DECEMBER 2004 Newsletter

January, February, March, April, May, June
July, August, September, October, November, December

 

In 2004, the Woodstock Film Festival celebrated it's fifth anniversary in grand style with year round events in Woodstock, Albany and New York City. Events featured a screening of "Medium Cool" and an appearance by legendary cinematographer/director Haskell Wexler. Other year round screenings included "The Weather Underground," "Farmingville," "Garbage, Gangster, and Greed,"  "Avoid Eye Contact," "Down to the Bone," and many other remarkable films.

The Woodstock Film Commission created sustainable economic development throughout the year by attracting and supporting film, video and media production including Steven Spielberg's "War of the Worlds," starring Tom Cruise.

Film festival events from Wed. Oct. 13  through Sunday Oct.  17, featured an exceptional collection of 120 films, panels, concerts, and special events in Woodstock, NY and the neighboring towns of Rhinebeck and Hunter.

The festival kicked off at the Frank Gehry built Robert B Fisher Performing Arts Center with a virtuoso concert by Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer. Mira Nair received the Honorary Maverick Award from musician/activist Peter Gabriel, and film highlights included "p.s.," "The Woodsman," "Down to the Bone," "Speak," "Guerrilla," "Double Dare," "Growing Up on Tour," "Obstinato; Music for Two," "Parallel Lines," and too many other films to mention. Politics also played a key role in programming with films including "The World According to Bush," "Off to War," "Getting Through to the President," "Soldiers Pay" and others.

2004 was also marked by a great loss when legendary composer and Woodstock FIlm Festival honorary chair Elmer Bernstein passed away.

The following excerpts recap the year as told through our monthly newsletter.

 


 


"Down to the Bone" auditions in Woodstock (January 2003)


Vera Farmiga and Meira Blaustein
in Sundance
(January 2004)

JANUARY
DOWN TO THE BONE

January 2003, we reported that the Woodstock Film Commission was facilitating efforts by Susan Leber (“Margarita Happy Hour,” “The technical Writer”) to produce "Down to the Bone" in the Woodstock /Kingston/Saugerties, NY region. The script, which won the Screenwriting Prize at the Nantucket Film Festival and was work shopped at the Sundance Lab tells the story of a woman struggling to balance the needs of her family with her own needs, fears and desires. Director Debra Granik's short "Snake Feed" (also shot in Ulster County) won the Sundance Jury Prize in 1998.

This January, we’re thrilled to report that “Down to the Bone,” will make its premiere in dramatic competition at the Sundance Film festival. The film, which was co-produced by Anne Rosellini stars Vera Farmiga, Hugh Dillon, Clint Jordan (“Milk and Honey,” and Caridad De La Luz. The cast also features several Hudson Valley residents and crew members. Ulster County based location scout and location manager  Michele Baker was responsible for over thirty locations and was the only member of the locations department. She will be in Park City for the premiere. Another crew member was WFF alumni-extraordinaire Hannah Lewis Rosenblum, who also just finished working on “The Roost,” a Glass Eye Pix scare flic co-produced by Leber and Larry Fessenden (“Margarita Happy Hour,” “Wendigo”).

Update: "Down to the Bone" would go on to win two awards at Sundance including the Dramatic Directing Award for Debra Granik, and a Special Jury Prize for Acting for Vera Farmiga. In October, the film was voted Best Feature Narrative at the Woodstock Film Festival. In December, "Down to the Bone," received two Independent Spirit Nominations including The John Cassavetes Award for best feature made for $500,000, and Best Female Lead for Vera Farmiga.



Melissa Leo ("21 Grams") presents the Audience Award for Best Feature Narrative to Jessica Shrazer

SPEAK

Jessica Shrazer, whose short film, "The Wormhole," (WFF 2002) won numerous awards including a 2002 Gold Medal at the Student Academy Awards®, makes her feature directorial debut at Sundance with “Speak,” an American Spectrum admission. The film made under the banner of "Showtime Independent Films" marks the first time Showtime (a 2003 WFF sponsor) has financed movies directly for the independent theatrical marketplace. The film is produced by NY based producer Fred Berner.

“Speak,” starring Kristen Stewart ("Panic Room," "The Safety of Objects") is a modern tragicomedy, that follows a wickedly observant, winning young girl's recovery from rape while she, literally, finds her voice again. Read more.

Update: "Speak" would go on to receive the audience award for Best Feature at the Woodstock Film Festival.


FEBRUARY

FERRY TALES NOMINATED FOR OSCAR

Katja Esson's short doc about a group of women who gather each day in the powder room of the Staten Island Ferry, to put on their make-up and share their thoughts and problems was nominated for an Oscar in the category of Documentary short subject.

The film, which screened at the 2003 Woodstock Film Festival, was edited by WFF advisory board member, Sabine Hoffman. In other Sabine news, Hoffman was cited during an acceptance speech at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival  Awards show when "Brother to Brother" director Rodney Evans described Hoffman's work on his feature film as "brilliant, brilliant, brilliant."

Update: Sabine's most recent project, Rebecca Miller's "Jack and the Rose," starring Daniel Day Lewis will premier in Sundance.



Town Hall Meeting
followed the screening

MARCH

Friday, March 12, 2004, the Woodstock Film Festival and WAMC Northeast Public Radio present a special film screening and student town meeting.

GARBAGE, GANGSTER, AND GREED, Directed by Fred Isseks and his Middletown High School Electronic English Class. Since 1991 Middletown High School students have been investigating and documenting the history and health implications of toxic waste disposal in the lower Hudson Valley, the primary source of drinking water for New York City. As part of their course work, they produced a documentary about the organized crime-figures, law-enforcement officers, politicians and state regulators who participated in pointless pollution, then kept it hidden. (Scheduled guests include Congressman Maurice Hinchey, Ward Stone, educator/filmmaker Fred Isseks, ex-Police Officer Armondo Bilancione, and student filmmakers.)

Update: Students at Middletown High School are currently documenting the proposed Masada Plant, which proposes to produce ethanol out of sewage sludge and organic waste gleaned from the city's garbage. Armondo Bilancione is acting and co-developing the feature screenplay, "Cover-Up," based on his experiences with waste management.


photo by Ben Caswell


Anne Chaisson (Kodak) Robert Stone ("Guerrilla"), Pamela Yates, Paco de Onis, Haskell Wexler, Adam, Judy Arthur, Meira Blaustein, Ken Regan

Friday, March 26 @ 7pm at the Linda Norris Auditorium, 339 Central Avenue, Albany, NY, the Woodstock Film Festival and WAMC Northamc.comeast Public Radio present a special evening with

MEDIUM COOL and director Haskell Wexler
Where is the line between fantasy and reality? Check out "Medium Cool," and you'll have trouble finding it. Pioneering cinematographer Haskell Wexler got the bright idea that the 1968 Democratic National Convention would be a hotbed of riots (with Vietnam in its worst years, Martin Luther King recently assassinated, and a growing movement fed up with the government) and he was right. Wexler decided to make a (fictional) movie set during all of this -- but rather than wait until it was over and done with, he took a group of actors to ground zero, tossed them in among the cops and the protesters, and had them "act." The result is one of the most vibrant and eye-opening films ever made, a bit of fantasy that seems devastatingly real -- because, in large part, it is. The story -- about a jaded America during the 1960s -- has become more relevant than ever. (This event is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency.)

The screening will be followed by a panel with Haskell Wexler, producer/director Pamela Yates (Presumed Guilty, Brotherhood of Hate)  and others, and will be taped to be aired on WAMC Northeast Public Radio at a later date.



Debbie Harry and Melissa Leo in Chirs Romero's "Patch"
IN PRODUCTION

PATCH -- PROJECT AT A GLANCE
Last October, filmmaker/artist Chris Romero started production on PATCH with a flashback sequence filmed in Woodstock, NY.  The remaining bulk of the production will take place March 15-20, 2004. A wonderful cast has been locked in place including Melissa Leo (21 Grams), Deborah Harry (Copland, Heavy), and Woodstockers Adam Blaustein Rejto, and Erin Poll. "Patch" is  a beautiful story about detours, near misses, and convergence. In addition to the film component, there is an accompanying installation and large format photograph series that are extensions of the linear narrative. Discussions for this larger piece are underway with several institutions, including The Guggenheim Museum and Site Santa Fe. For complete information, visit “Patch.”


The Show by Cruz Angeles

"Broken" by Patrick Downs

APRIL


ALTERNATIVE EXPLORATIONS

Following up on their successful evening with award-winning filmmakers Haskell Wexler and Pamela Yates, the Woodstock Film Festival and WAMC/Northeast Public Radio's Independent Film On The Air project will present Alternative Explorations for Films That Matter.

In keeping with the theme of issues-oriented filmmaking that has characterized the WFF/WAMC collaboration, this program will address how different social issues can be explored on film through a variety of approaches including animation, music videos, drama, humor, and both narrative and non-narrative filmmaking. Short films by Bill Plympton, Amos Poe, Dominic Inzana, Glenn Clements, Cruz Angeles, Patrick Downs, and Martina Radwan, and D. Robin Hammer will be shown and followed by a panel. Saturday, April 17 at 7:00 PM at WAMC's Linda Norris Auditorium, in Albany, New York. For a complete list of films, visit YEAR ROUND EVENTS.


MAY

WFF's CAN FILM FESTIVAL CELEBRATES DVD RELEASE
THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND, with extras and bonuses galore, explodes on retail shelves May 25th. To celebrate the release WFF's monthly Can Film Festival will present a special screening at the Woodstock Community Center Friday, May 21 at 8:30pm. Attendees must donate a can or box of non-perishable food for admission. Contributions will be donated to the local food pantry. For more info, visit year round events.

The Academy Award nominated doc by Bill Siegel and Sam Green was distributed theatrically by Shadow Distribution in association with Rhinebeck’s Upstate Films. Canadian distribution was handled by Ron Mann’s Film We Like. Domestic DVD distribution is being handled by Docurama, which is co-owned by advisory board member Steve (New Video) Savage.

One of the top documentaries of the year, this Academy Award nominee interweaves extensive archival material with modern-day interviews to explore the incredible story of THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND,  one of America's most notorious modern revolutionaries.



Kip Pardue "Remember
the Titans," "Driven"

 


Michael Kelly (Dawn of the Dead)

JUNE

LOGGERHEADS
Newly formed LasalleHolland announces the May production of its first feature, Tim Kirkman’s "Loggerheads". Kirkman’s documentary “Dear Jesse” was released by Cowboy Booking and garnered him both Emmy and Spirit award nominations. Film is produced by LasalleHolland principal and WFF Advisory board member Gill Holland (Sundance winning “Hurricane Streets”, Fox’s “Greg the Bunny”) and executive produced by WFF Advisory board member Stephen Hays and LasalleHolland principal Lillian Lasalle.

Inspired by a true story, LOGGERHEADS interweaves three stories in three time periods in the three geographical regions of North Carolina.  Grace (two-time Golden Globe nominee Bonnie Hunt) has moved in with her mother (two-time Oscar nominee Melinda Dillon) and embarks on a search for the child she secretly gave up for adoption as a teenager.  The son Mark (“Remember the Titans” Kip Pardue), a charismatic drifter, travels to a coastal town to help save the endangered Loggerhead turtles. When Mark meets a local motel owner (“Dawn of the Dead’s Michael Kelly), he must decide whether to keep traveling or settle down.  His adoptive mother Elizabeth (TBD) has lived a fishbowl existence as a small-town minister’s wife, and when her neighborhood starts to change around her, she must decide whether to stand by her conservative husband’s beliefs or take a stand on her own.

The HBO star of “Deadwood's Robin Weigert and “An Officer and a Gentleman” co-star David Keith round out the cast.  Oliver Bokelberg, who shot the Sundance winning “Station Agent” is on for lensing duties, and the film is cast and co-produced by Cindy Tolan, who cast John Sayles’ “Casa de los Babys” and Sundance-winning “Personal Velocity.” 

Update: "Loggerheads" will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Congratulations to all including advisory board members Gill Holland (producer) and Stephen Hays (executive producer) of 120DB Films.


Woodstock Firemen provide extra rain

 

PRODUCTION NEWS

NO SHOULDER, based on a screenplay by local playwright/screenwriter Nina Shengold (Leading Women : Plays for Actresses 2) was in town to shoot exteriors in late May.

The film, a Columbia University thesis production produced by Jennifer Grausman, directed by Suzi Yoonessi and starring Melissa Leo, (co-star of "21 Grams" and the upcoming "Hide and Seek," with Robert DeNiro), brought approximately 30 crew and cast members to the area.
 
Local filmmaker Tobe Carey suggested the location -- Zena Highwoods Road -- to simulate the towering pines of Washington State's Olympia Peninsula, where the story is set. The scene included a truck, a sedan, 2 stunt drivers, rain towers, and a thoroughly wet hitchhiker. Making it additionally complicated, the scene was shot "day-for-night," a technique that allows filmmakers to shoot during the daytime, manipulate the exposure of the film on set and then in the lab, in a way that makes the scene appear to have occurred during the night.
 
Captain Payton and volunteers from the Zena Volunteer Fire Department (Don Todd, John Mountford, Jon Crowley, Vikki Crowley, Renee Todd and Jim Crowley), local police officers, Jeremy Rushkoski and John Amorosa, as well as the Kingston Water Department played key roles in the success of the shoot. Local filmmakers also contributed to the production: cameraman Jamie Hull, production manager Bill Stitt, and various crew members.
 
Family of Woodstock also played a key role. When it was discovered that an actress was shy a piece of wardrobe, Bill Stitt suggested Family of Woodstock as a possible source. Sure enough, wardrobe was found, a donation was made, the problem was solved and the show went on.
 
NO SHOULDER was one of many recent productions brought to the area by the Woodstock Film Commission. Another recent shoot featured a Cosmopolitan photo spread. The Woodstock Film Commission, under the auspices of the Woodstock Film Festival, promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting  film, video and media production.

JULY

GALA AUCTION NEWS

What do Robert DeNiro, Deborah Harry, George Clooney, Aidan Quinn, K.L McKenna, the Emerson Inn & Spa, and The Sopranos have in common?   They are all participating in the Woodstock Film Festival¹s spectacular NOT SO SILENT AUCTION, on-line now through Saturday July 17, at Woodstock Auction.
 
Film memorabilia includes items from The Sopranos, Fargo, Reservoir Dogs, Goodfellas, Robert Tonner Chicago Dolls... Other items include show tickets, art photos, fine art, crafts, gift certificates, services and much more.
 
The NOT SO SILENT AUCTION is a prelude to WFF's annual Gala Fundraiser that will take place this July at an area estate. Special invited guests include world-renowned illusionist David Blaine and actor Annabella Sciorra. The benefit is underwritten through the generosity of Irwin & Margery Gaffin of AMERIBAG. The sumptuous party is catered by Oliver Kita Fine Catering. Libations are provided care of Ruffino Wines, Grand Marnier, Hennessy Cognac, and Molson Beer. Live music features Geoff Harden & Friends. Guests will receive "goody bags" sponsored by Allure/Aveda of Rhinebeck, Anaconda Sports, the Tonner Doll Company, Westwood Metes & Bounds Realty, and Woodstock Percussion.

 

 

 

AUGUST
ELMER BERNSTEIN (1922-2004)
 
The founders and staff of the Woodstock Film Festival join the world in commemorating the passing of legendary film composer Elmer Bernstein, a long time Woodstock resident, friend and mentor to the WFF from its inception. Bernstein served on the WFF Advisory Board, participated in programs and judged the festival's annual film composition award, which was named for him. 
 
In a joint statement WFF founders Meira Blaustein and Laurent Rejto said:
 
"Elmer was a true Woodstocker and was indeed a Maverick in the Golden Age of Hollywood when films were dominated by symphonic scores. Although he was a master at orchestral composition, he was also the first to use jazz and chamber ensembles, and was a groundbreaker in writing scores to further the storyline. We are incredibly grateful that the festival was able to premiere his brilliant, last major work for the film "Far From Heaven," and we will forever remember his personal integrity, kindness and grace."
 
This year's 5th Anniversary 2004 Woodstock Film Festival (Oct. 13-17) will be dedicated to the landmark Academy-Award winning composer. Blaustein said the festival's Elmer Bernstein Award for Best Film Score will continue and that they are consulting with Bernstein's office as to who will judge the annual prize.
 
Bernstein was nominated 14 times for an Oscar, having written the scores for more than 200 films including "The Ten Commandments," "The Magnificent Seven," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "The Man with the Golden Arm," The Great Escape," "My Left Foot," "Animal House" and "Far From Heaven," which he scored in 2002.
 
"For over a hundred years, Woodstock  has been a place of dreams and magic.It was a place of dreams for visual art, for crafts, for music, for popular music, for theater, for political philosophy, for alternative lifestyles and it is entirely fitting that Woodstock should become a place of dreams and magic for films at this time." (Elmer Bernstein - composer, honorary WFF chair, friend, mentor)

The Woodsman

SEPTEMBER

The fest will kick off with a concert by seven-time Grammy award-winner Bela Fleck will kick-off the 5th Annual Woodstock Film Festival with an evening of acoustic music with renowned bassist Edgar Meyer at The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, Annandale -On-Hudson, Wednesday, October 13, 2004 at 7:30 p.m. Click for more info.

The roster of international films includes 12 World premieres, 2 North American premieres; 6 U.S. premieres, 22 East Coast premieres, and 15 New York premieres.  There was a 20% increase in submissions this year, including a substantial increase in world cinema and politically-oriented entries, bringing the total number to more than 1000. Participating industry leaders include Newmarket Films, Miramax, Paramount Classics, Magnolia Pictures, Palm Pictures, THINKFilm, Showtime, Wellspring and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

There are two simultaneous Opening Night Films by award-winning directors, one in Woodstock, the other in Rhinebeck. The East Coast premiere of p.s., directed by Dylan Kidd, screens in Woodstock, starring Laura Linney, Topher Grace, Marcia Gay Harden, Gabriel Byrne, Paul Rudd, and Lois Smith. Shot entirely in New York City, the film is a romantic fable about getting a second chance at first love.  The Machinist, directed by Brad Anderson, starring Christian Bale and Jennifer Jason Leigh, unspools in Rhinebeck. It is an inventive psychological thriller about a tormented man who hasn’t slept for a year.

The festival’s Closing Night Film, screening in Woodstock, is Nicole Kassell’s The Woodsman, starring Kevin Bacon, who delivers one of his finest performances in this harrowing and moving tale of the hard-won redemption of a convicted sex offender who attempts to re-enter society. Also starring Kyra Sedgwick and Mos Def.

Update: "p.s" and "The Machinist" opened theatrically to great reviews shortly following the festival. On December 24, "The Woodsman," "Nicole Kassell's brilliant  feature starring Kevin Bacon in 'the performance of his career opened nationally.


OCTOBER

THE WRAP:
The 2004 Woodstock Film Festival celebrated its five year mark Wed. Oct. 13 through Sunday Oct.  17, with an exceptional collection of 120 films, panels, concerts, and special events in Woodstock, New York and the neighboring towns of Rhinebeck and Hunter.

Approximately ten thousand (10,000) visitors/tourists participated during the annual showcase with many others taking part in events throughout the year. Millions of others were exposed to the festival via television stories, newspaper stories, Internet stories and links, print ads, and over 475,000 dedicated website hits.

In addition to drawing sold out audiences from the 20,000,000 people who live within a two hour drive, the festival attracted visitors from all parts of the country and the world including Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Pakistan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and more.

The 2004 Honorary Maverick Award was presented to illustrious director, writer, producer Mira Nair by musician/activist Peter Gabriel at a special Saturday night party. The festival’s top award is presented to an individual whose life and work is based on independent vision and social activism. Past recipients include Woody Harrelson, Tim Robbins, D.A. Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus and Les Blank.
 
Besides Nair and Gabriel, other key festival participants included Laura Linney, Sam Rockwell, Melissa Leo, Lili Taylor, Peter Riegert,  Brad Anderson, Dylan Kidd, Fisher Stevens, James Schamus, Bob Berney, Lydia Dean Pilcher, Jim Taylor, Ron Nyswaner, Michael Cristofer, John Sloss, Nicole Kassell, Gill Holland, Signe Baumane, Leon Gast, Brett Morgen, Liz Garbus, Ron English, Matt Dillon,  among others.
 

Maverick Award winners included:
Best Narrative Feature: Down to the Bone
Best Narrative Documentary: Double Dare
Audience Award (best narrative feature): Speak
Audience Award (best documentary feature): Parallel Lines
Best Short Film: Flavio
Honorable Mention(s): Shock & Awe, Victim
Best Student Short: Victoria Para Chino (NYU)
Honorable Mention: Coded Language (FSU)
Best Short Doc: Obstinato; Making Music for Two
Best Animated Short: Ryan
Honorable Mention: Animal Love
The Haskell Wexler Award: Xavi Giménez for The Machinist
Best Editing Award (narrative): Frank Reynolds, Sam Neave for Unknown Soldier
Best Editing Award (documentary): Purcell Carson for Double Dare
Best Pumpkin Carving by a filmmaker: Heidi Sjursen (Potato Chip Tale)

 


NOVEMBER

LOCAL FILM PRODUCTION GOES HOLLYWOOD
SPIELBERG, CRUISE, VAN SANT, MURRAY, KASDAN…
 
The Woodstock Film Festival is delighted that its efforts to bring "War of the Worlds" to the Hudson Valley/Catskills panned out. The production will result in serious local economic development and further enhance the Hudson Valley/Catskills as an ideal location for film production.
 
WAR OF THE WORLDS
The science fiction story about an invasion of Martian spaceships stars Tom Cruise and is scheduled to use Athens, NY as the setting for a scene where people are running down a street to catch a departing ferry. A recent casting call was held for 1,000 extras. Production starts in early December. 

On August 11, the WFC was contacted to scout for a "ferry boat landing" and "valley farmhouse." With  Bill Stitt, the WFC scouted locations, sent photos and suggestions to location scouts for Paramount Pictures. They originally did not want to travel north of Cornwall and were considering Cold Spring at the time. We persisted and suggested a helicopter scout. Through that introduction to local pilot Bill Richards, the Spielberg folks ended up at the present location in Athens, NY. Bill, an accomplished film pilot has been working non-stop with the production team since the initial intro.

Working under the auspices of the festival, the Woodstock Film Commission has consistently developed sustainable economic initiatives in the Hudson Valley/Catskill region by attracting, supporting and promoting regional film, video, and media production including feature films, television shoots, print media, short films, and TV ads. To facilitate local production, the commission provides and constantly updates its online location info and free production services directory to service the film, fashion and media industries.

Films produced in the Woodstock/Hudson Valley area with help from the Woodstock Film Commission also have a winning record at the Sundance Film Festival. There must be something creative in the air up here. We like to tell people that if they produce their films locally, they'll win a major award at Sundance. It's no guarantee, but "Personal Velocity" (2002) and "Down to the Bone" (2004) are two fine examples.
 
We'll be keeping a close eye on recent productions including:
 
GHOST DANCE
"Down to the Bone" producer Susan Leber recently produced "Ghost Dance" in Hudson, New York. Directed by Allen Blumberg, the film, set in 1950s America, is about corruption and racism in a small town, and the efforts of a Chinese-American newspaper reporter to expose the misdeeds of the town's mayor and police officials. Local actor Gregor Trieste played the principal part of the masked man in the upcoming film.
 
ROCK THE PAINT
Phil Bertelsen (winner of the 2000 Woodstock Film Festival for Best short doc) just directed "Rock the Paint," starring Martin Donovan and Olympia Dukakis, in Jersey City and Woodstock. "Rock the Paint" is a sports action drama about a widower, his two sons and their attempts to fit into a new world transplanted from the Indiana cornfields (Woodstock) to the streets of Newark, New Jersey.
 
LAST DAYS
Gus Van Sant (“Elephant,” “Gerry,” “Good Will Hunting,” “Finding Forrester”) recently shot "Last Days," about Kurt Cobain entirely in the Peekskill area. "Last Days" will have a semi-documentary visual style and won't really offer any conclusions as to why a Cobain-like character (Michael Pitt) killed himself, although there will be plenty of hints and suggestions in this fictionalized setting.

UNTITLED
Sharon Stone, Jessica Lange, Tilda Swinton and Chloe Sevigny recently starred alongside Bill Murray in director Jim Jarmusch's "Untitled Project." Filming took place in northern New Jersey and upstate New York. Local Actor/Director Larry Fessenden, who is in Iceland directing his follow-up to "Wendigo" got to punch Bill Murray out for several takes in his appearance as Will. The WFC set the filmmakers up with post production digs in Kingston,  NY so the entire film will be edited locally.
 
For more info, visit http://www.woodstockfilmcommission.com


  Avoid Eye Contact

DECEMBER
 
YEAR ROUND SERIES:
As part of its dedication to year-round programming, the WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL kicks off the CAN FILM FESTIVAL monthly screenings on December 18. In lieu of admission, bring a gift or food for donation to the local food pantry.
 
AVOID EYE CONTACT
On Saturday, December 18, animator Signe Baumane presents a custom selection of works from "Avoid Eye Contact," Volume I and the upcoming Volume II.

This special animated shorts screening will feature top New York animators including: Aleksey Budovsky, Patrick Smith, Signe Baumane, John Dilworth, George Griffin, Bill Plympton, PES.
 
Beyond the art form, "Avoid Eye Contact" is truly visionary in terms of commercial distribution. Animator Signe Baumane states, “The entire production of this DVD has been done by the animators themselves. The look and quality of this volume would not have been possible without the animators taking complete control”.
 
“To say this is a must-have is an understatement... with Roy Disney gone, this kind of material will be harder to come by. I highly recommend it” -Jerry Beck, Author, Animation Historian
 
The screening will be presented December 18, 8pm at the Woodstock Community Center on Rock City Road. Additional information including clips and the Volume I DVD,  is available on the artist-run website www.squarefootagefilms.com.

For info about future screening, please visit http://woodstockfilmfestival.com/yearroundevents.htm

IN THE REALMS OF THE UNREAL

"In the Realms of the Unreal," (WFF 2004) opens at the FIlm Forum on December 24. This innovative feature length documentary, directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Jessica Yu and produced by Susan West, explores the parallel lives of legendary outsider artist Henry Darger. Reclusive janitor by day, visionary artist by night, Darger’s 15,000 page novel details the exploits of the Vivian Girls, seven angelic sisters who lead a rebellion against godless, child-enslaving men. Featuring the voices of Dakota Fanning ("I am Sam")) and Larry Pine ("The Royal Tenenbaums," "The Ice Storm"), the music of Emmy-winning composer Jeff Beal and the work of a team of animators, this wholly original film tells the story of a hidden universe.

For more info, visit Wellspring



Vera, Debra, and Meira
rhyme it up at Woodstock in the City
The Year ended as it began, with Down to the Bone...
 
DOWN TO THE BONE
The Winner of the Best Feature Award at this years 2004 Woodstock Film Festival will screen Tuesday, December 21 @ 7pm at the Two Boots Pioneer Theater in NYC to kick off the Woodstock FIlm Festival bi-monthly NYC screening series.
 
Helmed by Debra Granik, "Down to the Bone" focuses on the life of Irene (Vera Farmiga) and her struggles to raise two sons, keep her stale marriage together, and manage a secret cocaine habit.  Isolated in a dead-end job at a strip mall on the edge of town, Irene isn’t sure when she went from high school partying to skimming off the grocery money to supply her growing habit.
 
For more info, visit year round events or "Down to the Bone."

The Woodstock Film Festival is a 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. The Woodstock Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production.

The Woodstock FIlm Festival is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency

2004 would not have been made possible without the support of the following sponsors:

Markertek.com
Catskill Mountain Region Guide, Reality Check, Ruder-Finn Print, Schieffelin & Co., 120 DB Films, I Love NY, Planet Noise Records, WDST-FM, Ameribag, Docurama, Kodak, New World Home Cooking, Writer's Guild of America East, BMI, Greenberg Traurig
, 3rd St. R & D Production Services, Metrovision Production Services, DiscMakers, Lowel-Light, Good Brothers, and others

For a complete list, visit http://woodstockfilmfestival.com/sponsor.htm

If you'd like to be a sponsor in 2005,
call us at (845) 679-4265 or visit http://woodstockfilmfestival.com/sponsor.htm


The Woodstock Film Festival newsletter is compiled and written by Laurent Rejto. If you would like to contribute a story idea, email Laurent@woodstockfilmfestival.com.

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