2008 NOVEMBER NEWSLETTER

Brought to you by

The Gen Art Film Festival (GAFF)’s exclusive format of just 7 features and 7 shorts assures individual attention that no other renowned festival can offer. Entering its 14th year, GAFF introduces the audience to films by emerging North American filmmakers. These films are hand selected, each chosen for their individuality and creativity, with the intent to keep the slate as diverse as possible. More information and an application can be found at Genart.org

CONTENTS:
WFF to Receive Academy Grant
Awards Season

In Theaters

Les Blank at Film Forum
On DVD

Book Nook
For the Tube
Dog Staff News

Local News

Support WFF's 10th Anniversary!

Location of the Month




WFF RECEIVES ACADEMY GRANT

The Woodstock Film Festival is thrilled to announce that it has received a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in support of WFF's panel programs. The underlying purpose in assisting festivals such as WFF is to engage diverse audiences and to encourage filmmakers, particularly those for whom a festival showing is a much needed opportinity for exposure to and feedback from those diverse audiences.

For a full list of U.S. film festivals that received grants for 2009,
visit the Academy Foundation



AWARDS SEASON

RACING DAYLIGHT
Nicole Quinn’s RACING DAYLIGHT, starring David Strathairn and Melissa Leo was recently awarded the BEST FEATURE Prize at the S.N.O.B. Film Festival in Concord, New Hampshire.

In order to qualify for a Spirit Award, Racing Daylight will be screened at the Rosendale Theatre for one week: December 12-18 at 5pm. DVDs of the film will be available at the Theater during that week. They make great holiday gifts and stocking stuffers!

Click here to preo-order Racing Daylight from Amazon


KASSIM THE DREAM

At the recent AFI Fest in LA, Kief Davidson's KASSIM THE DREAM (WFF2008), won the Grand Jury Prize for documentary, and tied for the documentary Audience Award. Directed by Kief Davidson, the film highlights the harsh and unbelievable life of Ugandan born American boxer Kassim “The Dream” Ouma who was kidnapped at the age of six to fight as a child soldier. At the ceremony, also attended by Ouma, Davidson said, “He represents hundreds of thousands of children that have been abducted and he's one of the fortunate few that have made it out. But even the child soliders that do find a way out are still dealing with trauma. And the film very much deals with that. He's a brave man, I just want to thank him."

KASSIM THE DREAM was also recently announced as one of the five feature films nominated for Distinguished Documentary Achievement at the International Documentary Association’s 2008 IDA Documentary Awards. The ceremony will be hosted by 2008 Woodstock Film Festival panelist Morgan Spurlock at the Directors Guild in Los Angeles on December 5th, 2008.


IN THEATERS

LET THEM CHIRP AWHILE
, which world premiered at WFF in 2007, will be released in select theatres on December 5, 2008.

Directed by Jonathan Blitstein, the film features mumblecore favorite Justin Rice as a struggling screenwriter attempting to cope with his friends, his foes, and ex-girlfriend-turned-lesbian as the ever-pressing concepts of morality, authenticity and self-reliance are all brought into question.

Sarah Coleman for The Independent writes, “It's a coming-of-age story with familiar elements, but Blitstein manages to make it feel fresh and original…”

And Tony Fletcher comments, “even if the cineplexes nationwide never get the treat, Let Them Chirp Awhile fully deserves its run on Houston Street: the Sunshine and Angelika should be preparing their marquee as I type. Really, it’s a delight.”

For additional info, visit Let Them Chirp Awhile


LES BLANK AT FILM FORUM

We are very excited to announce that the Woodstock Film Festival’s first recipient of the Honorary Maverick Award, Les Blank, will be honored with a week of his work at the Film Forum from November 14th through the 20th.

Les Blank is world renowned for his heartfelt and soulfully made documentaries on American culture and music. Always focusing on subjects that express an honest appreciation of life and its pleasures, his films manage to preserve a unique element of the human experience that is often forgotten. For over 40 years he has created these unique films, and all the while has managed to do so with a touching acceptance and understanding.

Entertainment Weekly calls Blank “America's master of cinematic cultural anthropology.” And Werner Herzog says, “Les is the one who has found truth, and in every single film he has made, he has shown us and given us this feeling of what truth on a screen can be... What would America be without Les’s warm, dignified and wonderful look into the very soul of all of us?”

Films showcased at the week long festival that will be accompanied by the man himself include; All in This Tea, Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers, Burden of Dreams, J'ai été au bal, and The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins.

For additional info, visit Film Forum


ON DVD

BODY OF WAR
If you missed the Woodstock Film Festival Body of War special screening with Phil Donahue, Ellen Spiro and other special guests, or many of the other theatrical screenings around the country, you can now see this very moving documentary on DVD. Phil Donahue will be station-hopping in November to promote the release and the Sundance Channel national broadcast, which aired on Veteran's Day.

From MOVIEGOERS GET THEIR PHIL:
BODY OF WAR SCREENING
Written by Kelly Franklin, Correspondent (Daily Freeman)
The sniffling heard frequently Saturday afternoon [01/2008] 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 at Daily Freeman
The DVD can be purchased online at Body of War - The True Story of an Anti-War Hero


SUNSHINE SUPERMAN- THE JOUNREY OF DONOVAN

Sunshine Superman - The Journey Of Donovan world premiered at the 2008 Woodstock Film Festival with an introduction by legendary radio personality Pete Fornatale and an audience of music personalities including Arlo Guthrie, Kate Pierson, Cassandra Wilson and off course, Donovan himself. The film is the ultimate life story of the 60´s folk-pop phenomenon. The deluxe double-DVD set contains classic 60´s film and TV appearances, rare archive footage and never-before-seen material as well as 5 previously unreleased songs and all of the hits. With appearances by Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Mickie Most, Rick Rubin, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Franco Zeffirelli, David Lynch (and many more) and a 40 page booklet chock full of informative liner notation and exclusive photo material.

The DVD can be purchased online at Sunshine Superman - The Journey Of Donovan


BOOK NOOK

TWO WEEKS UNDER
"Imagine William Gibson and Margaret Atwood, drunk and mud wrestling in the muck of post-paranoid America. Add Bridget Jones' infomercial-driven definition of femininity, rolling in the nip/tuck culture and near-indifference our need for self-esteem enables. TWO WEEKS UNDER would be their love child-- at times a satire, at times a warning, and every page a fresh and compelling thriller."--Kevin Salem, musician and president of Little Monster Records& Books.

Journalist and author Rivka Tadjer’s chilling and darkly funny novel, TWO WEEKS UNDER, answers the daily din of our weight obsession with this question: If you could go under a completely safe, affordable, two-week vanity coma to lose weight, would you do it? Would you spring for a nose job while you’re under, since you don’t have to be awake for the two weeks you’d wear a bandage? And one last thing Tadjer would like to know: Size zero. Who decided that was a size?

TWO WEEKS UNDER explores the phenomenon of our self-loathing judgment and unrealistic challenge of trying to live some kind of natural life in a make-everything-perfect, you’re nothing without a brand name, YouTube culture. Without a natural life, we become alienated. If we’re alienated, what’s to become of our society?

To buy this book online visit Two Weeks Under
Book Signing. Saturday, Nov. 15 @ 5 p.m. Upstairs at Joshua’s Café, Tinker St., Woodstock. For additional info, visit www.rivkatadjer.com


CHARLOTTE IN LONDON

Joan Knight of Catskill Mountain Pictures is happy to announce that her children’s book character, Charlotte, is on the road again – to England this time, where she tries to help track down the famous – and elusive – artist, Mr. John Singer Sargent. Just out from Chronicle Books, “Charlotte in London,” is the fourth in Knight’s ongoing series about an American girl who keeps a journal as she travels with her family to France and beyond so her father can learn to paint in the new French style called Impressionism.

Charlotte in London can be found online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble and, in Woodstock, at The Golden Notebook and Chez Grandmere.


Director Wally Carbone
with local actors (Gazette)

FOR THE TUBE

EX-SOAP WRITER CREATES NEW SOAP!
(courtesy of Soaps.com)
When the name Sam Hall is mentioned, those in the entertainment industry remember Sam from his work as a writer on such soaps as One Life to Live, Dark Shadows and Santa Barbara. Now, Sam is knee-deep into a new project – one that has his town of Rhinebeck talking soaps!

Back in 1979, Sam and his wife Grayson, who also worked with him on One Life to Live and Dark Shadows, bought a house in Rhinebeck, New York where they commuted back and forth for a little over ten years until the couple settled there in 1990. Not only has Sam made this town his home, he’s now bringing the community its very own soap opera, which will be full of humor and based on the daily comings and goings throughout Rhinebeck!

Sam presented his soap, SO YOU WANT TO LIVE IN THE COUNTRY, to the president of a local cable access channel, Kathy Hammer, with the hopes to feature everything ‘local’! After securing a $10,000 grant from the Dutchess County Arts Council, Sam quickly started getting his project material together and now has enough to already include four episodes!

Produced by Aida Wilder, and directed by Wally Carbone, the entire crew is comprised of all local residents with the soap’s script set to a lot of Sam’s personal experiences. Many of the local merchants have helped out as well with donations of food, clothing and accessories to be used in and supplied during production of the hometown soap opera.

SO YOU WANT TO LIVE IN THE COUNTRY will appear on PANDA (channel 23) with hopes of expanding to other public access channels throughout the Hudson Valley area!



Winston & Theresa

DOG (STAFF) NEWS

VOTE FOR WINSTON

With the presidential election now behind us, Woodstock Film Festival venue manager and volunteer-extraordinaire Theresa Carroll, has been busy lobbying heavily for Winston…

Courtesy of Robert Ford (Ulster County Press)
Local dog vying to become first-ever “spokesdog” for Milk-Bone

He does tricks, jumps through hoops and speaks on command. No it’s not a well-trained husband – it’s Winston, a therapy dog from Rosendale, and he and his owner, Theresa Carroll, are hoping that he will be the first-ever Milk-Bone SpokesDog.

Winston, a mixed terrier that Carroll calls a mutt, has already beaten out thousands of entrants into the Milk-Bone contest during the last nine months, as the popular dog treat company looks for a spokesdog to help with its 100th Anniversary. Winston is one of 100 finalists and the selection of the winner will come from the general public as they cast their ballots for their favorite doggy.

Carroll and her husband, Bill, moved to the Springtown Road section of Rosendale three years ago, with their puppy, Winston, a couple of horses and a cat named Bubba.

Bubba is a rescue cat who was found making a home in a sewer pipe at a women’s prison. “It was a prison so we gave him a prison name,” Carroll says with a laugh. And, Bubba “tolerates” Winston, “but likes messing with him.”

To vote for Winston go to www.milkbone.icmodus.com
Read the entire story online at Ulster County Press


2008 OPEN HOUSE

Come to Woodstock December 5 5-9pm

Come one and all to enjoy our warm hospitality during this favorite party of the season. We welcome everyone to come and shop while having fun in Woodstock.

Friday, Dec. 5, from 5 to 9 pm, the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and Arts will present the 27th annual WOODSTOCK OPEN HOUSE. throughout the Village of Woodstock, NY. An evening of free entertainment, festive window displays, merriment and food will kick off the holiday season for visitors near and far. More than 70 stores and businesses will be open. This year's event will continue to have numerous activities and entertainment with entertainment withmany charming surprises. Returning this year are groups, The Cover Girlz, singing holiday harmonies and The Princes of Serendip who will be performing their original and delightful music. Bar Scott and friends will return singing carols and other rounds with the audience. Janine Pommy Vega will perform her incredible poetry with music by Betty MacDonald and others. Visit WCOCA for complete schedule details


 

 

"Every year the festival attracts a shockingly strong number of outstanding films, filmmakers and panelists of the highest caliber. It is so important to have these festivals as outposts of our most vital art forms. They bring the best of our cinematic culture to areas that don't always have access to these kinds of films. But above all, it is the intimacy and relationships developed between filmmakers and within the industry
that makes Woodstock so special.
It is a festival for people who love independent film, through and through,
and the bonds one make there are
unique because of that fact."
Jason Kliot, Open City Films

SUPPORT WFF's 10TH ANNIVERSARY!

Since the beginning of man, artists have been able to open a window onto the soul of man and to temper the disconnect between heaven and hell, the oppressed and oppressor by revealing beauty, the perception it inspires and the passion that drives the soul towards a spiritual ascent. Every year, we meet so many new filmmakers whose voices deserve to be heard and shared... the voices of Prince of Broadway, Medicine for Melancholy, Explicit Ills, In a Dream, Kassim the Dream, Blind Spot, Johnny Cash's America, Playing for Change - Peace through Music, At the Edge of the World.... These are the grass roots that need growth and support. These are the voices that allow us all to marvel, cry, laugh, scream, and to share in the common universal beliefs that illustrate the strength, virtue and resourcefulness of man.

As a non for profit organization, we have worked diligently over the past nine years to deliver on our promise to be fiscally responsible and to continue our mission to present film, music, and art-related activities that promote artists, culture, inspired learning and diversity. Please consider supporting Woodstock Film Festival's 10th ANNIVERSARY in 2009 with a tax-deductible contribution.

Like many other 501(c)(3)not-for-profit organizations, we have felt the sizeable impact of government cutbacks, the evaporation of grants, and corporate downsizing. As a result we are doubling our fundraising efforts and turning to individual donations to fill the gaps in our budget. Although we have just completed a very successful festival, Now is the time we need your support to prepare for our biggest year yet.

Every dollar received enables us to maintain our high level of programming (Exposure, Focus on Music, World Cinema, Youth Initiative...), make important upgrades to equipment, facilities and film venues and to retain a year-round office and staff. Every dollar goes into creating film, music and arts related opportunities, and bringing to you all the magic that is the Woodstock Film Festival.

We sincerely thank you in advance for your time and consideration and for your generous contribution. Please know that your financial support is greatly appreciated and will be put to good use! Any amount will be greatly appreciated.

Contribute to the Woodstock Film Festival online at Festival Support
or by sending a check made payable to
Woodstock Film Festival, Inc
PO Box 1406, Woodstock, NY 12498


LOCATION OF THE MONTH
The Hudson Valley Film Commission (HVFC) is fully prepared to act as a conduit for preproduction, production, and postproduction for filmmaking in the Hudson Valley and Catskill region. HVFC attracts filmmakers from around the world to the region and provides support throughout the year to studio features, independent features, print, new media, short films, and television shows and ads.

The region also offers location, technical and talent support through top industry insiders. Feel free to email us about your projects at info [at] hudsonvalleyfilmcommission


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