2008 NOVEMBER NEWSLETTER, PART II
HAPPY THANKSGIVING

CONTENTS:
Documentary Short List Announced
In Theaters
On DVD and VOD

Music News

Book Nook
Better Place News
Local Production News

Location of the Month



DOCUMENTARY SHORT LIST

We are proud to congratulate the WFF selections and friends included on the Oscar® Short list of 15 documentaries advancing in the voting process for the 81st Academy Awards®. Films on the short list for documentaries include IN A DREAM directed by Jeremiah Zagar (the WFF 2008 winner for both Best Documentary Feature and The James Lyon Award for Best Documentary Editing), THE BETRAYAL (Nerakhoon) directed by Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath and MAN ON WIRE directed by James Marsh (featuring local Philippe Petit),

For complete info, see Academy Press Release


IN THEATERS

THE BETRAYAL (NERAKHOON) will be released via Celluloid Dreams this November in select venues. Co-directed by famed cinematographer Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath (the film’s narrator) we are witness to a family torn apart by war in Laos. Abandoned by the U.S., an American supporting Laotian family is forced to suffer the consequences as they move to the alien city of New York. With a haunting score and stunning visuals the film takes us on a journey that is both informative and touching.

A.O. Scott for The New York Times says of the film, “The Betrayal (Nerakhoon) is quiet, contemplative and impressionistic, which makes the story it has to tell all the more powerful.”

For additional info, visit THE BETRAYAL


WERE THE WORLD MINE, winner of the WFF 2008 James Lyons Award for best Narrative Editing, will be released this November in major cities. Directed by Tom Gustafson, the musical is a delightful twist on the classic play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. When a boy, penalized for his sexual orientation, is presented with the power to turn to his entire conservative town gay he jumps… Gustafson presents a clever commentary on acceptance and understanding with vitality and glamour. 

Reyhan Harmanci for the San Francisco Chronicle says “Were the World Mine follows the teen musical formula but renders its material with admirable lushness and intelligence.”

For locations and times, visit SPEAK PRODUCTIONS


MILK will be in theatres November 26th.  Directed by Gus Van Sant, the film is presented by Focus Features, of which 2008 WFF Trailblazer award recipient James Schamus heads.  The film showcases the life of Harvey Milk, human and gay rights activist as he rallies support for equal treatment of all and the obstacles and opposition he and his supporters must face.  Tracking the last 8 years of Milk’s life, the film promises to present a story that is both relevant and important in the current climate.  Regarding the political timing of the film James Schamus says for the New York Times,“The way movies work is not by pushing toward or appealing to a specific electoral position, but by changing the climate of opinion.”

More information about the film can be found at FOCUS FEATURES


2008 WFF centerpiece film WENDY AND LUCY, directed by Kelly Reichart, is scheduled for release by Oscilloscope Pictures on December 10th.  Following the story of a girl named Wendy, played by Michelle Williams, as she and her beloved dog Lucy struggle to survive as their journey to Alaska in search of a better life is detoured in a rural Oregonian town when her car breaks down.  The story and its presentation are powerful and gentle, real and haunting.

More information can be found at WENDY AND LUCY


ON DVD OR VOD

HOLIDAY FILM FUN

Glass Eye Pix & Beck Underwood are chilled to no end to invite you on a moving & unforgettable holiday journey.  

This year, a horrifyingly talented group of artists will create short films inspired by images found through the squeaky doors & cracked windows of the 2008 Creepy Christmas Advent calendar. 

The online Film Fest begins December 1st at Creepy Christmas

Bringing the festival to life are many upstate residents and film festival alumnae including: Larry Fessenden, Oliver Noble, Sam Falconi, JT Petty, James Felix McKenney, Mary Harron, Michael Vincent and Beck Underwood.

The first film (December 1) was created by local illustrator and children’s book author, David Goldin and features the music of Woodstock balladeer, Chase Pierson of the band Mechanical Bull.

Order advent calendars today at Ghastly Greetings 


CINETIC RIGHTS MANAGEMENT ANNOUNCES DISTRIBUTION OF INDEPENDENT FILM CATALOGUE THROUGH AMAZON VIDEO ON DEMAND AND CREATESPACE

As reported by Matt Dentler on November 16, Cinetic Rights Management (CRM) announced that its catalogue of independent films will be available on Amazon Video on Demand and via CreateSpace DVD on Demand. Through this unique online film distribution effort, certain titles will be made available to consumers exclusively each month. Among other films being released on Amazon Video on Demand in November is the following film from WFF2008:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HARRIS MALDEN (2008), director Sweaty Robot
Harris Malden is the neighborhood darling, but he has an idiosyncrasy: he tries to pass off his facial hair as real to his friends and family. The mustache is a big bold lie affixed right above his lip and it isn't fooling anyone but himself. The small community that shelters Harris supports his curious habit. Despite the big ol' fake mustache, everything is fine and dandy -- until his twenty-fifth birthday.


MUSIC NEWS

WFF congratulates WACBIZ and founder Suzanne Hilleary. Several WACBIZ Artists were recently announced as winners and finalists tonight at the Kodak Complex in LA.

Winners included Frank Carillo and the Bandoleros for Best Blues Artist, Elan Atias for Best Reggae Artist, David Thiele for Best Pop Artist, as well as many other grand finalists in multiple categories.

WACBIZ, conceived in Spring 2003, is a local music supervising service that creates a bridge between independent music and the licensing needs of the Film, TV, Ad and Web industries. WACBIZ presents professionally mastered music from all genres, including world-beat, contemporary, rock, pop, reggae and classical.

More information about the Hollywood Music Awards winners can be found at http://www.hollywoodmusicawards.org/winners.html

For more information about WACBIZ visit: http://www.wacbiz.com/


ELEPHANTS...TEETH SINKING INTO HEART

This new double CD from part time Woodstocker Rachael Yamagata marks her Warner Bros. premiere. The singer-songwriter-pianist with the sultry voice has hardly been idle since her acclaimed 2004 full-length debut, Happenstance, and its Adult Top 40 hit 'Worn Me Down.'

Elephants...Teeth Sinking Into Heart was largely produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley, The Faint), and also John Alagia (John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Happenstance), Elephants is darker and more vulnerable while the more guitar-driven Teeth Sinking Into Heart is grittier and more defiantly cynical. Together, they reveal the two sides of one of today's most entrancing artists.


BOOK NOOK

WISDOM: 50 UNIQUE AND ORIGINAL PORTRAITS

Award-wining photographer and director Andrew Zuckerman, who won Best Short at the 2007 WFF for his film HIGH FALLS (starring Peter Sarsgaard and Maggie Gyllenhaal) recently launched another ambitious project.

With the cooperation of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Zuckerman prompted a worldwide effort to support the message of WISDOM.  The project, which includes a book and short film, brings together a group of people over the age of 65 that have impacted the world, sharing their stories and their wisdom. Wisdom, as passed from one generation to the next, is the greatest and most important gift possible and Zuckerman attempts to extend its reach and possibilities by capturing their images and stories. Traveling to seven countries to meet with trailblazers from all fields some notable participants include Nelson Mandela, Buzz Aldrin, Burt Bacharach, Madeleine Albright, Clint Eastwood, Nadine Gordimer, Henry Kissinger, Billie Jean King, Frank Gehry, Judi Dench, Ted Kennedy, Jane Goodall, Robert Redford, Dave Bruebeck, and Andrew Wyeth.

None of the participants were paid for their time, and royalties from book sales will be split to 50 charities of subjects’ choice. The stunning book, filled with 100 photographs and a 60-minute DVD, manages to create a new kind of portraiture that is both transparent and powerful. 

The book and DVD are availble online via Amazon and local bookstores.
For a film clip and additional information, visit WISDOM


CALIFORNIA JOINS BETTER PLACE MODEL to End Oil Dependence
Along with Israel, Denmark and Australia, four regions now committed to gas-free driving in a decade

Last Thursday, with the blessing of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the mayors of the major cities in the Bay Area gathered at San Francisco City Hall, along with Better Place founder Shai Agassi, to declare their intention to make the region a leader in the coming age of the electric car.

Beginning in 2010, Better Place will equip hundreds of thousands of parking spots throughout the Bay Area with Better Place charge spots, and will build battery exchange stations to support seamless mobility for electric cars throughout the region, making the Bay Area region, with its five million vehicles (and transportation contributing to more than half of greenhouse gases), a leader in the coming age of electric transportation fueled by renewable energy. Ultimately, California's three other largest metropolitan areas will be similarly equipped, and battery exchange stations along freeways will interconnect them, making Better Place's service available to 80% of California's 36 million people.

The announcement in San Francisco comes just weeks after Australia also joined the Better Place network. Along with Israel and Denmark, there are now four hubs from which Better Place intends to install vast infrastructure, create mass markets for electric cars, and provide outstanding services to our driving subscribers, beginning in just over two years. For more information about Better Place, visit http://www.betterplace.com
Click here to see video



On location with Anyway Artists
Photo: Catskill Moutain Pictures

LOCAL PRODUCTION NEWS

After a quick email referral from HVFC, Bill Stitt & Joan Knight of Catskill Mountain Pictures connected with Naomi Nista of Anyway Artists in New York to help search for a location for their client, Cline, Davis & Mann, that evoked “ the middle of nowhere – without trees, structures, highline wires, billboards.” Bill and Joan thought of the Ashokan Reservoir and culled their files for pictures from a shoot they managed there last June for Bridgestone Tires. Other locations in Wallkill and New Paltz were also researched.

“Naomi thought the pictures were good, but they were taken in May,” says Joan Knight, “and she wanted to see the present ‘seasonality’ of the landscape so we drove out, took pictures, and emailed them. She thought the location was perfect!”

Bill and Joan organized the shoot so Anyway Artists were able to slip into the location, shoot their material undisturbed, and slip into the cozy bar at the Reservoir Inn when they finished. “The shoot went really well, and our client left in a very happy mood”, said Bill, “they told us that if it weren’t for the Hudson Valley Film Commission, they wouldn’t have gotten the shot.”

Shoot your next production in the Hudson Valley!!



NEED SNOW?
Let us KNOW!
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


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Help us make the tenth Anniversary a resounding success.
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