2008 AUGUST NEWSLETTER

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CONTENTS:
WFF and 120dB Films to present special SNEAK PREVIEW benefit screening of BATTLE IN SEATTLE
BELA FLECK and Abigail Washburn and The Sparrow Quartet to open 9th Annual WFF
9th Annual WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL POSTER Unveiled
FOCUS FEATURES CEO James Schamus to be honored with WFF Trailblazer Award
TAKING WOODSTOCK to start filming
WFF Advisory Board Member Annie Nocenti working with budding Haitian filmmakers

In Theaters

Music News

Booknook

Advertise with WFF



SPONSOR NEWS
FUZE




WFF IN ASSOCIATION WITH 120DB FILMS TO PRESENT SPECIAL BENEFIT SCREENING OF BATTLE IN SEATTLE followed by reception with director Stuart Townsend

On Tuesday, September 16 at 7 pm, the Woodstock Film Festival in association with 120dB Films will present a special screening of director Stuart Townsend's Battle In Seattle followed by a Q&A with the director and reception at Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY. Only 70 seats are available, so get your tickets now! Contributions will benefit the Woodstock Film Festival. For more information on the event or to order tickets, click here.

It’s November 1999, and five days are about to rock the world as tens of thousands of demonstrators take to the streets of Seattle in protest of the World Trade Organization’s Ministerial Meeting. Among them are Django (Andre Benjamin), Sam (Jennifer Carpenter), Lou (Michelle Rodriguez) and Jay (Martin Henderson). Each has a unique story, but they’re united in a common desire to be heard and to make a difference in the world. For these four protesters, this is very personal and the stakes are higher than mere politics.

A peaceful demonstration to stop the WTO talks quickly escalates into a full-scale riot, and soon a State of Emergency is declared by the Mayor of Seattle. The streets are mayhem, and the WTO is paralyzed. Caught in the crossfire of civil liberties and keeping the peace are Seattle residents, including its beleaguered mayor (Ray Liotta), a riot cop on the streets (Woody Harrelson) and his pregnant wife (Charlize Theron). The choices they all make will change their lives forever.

Writer/Director Stuart Townsend brings together this talented ensemble to intertwine different points of view – from protesters and police to delegates and doctors -- each of whom intentionally or accidentally find themselves on the streets of Seattle in those last days of the millennium. Townsend seamlessly merges footage of the real event with his fictional narrative. Ultimately, Battle in Seattle illustrates that even against incredible odds, ordinary people can change the world.

To visit Battle in Seattle's official website, click here.


Bela Fleck Performs for a Village in Uganda
in "Thow Down Your Heart"

Abigail Washburn and The Sparrow Quartet
featuring Bela Fleck with Casey Driessen
and Ben Sollee

BELA FLECK RETURNS TO THE WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL
In Concert With …
ABIGAIL WASHBURN AND THE SPARROW QUARTET


Eight-time Grammy award winner Bela Fleck will open the 9TH Woodstock Film Festival, in concert with Abigail Washburn and The Sparrow Quartet featuring Bela Fleck with Casey Driessen and Ben Sollee, Wednesday, Oct. 1st, at 8pm at the Bearsville Theater. This very special concert kicks off the “fiercely independent,” five-day film extravaganza, which runs Wednesday October 1 through Sunday Oct. 5, at various locations in Woodstock, Rosendale and Rhinebeck, NY.

Bela Fleck re-joins the festival in two capacities this year, he is also the producer and star of the documentary Throw Down Your Heart, director Sascha Paladino’s full-length documentary chronicling Fleck’s recent trip through Africa to uncover the roots of the banjo.  The film follows the award-winning musician’s travels to Uganda, Tanzania, Gambia and Mali, where he meets and plays with indigenous musicians and discovers more than he bargained for. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Bela back to Woodstock. The opening night concert provides a perfect kick-off to this year’s festival as it features a fascinating combination of musical styles and concepts by some of the most talented musicians on the planet, echoing our theme of cultural and artistic diversity,” says Woodstock Film Festival Executive Director, Meira Blaustein, adding, “Like many of our films, The Sparrow Quartet explores and crosses global boundaries to find the commonality we all share, and we are pleased to be able to offer this superb collaboration to the community.”

For tickets to the Oct. 1st Opening Night Concert at the Bearsville Theater and general program information, click here. The complete schedule of festival events will be available to the public on-line and at the Box Office in mid-September.

For tickets, visit http://www.bearsvilletheater.com/events-calendar/bela-fleck-with-abigail-washburn-and-the-sparrow-quartet


POSTER UNVEILED FOR 9th ANNUAL WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL

A fabulous new poster designed by Woodstock-based artist Karen Whitman was unveiled today for the 9th Annual Woodstock Film Festival running from Wednesday, October 1st through Sunday, Oct. 5th.

“Since it’s an election year, we decided to create our own political poster. We want people to vote fiercely independent by coming out to the festival from October 1 through 5 to enjoy the amazing work that will be on display by talented filmmakers from all over the world,” said co-founder Laurent Rejto. “The poster is a cross between the propaganda posters from the twenties and sixties concert posters. But it has a definitive Woodstock touch.”

Karen Whitman, who specializes in linoleum block prints, created the poster using the century old technique known as linoleum cutting. The engraving technique dates back to the end of the 19th century. Linoleum (made from a layer of cork dust mixed with linseed oil, gum, and resin) is hand tooled using chisels and knives. Whitman, using both antique and modern presses, creates prints.

A small run of prints including water-colored versions will be created as a signed limited edition and available through the website at http://www.woodstockfilmfestival.com/store/souvenirs.php.


FOCUS FEATURES CEO James Schamus to BE HONORED WITH Trailblazer Award at 9TH ANNUAL WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL

Focus Features CEO and award-winning writer/producer James Schamus will be honored with the Trailblazer Award at the 9th annual Woodstock Film Festival (WFF) on October 4th.

“We are honored and delighted to be presenting James Schamus with the 2008 Trailblazer Award,” said Meira Blaustein, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the festival. “The award was created with the intention of honoring those who have taken an innovative and transforming approach in the film industry. Mr. Schamus surpasses those objectives. The fact the he has exhibited excellence in both business and creativity sets him apart from all his peers.”

Mr. Schamus commented, “I’m touched to be receiving this honor from one of my very favorite film festivals – one that carries on the spirit of adventure and discovery that characterizes its hometown.”

An integral contributor to the American independent film business for over two decades, he has the unique distinction of being an award-winning screenwriter and producer who is also a film executive.

He is a Golden Globe Award winner and multiple Academy Award nominee for his screenwriting and songwriting (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and producing (Brokeback Mountain); among his other honors, he was awarded the prize for Best Screenplay at the 1997 Cannes International Film Festival for The Ice Storm. He has had a long collaboration as writer and producer with Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee on ten feature films, including the recent Lust, Caution.

This month, Focus begins location filming on the 1969-set true story Taking Woodstock, directed by Mr. Lee. Mr. Schamus has written the screenplay, which is an adaptation of Elliot Tiber’s memoir Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, A Concert, and A Life.

The Trailblazer Award will be presented to Mr. Schamus at the 2008 Woodstock Film Festival (WFF) awards ceremony on Saturday, October 4th. During the day leading up to the evening ceremony, there will be an in-person discussion with Mr. Schamus at the Festival as well as a retrospective screening.

To read the full press release, click here


 

TAKING WOODSTOCK TO START FILMING - NEEDS VINTAGE CARS

Focus Features will begin production on Taking Woodstock in the region later this month. Based on Elliot Tiber's memoir about the 1969 music fest, the film was scripted by upcoming WFF Trailblazer Award recipient James Schamus and will be directed by Ang Lee.

The cast is set to include Emile Hirsch, Imelda Staunton, Demetri Martin, Henry Goodman, Jonathan Groff, Eugene Levy, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Dan Fogler, Mamie Gummer and WFF advisory board member Liev Schrieber. To read more about the film, check out Variety's article.

Currently, the production team is in need of vintage cars, trucks, and motorcycles made between 1958-1970. If you have a vehicle you would like to contribute, please e-mail picturecardept@gmail.com.


WFF ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER ANNIE NOCENTI
JOURNEYS TO HAITI


WFF Advisory Board member, screenwriter and editor Annie Nocenti, has been spending a lot of time in Haiti lately. She recently returned from a ten day filmmaking program there, where she helped budding filmmakers write scripts, shoot scenes, and learn the fundamentals of acting. Nocenti plans to return to Haiti soon to help finish the films.

"Watch out for Haitian Cinema.... I have high hopes that it will be something new and wonderful," says Annie.



IN THEATERS

FORGIVENESS
A Film by Udi Aloni

A daring hybrid of realism and fantasy, Forgiveness is a psychological thriller that explores the tragedies of the Middle East. David, a young American-Israeli, returns to Israel to join the army, only to find himself in a catatonic state after accidentally shooting a Palestinian girl while on patrol. He is committed to a mental institution which sits on the ruins of a Palestinian village. The head psychiatrist tries to cure him with medication, while another patient in the hospital, a Holocaust survivor, tries to redeem him by opening his heart to the ghost that haunts him. He returns to New York under his father's care, believing that his horrific past is behind him…until his love for a Palestinian woman reopens the gates of his trauma zone.

"Forgiveness thinks with emotions...maybe the most beautiful, powerful and important film ever made about the tragedies of the region." -Slavoj Zizek, philosopher; guest director - 2009 Telluride Film Festival

Forgiveness was an Official Selection at the Berlin, Locarno, Copenhagen, Jerusalem and Tokyo International Film Festivals. It won the Audience Award at the 2006 Woodstock Film Festival.

Forgiveness opens exclusively at Cinema Village in NYC Friday, September 12th for one week only. For showtimes and tickets visit: cinemavillage.com

Udi Aloni and Slavoj Zizek  will be in attendance at the theater opening night. Check local listings for details. To learn more about the film visit: www.ForgivenessTheFilm.com


MOVING MIDWAY
A Film by Godfrey Cheshire
From First Run Features

First Run Features will release Godfrey Cheshire's Moving Midway on September 12th in two NYC locations, the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and the IFC Center. The documentary made its New York premiere as an Official Selection at last year's Woodstock Film Festival.

In his stunning debut, Cheshire delves deep into his personal history and a sensitive part of American history. The film tells the story of Midway Plantation, a property in Cheshire's family since 1848. In light of "big box urbanization," Cheshire's cousin Charlie, now owner of the property, plans to move the house to a more rural location. But there is more to a planation than just the iconic house. As graveyards, ghosts and concealed family lines are dug up and put on display, Moving Midway presents a thoughtful and intelligent discussion on traditional Southern values. To visit Moving Midway's official website, click here. For full list of screening times and locations, click here


MUSIC NEWS

DAVID SANCIOUS PERFORMANCE TO BENEFIT DOCUMENTARY HAPPINESS...OR EVERYONE IS WAKING UP

Master musician David Sancious is offering a performance at Kleinert/James Gallery on August 30, 8:00 PM, 34 Tinker Street in Woodstock, to benefit the feature length documentary, Happiness ... Or Everyone is Waking Up. The evening will be a gala celebration with Sancious, champagne and chocolate. In addition, a film crew will interview those who wish to share their epiphanies about happiness for the documentary.

Tickets are on sale at Mirabai and at www.happinessdocumentary.com, or call 845-679-0460. General admission is $30 and reserved seating is $50.


 

BOOKNOOK

ROBERT THURMAN'S WHY THE DALAI LAMA MATTERS

Why the Dalai Lama Matters, the latest book from Woodstock resident and highly-esteemed Tibetan Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman, hit bookshelves recently. In the book, Thurman, president of Tibet House US and a longtime personal friend of the Dalai Lama, lays out a five-point plan for resolving the ongoing conflict between Tibet and China, a plan that he believes would benefit both parties.

The following is an excerpt from the book's website:

"His Holiness the Dalai Lama is an extraordinary example of a life dedicated to peace, communication, and unity. What he represents, and what he has accomplished, heals and transcends the current tensions between Tibet and China."

"Why the Dalai Lama Matters explores just why he has earned the world’s love and respect, and how restoring Tibet’s autonomy within China is not only possible, but highly reasonable, and absolutely necessary for all humans to have a peaceful future."

This "is not merely a book about Tibet or the Dalai Lama. It is a revealing, provocative solution for a world in conflict, dealing with the very fundamentals of human rights and freedoms. By showing the work that the Dalai Lama has done on behalf of his people, Thurman illuminates a worldwide call-to-action, showing that power gained by might means nothing in the face of a determined act of truth."


ADVERTISE WITH THE WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL

Want to get the word out about your business or organization? What better way to do so than by placing an ad in WFF's 9th Annual Commemorative Program!

This program will be the only official Woodstock Film Festival program with advertising opportunities. Advertisements in the program are generally reserved for sponsors, but right now we are offering a limited number of ads to non-sponsors on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Your ad will be seen by thousands in print and hundreds of thousands online during the 9th Annual Woodstock Film Festival this October 1-5.  But act quickly!  Spaces are filling up, and our August advertising deadline is fast approaching! To place an ad in our 9th Annual Commemorative Program, click here or e-mail us at ads@woodstockfilmfestival.com

Looking for a different way to support the 2008 Woodstock Film Festival?  Click on the links to learn more about supporting us through: Auction Contributions, Web Advertising, Sponsorship, Private Contributions, and Foundation Support.


SPONSOR NEWS

FUZE

Since 2001, FUZE Beverage, LLC has been reinventing beverage industry standards by introducing non-carbonated drinks that are “infuzed” with real health benefits and antioxidants. Visit www.drinkfuze.com for more information and your local market to get the great taste of FUZE.  “Drink Positive. Do Positive.”


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