2008 JUNE NEWSLETTER

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CONTENTS:
WFF RENAMES SEVERAL MAVERICK AWARDS
THE AGRONOMIST CAPS SUCCESSFUL 3 WEEK NYC RUN
CANNES REFLECTIONS
TECHCITY FILM STUDIOS GETS NYS CERTIFICATION
SHANDAKEN'S COUNTRY ROADS TO BE FEATURED IN VOGUE ITALIA
IN THEATERS
BOOKNOOK
MUSIC NEWS


CALL FOR ENTRIES
"I Love NY" Film Competition
Woodstock Film Festival


SPONSOR NEWS
BAREFOOT WINES




 

 

 

 




 

WFF RENAMES SEVERAL MAVERICK AWARDS
To read the full press release, click here.

The Woodstock Film Festival is renaming several of its Maverick Awards to honor renowned industry members whose work made an impact in the film world and whose relationship with the Woodstock Film Festival or Woodstock region was treasured.

“We’re fortunate that so many film greats have such a fond relationship with Woodstock,” said WFF co-founder and executive director Meira Blaustein. “Woodstock has always been a haven for great talents from all walks of life. It is a privilege for us to honor their legacy.”

As of 2008, WFF is renaming the Maverick Award for Best Narrative Feature the Lee Marvin Award for Best Feature Narrative and the Best Editing Award the James Lyons Editing Award.

LEE MARVIN AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE NARRATIVE
As of 2008, WFF is renaming the Maverick Award for Best Narrative Feature the Lee Marvin Award for Best Feature Narrative to honor the beloved actor for both his legacy and in celebration of his relationship to Woodstock.

Lee’s widow, Pamela Marvin, who will announce his award in person during the Awards Ceremony October 4th, said, “I know Lee would be happy and very honored to have this award for Best Feature Narrative in the Woodstock Film Festival be given in his name." The award will include a $5,000 cash prize with additional in-kind contributions.

JAMES LYONS EDITING AWARD
As of this year, WFF is also renaming the Maverick Award for Best Editing in honor of James Lyons, the accomplished editor who had a home near Woodstock and who participated on festival panels and juries. Editor and WFF advisory board member Sabine Hoffman established the WFF editing awards in 2005."

According to Terrence Savage, Mr. Lyons' partner, "Jim liked nothing better than to see one of his assistants develop as an editor so when he died last year, his family and I felt that establishing an award for excellence in film editing would be an appropriate way to commemorate his life and work -- and we knew that the Woodstock Film Festival, with its tradition of support for young filmmakers, would be the ideal home for such an award."

PANAVISION SPONSORSHIP FOR HASKELL WEXLER AWARD
Panavision, NY, will provide $15,000 worth of film camera equipment rental for the winner of this prestigious award, who will be handpicked by Wexler. Panavision is the leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of high precision camera systems, comprised of cameras, lenses and accessories for the motion picture, television series and television commercial markets in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. Panavision camera systems have been widely used in the filming of major motion pictures over the last 30 years.

DIANE SELIGMAN AWARD ENTERS FIFTH YEAR
The Diane Seligman Award, sponsored by Lowel Light, will continue to reward, support, and encourage the next generation of inspired filmmakers with annual cash/in-kind awards for Best Short Narrative, Best Short Doc, and Best Student Short.


THE AGRONOMIST CAPS SUCCESSFUL 3 WEEK NYC RUN

Tuesday May 27th was the final installment in a three part screening series co-presented by the Woodstock Film Festival and Stranger Than Fiction at the IFC Center.

The series ended on a high note with a sold out screening of Jonathan Demme's THE AGRONOMIST. The award-winning documentary follows outspoken freedom rights activist and Radio Haiti owner and journalist Jean Dominique who was assassinated April 3, 2000 on his way to his radio station. The film documents the amazing work Dominique and his wife Michel Montas pursued, as well as the political history of Haiti in the 20th century.

As the credits came to an end, Woodstock Film Festival co-founder and executive director Meira Blaustein brought director Jonathan Demme, Michel Montas, film producer Peter Saraf and film executive producer Daniel Wolf on stage to a long standing ovation. The very graceful Montas, clearly taken by the strong emotional response, thanked the audience.

To read full article, click here.




CANNES REFLECTIONS
(From WFF board member Stephen D. Hays of 120dB Films)

Cannes was, as always, a whirlwind of meetings, parties and more meetings, compounded by limited sleep and jetlag. The general tone was that of a very tough market for films of lesser scale lacking big name talent and/or directors. Much of the smaller offerings were left to twist. The recent excess of capital backing indie films, as well as studio slates, has created a glut that will have to work itself out over time. The shuttering of several of the majors' indie divisions (New Line, WIP, Picture House...) and the well publicized woes at Capitol ("Nailed" production temporarily shutting down due to lack of funds) also received disproportionate attention on the cocktail party circuit.

Another recurring topic was how the banks and boutique lenders have scaled back and/or retreated from the film space, likely due to earlier aggressive film lending practices, not to mention shakeout from the sub-prime mortgage mess and evidence of consumer retrenchment and recession. We have been receiving numerous calls from producers that had their senior lenders bail at the last moment, and much of our Cannes was focused on these and related disasters. Several of these films were actually in pre or production, when they were presented with excuses instead of cash.

To read full article, click here.



On set with
The Human Footprint (2007)

 

 

TECH CITY FILM STUDIOS
FORMER IBM HEADQUARTERS GETS NYS CERTIFICATION

The Hudson Valley Film Commission and Ulster County Development Corporation jointly announced today that TechCity has officially been granted certification as a qualified film studio by the NYS Governor's Office of Motion Picture and Television Development. This important development will allow potential film productions to use facilities at TechCity to meet the requirements set forth by the recent NYS Film Credit.

“It’s is a monumental development,” stated Hudson Valley Film Commissioner Laurent Rejto. “This will allow film productions to shoot locally and qualify for the film credit without having to relocate outside of the Hudson Valley. The lack of a qualified site has always been the missing link in getting films to commit to the region. When National Geographic's The Human Footprint used TechCity for sound stage purposes in 2007, it cemented the fact that it was a win-win.”

To read the full article, click here


 


Photos: Ward Todd
SHANDAKEN'S COUNTRY ROADS
TO BE FEATURED IN VOGUE ITALIA

Excerpt from June 4, 2008 Daily Freeman (Ulster Chamber Advertising Supplement)

It was a sight so unusual that it turned heads and even stopped traffic one recent spring weekend in Shandaken. Seventeen stylish and important people made stops along some country roads in and around the community. They included international producers, a photographer, photo assistants, makeup artists and hair stylists. They were part of a Vogue Italia photo shoot for an upcoming spread in the quarterly fashion magazine.

Why Shandaken?

Laurent Rejto of the Hudson Valley Film Commission and the Woodstock Film Festival said the production company, Black Market Productions, was seeking locations for an editorial photo spread that would "exemplify an old-fashioned, timeless, romantic road trip through the countryside with stops at vintage service stations, fruit stands, and scenic vistas including waterfalls, covered bridges and other points of interest."

The Hudson Valley Film Commission promptly sent them photo samples, and Rejto said they fell in love with the areas of Shandaken, Phoenicia and Mt. Tremper, where they shot at many locations, including Hanover Farms and Mt. Tremper.

To read the full article, click here.


IN THEATERS

OPERATION FILMMAKER TO PREMIERE AT IFC CENTER

Director Nina Davenport's, "Operation Filmmaker," which was featured in last year's Woodstock Film Festival, will premiere at the IFC Center on June 4.

In a story as convoluted as the Iraq war itself, 25 year old Iraqi film student Muthad Mohmed is invited to intern on Liev Schreiber's "Everything is Illuminated" in the Czech Republic. Ironically, the theme of the film, young people crossing a cultural divide, becomes the story of Mohmed and the filmmakers who set out to help him. Nina Davenport, hired to direct the documentary, is soon caught up in the conflicts between Muthad, who refuses to fulfill the expectations of his benefactors, and the political realities of the dangers that the boy would face back in Iraq. Muthad truly becomes a "man without a country." "I love George Bush because he changed my life," says Muthad early on. But as the war escalates and he becomes disenchanted with motives of all those around him, what emerges is a gripping portrait of an angry young man adrift in an alien culture. (Barbara Pokras, A.C.E.)


BOOKNOOK

Local innovator and journalist Michael Schacker, the Chief Operating and Technology Officer of Ingenuity Bank, had a life-threatening stroke in early April, but not before finishing his book–A Spring Without Bees: How Colony Collapse Disorder Has Endangered Our Food Supply. In a powerful cautionary tale much like An Inconvenient Truth, Schacker examines the evidence linking IMD to Colony Collapse Disorder—which has already wiped out some 23% of the nation’s hives—and he offers a plan (Plan Bee) to save the bees before catastrophe strikes.

When news was released that bees across the country were dying off in tremendous numbers, Schacker, inspired by his interest in organic farming and his involvement with the environmentally informative Rodale Institute, immediately began research on the issue. Though it initially appeared that none of the theories about Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) made sense, he finally discovered that a widely used (and widely criticized) insecticide called IMD (Imidacloprid) was the culprit. France, which had been experiencing a similar bee crisis, banned IMD and the bees appear to be returning. Further research only made the cause of the problem more obvious to Schacker, who felt compelled to write a book that takes the first necessary step to preventing the incredible damage that could be done to our nation’s food supply–it identifies and examines potential causes.

Author Michael Schacker, is now in rehab and is slowly but surely recovering. Though he certainly is showing great progress, Schacker’s condition means that he was unable to celebrate his book’s release on June 3rd. If you would like to show your support for Michael and our nation’s endangered bees, you can buy the book at the Golden Notebook in Woodstock, local bookstores or online at Amazon. (Daniel Blaustein Rejto)

MUSIC NEWS

BLONDIE COMES TO UPAC

On Tuesday, June 10, punk/new-wave band Blondie will be coming to UPAC in Kingston, NY as part of their Parallel Lines 30th Anniversary Tour.

"Inducted into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, Blondie emerged as the great pop icons of New York's celebrated late '70s new wave punk scene by defying easy categorization. They wrote great rock hooks and brilliant, ironic lyrics. They had the hippest clothes and the coolest hair. Debbie Harry went from the pages of Punk magazine to being on the cover of just about every mainstream publication on the newsstands." (Excerpt taken from Blondie's official website)

To learn more about Blondie's UPAC concert or to purchase tickets, click here.
For a full list of tour dates, check out their tour schedule.


THE B-52's

On Saturday, June 14, the True Colors Tour, featuring Cyndi Lauper and the B-52s, is coming to Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, NY.

According to Bethel Woods' site, "The True Colors tour will feature an exciting line-up of legendary artists and up and comers, including headliners Cyndi Lauper, The B-52s, Rosie O'Donnell, The Cliks, Deborah Cox and host Carson Kressley."

To learn more or to purchase tickets to the Bethel Woods concert, click here.
For more information about the True Colors Tour, visit the official website.


CELEBRITY PANEL TO JUDGE “I LOVE NY” FILM COMPETITION

ROCHESTER, NY, May 29, 2008 – Filmmakers—professional, student, or amateur— will have the opportunity to tell the world why they love New York, with their work judged by a star-studded celebrity panel, as part of a new initiative launched today by Empire State Development.

The inaugural “I LOVE NY” Short Film Competition, announced here at the famed George Eastman House, invites filmmakers to produce their own 60-second short film illustrating why they love New York.

“There is boundless creativity within New York State,” says Dan Gundersen, Upstate Chairman of Economic Development. “We’re proud to be hosting a contest that showcases the innovation and imagination that New York State inspires.” A panel of entertainment industry celebrities with a strong New York connection will judge the submissions, including Academy Award-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, Emmy-winner Tina Fey and MTV Movie Award- winning filmmaker Doug Liman.

The Grand Prize Winner’s film will appear as part of a commercial during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast, as well as on jetBlue Airways seatback televisions and the Independent Film Channel (IFC).

To read full article, click here.


Maverick Award - Designed by Steve Heller

WOODSTOCK CALL FOR ENTRIES FINAL DEADLINE ON JUNE 30

The Woodstock Film Festival (Oct 1-5, 2008) is accepting submissions in all categories. The final deadline is Monday, June 30, 2008.

Maverick Awards are presented for:
Best Feature Narrative-Lee Marvin Award
Best Feature Documentary
Best Short Documentary-The Diane Seligman Award, sponsored by Lowel-Light
Best Short Film-The Diane Seligman Award, sponsored by Lowel-Light
Best Student Film-The Diane Seligman Award, sponsored by Lowel-Light
Best Cinematography–The Haskell Wexler Award (sponsored by Panavision)
Best Editing–The James Lyons Award, sponsored by Final Cut Studio Pro
Best Animation–Presented by Bill Plympton
Audience Award for Best Feature Narrative
Audience Award for Best Feature Documentary
Honorary Maverick Award winner TBA
Honorary Trailbalzer Award winner TBA

Cash, prizes and/or services are given out in each category.

To apply online, and for details, visit ENTRY FORM


BAREFOOT WINES

Barefoot Wine & Bubbly are enjoyable, flavorful and awarded wines hailing from sunny California. Barefoot is serious about having fun and wants you to “get Barefoot and have a great time!” 

Barefoot’s Winemaker, Jennifer Wall, has been with the company for 12 years. She is responsible for all of the award-winning wines produced under the Barefoot label, and is one of the most highly-awarded female winemakers in California.

For the past two decades, Barefoot has been actively involved in helping various not-for-profit organizations and charities: from art organizations to environmental groups as well as the gay and lesbian community. Barefoot has been stepping it up and helping to put the “fun” in fundraising! 

Barefoot is available throughout the Hudson Valley wherever wine is sold and can be found in colorful bottles and cases bearing the fun, signature footprint on the label.


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