August 2011 Newsletter

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SNEAK PEEK

OPENING NIGHT FILM

SPOTLIGHT FILM

SPECIAL SCREENING

2011 HONORARY TRAILBLAZER AWARD

FOCUS ON MUSIC

IN THEATERS

ON DVD

ON THE TUBE

LOCAL PRODUCTION NEWS



 

   
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The 12th Annual Fiercely Independent Woodstock Film Festival, kicking off Wed. Sept. 21 through Sun. Sept. 25, has unveiled a sneak peek into its 2011 line-up of nearly 150 films, panels, performances and special events. Screenings and events will take place in the historic arts colony of Woodstock, and the neighboring towns of Rhinebeck, Rosendale and Kingston, in the Hudson Valley Catskills, just two hours from NYC.

"This year's program reflects the extraordinary works of filmmakers from far - flung places such as Bulgaria, Spain and Israel, to those from our backyard right here in the Hudson Valley," said Meira Blaustein, WFF co-founder and executive director. "Today's Filmmakers continue to carve their own interpretations of global events and individual nuances, pushing the envelope, delving into unchartered territories and unflinchingly exploring and bending genres, stories and characters. We are proud to provide the Woodstock platform for them and are eagerly waiting to have them and their work with us this fall."

The complete 2011 WFF line-up will be unveiled end of August.
Until then, here are some of this year’s highlights:

 
FULL FEST PASSES

Want to get the ultimate Woodstock Film Festival Experience?
The best way to see and do all that you'd like is by purchasing a Full Festival Pass.
These passes are very limited. Only twenty are available.

Benefits of this pass include:
Priority seating for screening and panels
Access to ALL parties and the Saturday night Maverick Awards ceremony
2011 t-shirt & WFF cap
2011 WFF signed poster

For complete info, visit www.woodstockfilmfestival.com/cart/fullfestpass.php

 
OPENING NIGHT FILM: 
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PEACE, LOVE, & MISUNDERSTANDING, Directed by Bruce Beresford, (US Premiere)
In this film by WFF 2010 Honorary Maverick Award recipient Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy, Tender Mercies) Oscar nominated actress, Catherine Keener, plays a conservative lawyer who takes her two teenage children to meet their estranged, hippie grandmother (Academy-Award winner Jane Fonda) in Woodstock. Shot and produced here in the Hudson Valley, the opening night film will take place Thursday, ASeptember 22, at the newly renovated Woodstock Playhouse. Beresford, along with writers, producers and select cast will attend the Q&A after the screening.
 
SPECIAL SCREENING:
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GIVING BACK, Directed by Meera Gandhi
International humanitarian, author and filmmaker Meera Gandhi explores the deeply personal and unique ways in which her friends from around the world "give back" to humanity. A conversation on global philanthropy will follow the screening of this riveting short documentary. (*Academy Award Nominated actor, MARK RUFFALO, will receive the very first honorary Meera Gandhi Giving Back award for his community activism involving safe water and hydro-fracking in the Catskills. Ms. Gandhi will present the award to Mark Ruffalo at the Saturday September 24th, Gala Maverick Awards Ceremony.) For tickets, visit Awards Ceremony

Academy Award Nominated actor, MARK RUFFALO, is a resident of the Catskills and an active supporter of the anti-fracking movement, traveling to Albany and Washington to protect safe water for the region. Easily moving between stage and screen his most recent roles include Collateral (2004), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Shutter Island (2010) and The Kids Are All Right (2010).

 

 
SPOTLIGHT FILM:
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ANOTHER HAPPY DAY, Directed by Sam Levinson, (East Coast Premiere)
High-strung Lynn (Ellen Barkin) and her troubled grown children (Kate Bosworth and Ezra Miller) journey deep into the heart of domestic darkness to attend the wedding of her estranged eldest son. (* ELLEN BARKIN will be the recipient of the WFF Excellence in Acting Award at the Saturday September 24th, Gala Maverick Awards Ceremony. She will be in attendance for the Q&A, and the Award ceremony.) For tickets, visit Awards Ceremony

Two-time Golden Globe Award Nominated actress and Emmy Award winner, ELLEN BARKIN, is known for her remarkable roles in Sea of Love (1989), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) and more recently Ocean's Thirteen (2007).

 
2011 HONORARY TRAILBLAZER AWARD:
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Public advocacy for the arts pioneer ROBIN BRONK will receive the Honorary Trailblazer Award for her tireless fighting and commitment to believing in the power of creativity in the arts to effect social change. The award will be presented at the Saturday, September 24, Gala Maverick Awards Ceremony. Bronk is Chief Executive Officer of The Creative Coalition—the leading national, nonprofit, nonpartisan social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment industry. Bronk is dedicated to educating, mobilizing and activating the entertainment industry and arts community on issues of public importance, particularly the First Amendment, arts advocacy and media literacy. For tickets, visit Awards Ceremony
 
FOCUS ON MUSIC
What's Woodstock Without Music? WFF's popular music programming of iconic musicians, music as political dissent, music videos, and bands vying to be heard, along with the always popular BMI Music panel is expanding this year with an all new exciting, Live Music Concert Series curated by School of Rock founder Paul Green. WFF is proud to present a series of concerts every night throughout the festival, including a performance from Betty, a wildly fun pop band from NYC whose transfixing music combines the ordinary and the surreal. The band has won two Emmy's, two BMI Career Excellence Awards, numerous humanitarian awards and the hearts of fans everywhere. They will be performing in Woodstock on Saturday, September 24. Stay tuned for the complete concert series line-up.
 
IN THEATERS

BATTLE OF THE SEXES is at it AGAIN!

Mark your calendars, the renowned, award-winning animators and WFF Programmers, Bill Plympton and Signe Baumane, will host an evening of heated films and debate to solve, once and for all, the question of “Who makes a better animated sex film? A man or a woman?” This round of Battle of the Sexes will be held August 31, at 6pm at The Falcon in Marlboro, NY

Signe Baumane, creator of Teat Beat of Sex and many other films, will represent five luscious and lascivious films by animators Eveliene Hoedeckie, Saray Dominguez, Michaela Pavlatova, Joanna Quinn, and herself. Oscar-nominated Bill Plympton is ready to go the distance with five films by men, including himself, John Goras, PES, Duncan Beedie, and Ondrej Rudavsky.  

You will laugh, you will squirm, you will want more. And you will help decide the winner. Of course, there’s more! Ticket price includes delicious food and libations, as well as a souvenir glass.

A silent auction will include original art by Bill Plympton and Signe Baumane, as well as wonderful items from local businesses. For ticket info, visit BattlewithBillandSigne.com
*This show is not for the easily embarrassed, nor those under 21 years of age.


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HIGHER GROUND

Vera Farmiga's directorial debut Higher Ground will receive a limited theatrical release on August 26. After touring as a multi-festival hit, the locally shot film will open in New York and Los Angeles, with a wider release to follow. Shot right here in Upstate New York, the film has been receiving rave reviews, and was a huge hit at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Higher Ground depicts the landscape of a tight-knit spiritual community thrown off-kilter when one of their own begins to question her faith. Inspired by Carolyn S. Briggs' memoir, This Dark World (screenplay by Carolyn S. Briggs and Tim Metcalfe & Carolyn S. Briggs), the film tells the story of a thoughtful woman's struggles with belief, love, and trust.

Faith, love and honesty are the cornerstones of this story of a woman who learns that no matter how many times she loses her footing, she has within herself all that's necessary to get to a higher place.


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PERFECT AGE OF ROCK N' ROLL

Perfect Age of Rock 'N' Roll, official selection of the 2009 Woodstock Film Festival, received a limited theatrical release on August 5th in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas. Luckily, for those who missed it, the film has been released simultaneously On Demand across North America, and is available to watch instantly!

In the film, a pair of longtime friends channel their talent and passion for music into a cross-country road trip that brings them face to face with their past, present, and future. A world famous musician, whose debut album is a huge hit, retreats to his hometown after his sophomore effort flops.

There he reconnects with his long lost best friend and fellow musician, the son of a punk rock guitar legend, who became a middle school music teacher. The reunion forces the two to recall their youthful ambitions and reexamine the choices they've made. Accompanied by a raucous crew of musicians, they set off on a cathartic journey along historic Route 66 that brings them closer to each other, their history and their destiny.

 
ON DVD
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IDIOTS AND ANGELS

In a de-saturated universe filled with booze, bulbous cars and bad intentions, a furious man takes pleasure in causing pain to others. Thus begins Idiots and Angels, Bill Plympton's brilliant reversal of the metamorphosis theme. With music moving the narrative and bolstered by mind-blowing transitions Angel, a truly bad man, is horrified to find himself sprouting wings. So drenched in evil is he that he tries to rid himself of these unwanted appendages by any means possible, even self-mutilation. Does he succeed? Do those who conspire to rob Angel of his wings for their own gain succeed? Is redemption in such a world possible? Does love exist, or merely lust? Both a parable of a world gone awry and a testament to the possibility of redemption, this is storytelling at its very best, not to be missed. (Barbara Pokras, A.C.E)

Available on Amazon.com


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RIO

The latest film from WFF sponsor Blue Sky Studios has been released on DVD! Blue Sky Studios, the animation giant behind films like Ice Age and Robots, is the official sponsor for the 2011 WFF Maverick Award for Best Animation, and will also be presenting a panel at this year's festival.

This comedy-adventure centers on Blu, a flightless macaw who acts more human than bird. When Blu, the last of his kind, discovers there’s another – and that she’s a she – he embarks on an adventure to magical Rio. There, he meets Jewel and a menagerie of vivid characters who help Blu fulfill his dream and learn to fly. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.com)

Available on Amazon.com

 
ON THE TUBE

MADE IN INDIA on PBS NEWSHOUR!

A segment from the documentary film Made in India, which played at the 2010 Woodstock Film Festival, was featured on PBS NewsHour on August 4th. The film has been selected for the Economist Film Project, which presents films that cover the types of hard-hitting issues that can be found in The Economist. Made in India explores the "outsourcing" of reproduction to India, and the global consequences of this growing industry.

For more information, and to view the segment, click here.

  IN OTHER NEWS

WALL STREET JAZZ FESTIVAL

The Eighth Annual Wall Street Jazz Festival will take place on Friday-Saturday, September 2-3 in Kingston, NY. The festival, which is free and open to all, will feature a plethora of renowned musicians from the world of jazz

Estrella Samba Y Salsa will perform their high-octane style of jazz that is guaranteed to have everyone dancing. For more information of times, venues and acts, visit the website www.wallstreetjazzfestival.com

  HUDSON VALLEY FILM COMMISSION NEWS
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PERSEPHONE shoots in the HUDSON VALLEY

Part I of Persephone is in the can. The short film directed by Laurent Rejto spent an amazing 3 days on location at Mount Olympus and on the shores of the River Styx with cast members Melissa Leo, Gilles Malkine, Lindsay Andretta and Richard Rodgers. Producers Amanda Warman, Greg Meola and Erik Weigel oversaw a team of the most respected professionals in the film industry providing expert skills—from camera operator services to video special effects and Da Vinci high-end post-production color grading.

Persephone - a modern retelling of the Greek myth - is a story of divorce and how two parents cope to share their most beloved daughter just as she is growing into a woman.

Part II of the production is scheduled for late October and will take place in the underworld.
For details and photos, visit www.persephonethemovie.com