2008 DECEMBER NEWSLETTER
HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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CONTENTS:
Awards Watch
In Theaters
On DVD
Music News & Gift Ideas
Booknook

Location of the Day



 

 

 

 

AWARDS WATCH

FROZEN RIVER TAKES CENTER STAGE
Melissa Leo, actor and close friend of the Woodstock Film Festival was honored with the Breakthrough Actor Award at the Gotham Awards on Decmeber 2 for her remarkable performance in the film Frozen River, which also grabbed the coveted Best Feature nod of the night.

Melissa has been receiving rave reviews and accolades for her role as an immigrant smuggler across the U.S. and Canadian boarder. She will also be receiving the Spotlight Award by the National Board of Review, to be presented January 14, 2009 and is nominated for the Independent Spirit Awards: Best Female Lead. The winners will be announced February 21, 2009 in Santa Monica, California. She has been nominated in the Best Actress category in the 14th Annual Broadcast Film Critics' Association's Critics Choice Awards

In a phone interview Melissa said regarding all the mounting accolades: "I'm really grateful for the work I have gotten. It’s been a fun year of working. The awards are inspiring, more than I've ever dreamt of."

Independent Spirit Awards nominations
The Woodstock Film Festival is proud to announce the remarkable range of films shown at our 9th annual festival this past October that have been nominated for Independent Spirit Awards. The awards ceremony will be held on February 21, 2009 in Santa Monica, California.

Our 2008 centerpiece film Wendy and Lucy Produced by Larry Fessenden, Neil Kopp, Anish Savjani is nominated for Best Feature.

Medicine for Melancholy which received an honorable mention for The Lee Marvin Best Feature Narrative Award at WFFs 9th annual awards ceremony is nominated for the Independent Spirit Award: Best First Feature.

Prince of Broadway, which nabbed the 2008 Woodstock Film Festivals Lee Marvin Best Feature Narrative Award is nominated for the John Cassavetes Award.

In Search of a Midnight Kiss, which was a part the WFF 2007 program also received a nod for the John Cassavetes Award.

Both Michelle Williams (Wendy and Lucy) and Melissa Leo (Frozen River) are nominated for the Best Female Lead Award.

Other films from our 2008 program that received nominations include another 2008 WFF centerpiece film Secret of the Grain (Best Foreign Film) The Betrayal (Best Documentary), Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy producers of I’ll Come Running for the Piaget Producers Award. Director Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy) was nominated for the Acura Someone to Watch Award and James Laxton (Medicine for Melancholy)received a nomination for Best Cinematoraphy.

For more information, visit Spirit Awards



IN THEATERS

WENDY AND LUCY
Michelle Williams shines as the hard-up, empathetic Wendy, an Indiana native traveling through America's Pacific-Northwest on her way to find a better life in an Alaskan fish cannery. With her beloved dog and best friend Lucy, her only company on the open road, Wendy is sidetracked when her car breaks down in a small, rural Oregonian town and makes what proves to be a futile attempt at shoplifting that will change her life forever.

In The New York Times' Manolha Dargis wrote “With uninflected realism, an attentive camera and no weeping strings, Ms. Reichardt makes palpably, tragically real what it means to be struggling at the very edge of the economic abyss. WENDY AND LUCY is political to the bone but without any of the usual grandstanding.”

Wendy and Lucy, which screened as centerpiece film at the 2008 Woodstock Film Festival, will open at the Film Forum in NY on December 10th and in Los Angeles on December 12. For more information visit Oscilloscope Pictures


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THE SECRET OF THE GRAIN
The Secret of the Grain (La Graine et le Mulet) is a touching and resoundingly humanistic story set in the rustic port of Sete in southeastern France. Slimane has worked in the same shipyard job for over 35 years, when his growing dissatisfaction prompts him to try to open his own restaurant. His dream seems unbelievable, but his contagious conviction and persistence work their way into the hearts of his loyal but dispersed family; the four children from his first marriage, his ex-wife, current girlfriend and her bright, outspoken daughter, Rym (played to great acclaim by the stunning newcomer Hafsia Herzi). A grand film about ordinary people, The Secret of the Grain is a deliciously slow-burning drama about fate, food and family.

Stephen Holden of The NY Times wrote, "Brilliant ... an extraordinarily rich
and human ensemble piece... establishes Kechiche as a major player in world cinema."

Featured at the 2008 Woodstock Film Festival, The Secret of the Grain will be released in theaters by IFC Films in New York on December 24. For more information please visit IFC Films


ON DVD & ONLINE

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 


FLOW (aka- Flow:For Love of Water)

With an unflinching focus on politics, pollution and human rights, FLOW: For Love of Water, a film by Irena Salina, ensures that the precarious relationship between humanity and water can no longer be ignored. While specifics of locality and issue may differ, the message is the same; water, and our future as a species, is quickly drying up. Armed with a thirst for survival, people around the world are fighting for their birthright; unless we instigate change, we face a world in which only those that can pay for their water will survive. FLOW: For Love of Water, is a catalyst for people everywhere: the time has come to turn the tide and we can't wait any longer.


This is Oscilloscope’s second DVD release and it will be in stores this Tuesday.
Interestingly, according to Bruce Farnsworth the VP in charge of collateral at Oscilloscope, the packaging is 100% recyclable and is made from 80% post-consumer waste, FSC-certified from sustainable resources.

For more info about FLOW (aka- Flow:For Love of Water), visit Oscilloscope Pictures


MAN ON WIRE

On August 7th 1974, a young Frenchman named Philippe Petit stepped out on a wire and illegally rigged between the New York's twin towers. After nearly an hour dancing on the wire, he was arrested, taken for psychological evaluation, and brought to jail before he was finally released. This documentary compiles Petit's footage to show the numerous extraordinary challenges he faced in completing the artistic crime of the century.

"Exhilerating," says Stephen Holden of The New york Times

Man on Wire is availble on DVD. See trailer at Magnolia Home Entertainment


 

MUSIC NEWS






Odetta and Wavy Gravy at
2006 Woodstock FIlm Festival

THE DEATH OF ODETTA HOLMES

Once described as the queen of American folk music by Martin Luther King Jr., Odetta's monumental voice rang out in August 1963 when she sang "I'm on My Way" at the historic March on Washington, where Martin Luther King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech. She had hoped to perform again in Washington next month when Barack Obama is inaugurated as the nation's first African American president. However the legendary folk singer, who influenced generations of musicians and was an icon in the civil rights movement, sadly passed away Tuesday at the age of 77, after battling heart disease for much of her later life.

Born in Birmingham, Ala., on New Year's Eve, 1930, and raised in Los Angeles, Odetta Holmes proved to be a true musical talent early on in her life. At the age of thirteen she was schooled in opera and began touring with the musical Finian’s Rainbow soon after. However, it was in the 1950’s that Odetta began to come into her own as a folk singer. Her classical and musical-stage training combined with her passion for story telling is what propelled Odetta into the spot light. Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues, the 1956 Tradition LP with definitively blazing interpretations of "Easy Rider" and "God's Gonna Cut You Down," announced the arrival of a voice whose electrifying and emotional power shocked the world.

During the folk boom of the 50’s and 60’s, each Odetta gig was an eclectic mix of work songs, folk songs, church songs, and an eloquent tutorial in raw American history. Her character was literal, political, cultural and to many, inspirational. "The first thing that turned me on to folk singing was Odetta," Bob Dylan once said, and listening to that Tradition album helped persuade the young rocker to switch from electric to acoustic guitar. Odetta returned the favor in 1965, recording an LP of Dylan songs (Odetta Sings Dylan) with an emphasis on the antiwar numbers rather than Dylan's sheaf of civil-rights ballads. In later years Odetta collaborated on a dozen or more albums. She recorded a collection of Christmas spirituals, and did tribute albums to Ella Fitzgerald, Leadbelly and blues vocalists of the 1930s. Even in her 60s and 70s she still could still inspire a crowd with her moving and powerful voice. In her commanding presence, charismatic delivery and determination to sing black truth to white power, Odetta proved to be a true American inspiration.

Odetta had many ties to the Hudson Valley region and in 2006 she came to the Woodstock Film Festival in support of the film sneak preview Saint Misbehavin' The Life & Time of Wavy Gravy, which she was also featured in. A highlight from that year’s festival was a spontaneous round of applause that greeted Odetta as she left the Town Hall Theater in Woodstock.


MUSICAL GIFT IDEAS

If you missed Béla Fleckwith Sparrow Quartet at the opening night coincert of the Woodstock Film Festival or you missed him in the beautiful documentary Throw Down Your Heart, here comes Jingle All the Way by Béla Fleck and the Fleckstones just in time for the holiday season.

Béla Fleck, often considered the premiere banjo player in the world, has made a name for himself as a virtuoso instrumentalist unbounded by genre. His band The Flecktones - Victor Wooten on electric bass, Jeff Coffin on sax and flute, and Future Man on percussion - are equally talented and adventurous as Fleck himself, and together they have made a string of critically acclaimed albums that combine bluegrass, jazz, funk and world music with technical prowess, unlimited imagination and occasional zaniness. Their new holiday CD Jingle All the Way is all of that, with bells on - Christmas music as it's never been heard it before, with unique tonal textures (banjo, Tuvan throat singing, klezmer mandolin), hot solos and tight ensemble arrangements that make every measure new. Jingle All the Way is the perfect stocking stuffer for those who like their Christmas music fun and challenging at the same time.


PEACE TIME

Jazz Legend and Woodstock resident Jack DeJohnette's latest mediation CD Peace Time has been nominated for a 2008 Grammy® for Best New Age album!

Peace Time further explores music as a healing and calming medium and is the follow-up to the Grammy-nominated New Age masterpiece, Music in the Key of Om .

Jack was also voted Best Drummer in the 2008 Downbeat Readr's Poll.


LOVERLY

Cassandra Wilson's Loverly is something more than just her unique spin on songs from long ago. For this set, she has assembled an impressive core group of musicians to accompany her: Jason Moran on piano, Lonnie Plaxico on acoustic upright bass, and Marvin Sewell on guitar. Her low and hypnotic contralto glides so knowingly through each song that they would seem to be of her own creation--but aren't. To be sure, each of the 12 songs found on Loverly are stamped with her trademark Delta-baby, bluesy style. But Wilson and company have taken it one step further by turning tear-jerkers such as "Til There Was You" and "The Very Thought of You" into sultry bubblers that invite ballads into the bedroom. Throw in the moody "Black Orpheus" and her funky, down-to-business take on "St. James Infirmary," and it doesn't take long to realize that Loverly is a complete attempt to satisfy the soul; a sexy mesh that dares rival anything Cassandra Wilson has released before it.

Now currently living in the Hudson Valley, Wilson recently said in a BBC interview, "I wanted something quieter."


WERE THE WORLD MINE [soundtrack]

If you had a love-potion, who would you make fall madly in love with you? Timothy, prone to escaping his dismal high school reality through dazzling musical daydreams, gets to answer that question in a very real way. After his eccentric teacher casts him as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, he stumbles upon a recipe hidden within the script to create the play’s magical, purple love-pansy. Armed with the pansy, Timothy’s fading spirit soars as he puckishly imposes a new reality by turning much of his narrow-minded town gay, beginning with the rugby-jock of his dreams.

The course of true love never did run smooth, but by the end of director Tom Gustafson’s moving musical comedy of errors, the bumpy ride comes to a heartfelt conclusion. With vibrant imagery, a first-rate ensemble cast, and innovative music rivaling the best of pop/rock and contemporary Broadway, Were the World Mine attempts to push modern gay cinema and musical film beyond expectation. After playing numerous prestigious film festivals around the world, resulting in standing ovations and unparalleled acclaim from audiences and critics alike, Were the World Mine received its theatrical release in the fall of 2008.

PS Classics’ soundtrack – featuring original music by Jessica Fogle and a score by Tim Sandusky – captures all the melody, magic and high spirits of the film the Hollywood Reporter called “a rousing, warm-hearted spectacle.”


 

TWO BOOKS FROM BARRY FEINSTEIN

Real Moments: Photographs of Bob Dylan 1966-1974
Few photographers had greater access to Bob Dylan than Barry Feinstein. Having taken the iconic photograph that appeared on Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changin’ album in 1963, Feinstein was invited to Dylan’s European tour of 1966 and US tour of 1974. The photographs from these sessions and concerts, many previously unseen are included in this book. Click here to purchase online

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Hollywood Foto-Rhetoric: The Lost Manuscript
Surfacing for the first time after more than forty years, Hollywood Foto-Rhetoric is a remarkable, long-lost manuscript written by Bob Dylan in the 1960s, inspired by renowned photographer Barry Feinstein's portraits of Tinseltown. These twenty-three prose poems are thought provoking, witty, and thoroughly unexpected observations of a bygone era, and through the lens of Barry Feinstein's camera they speak volumes about the faces and places that have graced the City of Angels.

Hollywood Foto-Rhetoric marks a unique collaboration: With his unerring eye, Barry Feinstein captured unforgettable moments in stunning black-and-white, such as Marilyn Monroe's swimming pool on the day she died, and Frank Sinatra celebrating at John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Ball. In the provocative accompanying text, Bob Dylan's expressive lyricism redefines silver screen nostalgia.

Bob Dylan is one of the most lauded and greatest loved songwriters and performers of all time. His particular brand of music first caught the public's attention in the 1960s, when he became something of a chronicler of the American conscience and cultural unrest. His remarkable career in music and literature continues to this day.

Barry Feinstein's photography has appeared in Life, Look, Time, Esquire, Newsweek, and scores of other magazines and album covers. His photographs of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Janis Joplin, and others are considered classics of the genre. Click here to purchase online

And BARRY, if you're reading this... GET BETTER SOON!!!



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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