to catch Joey Eppard for New Year’s Eve solo gig, join him and good friends Stoney Clove Lane up at The Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY.


 

 

HOME IS WHERE THE FANS ARE

Another Woodstock gig to catch this New Year’s eve will feature The Levon Helm Band, Hipmotism and The Alexis P. Suter band at THE MIDNIGHT RAMBLE SESSIONS on December 31, 05 New Year's Eve.

Levon Helm Studios, which hosted a wonderful Woodstock Film Festival party in 2005 was prominently featured in a recent New York Times article by Will Hemes,

“YOU drive down a rural lane near the base of Mount Overlook, off Route 212 on the east side of Woodstock, and negotiate a stretch of unlit bends and rises until you reach a turnoff marked with only a number. Turn right into the woods, bounce down a pitted dirt road for a bit and you come to a field where an older gentleman with a flashlight helps you find a parking spot. Exiting your car, you find yourself under a canopy of stars outside a large timber building, hearty blues music seeping out into the cold December night.

This backwoods juke joint is the home studio of Levon Helm, 65, the former drummer and vocalist with the Band, and one of rock 'n' roll's great figures. On this Saturday night, as he has once or twice a month for the past couple of years, he plays host to what he calls a Midnight Ramble:

For the complete article, visit Levon Helm Studios


SPONSOR NEWS

We would like to thank our 2005 sponsors for their kind support and participation.

Presenting Sponsor
Major Sponsors
Key Sponsors
 
Superstar Sponsors
Supporting Sponsors

Click here to visit all our 2005 sponsors.



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The Woodstock Film Festival is an educational 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. The Woodstock Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production.

The Woodstock Film Festival event is made possible in part by Markertek.com and with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency.