invite you to join them in PARK CITY for
BREAKFAST AT THE NEW YORK LOUNGE

Join us for Coffee, Hot Cider, Bagels and tasty noshes
545 Main Street, Park City, Utah
Monday, January 19, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Filmmakers, Industry and Press welcome.
CLICK TO RSVP


Co-sponsored by 120db films


For more info, visit
www.woodstockfilmfestival.org
The 10 Annual Woodstock Film Festival launches this September 30-October 4
The Woodstock Film Festival is an educational not-for-profit,
501 (C)(3) organization with a mission to present an annual
program and year-round schedule of film, music, and art-related
activities that promote artists, culture, inspired learning, and diversity.

www.hudsonvalleyfilmcommission.org
Shoot your next film in New York's Hudson Valley
The Hudson Valley Film Commission promotes sustainable economic
development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production in the Hudson Valley - Catskills.


2009 JANUARY NEWSLETTER
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

CONTENTS:
SUNDANCE PREVIEW
SLAMDANCE OPENER
LOCATION OF THE MONTH

The WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL which will celebrate its Tenth Anniversary Sept 30 - Oct 4 will start accepting entries for 2009 on January 10. Awards are presented for Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Short Documentary, Best Short Film, Best Student Film, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Animation. Cash, prizes and/or services are given out in each category (click to see 2008 details and jurors) . Audience Awards are presented for Best Feature and Best Documentary. Award sponsors have included The Lee Marvin Estate (Best Feature), The James Lyons Estate (Best Editing), Panavision (Haskell Wexler Cinematographer Award), Lowel-Light, Apple Computers, Final Draft, Post Factory, A&E Indie Films, Docurama, Kodak, Baseline, and others. To apply online, and for details, visit ENTRY FORM

 


meira blaustein

ilene

lisa

heidi

SLAMDANCE NEWS & SUNDANCE PREVIEW
2009 will represent the Tenth Anniversary milestone of the Woodstock Film Festival. It also marks a high point in the number of attendees that will be traveling out to Sundance to represent the organization, in addition to a variety of films and other interests.

This year’s Sundance lineup is packed with Woodstock friends, films and filmmakers from New York’s Hudson Valley Catskill region.

We look forward to seeing everyone and discovering new films and friends. Woodstock will be well represented in snowy Park City by Executive director Meira Blaustein, Press Director Ilene Marder, Board Member Stephen Hays (Arlen Faber, Motherhood), programmer Michael Lerman (who is also on the Slamdance jury),  personnel director Lisa Myers (also attending for Mysery Team and Predisposed) trafficking coordinator Heidi May Johnson (also attending with Mystery Team) Daniel Blaustein Rejto (also attending for Brown’s Ivy Film Festival), Rachel (Mamma) Katz who is working as a volunteer coordinator for Sundance, and Greg Carttar and Char Harner, 3rd Street R&D Production Services communications gurus, who are also actually working for Sundance.

If you are interested in getting involved in the 10th Anniversary of the Woodstock Film Festival, inviting us to see your film, meeting with us at a party or meeting place, feel free to get in touch with Meira by calling her cell phone at 914.466.5728 or emailing info@woodstockfilmfestival.com

Meira will be there from January 15-22. For her daily reports, check the home page (woodstockfilmfestival.com),  the Poughkeepsie Journal and listen for live radio interviews on WAMC Northeast Public Radio and with Gattine & Franz on WDST-100.1FM.  See you all at the movies!


 

 

 

 

Boy Interrupted
Larry Fessenden in
"I Sell the Dead"

SLAMDANCE

Glenn McQuaid's I SELL THE DEAD will opens the 2009 Slamdance Film Festival January 15-23, 2009. The film, set in the 18th century, follows two grave robbers who are finally confronted with justice as they confess their long history of adventure and horror. I SELL THE DEAD was produced by Peter Phok and Glass Eye Pix chief Larry Fessenden, who also appears in the cast along with Dominic Monaghan, Ron Perlman, & Angus Scrimm. Brent Kunkle acted as line producer

"We're very excited to be the opening film at Slamdance," Larry Fessenden recently stated. "I know all the founders of the festival, and I played my own film Wendigo in a special screening there in 2001, but I'm pleased to say I SELL THE DEAD was accepted without any nepotism; I had forgotten to tell my friends we submitted. It's going to be a blast. The film plays best in front of an audience and I can't wait to screen in Park City. Genre fans who have seen the film have been enthusiastic, but this one is fun for the whole family. Vampires! Zombies! Beheadings! Bring the kids!!"

“Slamdance is very excited to have I SELL THE DEAD as the opening night film,” added Slamdance Co-founding filmmaker and East Coast Director Paul Rachman. “Larry Fessenden's friendship with the original founding filmmakers of Slamdance goes back to 1996-1997 when they all met on the International Film Festival circuit when Larry was showing his NYC Vampire story HABIT.  In 2001 Slamdance invited Larry to open the 2001 Slamdance film festival with his psychological monster movie WENDIGO.  Larry's ideals of very independent filmmaking and the mindset of a do it yourself attitude are key ingredients to what many films at Slamdance are.  Larry remains a champion of such films and filmmakers.”


  SUNDANCE
D
OCUMENTARIES IN COMPETITION
Boy Interrupted

Hudson Valley filmmaker Dana Perry will world premiere BOY INTERRUPTED. The very personal doc takes an intimate look at the life, mental illness and death of a young man from the point of view of the filmmaker – his mother. "The film is a result of my desire to understand everything I could about our son's bipolar illness and suicide at the age of 15,” says Perry. “An attempt to make sense of the senseless.  The idea of showing it to strangers is akin to being naked in public having my heart ripped out of my chest.


The Reckoning

THE RECKONING by longtime WFF friend Pamela Yates documents battles of monumental proportions as International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo faces down warlords, genocidal dictators and world superpowers, bringing perpetrators of crimes against humanity to justice.

"The Reckoning" is a film that introduces audiences to an amazing idea," Yates reveals. "That sitting heads of states can be held accountable for crimes against humanity in an international court. But "The Reckoning" is just the flagship film meant to engage, provoke and inform audiences. At Sundance we are launching a global social network around international justice called IJCentral.org that will continue this conversation on the international level."


The September Issue

Opening night in Salt Lake City, will feature R.J. Cutler's THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE, Executive Produced by Molly Thompson of A&E Indiefilms. The doc is an insider and behind the scenes account of Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue for the past 20 years and arguably one of the most powerful figures in fashion, as she and her team prepare for a the highly anticipated September issue of the magazine. 


Shouting Fier

Liz Garbus, who screened several films in Woodstock and appeared on the panel Filmmaking In Risky Times with her father and First Amendment attorney Martin Garbus (in 2003) will screen SHOUTING FIRE: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech, an exploration of the history and current state of free speech in America. The doc is narrated by Martin Garbus.

"I’m thrilled to be going back to Sundance this year with my film, SHOUTING FIRE," Garnus commented in an email intyerview. "It will be a a particularly special Sundance for me, personally, as I will be able to share it with my father, whose work for civil liberties forms the narrative spine of the film. One chapter of the film involves his involvement with the Pentagon Papers, which were actually hidden in our little house in Woodstock for a time! So we’ll have a bit of Woodstock at Sundance this year.


William Kunstler

WILLIAM KUNSTLER: Disturbing the Universe, directed by Sarah Kunstler and Emily Kunstler will world premiere. With clients including Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and the Chicago 10, the late civil rights attorney William Kunstler was one of the most famous lawyers of the 20th century. Filmmakers Emily and Sarah Kunstler explore their father’s life from movement hero to “the most hated lawyer in America.” Sarah and Emily have been to the Woodstock Film Festival several times. Their film Tulia Texas; Scenes From The Drug War won the WFF award best short documentary in 2002, and in 2004, they screened  the hilarious Getting Through to the President.

For more information on these films and others in the documentary competition,
visit Documentaries in Competition


  NARRATIVES IN COMPETITION
Areln Faber

WFF Board member Stephen Hays (CEO of 120dBFilms) will be in Sundance to represent with two films, including John Hindman's ARLEN FABER. The films, which stars Jeff Daniels, Lauren Graham, Lou Taylor Pucci follows a a reclusive author who gained his fame from penning a book on spiritual guidance as his path crosses with two people who are turning to him for guidance. 


cold souls

Sophie Barthes' COLD SOULS stars WFF advisory board member David Strathairn with Paul Giamatti, , Dina Korzun, Emily Watson, Lauren Ambrose and Katheryn Winnick. In the midst of an existential crisis, a famous American actor explores soul extraction as a relief from the burdens of daily life.


Don't Let Me Donw

Cruz Angeles, whose film The Show won WFF's Best Student Short Award in 2003, will world premiere his feature film debut DON'T LET ME DROWN. Two Latino teens whose lives are affected by the attack on the World Trade Center discover that love is the only thing that keeps them from drowning.

For more information on these films and others in the narrative competition
you can visit: Narratives in Competition


 

Adventureland


PREMIERE SECTION

Greg Mottola's ADVENTURELAND was produced by WFF panelist and juror Ted Hope and stars Kristen Stewart (Twilight) who gave a remarkable performance in The Cake Eaters–a film produced in NY's Hudson Valley - Catskills with help from the Hudson Valley Film Commission. ADVENTURELAND takes place in 1987 and follows a college graduate who takes a nowhere job at his local amusement park only to discover that the job is perfect preparation for the real world.


Earth Days

Hudson Valley resident and documentary 'master' Robert Stone (Guerilla: The Taking Of Patty Hearst, Oswald's Ghost) returns to Sundance with the closing night film EARTH DAYS. The documentary follows the history of our environmental undoing through the eyes of nine Americans whose work and actions launched the modern environmental movement. 

"EARTH DAYS is in many ways the culmination of what I've been working towards since I made my very first documentary back when I was 11 years old," says Stone. "That little super-8 film called "Pollution" was made as a school project in commemoration of the first Earth Day. There's a direct line from that little experiment, made nearly 40 years ago, to this. To be chosen as the Closing Night Film as Sundance is the best possible send off I could hope for as this film as it begins its journey out into the world."


The Informers

Gregor Jordan's THE INFORMERS written by Bret Easton Ellis and Nicholas Jarecki whose film The Outsider (following James Toback-see below) screened at the 2005 WFF stars Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Winona Ryder, Mickey Rourke.

The drama based on Bret Easton Ellis' novel, set in the 1980s, focuses on wealthy Angelinos consumed by a decadent lifestyle.


Motherhood

WFF Board member Stephen Hays (CEO of 120dBFilms) will also be in Park City to support Katherine Dieckmann's MOTHERHOOD starring Uma Thurman, Minnie Driver and Anthony Edward. A mother of two from Manhattan is having a day that would challenge even the toughest maternal multi-tasker. The film was produced by Jana Edelbaum, Rachel Cohen, Pamela Koffler, and 2007 WFF Maverick Award recipient Christine Vachon.

For more information on these films and others in this section, visit Premiere Section


Against the current

SPECTRUM SECTION

In 2005, the Hudson Valley Film Commission was contacted about a film whose protagonist would swim 150 miles of the Hudson River. HVFC recommended a few local boat clubs, several location scouts and made other suggestions with the hope the film would shoot locally, but the production went into hiatus due to funding issues. It's a thrill to see that Hudson Valley film director Peter Callahan (Hastings-on-Hudsonnative) pulled off his vision and that the film AGAINST THE CURRENT will screen at Sundance.

Paul Thompson (Joseph Fiennes), a financial writer struggling with a tragic past, decides to do something special and unique to distinguish himself. Having always wanted to swim the 150 miles of the lower Hudson River, he recruits his best friend, Jeff (Justin Kirk), and new acquaintance, Liz (Elizabeth Reaser), to accompany him on a physical and emotional journey exploring friendship, grief, and how we cope when what we lose is greater than what life has to offer. Hudson Valley location scout Michele Baker found ideal locations for this beautifully nuanced and restrained story, which swells with friendship and human folly.


Children of Invention

Tze Chun, whose 2006 short Windowbreaker screened at WFF will world premiere his feature film CHILDREN OF INVENTION about two young children who are left to fend for themselves when their mother is arrested for unwittingly taking part in an illegal pyramid scheme. One of the two child stars is Michael Chen, son of Hudson Valley authors, Da & Sunny Chen.

“We're very happy to begin our festival run at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival," Tze told WFF. "The best thing about the 2007 festival (when I was there with Windowbreaker) was meeting other filmmakers and seeing the film with an audience.  I hope to do the same at this fest.”

CHILDREN OF INVENTION cinematographer Chris Teague has been to WFF with Man, Dear Lemon Lima and Thorndike


The Missing Person

Noah Buschel, whose 2007 film Neal Cassady screened at WFF, premieres THE MISSING PERSON about private detective John Rosow who is hired to tail a man on a train from Chicago to Los Angeles. En route, Rosow uncovers that the man's identity is one of the thousands presumed dead after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The films producers incude Jesse Scolaro and Allan Bain (The Cake Eaters, Room, Julia and many other films that have screened at WFF)

"We are thrilled to be back at Sundance for the 4th time and excited to
present "THE MISSING PERSON," said Scolaro. "It's a stylized detective noir, by visionary filmmaker Noah Buschel featuring excellent performances by Michael
Shannon, Frank Wood and Amy Ryan."


Mystery Team

Last summer, WFF Personnel Director, Lisa Myers, was recruited by property master Joe James to join him in New Hampshire to do Production Design on a film entitled MYSTERY TEAM. On set, Lisa met and recruited Production Coordinator Heidi May Johnson to join WFF as Print Trafficker and Transportation Coordinator.

Lisa (who also designed PREDISPOSED) and Heidi are heading out from Woodstock to Sundance for the premiere screening of this Park City at Midnight film, which centers on three teenage boys who still naively identify themselves as a group of kid detectives collectively called The Mystery Team. When they are confronted with the struggle of a real murder case, they view it as the opportunity they have been waiting for: to finally prove themselves as true detectives. They use every trick in their book as they are sequentially presented with more difficult, more wacky, and more dangerous tasks on their journey to the truth. The film promises to make you laugh... or at least make you a little uncomfortable.


Once More with feeling

Jeff Lipsky (Flannel Pajamas) is back in Sundance with ONCE MORE WITH FEELING–a comedy about a psychiatrist who undergoes a midlife crisis and pursues his long-lost ambition of becoming a singer through karaoke.

Regarding the new film, Lipsky said "The opportunity to direct ONCE MORE WITH FEELING was a gift; a funny, touching, loving script featuring songs by writers like Rodgers & Hammerstein & Sammy Cahn, an opportunity to work with an Oscar nominee, an Emmy winner, a star of Broadway’s Spring Awakening, and the crazy-talented, electric femme-fatale of “The Last Seduction,” a twenty-two day shooting schedule, three live bands, part or all of twenty-two songs, a six year old acting prodigy (who co-stars in two films at Sundance this year), a frisky dog that kept trying to pull the clothes off of one of my actresses, and no money. What’s not to like!"

For more information on these films and others in this section, visit Spectrum Section


Anyone whose familiar with Catskill, NY knows that Rip Van Winkle and Mike Tyson were it's two most famous inhabitants. A statue of Rip Van Winkle still welcomes you as you drive into town, and Cus D'Amato Boxing Club has become a shrine for world champions.

The 2009 Sundance Film Festival will feature TYSON, a gritty and intimate portrait of one of boxing’s most polarizing figures. James Toback’s Tyson recounts Iron Mike’s rise to superstardom and subsequent fall from grace through the eyes of the man himself. Candid interviews with Tyson reveal an often-misunderstood persona that encompasses a broad spectrum of decidedly human instincts. He is at once gentle and animalistic, humane and violent, predator and prey.After a stint in a juvenile reform school, where his boxing skills took root, the 14-year-old Tyson was introduced to legendary trainer Constantine ""Cus"" D'Amato, who took the young fighter under his wing and served as one of the only positive figures in his life. D’Amato died before he was able to see his final protégé become the sport’s youngest heavyweight champion at 20 years old, an event that started a chain reaction in Tyson’s young life.


SHORTS SECTION
Jeremiah Crowell's endearing SMALL COLLECTIONis a love story caught in the corridors of memory. Through fragments of conversations still echoing in now empty places, we piece together the record of a relationship cut short. The film was featured in Predisposed Shorts section at the 2008 WFF program.

Bill Plympton's HOT DOG is the third in the DOG series. In this episode our plucky hero joins the fire company to save the world from house fires and gain the affection he so richly deserves. Typically, the results never turn out the way he planned. Bill Plympton is a long time friend and animation programmer for the Woodstock Film Festival.

Philip Dorling's PREDISPOSED was co-written with WFF advisory board member Ron Nyswaner, and stars Hudson Valley actor Melissa Leo (Frozen River). The entire production took place in Kingston and other Ulster County locations and the entire cast and crew was locally based. Philip grew up in Woodstock and volunteered at WFF some six years ago while still in high school. You go PHIL!

WESTERN SPAGHETTI check out the latest animated ditty from PES.

For more information on these films and others in this section,
you can visit: Shorts Section



Thomas Allen Harris


Pamela Yates

SUNDANCE INSTITUTE DOCUMENTARY FILM PROGRAM ANNOUNCES FALL 2008 GRANTS--

Thomas Allen Harris’ THROUGH THE LENS DARKLY: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People and Pamela Yates’ THE RECKONING
were recently named, along with 18 other film projects that will be awarded financial and creative support from the Sundance Documentary Fund.

"It's great to be at the festival again this year with the support of the Sundance Documentary Fund," said Harris. "The level of support they are providing me and the other fellows is pretty phenomenal and is really helping to move our projects forward at a fast clip!"

"The films funded in this round tell stories of perseverance and dignity in the face of our  world's greatest contemporary challenges," said Cara Mertes, Director of the Sundance Documentary Film Program.

Warwick, NY resident Thomas Allen Harris screened his prior film The Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela in Ellenville, NY as part of the 2007 Hudson Vallley Programmers Group Tour. Pamela Yates’ State of Fear screened at WFF in 2005 and as part of the 2008 Hudson Vallley Programmers Group Tour in Troy and Boiceville, NY.  Yates has also served as a panelist for the Woodstock Film Festival.

"We must make The Sundance Film Festival into a great meeting of the tribe," Yates commented. "A celebration of each other's work. The energy of the festival
comes from the filmmakers not the dealmakers".


 

 

 


Avi Zev Weider

SUNDANCE INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES
TWELVE FEATURE FILM PROJECTS
FOR JANUARY SCREENWRITERS LAB

The Sundance Institute recently selected twelve projects for the annual January Screenwriters Lab, to be held January 9-14, 2009 at the Sundance Resort in Utah.The screenplays selected for the Lab represent a broad spectrum of genre and subject matter, from the moving tale of two Muslim brothers confronting prejudice in post 9/11 London; to stories that embrace magical realism in locales as far-ranging as India and New Orleans; to the outrageous and darkly comic account of a Boy Scout trip gone horribly and hysterically wrong. The common thread that runs among the projects, from autobiographical stories to a hybrid documentary/fiction film examining Allen Ginsberg's poem HOWL, is authenticity of voice and distinctive, singular storytelling.

Part time Woodstock resident Avi Zev Weider’s ZEROS AND ONES was one of the screenplays selected. "I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to work intensively at the Sundance Lab," Zev Weider emailed from his Woodstock home. "I'm hopeful that the work there will help me focus on any narrative soft spots and ultimately get the script into the best possible condition."

Benh Zeitlin's BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD was also among the screenplays chosen . Zeitlin's remarkable short film Glory At Sea received the Diane Seligman Award for Best Short at the 2008 WFF.



NEED SNOW?
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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


Click here to support WFF
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