To view online, visit http://woodstockfilmfestival.com/newsletters/10_02.htm

2010 WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL
February 2010


SKI AND STAY GETAWAY RAFFLE
Only a few days left, Enter to Win, Support the Festival!

SUNDANCE RECAP
Award Winners
WFF Party and More

OSCAR NODS
Up in The Air
The Messenger
Miracle Fish

YOUTUBE RENTALS
Children Of Invention


IFC ON DEMAND

ON DVD
Splinterheads
Superheroes

IN THEATERS
Eyes Wide Open

HUDSON VALLEY FILM COMMISSION NEWS
Clean House, HELLer on Wheels

COMMUNITY NEWS
Heller Wins In California's Grand National

MUSIC NEWS
Woodstock shines at Grammys
Levon Helm, Steve Earle, Bla Fleck...

BOOK NOOK
Woodstock Writers Festival

SPONSOR NEWS

WFF EARLY BIRD CALL FOR ENTRIES OPEN







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View outside the Waterfall Rental House

SKI AND STAY GETAWAY! ONLY A FEW DAYS LEFT TO ENTER!!!

Win A Winter SKI AND STAY GETAWAY for 2!
A $25 donation GETS YOU A CHANCE TO WIN THIS PACKAGE

WIN a romantic weekend escape at the beautiful WATERFALL HOUSE
Lift tickets for two to New York's premier Ski Area, Hunter Mountain
Dinner for two at The Fernwood Restaurant
A luxurious gift basket to enjoy for those romantic evenings, filled with Ciroc Vodka, Stella Artois, wine, fruit, cheese and more!

THIS JUST ADDED: ALL WINNERS GET A
DVD COPY OF SPLINTERHEADS!

All proceeds support of the Woodstock Film Festival.
AND - there are 5 Runner-Up Prizes too!
Get what the celebrities get with our Festival Swag Gift Bags chalk full of books, CDs, DVDs, a Freeplay KITO Wind Up flashlight, WFF cap and more festival goodies.

For more information, or to purchase a raffle ticket CLICK HERE.


 

SUNDANCE RECAP

LEON GAST WINS AT SUNDANCE

Congratulations to Woodstocker, Festival friend and Director Leon Gast for not only World Premiering his film Smash His Camera at the Sundance Film Festival, but for also taking home the trophy for US Documentary Directing Award. Way to go!

Smash His Camera is the story of notorious, paparazzo Ron Galella who opened a Pandora’s Box of issues from right to privacy, freedom of the press and the ever-growing vortex of celebrity worship. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sued him and Marlon Brando broke his jaw. The film is edited by seasoned editor Doug Abel-also of Woodstock. (see related story)


The winner of Sundance's BEST OF NEXT award went to Homewrecker, by WFF alums, Brad and Todd Barnes, who had the short Choke with us in 2005. Congrats!

Codirectors (and brothers) Todd and Brad Barnes infuse screwball sensibility into their version of the romantic comedy. The chemistry between the leads is crucial: Ana Reeder revels in her free-spirited, no-boundaries role and keeps Margo likeable; Anslem Richardson is perfect as her straight man. Full of jaunty dialogue and subtle charm, Homewrecker is an irresistible and impressive debut feature. (courtesy of Sundance Film Festival)




RECAP

Sundance 2010 has come and gone. Some films have been picked up for distribution. Others are weighing whatever offers have been made to them. Many are still waiting for their fate to take its turn.

Among the notable films to have been picked up for distribution are Debra Granik's beautifully nuanced, dark and intimate film "Winter's Bone," Davis Guggenheim's important and comprehensive study of the ailing education system in the U.S., "Waiting for Superman," Michael Winterbottom's controversially violent film, "The Killer Inside Me," the wonderfully acted "Blue Valentine," and the documentary in competition "Family Affair."

While the business of acquisition continues to rage on after Sundance, the coveted competition awards were handed out Saturday night at the Racket Club in Park City. Special kudos go out to awards winners Woodstock's own Leon Gast and Woodstock Film Festival alumni Debra Granik.

(Click here for full story)



WFF/HVFC Sundance Party, Sponsored by 120dbFilms

While in Sundance the Woodstock Film Festival and Hudson Valley Film Commission threw a party for participating filmmakers, producers and other industry folks. The event was sponsored by 120dBfilms.

An overflow crowd of fun filled revelers attended including Sundance jury member Jason Kliot, filmmakers Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing (12th & Delaware), Leon Gast (Smash His Camera) and his whole crew. Also in attendance were producers Peter Saraf (Jack Goes Boating, Lucky) Gill Holland (Bass Ackwards), Amy Hobby (And Everything is Going Fine), Stephen Nemeth (Climate Refugees), Joanna Adler, 120dBfilms' Stephen Hays, National Geographic Russell Howard (Restrepo), ITVS Cynthia Kane, Variety's John Anderson, US Weekly Thelma Adams, entertainment attorney Jonathan Gray (The Romantics, The Imperialists Are Still Alive, Holy Rollers...), casting director / producer Amy Gossels (Tub) and many more.

Thank you all for coming and thanks to 120dBfilms for their generous sponsorship.
We'll see you all again next year!


 

OSCAR NOMINEES

THE MESSENGER

Congratulations to the 2009 Woodstock Film Festival Opening Night Film,
The Messenger
and festival participants, Woody Harrelson and Oren Moverman
on their Oscar® Nominations.

Best Supporting Actor, Woody Harrelson

Best Original Screenplay, Oren Moverman and Alessandro Camon

Featuring tour-de-force performances from Foster, Harrelson and Morton, and a brilliant directorial debut by Oren Moverman, THE MESSENGER brings us into the inner lives of these outwardly steely heroes to reveal their fragility with compassion and dignity.

For more info, visit The Messenger


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UP IN THE AIR

Congratulations to the 2009 Woodstock Film Festival Closing Night Film,
Up in the Air
and festival participant Vera Farmiga on their Oscar® Nominations.

Best Picture

Best Director, Jason Reitman

Best Actor, George Clooney

Best Supporting Actress, Vera Farmiga

Best Supporting Acress, Anna Kendrick

Best Adapted Screenplay, Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

For more info, visit Up in the Air


MIRACLE FISH

Congratulations are also in order for Miracle Fish, a 2009 Woodstock Film Festival Official Selection, nominated for an Oscar® in 2010.

Best Short Film (Live Action), Juanita Wilson, James Flynn

About Miracle Fish: Eight year-old Joe has a birthday he will never forget. After friends tease him, he sneaks off to the sick bay, wishing everyone in the world would go away. He wakes up to find his dream may have become a reality.


 

YOUTUBE RENTALS

 

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CHILDREN OF INVENTION

Official Selection of the 2009 Woodstock Film Festival, Tze Chun's Children of Invention is one of several Sundance films to be distributed as part of YOUTUBE RENTALS.

"We're very excited to be taking part in this initiative," said Chun. "YouTube gives us exposure to the largest online video audience in the world, and allows us to engage directly with the community of people interested in our film.  Children of Invention isn't the type of film YouTube is traditionally known for; it's a heartfelt family drama that's built not only to entertain, but also to move the viewer.  And at 86 minutes long, it's probably 85 minutes longer than most videos YouTube users log on to watch.  But we're hoping that the YouTube audience, as well as viewers new to YouTube, will see this as a paradigm shift--we hope that they will come to the site to get immersed in a film for an hour and a half, and have the type of experience that one usually reserves for the theaters."

YouTube makes its case in the blog Independent Filmmakers Wanted: “Anything that brings more content to the YouTube community is a good thing. And making content available for rent will give our partners unprecedented control over the distribution of their work—they can decide the price of their videos and the rental duration; they can decide when and where their content is available; and they can keep 100 percent of their rights.” The Sundance videos are priced at $3.99 each. Read the story in TIME Magazine.

Featuring some of the best child performances (including Hudson Valley's Michael Chen) to ever leap off an indie film set, Tze Chun’s semi-autobiographical Children of Invention is a must-see first feature that resonates with style, grace, subtlety and honesty, bottling not only the experience of a stranger in a foreign land, but also that of a family.


 
IFC ON DEMAND

IFC ACQUIRES AGAINST THE CURRENT

"We're pleased to announce that IFC films has acquired U.S. rights to Against The Current." States Director Peter Callahan of his feature film that was not only a 2009 Official Selection of the Woodstock Festival but was shot throughout the Hudson Valley and screened on a special tour with the Hudson Valley Programmers Group. Callahan continued, "the film will be released via IFC Festival Direct, its movies-on-demand platform, available nationwide in 30 million homes on virtually all major cable stations, on March 24."

About Against the Current: Struggling with a tragic past, Paul (Joseph Fiennes) is determined to swim all one hundred and fifty miles of the lower Hudson River. He recruits his best friend Jeff (Justin Kirk), and Liz (Elizabeth Reaser), a teacher with nothing better to do during her summer break, to come with him.

Paul begins his swim in Troy, with Jeff and Liz commandeering a dilapidated motorboat behind him. Biding the time laughing and joking around, the tides turn when they discover the real reason behind Paul’s journey.

With each stroke, director Peter Callahan brilliantly showcases the gorgeous landscapes of the Hudson Valley. The film features stellar performances from Mary Tyler Moore, Michelle Trachtenberg and the entire main cast. A spin on the classic road movie genre, Against the Current is sure to keep audiences engaged all the way to the final strokes of Paul's journey. (Emily Suttmeier)


 
ON DVD

SPLINTERHEADS

Shot locally with the help of the Hudson Valley Film Commission and a 2009 Woodstock Film Festival Official Selection, Splinterheads is now available on DVD. Click here to Purchase. WIN A FREE COPY, Enter Raffle!

About Splinterheads: For Justin Frost (newcomer Thomas Middleditch in a breakthrough role), a typical day is rolling out of bed at one, practicing improvised karate, and mowing grass for his best friend’s landscaping business. But when a traveling carnival lands in his small town, Justin falls for a sexy con artist and wakes up to the life he has yet to begin living. Written and directed by Brant Sersen, winner of the 2004 SXSW Audience Award for his previous feature comedy Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story, Splinterheads also stars Rachael Taylor (Transformers), Christopher McDonald (Happy Gilmore), Lea Thompson (Back to the Future), Dean Winters (HBO’s OZ), Frankie Faison (HBO’s The Wire) and introducing Jason Rogel as Wayne Chung.


SUPERHEROES

Also filmed in the Hudson Valley, this 2007 Woodstock Film Festival Official Selection and multi-film festival winner for Best Feature, Superheroes is now available on DVD. Click Here to purchase.

Superheroes follows the return of an Iraq war veteran, Ben Patchett, to American life, and explores the damage inflicted on one man by war and the limitations of redemption. While Ben was away, his wife left him for another man, taking their daughters with her. His body filled with shrapnel from a mine explosion and pumped full of medication, Ben is back living with his parents in his childhood home in Queens, traumatized and in constant pain. He attends a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder support group at a V.A. clinic in New York. There he meets Nick Jones, who has volunteered to video tope Ben's PTSD group. Just a year out of college, Nick half-heartedly pursues a career in documentary film, while living with his dancer ex-girlfriend. When Ben invites Nick to come and film him during his stay at a borrowed house in the Catskills, a wary but ultimately tender friendship evolves between these two very different man.


 
IN THEATERS

EYES WIDE OPEN

Now Playing at NYC Cinema Village, the 2009 WFF Official Selection Eyes Wide Open and Israeli Director Haim Tabakman are getting rave reviews. The New York Times calls it it's Critics Pick, saying, "its scrupulous, humane sympathy gives this small, sorrowful film a glow of insight and a pulse of genuine, openhearted curiosity. It moves slowly and patiently through the ordeal of a single soul, illuminating in the process a cosmos of intense and hidden feeling." To read the full article, Click Here.

About Eyes Wide Open: Husband and father Reb Aaron belongs to the insular world of the ultra orthodox where life is defined by ritual and prayer and codes of behavior are strictly enforced. But his ties to these ancient traditions begin to fray when he meets a young, handsome drifter looking for work. Initially irritated by the seductive stranger, Aaron ultimately takes him on, offering work as well as lodging in a room above his butcher shop. Warned by the elders of trouble ahead, Aaron is unable to repress the disturbing new urges Ezry arouses in him, and Rivka, Aaron’s stoic, sometimes childlike wife, is no match for the passionate, hedonistic Ezry. The Mikvah, or ritual cleansing bath proscribed by Judaic law, becomes a potent symbol for sins too great to be washed away. “Eyes Wide Open” is an unflinching foray into a seldom seen world; riveting, uncompromising and bound to create controversy. (Barbara Pokras, A.C.E.)


OCTOBER COUNTRY

"October Country"is kicking off its U.S. Theatrical release with its premiere at the IFC Center downtown on February 12 through Feb 18th. Click for tickets.

The 7pm Friday night screening on the 12th will feature the Mosher family in attendance. They will also be there to answer questions at all of the 7pm screenings from Friday through Sunday. Click for tickets.

"October Country" is a beautifully rendered portrait of an American family struggling for stability while haunted by the ghosts of war, teen pregnancy, foster care and child abuse. This vibrant and intimate documentary examines the forces that unsettle the working poor and the violence that lurks beneath the surface of American life.

Every family has its ghosts, some metaphorical, some literal. The Mosher family has more than most. Shot over a year from one Halloween to the next, the documentary uses rich visual metaphors and floats through multiple storylines to paint a portrait of a family who are unique but also sadly representative of the struggles of America’s working class.


 
HUDSON VALLEY FILM COMMISSION NEWS

STYLE NETWORKS CLEAN HOUSE COMES TO NEWBURGH!

Clean House, the Style Network program that changes homes and lives by ridding them of clutter, was shooting in Newburgh NY over the past week!

The show featured a big yard sale at the Laborers Local 17, 351 Little Brittain Rd., Newburgh, NY. Yard Sale profits are matched by Clean House up to $1000 and go directly to the improvements and new decor for the house's redesign. Anything that goes unsold goes to charity!

Clean House is one of many reality shows that have filmed in the Hudson Valley. Other productions have included Amazing Race, Long Way Round (featuring Ewan McGregor), Wife Swap, The Fugitive Chronicles, Top Chef and Discovery Channels American Chopper, which bows February 11after a long and successful run.

Several new shows are in the offing and we'll keep you posted. Most exciting of all is HELLer on Wheels. Check it out online or see below for related story.


 
COMMUNITY NEWS

CONGRATULATIONS STEVE, WINNER OF BEST IN CLASS

Ulster County native Steve Heller (Fabulous Furniture, HELLER on Wheels, WFF Maverick Awards trophy designer) has won Best in Class for his Marquis De Soto at the world's largest and most prestigious custom car show: The Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona CA.

"This car has been blessed from the beginning," Steve said. "Starting life as a 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis, I transformed it into a really cool ‘50’s cruiser, using parts from twenty different ‘50’s cars. A few months later, it won Coolest Custom at the Lead East Car Show---- when it was still in primer!"

The talented Mr. Heller customizes newer cars to uniquely resemble our favorite classics! Check out his 4-foot tall trophy and the promo for his documentary show at HELLer on Wheels. Also check out his Fabulous Furniture store in Boiceville, NY


 
MUSIC NEWS

WOODSTOCK SHINES AT GRAMMYS:
LEVON HELM, STEVE EARLE WIN

(read the entire article in the Poughkeepsie Journal)

Levon Helm of Woodstock recently won the Grammy for Best Americana Album, for "Electric Dirt." His neighbor, Steve Earle, won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album, for "Townes."

Helm's Grammy is his second consecutive. He won a 2007 Grammy for "Dirt Farmer," for Best Traditional Folk Album. He beat out Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel, Lucinda Williams and Wilco.

Earle, who recently bought a home in Woodstock, beat out Neko Case, Tracy Chapman, Shawn Colvin and Elvis Costello. "Townes" is a collection of Townes Van Zandt songs that Earle recorded to honor his late friend and mentor.

BÉLA FLECK, who has performed and been featured in two films at the Woodstock FIlm Festival added two more Grammys to his already large collection. Congratulations to Bela for Pop Instrumental Performance: "Throw Down Your Heart, Tales from the Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3: Africa Sessions," Contemporary World Music Album: Throw Down Your Heart, Tales from the Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3: Africa Sessions


 
BOOK NOOK

WOODSTOCK WRITERS FESTIVAL

The Woodstock Writers Festival celebrates the literary arts. For four days – Feb. 12 to 15, 2010 – renowned authors will conduct workshops, lectures and panels for other writers of all levels of experience and for all interested readers.

The euphoria and angst of writing a book, from the hands-on-craft to the emotional highs and lows of navigating the publishing experience, will be explored and illuminated.

The Festival will feature memoirists, novelists, screenwriters and playwrights. For this opening weekend, the emphasis is on MEMOIR. Founding authors Abigail Thomas, Susan Richards, Martha Frankel, Laura Shaine Cunningham and Golden Notebook bookstore maven Barry Samuels will welcome all participants to a series of literary and social events that promise the pleasures of writing need not be lonely but can be shared by like-minded lovers of literature. A four day Valentine to writing, to a wondrous town and to all writers and readers, to meet face to face at what promises to be a festival as historic as the town which lends its name.


THE LEE STRASBERG NOTES,
THE STRASBERG METHOD IN HIS OWN WORDS

Available March 15, The Lee Strasberg Notes is the first publication which presents Lee Strasberg’s Method as he himself taught it.  The renowned acting teacher and director re-invented the style of acting for the modern era. In the sixty years since its development, the Strasberg Method has been embraced by actors and theater and film directors around the world.

This comprehensive book illuminates clearly and organically the significance of Strasberg’s revolutionary approach to the art of acting and its present-day practice. Edited by Woodstock's very own Lola Cohen, a teacher at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, the book compiles unpublished transcripts of classes that he taught there in the last seven years of his life.  It reveals his teachings on Training and Exercises, Characters and Scenes, Directing and the Method, Shakespeare and Stanislavski, and the Theater, Acting, and Actors. Click Here to purchase.

Lola Cohen has taught acting for over twenty years at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute and NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Acting Program. As an actor she made her film debut in Renaldo and Clara in 1975, directed by Bob Dylan. She was SUNY - Ulster Artist in Residence in 2009.

For the actor, The Lee Strasberg Notes are an indispensable companion. Put it in you coat and go... For anyone interested in the multi-faceted beast that is human behavior, the same applies. What a treat for anyone protracted of tooth or as green as grass. Everyone's a winner. Go..." Johnny Depp


SPONSOR NEWS

If you would like to see YOUR COMPANY LOGO OR BANNER ON THE HEADER OF NEWSLETTERS, visit ADVERISE WITH US.

If you are interested in becoming a 2010 Woodstock Film Festival sponsor,
please contact us regarding sponsorship opportunities. Each year film and music lovers gather at the Woodstock Film Festival from around the world for an exhilarating variety of films, first-class concerts, workshops, celebrity-led panels, an awards ceremony, and superlative parties. For more info, visit SPONSOR WOODSTOCK.