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2009 MAY NEWSLETTER, Part II

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HOLLYWOOD ON THE HUDSON MIXER


CONTENTS:

10th Anniverary Poster Unveiled
Hollywood on Hudson Benefit/Mixer
Swimming to Cambodia Recap
In Theaters & Special Screenings

Music News -
Mountain Jam

WFF Call For Entries

Hudson Valley Film Commission News




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WFF 10TH ANNIVERSARY POSTER UNVEILED

The Woodstock Film Festival has unveiled its 10th Anniversary poster, designed by renowned graphic design maestro Milton Glaser, creator of the “I (heart) New York” logo and other artwork that can be seen everywhere from posters, t-shirts, packaging to museum exhibitions.

“Glaser created a poster for the festival that depicts its artistic character, fierce independence and it’s 10-year milestone. We are thrilled beyond belief to have an artist of Glaser’s caliber create this year’s image and are humbled by his participation,” said film festival co-founder and executive director Meira Blaustein.

“It’s astonishing to think that the festival is 10 years old,” stated Glaser. “That simple fact provided the basis of my design.”

In addition to the Festival’s commercial usage of the image, one-hundred (100) 18” x 24” limited run, Collectors Edition 10th Anniversary posters will be signed by Glaser, and available on the WFF website.


 

 

 

 


HOLLYWOOD ON HUDSON BENEFIT / MIXER

SAVE THE DATE:

The Hudson Valley Film Commission will be hosting a HOLLYWOOD ON HUDSON benefit and mixer on June 12, 7-11pm at Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston, NY.
We expect a great turn out of filmmakers, politicians and industry professionals representing all the surrounding counties that benefit from the work of the Hudson Valley Film Commission. The film industry brings in $5+ billion annually to the New York State economy. It is a vital component to economic development in the Hudson Valley.

EVENING INCLUDES:

Lights, Cameras, ACTION!
A special "on set experience" starring Gilles Malkine and Mikhail Horowitz, with Tom Cherwin as "the director," and Sharon Bower as "the assistant director."
Film score and music stylings of DJ WA
Special guests
Delectable food, complimentary glass of wine & cash bar
An amazing auction with "NY City Auctioneer of the Year" Barry Cherwin
  Items include:
  Dinner for two at the Phoenix Restaurant with Oscar® nominee Melissa Leo
  Dinner for two at Northern Spy Café with celebrated actor Aidan Quinn
  A week long retreat at the Golden Villa Pavilion in Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Your support will help HVFC continue providing free support to independent & studio features, short films, student projects, TV ads and regional filmmakers. HVFC provides a free online directory, newsletter blurbs, casting and crew calls, job opportunities and much more.

Let's all work together to make the Hudson Valley – Hollywood on the Hudson!

For tickets and details, click here.


swimming2
Photo courtesy of Vernissage Studio 21

SWIMMING TO CAMBODIA RECAP

On Tuesday, May 12, Woodstock Film Festival and Stranger Than Fiction co-presented a special screening of Jonathan Demme’s 1987 documentary SWIMMING TO CAMBODIA.

"Aside from the rare opportunity to see a fine print of Swimming and to hear its director discuss its making, the real highlight of the night were the insights offered on the creative process of writer/performer Gray, who died of an apparent suicide in 2004. Demme was joined in the Q & A by Littleton and, at Demme’s urging, Judy Arthur, a publicist on the set of The Killing Fields. Describing him as 'intense', Arthur noted she was still surprised to find herself a character in first Gray’s monologue and then Demme’s film. On Jaffe’s set, she said, 'We didn’t really realize that Spalding was taking it all down.' No one would realize it until Swimming earned him widespread attention, but according to Demme, that was what Spalding Gray was always doing. 'Just to be around Spalding, he was always as riveting, every moment you were with him under normal circumstances, as he is in the film. He was a life artist, at all times. Spalding never got normal — he was always trying stuff out, thinking stuff out in an amazing way.'"

Read Karina Longworth's recap of the event on Spout





IN THEATERS AND SPECIAL SCREENINGS

TAKING WOODSTOCK PREMIERES AT CANNES

Ang Lee's TAKING WOODSTOCK premiered in competion at Cannes last week. The film was shot in the Hudson Valley and features Demetri Martin, Emile Hirsch, Imelda Staunton, Henry Goodman, and WFF Advisory Board member Liev Schrieber. WFF's 2008 honorary Traiblazer Award recpient, James Schamus, wrote and produced the film, to be released by Schamus' Focus Features August 14th.

"It’s 1969, and Elliot Tiber, a down-on-his-luck interior designer in Greenwich Village, New York, has to move back upstate to help his parents run their dilapidated Catskills motel, the El Monaco. The bank is about to foreclose; his father wants to burn the place down, but hasn’t paid the insurance; and Elliot is still figuring how to come out to his parents. When Elliot hears that a neighbouring town has pulled the permit on a hippie music festival, he calls the producers, thinking he could drum up some much needed business for the motel. Three weeks later, half a million people are on their way to his neighbour's farm in White Lake, NY, and Elliot finds himself swept up in a generation-defining experience that would change his life, and popular culture, forever."


UNDER OUR SKIN will have its theatrical premiere June 19th at the IFC Center in Manhattan. A suspenseful tale of microbes, medicine & money UNDER OUR SKIN investigates the untold story of Lyme disease, an emerging epidemic with staggering ramifications. Each year thousands go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, told that their symptoms are "all in their head." Following the stories of patients and physicians fighting the disease, the film brings into focus a haunting picture of our health care system and its inability to cope with a silent and growing terror, and of a medical establishment all too willing to put profits ahead of patients.


AWAY WE GO
Exploring the comedic twists and emotional turns in one couple’s journey across contemporary America, AWAY WE GO is the new movie from Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes, from the first original screenplay by novelists Dave Eggers & Vendela Vida, and featuring music by singer/songwriter Alexi Murdoch.

The film was produced by longtime friend and a founding member of WFF's advisory board – Peter Saraf – and will be released by Focus Features on June 5th.

To watch the trailer, click here.


MISS BODY PLASTIK

Another WFF Advisory Board member Annie Nocenti, has recently been involved with the incredible Ciné Institute, where she teaches documentary film and fiction screenwriting.

Based in Jacmel on Haiti's southern coast, Ciné Institute began as a film festival in 2004, showing international films free of charge to tens of thousands of Haitians. Today, Ciné Institute provides Haitian youth with film education and entertainment, technical training, and media related micro enterprise opportunities. They integrate educational film screenings into classrooms of public schools, train aspiring filmmakers in all aspects of production, and develop and produce films of all kinds in partnership with students and graduates. The Institute also promotes excellence in Haitian cinema domestically and abroad and holds weekly screenings of films from around the world at its theater.

Their featured student work can be viewed at www.cineinstitute.com/productions/2009/04/22/miss-body-plastik


KASSIM THE DREAM
Kief Davidson's insightful and beautifully shot documentary KASSIM THE DREAM opens June 5 at the IFC Center in Manhattan.

Ugandan born American boxer Kassim "The Dream" Ouma has lived a harsh and unbelievable life. At six, Kassim was abducted and turned into a child soldier, forced to experience and perpetrate violent atrocities. Finally fleeing Uganda and training as a boxer in the U.S., he has become the Junior Middleweight Champion of the World.
In Davidson's film, Kassim simultaneously prepares to return to Uganda, in the face of a possible death penalty for desertion, to reunite with his family and to win his hardest fight yet, a bout with the Middleweight Champion of the World. Kassim, despite his cruel childhood, is amazingly kind and jovial with his family, friends, competitors, fans and the frightening figures of his childhood. Kassim The Dream explores the drama of facing a horrifying past and rediscovering a long, lost home.


I SELL THE DEAD
IFC is planning an August 2009 theatrical and on-demand release for I SELL THE DEAD, the opening night film from this year’s Slamdance Film Festival, where it went on to win a slew of awards.

The horror film stars Larry Fessenden, Dominic Monaghan, Ron Perlman, and Angus Scrimmand, and was produced by Glass Eye Pix, the production company of Hudson Valley resident and WFF alumni Larry Fessenden.

18th century justice has finally caught up to grave robbers Arthur Blake and Willie Grimes. With the specter of the guillotine looming over him, young Blake confides in visiting clergyman Father Duffy, recounting fifteen years of adventure in the resurrection trade. His tale leads from humble beginnings as a young boy stealing trinkets from corpses, to a partnership with seasoned ghoul Willie Grimes as they hunt creatures unwilling to accept their place in the ground. The colorful and peculiar history of Grimes and Blake is one filled with adventure, horror, and vicious rivalries that threaten to put all involved in the very graves they’re trying to pilfer.


 

WFF CALL FOR ENTRIES

The WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL (Sept 30th – October 4th, 2009) is currently accepting submissions in all categories. Maverick Awards are presented for Best Feature ($5000 cash), 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. Audience Awards are presented for Best Feature and Best Documentary. Award sponsors have included The Lee Marvin Estate, the late James Lyons, Lowel-Light, Apple Computers, Final Draft, Post Factory and others.

Final Deadline: June 22

Industry participants have included Ang Lee, Kevin Smith, Steve Buscemi, Peter Saraf (Big Beach Films), Jonathan Sehring (IFC), Ted Sarandos (Netflix), Bob Berney, Eamonn Bowles (Magnolia Pictures), Mark Urman (Senator), Bingham Ray (Kimmel Entertainment), James Schamus (Focus Features), Fisher Stevens (Greenstreet Productions), John Sloss (Cinetic Media), Ira Deutchman (Emerging Pictures), Ron Mann (Films We Like), John Pierson (Grainy Pictures), John Anderson, Ryan Werner (IFC), Tom Quinn (Magnolia Pictures), Christine Vachon (Killer Films), Andrew Hurwitz, Ira Schreck, Mira Nair, Todd Haynes, Woody Harrelson, Tim Robbins, Marcia Gay Harden, Lili Taylor, D.A. Pennebaker, Albert Maysles, Barbara Kopple, Leon Gast, Liz Garbus, Brett Morgen, Thelma Adams, Robert Downey, Zachary Sklar, Kevin Bacon, Ethan Hawke, Matt Dillon, Rosie Perez and many others.

Click here for details and online entry form.


MUSIC NEWS
MOUNTAIN JAM
Radio Woodstock WDST and acclaimed guitarist Warren Haynes (Gov't Mule, The Allman Brothers Band, The Dead) have once again teamed up to bring the fifth annual MOUNTAIN JAM Music Festival to picturesque Hunter, NY from Friday, May 29 - Sunday, May 31.

Gov’t Mule will anchor the festival for the fifth year in a row, with The Allman Brothers Band making their exclusive Northeast festival appearance as part of their 40th anniversary celebration. Other musical acts include Michael Franti & Spearhead, The Hold Steady, Richie Havens, Gomez, Coheed & Cambria and Girl Talk.


HUDSON VALLEY FILM COMMISSION NEWS

June may be the busiest film production month on record for the Hudson Valley with productions throughout the surrounding counties. The following film productions are looking to fill different needs including cast and crew positions and lodging needs…

June 1, New Paltz, NY:
Extras needed for PBS production GONE TO TEXAS.

June 1-3, Chatham, NY:
Extras and props needed for 24 HOURS AT THE GOLDEN APPLE.

June 8-10, Olivebridge, NY:
Vincent Pastore and ALIENATED production seeks housing for crew members in or around Olivebridge. Also looking to hire additional crew locally.

June 10, Hudson Valley, NY:
Extras needed for independent feature WHISPER ME A LULLABY.

June 30, Olivebridge area, Ulster County and NYC:
Horror production BITTER FEAST looking for food suppliers.

June 21-July 2, Ulster and Dutchess Counties:
Lodging, as well as an armorer, stunt person, and sniper pit needed for A&E documentary.

June-July, Catskill, NY:
Independent feature MESKADA is hiring local crew including Art Director, Production Assistants, Hair/Make-Up Assistants, and Grip & Electric. They are also looking for extras.

Shoot your next film in the Hudson Valley / Catskills!!


If you're interested in becoming a sponsor of the
10th annual Woodstock Film Festival, email sponsor@woodstockfilmfestival.com


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.

Shoot your next film in the Hudson Valley Catskills...
The Hudson Valley Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video, and media production to the Hudson Valley Catskills.

Join us for special events through the year including HVPG screenings.
The Hudson Valley Programmers Group is dedicated to creating, curating and administering a touring road show program that brings internationally renowned filmmakers and artists to the region, and providing them with the opportunity to exhibit their work and interact with the community.

For information, call (845) 810-0131