2008 JANUARY NEWSLETTER

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CONTENTS:
HVPG PRESENTS FATHER
DINNER AND A MOVIE
MOVIEGOERS GET THEIR PHIL
HUDSON VALLEY SCORES AT SUNDANCE (AGAIN!)
UPSTATE STRIKE SUPPORT
THE MAGIC OF WOODSTOCK
FROM WOODSTOCK CAFÉ TO PARIS RUNWAY
CALL FOR ENTRIES

SPONSOR NEWS
SPONSOR 2008


HUDSON VALLEY PROGRAMMERS’ GROUP STARTS ‘08
WITH THE FATHER and RUSSIAN STARS

The Hudson Valley Programmers’ Group celebrates Russian cinema with three screenings of director Ivan Solovov’s film THE FATHER. Director/producer Ivan Solovov and lead actor Alexei Guskov, who have traveled from Russia for the event, will lead a Q & A afterwards. The screenings will take place Tuesday, February 19th, 8pm at Upstate Films, Rhinebeck, NY; and Wednesday February 20th, 7:30pm at Jacob Burns Film Center, Pleasantville, NY. An additional screening is set for Saturday, February 17th at 1:30pm at the Cinema Arts Theater, Huntington, NY. The United States' tour is presented by Cinema Arts Centre and Sundial Productions and produced by Alan Hofmanis.

Based on a short story by famous Soviet writer Andrei Platonov, The Father follows the life of soldier Alexei Ivanov as he returns home from WWII. Masha, a young female soldier, is also anxious about her homecoming. Her parents are dead and she is pregnant, but the father has disappeared. Alexei accompanies Masha to her hometown to provide cover for her pregnancy – and perhaps to delay his own trip home. Upon finally arriving home, Alexei is relieved to see his wife and kids but suspects his wife of adultery and is upset that his son has taken over his role as man of the house. The war may be over but the wounds are fresh and in need of healing.


DINNER & A MOVIE

Thursday nights throughout the winter months, Oriole 9 Cafe - Restaurant in Woodstock will present DINNER & A MOVIE in conjunction with the Woodstock Film Festival. Movies start at 7:00 pm. Delicious tapas, dinner and movie meals will be available. See Oriole 9 for details

January 31 features a special screening of the yet unreleased THE CAKE EATERS. "Coming of Age" is not the exclusive domain of the young, as evidenced in Mary Stuart Masterson's sensitive story of the intertwining lives and loves.

February 7 features a sneak preview of Denny Tedesco's work in progress THE WRECKING CREW. In recalling the golden years of the L.A. recording studio scene, Denny Tedesco tells the story of the A-listers who performed on thousands of records, film and television soundtracks that comprised a virtual soundtrack of '60s popular culture. Tommy Tedesco (who died in 1997) and Howard Roberts (who died in 1992) were among the legendary players in the Crew who supplied the music for the Beach Boys, Phil Spector, the Monkees, Sonny & Cher, the Mamas and the Papas, Frank and Nancy Sinatra, and dozens of other pop icons. See trailer online.



Courtney Hunt & Melissa Leo



HUDSON VALLEY SCORES AT SUNDANCE (AGAIN!)

Every other year, the Sundance Film Festival has a tradition of awarding a major award to a film with major ties to the Hudson Valley. This year, two films have that honor - FROZEN RIVER and MAN ON WIRE.

In 2002, the Grand Jury Prize was awarded to Rebecca Miller's PERSONAL VELOCITY: THREE PORTRAITS. A second prize for best cinematography was presented to Ellen Kuras. In 2004, Debra Granik's DOWN TO THE BONE won for best director and a special jury prize for best performance by Vera Farmiga. In 2006, New Paltz native Hilary Brougher was award the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for STEPHANIE DALEY, in addition to a nomination for Grand Jury Prize. All three films were shot locally in Ulster, Orange and Greene Counties and featured many local crew and cast members.

The 2008 Sundance Film Festival, which just wrapped on Sunday, has presented this year’s Grand Jury Prize for Drama to FROZEN RIVER, starring Ulster County's own Melissa Leo (21 Grams, 3 Burials of Melquiades Estrada). After screaming "Cinema, BABY! This film rocks my ass!" Quentin Tarrantino presented the prize to director Courtney Hunt. "I believe in a universe of abundance and every filmmaker here will find their perfect audience, and hopefully a ginormous one," enthused director Courtney Hunt. And thanking lead actress Leo, she said, "To Melissa, most of all... four years she stood by me and never gave up faith that this would become a feature film and that I would direct it."

Filmed in sub-zero weather in upstate New York in March of 2007, FROZEN RIVER is set in a real-life smuggling zone on a Native American reservation between New York State and Quebec. Strapped for money and having been deserted by her husband, working class Ray (Melissa Leo), reluctantly teams up with Lila (Misty Upham), a widowed Mohawk Indian, to smuggle illegal immigrants across the frozen St. Lawrence River from Canada to the U.S. in the trunk of a Dodge Spirit. Both women swear each trip will be their last, but one final run across the river leads to a showdown with the law on all sides.

The World Cinema Jury Prize: Documentary and World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary was awarded to MAN ON WIRE by James Marsh. Partly shot in Ulster County, the film recounts the remarkable high wire stunt between New York City's twin towers by current Ulster County resident Philippe Petit. The 1974 event would become an act of incomparable beauty and imagination. Through candid interviews, archival footage, dramatizations and visual effects, the adventures of Petit and his accomplices are brought back to life. First captured in his biographical book, To Reach the Clouds : My High Wire Walk Between the Twin Towers is an enraptuous page-turner.





photo credits: Micheal Weisbrot & Kim Wozencraft

UPSTATE STRIKE SUPPORT RALLY DRAWS A BIG CROWD
Written by Nina Shengold

At least 100 union members turned out to support striking screenwriters at a
rally held in the historic Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie, New
York on Friday, January 25. The enthusiastic crowd included over 50 Hudson
Valley-based members of teachers' union NYSUT as well as union sheet metal
workers, commuter railway workers, communications technicians, stagehands,
musicians, Actors Equity members, and local Writers Guild members.

Bardavon director Chris Silva welcomed the group warmly, stressing the
theatre's long history of supporting writers, from Mark Twain to Bob Dylan.
Musicians' union member and labor organizer John Pietaro kicked off the
rally with a Pete Seegerish banjo and rousing chorus of "Solidarity
Forever." Hudson Valley Labor Federation and AFL-CIO organizer Jen Fuentes
addressed the assembled crowd, saying, "The issues at stake and the stand
the writers are making are important, because in the labor movement, we are
never afraid of a David and Goliath battle... We will stand behind them
100%." She presented WGAE strike captain and Emmy winner Casey Kurtti with a
t-shirt emblazoned, "Kicking ass for the working class."

The next speaker was Philadelphia screenwriter Ron Nyswaner, who was
interviewed on Woodstock radio station WDST earlier in the day as part of
the media coverage for this event. Nyswaner presented the strike issues
succinctly and with humor, noting that "the guy who manufactures the plastic
box for the DVD earns more per copy than the guy whose head the movie came
out of."The entire crowd moved onto the street outside the theatre, greeting patrons
as they entered for a sold-out screening of The Blues Brothers, and handing
out Writers Guild informational flyers. Spirits were high in spite of
temperatures in the low teens, and as audience members streamed into the
theatre, several cars slowed down to honk in a show of support. Teachers and
metalworkers chatted happily with WGAE members, including screenwriters
Zachary Sklar (JFK), Nicole Quinn (Racing Daylight); award-winning TV
writers David Smilow and Nina Shengold; novelist Kim Wozencraft (Rush); and
playwrights Daisy Foote and Donald J. Rothschild. Shengold pronounced the
evening, "very inspiring," noting that it connected the Guild's fight for a
fair contract to the struggles of working people in every industry.

"Sick of reruns?" Smilow asked a patron, and Fuentes yelled out through a
bullhorn, "We want our shows back!", prompting a roar of agreement from
everyone on the street. Hopefully members of AMPAS are listening.



Phil Donahue and Congressman Maurice Hinchey
at BODY OF WAR reception
sponsored by Oriole 9 in Woodstock.
Photo: Antonio Flores-Lobos (Las Noticas)

MOVIEGOERS GET THEIR PHIL:
BODY OF WAR SCREENING followed by Q&A with Donahue
Written by Kelly Franklin, Correspondent (Daily freeman)

WOODSTOCK - The sniffling heard frequently Saturday afternoon inside the Tinker Street Cinema wasn't due to cold weather, viruses or the latest tear-jerk romance movie.

Rather, sniffles and red eyes alternated with laughs, hisses and frequent applause as a full house of moviegoers was enthralled by the true story told in BODY OF WAR, a Phil Donahue-produced documentary that was presented in two screenings by the Woodstock Film Festival.

The film, one of 15 finalists for inclusion in the Best Documentary Feature category when the Academy Award nominations are announced on Jan. 22, intersperses the riveting tale of the tortured body and soul of Tomas Young, wounded nearly four years ago in the Iraq war, with a scathing attack on another body often seen as dysfunctional: the U.S. Congress, shown here during its 2002 debate about whether to allow the war. (Read the full story online)


THE MAGIC OF WOODSTOCK
in MIXTE MAGAZINE
On newstands January 17, 2008

Take a journey through the legendary small town in Upstate New York through the magic lens of photographer Tiziano Magni. The article was written by Laurent Rejto.

I was born in France in Epinay Sur Seine, known as Cité des Industries du Cinema. As a film student in college, I spent August at a family friend’s small Paris apartment on Rue Jean Bart. The walls were covered with art and bookshelves from floor to ceiling. I read passages from books in the morning with a croissant and a bowl of café-au-lait. Restless, I would walk downstairs and around the corner. A left on Rue de Fleurus led me through the shaded tree alleys of the Jardin du Luxembourg, past the tennis courts, towards the pond where children cast their sailboats on imaginary trips across imaginary oceans. Right on Rue de Fleurus led to imaginary Saturday luncheons at number 27–in Gertrude Stein’s salon–where I would discuss Beauty and the Beast with Jean Cocteau, recite poetry with Guillaume Apollinaire, admire Matisse landscapes (and women), and snarl across the room at Hemingway. I would leave satisfied and belly full and walk to catch a film–maybe Les Enfants du Paradis–at Espace Saint Michel. These feasts of food, art, nature, literature and cinema stayed with me when I set sail in 1969 aboard the Raffaello, across the Atlantic Ocean to New York.

In 2000, after years as a filmmaker, furniture maker and folk artist, my wife and I moved to Woodstock, New York. (The entire article is only available in French in the January 08 issue of Mixte Magazine)

FROM THE CAFÉ TO THE RUNWAY
by Daniel Blaustein Rejto

In 2006, Elyse Rossignol was studying at the Woodstock Day School and working at Elijah’s Café. She also volunteered at the Woodstock Film Festival and became the ‘Vanna White’ of the 2006 Maverick Awards, handing out awards to prize recipients and hosting celebrities including Rosie Perez and Matt Dillon.

Jump cut one year, and in order to see Ellyse, you’d have to travel to the runways of Milan or a fashion shoot in Paris. You could also catch her on the cover of Enjoy magazine or inside the pages of Grazia, the popular high-class glossy Italian magazine.

Elyse, who recently changed her very French name to Bee Bouchard to 'fit the European fashion atmosphere,' explains that the change happened suddenly and serendipitously. “One day I was working in Elijah’s,” she tells me. “And I was scouted by two new locals—a husband and wife. The wife was a model with Major Model Management and brought me straight to New York to meet the head of the agency. Within 24 hours, I was signed. Within a month, I was in Paris.”

Moving to Paris as a seventeen-year-old to live independently, is a daunting experience, but Elyse (Bee) is happily managing. It’s long and exhausting work. Shoots can last longer than 12 hours and daily casting calls average between five and fifteen. But Bee loves it. “I am very fortunate to be working with amazingly talented and artistic people and I like what I do. I like all the people I meet and the places I go for my job.”

Look for Woodstock’s Bee Bouchard in Quest Magazine, American Marie Claire, Russian Elle, SO Magazine, the January edition of Grazia and many other publications.


Maverick Award - Designed by Steve Heller

CALL FOR ENTRIES - EARLY BIRD ENTRY SPECIAL

The WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL (Oct 1-5, 2008) 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 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. Award sponsors have included Lowel-Light, Apple Computers, Final Draft, Post Factory, A&E Indie Films, Docurama, Kodak, Baseline, Markertek, and others.

Industry participants have included Steve Buscemi, Peter Saraf (Big Beach Films), Jonathan Sehring (IFC), Ted Sarandos (Netflix), Bob Berney (Picturehouse), Eamonn Bowles (Magnolia Pictures), Mark Urman (THINKfilm), Bingham Ray (Kimmel Entertainmen), James Schamus (Focus Features), Fisher Stevens (Greenstreet Productions), John Sloss (Cinetic Media), Ira Deutchman (Emerging Pictures), Ron Mann (Films We Like), John Pierson (Grainy Pictures), John Anderson, Ryan Werner (IFC), Tom Quinn (Magnolia Pictures), Christine Vachon (Killer Films), Andrew Hurwitz, Ira Schreck, Mira Nair, Todd Haynes, Woody Harrelson, Tim Robbins, Marcia Gay Harden, Lili Taylor, D.A. Pennebaker, Albert Maysles, Barbara Kopple, Leon Gast, Liz Garbus, Brett Morgen, Thelma Adams, Robert Downey, Zachary Sklar, Kevin Bacon, Tim Robbins, Ethan Hawke, Matt Dillon, Rosie Perez and many others.

To apply online, and for details, visit ENTRY FORM


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2008 SPONSOR NEWS

The Woodstock Film Festival and grant maker Lowel-Light , will once again support, promote and reward the next generation of inspired filmmakers with an annual cash/in-kind awards valued at $10,000.

The 2007 Diane Seligman Award for Best Short Narrative was presented to HIGH FALLS by Andrew Zuckerman. Best student short was presented to AQUARIUM by Rob Meyer. Prizes were also presented to SALIM BABA by Tim Sternberg for Best short doc and WAR/DANCE by Sean Fine & Andrea Nix Fine for the Haskell Wexler Award in Cinematography. *Both SALIM BABA and WAR/DANCE are nominated for 2008 Oscars®.

In memory of Diane Seligman , a beautiful person who celebrated life in the way she lived, and for all those who knew Diane and in whom she lives, the DIANE SELIGMAN AWARD is presented to the "Best Short Narrative" and "Best Student Short" to honor films that are vibrant, life affirming and created by filmmakers filled with energy, creativity and passion. Two other in-kind awards will be presented for Best short doc and Best Cinematography (the Haskell WexlerAward.)

Diane Seligman: Diane was a beautiful, loving, and giving person. She touched and inspired all who knew her. As a teenager in the 1960's, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease and was the lone survivor in a large experimental treatment group. Against the odds and medical advice, she gave life to and raised a son and a daughter. She passed away on Feb 27,2004 from respiratory complications caused by the radiation that had originally helped to save her. Diane lived in the moment, in the flow, in harmony with the life force & source with grace and dignity. She was grateful for every day.


 



2008 SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the 2008 Woodstock Film Festival or supporting the Hudson Valley Film Commission or a variety of year round special events, please contact Meira or Laurent at sponsor@woodstockfilmfestival.com

The 9th annual Woodstock Film Festival is set for October 1-5 2008, and many exciting plans are already under way. Feedback for 2007 was phenomenal. Here are just a few comments. We hope you'll join us in 2008.

"It was the nicest festival experience I had this year. The festival is well programmed and beautifuly run... I look forward to returning in 2008." Ted Sarandos– Chief Content Officer, Netflix Inc.

"I've covered and participated in many festivals, and Woodstock is unique in its combination of cinematic sophistication, user-friendly scale and down-home hospitality. It's arguably the closest thing the East Coast has to the Telluride Film Festival..” Godfrey Chesire, Moving Midway in The New York Times

"Every year the festival attracts a shockingly strong number of outstanding films, filmmakers and panelists of the highest caliber." Jason Kliot, Open City Films

See and listen to what actor Giancorlo Esposito has to say by clicking here.

If you prefer, you can make your tax-deductible donation online at www.woodstockfilmfestival.com or by mailing a check to Woodstock Film Festival,
PO Box 1406, Woodstock, NY 12498. Or call the office at 845.679.4265.


The Woodstock Film Festival is a nonprofit organization which presents 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 Hudson Valley Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development
by attracting and supporting film, video, and media production.

For information, call (845) 679-4265 or visit Woodstock Film Festival