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2009 WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL
FESTIVAL'S WRAP MARKS DECADE OF INDEPENDENT FILM CELEBRATION

10TH WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL WRAPS
FILMMAKERS GIVE 2009 WOODSTOCK FILM FEST THUMBS UP
AWARD RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED
A QUADRICENTENNIAL HUDSON RIVER VALLEY TOUR
IN THEATERS

BARD COLLEGE MUSIC PROGRAM

2009 WFF SPONSORS










WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL WRAPS
10 YEARS OF EXTRAORDINARY INDIE FILM

The 10th Anniversary Woodstock Film Festival wrapped on Sunday Oct 4, after presenting five jam-packed days and nights featuring nearly 150 extraordinary films, panels, concerts and events in New York's beautiful Hudson River Valley.

Holding true to its growing international reputation as one of the best regional indie film fests in the world, WFF received remarkable kudos from a diverse range of indie industry professionals, established and emerging filmmakers, national and regional press, and satisfied audiences to the historic arts colony of Woodstock and surrounding areas, pumping many thousands of dollars into the local economy.

Festival guests included Uma Thurman, Woody Harrelson, Lucy Liu, Steve Buscemi, Ben Foster, Jonathan Demme, Richard Linklater, Ted Hope, Ethan Hawke, Vera Farmiga, Mira Nair, Peter Saraf, Geoff Gilmore, John Sloss, Mark Urman, Barbara Kopple, Tom DiCillo, Nancy Abraham, Ira Sachs, Emily Russo, Bill Plympton, Giancarlo Esposito, Kevin Corrigan, Brian Geraghty, Ron Nyswaner, Michael Lang, Oren Moverman, Thelma Adams, Karen Durbin, Peter Bowen, Owen Gleiberman, Doreen Ringer-Ross, Molly Thompson, Leon Gast, Pam Koffler, Ray Kurzwell, Scott Macaulay, and other industry leaders participating in illuminating panel discussions, Q&A's, receptions, and the WFF Awards Ceremony.

Several prior award recipients returned to Woodstock to help celebrate the 10th Anniversary, including Woody Harrelson, Mira Nair, Steve Buscemi, John Sloss and Barbara Kopple. A bevy of young filmmakers who brought their short films to WFF in years past submitted feature length films this year, with several clinching awards (see list of awards recipients below).

WFF Executive Director Meira Blaustein said the 10th anniversary year was based on a program of powerful and diverse films, established and emerging filmmakers, and strong industry support.

"How great it was to have such a high concentration of A-list celebrities, filmmakers and industry powerhouses mingling with such a wide variety of young filmmakers and receptive audiences, all loving independent film, sharing the experience in a community based on art," said Blaustein, who co-founded the festival with Laurent Rejto. "We saw many careers being launched, alliances blossom, and people everywhere with smiles on their faces. The festival congratulates every WFF filmmaker for their great accomplishments and wishes them great success in their future projects."

WFF'S 10TH Anniversary year brought in nearly 2000 submissions from the USA, Canada, Europe, South America, Iran, Afghanistan, France, Israel, and Germany, culminating in 51 premieres (11 World, 10 U.S., 13 East Coast, and 17 New York premieres), the highest number since the festival's inception in 2000. Participating studios included Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate Entertainment, Magnolia Pictures, IFC Entertainment, The Weinstein Company, Osciloscope Laboratories, Freestyle, Screen Media Films, Samuel Goldwyn Company, Syfy Channel, Arthouse Films, Regent Releasing, Overture Films and Films We Like.

 
FILMMAKERS GIVE 2009 WOODSTOCK FILM FEST THUMBS UP

"I'm just really honored to get to join all of you at this great celebration of film and music and community.....can you imagine this world of ours without events like this one? Without films like the ones that are screened here?..... I want to truly thank Meira, Laurent, Nikki, and all the volunteers here and the sponsors for making this happen."

TED HOPE (Producer, 2009 HONORARY TRAILBLAZER RECIPIENT)


"I just want to thank the Woodstock Film Festival for having me and my film here. This is a wonderful honor, this Maverick Award [...]I just want everyone to raise a toast to all those, which is everyone in this room, who are here for cinema, who are here for those campfires, big and small, of your own making and others. That's what were all doing here, trying to share our collective stories. I'd like to thank all of you for your passion. Thank you."

RICHARD LINKLATER (Writer/Director, 2009 HONORARY MAVERICK RECIPIENT)

"There are a lot of film festivals but I think that the Woodstock Film Festival really champions independent film and that's why I like it. For some films, festivals like this are the only way an audience will actually see it. I'm always honored when the Woodstock Film Festival includes any film that I'm in."

STEVE BUSCEMI (Actor, The Messenger and Youth In Revolt)


"I'm really impressed with the audiences at this festival. They are very present, really intelligent, and emotionally rooted. It was nice to have a dialogue with them. It feels good. [...] So far, this seems like a great festival. It's my first time here in Woodstock. They just popped my cherry, so thank you."

BEN FOSTER (Actor, The Messenger)


"I love the Woodstock Film Festival. I think it's great that it has been ten years. It's fiercely independent. It's a great place to come. It attracts interesting people. I think it allows filmmakers, critics, actors, and actresses to hang out in a very protective and stimulating environment."
THELMA ADAMS (Film writer)


"I love it here...There are more artists per capita than anywhere in the world. There are painters, writers, dancers, directors, musicians, actors. Woodstock is the place to be if you are a creative artist."

GIANCARLO ESPOSITO (Actor/Director, WFF 2009 Awards emcee)


"Congratulations on 10 years of the COOLEST film festival ever!!! We are so proud to be a part of it. You did an amazing job this year. It was awesome."

DOREEN RINGER-ROSS (VP Film and TV Relations BMI)


"It's a brand new experience, I've never been here before. I said after the screening, this audience completely surprised me in the intensity of their response to my film."

"A lot of the basic intellectual and cultural ideas, were ideas that formed most of these people here. They have a mind and a power of their own. They could possibly change the world. It's the Woodstock experience. It's kind of cool to be back here and touch that again. I haven't felt like this since high school."

TOM DICILLO (When You're Strange: The Doors)

"I want to tell you how impressed, proud, amazed, inspired and invigorated I am by my experience at the festival this year. Over the last decade you have built this into a truly great festival which I say both by putting in the context of all the festivals out there, but also in terms of how it stands on its own, what it means to and reflects upon the community it serves, what it means to and reflects upon the artists and the art it serves and what it means to and reflects upon the filmmaking community as a whole. It's just a straight up, wonderful event that you should be very proud of."
PETER SARAF (Big Beach Films)

"We all had a terrific time in Woodstock. I'm so happy I finally got up there. Woodstock is just a really magical place, we stayed in an incredible home, The festival was extremely impressive, its really grown into something...I had no idea!"
EMILY RUSSO (Co-Founder Zeitgeist Films)

"Thank you for creating a lively, human-scaled, cinema passionate, local and City people, weekend in the country. It's really inspiring. Well done."
IRA SACHS (Married Life, 40 Shades of Blue)

 

MAVERICK AWARD CEREMONY HONORS
EXCEPTIONAL INDEPENDENT FILMS
UPDATED LIST OF HONORARY MAVERICK AWARD WINNERS:

Emceed by actor/director Giancarlo Esposito, the annual WFF Gala Awards Ceremony, Saturday night, Oct 3 at Backstage Productions in nearby Kingston NY, attracted nearly 500 festival participants and guests, for a lively demonstration of indie support and celebration. We congratulate all filmmakers who are award recipients and all those who screened at the 2009 WFF.

The Lee Marvin BEST FEATURE NARRATIVE AWARD: DON'T LET ME DROWN, directed by Cruz Angeles. DON'T LET ME DROWN tells the story of a blossoming friendship between two New York City high school students whose immigrant families must endure turmoil just after 9/11. (This marks Angeles' second triumph at the Woodstock Film Festival. In 2003, he garnered top honors for Best Student Short Film with THE SHOW.)

The Maverick Award for BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY: JUNIOR, directed by Jenna Rosher. JUNIOR chronicles the life of Eddie Belasco, a 75-year-old San Francisco native with a classic Italian-American upbringing who is now facing his future as a retiree.

The Maverick Award for BEST ANIMATION: THE TERRIBLE THING OF ALPHA-9! (animator Jake Armstrong), presented by animators Signe Baumane and Bill Plympton. Honorable mention to BACKWARDS (Aaron Hughes) and DIVERS (Paris Mavroidis).

The Diane Seligman Award for BEST SHORT NARRATIVE: ADELAIDE, directed by Liliana Greenfield-Sanders, with an HONORABLE MENTION to MIRACLE FISH directed by Luke Doolan.

The Diane Seligman Award for BEST STUDENT SHORT FILM: PINCHAS directed by Pini Tavger, with an HONORABLE MENTION to THE 4th OF JULY PARADE directed by Miranda Rhyne.

The Haskell Wexler Award for BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Juan Carlos Rulfo, THOSE WHO REMAIN (LOS QUE SE QUESDAN), directed by Carlos Hagerman and Juan Carlos Rulfo. The award was presented by cinematographer Michael Simmonds.

James Lyons Award for BEST EDITING of a FEATURE NARRATIVE: Andrew Hafitz for his work on DON'T LET ME DROWN, directed by Cruz Angeles, with an HONORABLE MENTION to Anna Boden for her work on CHILDREN OF INVENTION, directed by Tze Chun.

James Lyons Award for BEST EDITING of a FEATURE DOCUMENTARY: Kate Hirson and Jessica Reynolds for their work on GARBAGE DREAMS, directed by Mai Iskander.

HONORARY TRAILBLAZER AWARD: Producer Ted Hope. Presented by Geoff Gilmore, chief creative officer at Tribeca Enterprises and one of today's biggest champions of independent filmmakers (award previously announced).

HONORARY MAVERICK AWARD: Director/writer/producer Richard Linklater. Award presented by his longtime colleague, collaborator and friend, actor/director Ethan Hawke (award previously announced).

Click here to view photos from the Awards Ceremony


AUDIENCE AWARD RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE

  • First Place went to DEAR LEMON LIMA, directed by Suzi Yoonessi.
  • Second Place went to DON'T LET ME DROWN, directed by Cruz Angeles.
  • Third Place went to HARLEM ARIA, directed by William Jennings.

    BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

  • First Place went to AFTER THE STORM, directed by Hilla Medalia.
  • Second Place went to MIGHTY UKE, directed by Tony Coleman.
  • Third Place went to WILLIAM KUNSTLER: DISTURBING THE UNIVERSE, directed by Emily Kunstler & Sarah Kunstler.

  • IN THEATERS

    Coached by a charismatic but inexperienced player's father, and led by future NBA superstar LeBron James, MORE THAN A GAME depicts the improbable seven-year journey of James's high school basketball team from a decrepit inner-city gym to the doorstep of a national high school championship. Courtesy of Lionsgate Entertainment. In select theaters Oct 2.

    Eliza wants it all - motherhood, a writing career, an egalitarian marriage but with the accumulation of minor crises on a daily basis, her wants may prove unattainable. A wise, warm and gentle comedy, MOTHERHOOD has much to teach about finding meaning and passion in the shared sacrifices of parenthood. Courtesy of Freestyle. In select theaters October 23rd.

    Featuring tour-de-force performances from Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson and Samantha Morton, and a brilliant directorial debut by Oren Moverman, THE MESSENGER is a powerful and tender story about a returned war hero making his first steps toward a normal life. The film brings us into the inner lives of these outwardly steely heroes to reveal their fragility with compassion and dignity. Courtesy of Osciloscope Laboratories. In select theaters Nov 13.


    A QUADRICENTENNIAL HUDSON RIVER VALLEY TOUR

    Having opened its Hudson Valley tour at the 10th Anniversary Woodstock Film Festival, AGAINST THE CURRENT continues to screen up and down New England with screenings in Rhinebeck, Albany, Peekskill, NYC, and more.

    A "road" movie on water, AGAINST THE CURRENT is the story of a man (Joseph Fiennes as Paul) that swims the length of the lower Hudson River from Troy to the Verazzanno Bridge. Filmed in the fall, Against the Current is a testament to the beauty of the region this time of year, and many of the riverside communities that hosted the film during production will have the opportunity to attend screenings. The run will end at the lower tip of Manhattan with a screening presented by the Hudson Valley Programmers Group and the Woodstock Film Festival at the 92YTribeca, mere blocks from New York Harbor, where the river meets the ocean and Paul’s journey comes to an end.

    Below please find a listing of our tour dates, with more to be announced. Visit HVPG.org for screening times and additional information.


    THE RICHARD B. FISHER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS AT BARD COLLEGE OCTOBER PROGRAMMING AT THE SOSNOFF THEATER

    Minimalist pioneer Terry Riley and Friends
    October 9 and 10 at 8 pm
    Tickets: $20, 30, 25

    Following his recent sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall, Terry Riley (composer of the iconic In C) takes a rare turn through the Hudson Valley for two concerts of solo and ensemble chamber works.

    "Terry Riley is the greatest composer pianist since Prokofiev." -Izvestia

    Performers: Terry Riley, keyboards; Gyan Riley, guitar; Tracy Silverman, strings; David Tanenbaum, guitar; William Winant, percussion

    John Cage at Bard College: A Symposium
    Performances of Cage's work as part of Bard's weekend-long celebration of the influential American composer.

    A Concert of Cage's chamber works, performed by faculty and students of the Bard College Conservatory of Music
    October 30 at 7:30 pm
    Free and open to the public

    The legendary Toronto-based percussion quintet Nexus performs Cage's Dance Music for Elfrid Ide, Amores, Credo In Us, and Chess Pieces.
    October 31 at 8 pm
    Tickets: $15

    Tickets and information: fishercenter.bard.edu
    Box Office: 845-758-7900

    Click here for more info


    THANKS
    2009 MAJOR SPONSORS

    120db Films, Ciroc Vodka, Time Magazine, A&E Indie Films, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, BMI, Lowel Light, Stella Artois, Syfy, Teany,WDST Radio Woodstock, The James Lyons Estate, The Lee Marvin Estate, Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences

    Visit all our sponsors online.