Origins of Film Story — Part II     - Colony Café, 10/15 @ 12pm

Holding the Line; Artistic Expression in Time of Censorship - Colony Café, 10/15 @ 2:30pm

 Actors Dialogue with Lili Taylor, Sam Rockwell & Melissa Leo -  Colony Café, 10/16 @ 10:00 am
From Mississippi Masala to “Vanity Fair:” Lasting Collaboration -  Colony Café, 10/16 @ 12pm
 Conversation with James Schamus and Peter Bowen -  Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, 10/16 @ 2pm
 Film and the Political Equation – Why Now? -  Colony Café, 10/16 @ 2:30pm
 What is Success?  Colony Café, 10/16 @ 4:30pm
 In You Face -  Colony Café, 10/17 @ 10:30am
 Bagels & a Panel: Down to the Bone -  CPW in Woodstock,  10/17 @ 11am
 Music for Film -  Colony Café, 10/17 @ 12 pm
 Reading and Talk with Ron Nyswaner: Blue Days, Black Nights — OUT: A Screenwriter’s Life, The Ultimate Confession -  Colony Café,  10/17 @ 3 pm
Origins of Film Story — Part II  (sponsored by the Writer's Guild of America, East)
Reviving last year’s successful and popular panel, industry professionals and independent mavericks will discuss the impetus and inspiration for their screenplays.  Where do film ideas come from?  What makes a story right for film?  Do low-budget, independent films better serve certain stories?  What is the obligation of the writer/filmmaker in troubled times?  Should our stories be overtly political and socially conscious — or is “entertainment” enough?  How does one transform a “good idea” into the beginnings of a screenplay?

Panelists include Jim Taylor (The Lost Cause, Citizen Ruth, Election, About Schmidt, Sideways), Peter Riegert (King of the Corner), Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia, Soldier’s Girl), Michael Cristofer (The Witches of Eastwick, Gia, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Original Sin), and others.

Moderated by Annie Nocenti (editor-at-large for High Times and former editor, Scenario Magazine)

Annie Nocenti
Panel: Origins of Film Story - Part II ($12)  
Fri. Oct. 15, 12pm at Colony Café in Woodstock
Holding the Line: Artistic Expression in Time of Censorship - Sponsored by AIVF & MEDIARIGHT.ORG

Produced by Sabine Hoffman (editor, Personal Velocity, Brother to Brother) and moderated by John J. Valadez (director, Passing It On, The Divide).

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peacefully to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” First Amendment

Freedom of communication is the indispensable condition of a healthy democracy. Censorship of what we see, hear and read constitutes an unacceptable dictatorship over our minds and a dangerous opening to religious, political, artistic, and intellectual repression.

Where Media outlets have been killing stories because they undermine corporate  interests; advertisers are using their financial clout to squelch negative reports; powerful businesses are using the threat of expensive lawsuits to discourage legitimate investigations we are looking for alternative ways to oppose censorship and find networks to share inquiry and information.

Panel Participants include:
John J. VALADEZ (moderator) is an award-winning director who has been producing documentaries
for PBS for the past ten years. John directed the critically acclaimed film Passing It On, which aired nationally on the PBS series POV.  He went on to direct the first hour of the documentary series Making Peace, The Divide (the first hour of the nationally broadcast Public Television series Matters of Race), he produced for the new PBS series Visiones: Latino Arts and Culture and Beyond Brown: Pursuing the Promise also for national Broadcast on PBS. He is currently directing an hour long documentary for CNN about the Bush administrations educational reform effort "No Child Left Behind" and has two forthcoming PBS documentaries currently in production:

The Head of Joaquin Murrieta and The Last Conquistador.  John has twice been a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow, is a Rockefeller Fellow, and a CPB/PBS Producers Academy Fellow. He sits on the Board of Trustees of the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar and is a founding member of the New York chapter of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP)

Jeff Cohen is the founder of FAIR (, the progressive media watch organization based in New York.  He has appeared regularly on national TV, including as an MSNBC commentator, a "News Watch" panelist on Fox News and a co-host of "Crossfire" on CNN.  His columns have been published in dozens of dailies, including USA Today, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Newsday and Atlanta Constitution. His features and investigative articles ran in Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, New Times and other publications.  For four years, he co-wrote the nationally syndicated "Media Beat" column with Norman Solomon.  He is the co-author of a number of books, including "Wizards of Media Oz: Behind the Curtain of Mainstream News" (Common Courage) and "The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error" (New Press).

Ron English considers himself a folk artist. He is the father of AGIT-POP, a hybrid of Pop Art that is fueled by a more personal, hands-on socially responsible attitude. His work is loaded with the iconography of his generation, exploring the range and power of a deeply American symbology using pop imagery as a metaphor. Since the early '80's he has spent countless hours turning out his Illegal Billboards for the cost free enjoyment of a delighted public, he has even racked up one second degree  felony  for some officially unappreciated billboards in Texas. [POPAGANDA, a film featuring Ron’s work is playing during the festival]

Priscilla Grim is the Membership/Advocacy Director of the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers. AIVF, a nonprofit membership organization,  informs and advocates on behalf of issues of critical importance to the independent field, including FCC Ownership Rules, Documentary Credits Coalition, and Media Advocacy Day. During her tenure she has worked closely with peer organizations to raise awareness of the issue of media concentration..  AIVF publishes THE INDEPENDENT FILM AND VIDEO MONTHLY.

Kibra A. Yohannes, is the Program Director of MEDIARIGHTS.ORG, a non for profit media arts and activist organization, founded in 2000 to help media makers, educators, nonprofits and activists use documentaries  to encourage action and inspire dialogue on contemporary  social issues. (for more info see )

Previously she was the Company Manager at Freedom Repertory Theater, a member of the League of Resident Theatres. Prior to that she developed the digital photo archive for the oldest, continuously-published African American newspaper in the country, the Philadelphia Tribune. Yohannes also served as Council Coordinator with YO-ACAP, a youth outreach organization , which developed peer educators around HIV/AIDS prevention.

 Panel: Artistic Expression in Time of Censorship  ($12)
 Fri. Oct. 15, 2:30pm at Colony Café in Woodstock
Actors Dialogue

The 2004 Actors Dialogue will feature actors Lili Taylor (Casa De Los Babys, Six Feet Under, I shot Andy Warhol, Mystic Pizza), Melissa Leo (Hide & Seek, 21 Grams, The 24 Hour Woman)   and Sam Rockwell (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Matchstick Men, Made.)

Journalist Martha Frankel, whose Get a rare up-close glimpse into the work and world of being an actor. Be right there when entertainment articles have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Cosmopolitan and Redbook, among others, hosts an intimate conversation with leading film actors.

Past participants have included the interesting, the esteemed, and the honored such as Annabella Sciorra, Olympia Dukakis, Dan Hedaya, Marcia Gay Harden, Parker Posey,  Aidan Quinn, Liev Schreiber, Fisher Stevens, David Strathairn, and Stanley Tucci.

...don’t forget to get your questions ready for the Q & A.

Panel: Actors Dialogue  ($15)
Sat. Oct. 16, 10am at Colony Café in Woodstock
From Mississippi Masala to “Vanity Fair:” Lasting Collaboration
2004 Woodstock Honorary Maverick Award recipient, director Mira Nair and producer Lydia Dean Pilcher discuss their long-standing collaboration on films such as Mississippi Masala; The Perez Family; Kama Sutras, A Tale of Love; Hysterical Blindness, and Vanity Fair.

Moderator: Thelma Adams (Film critic, US Weekly)

Panel: Conversation with Mira Nair & Lydia Dean Pilcher ($12)
Sat. Oct. 16, 12pm at at Colony Café in Woodstock
A Conversation with James Schamus and Peter Bowen at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck
Join Peter Bowen (Senior editor, Filmmaker Magazine; Editorial director, Sundance Channel) as he talks about films and filmmaking with James Schamus, writer/producer of The Ice Storm, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and The Hulk; Co-president, Focus Features; Associate professor, Columbia University.
Panel: Conversation with James Schamus & Peter Bowen ($10) 
Sat. Oct. 16, 2pm at Upstate Films I in Rhinebeck
Film and the Political Equation – Why Now?  

In the past year, documentaries have looked inside the decision to invade Iraq and at corporate control of everything from food to media, and audiences have piled in. Earlier documentaries preached to the choir, because the choir was the only audience they reached. But with dogged investigation and satire, these new films seem to have tapped into a new public, or at least broadened the documentary audience beyond anyone’s expectations. And John Sayles’s Silver City shows that politics on the screen isn’t limited to documentaries. Is this just an election year phenomenon? Are the films filling a gap where serious journalism used to be? Or are they just good films?  Will it matter in November? Panelists include Bob Berney (president, Newmarket Films, The Passion of the Christ, Monster, Whale Rider, Donnie Darko – Director’s Cut, Stander, Real Women Have Curves; former senior vice president, IFC Films, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Y Tu Mama Tambien and others TBA. Moderated by David D’Arcy (film and entertainment commentator, NPR).

Panel: Film & the Political Equation with Bob Berney ($12)
Sat. Oct. 16, 2:30pm at Colony Café in Woodstock
What Is Success?

The Dos and Don’ts of Independent Films or How to Make a Successful Indie. Your opportunity to ask the filmmakers and the distributors who make it all happen. Panelists include John Sloss (Executive Producer, Before Sunset, The Fog of War, Pieces of April, Far From Heaven), John S. Lyons (president of production, Focus Features, Vanity Fair, Far From Heaven), Eamonn Bowles (president, Magnolia Pictures, Guerrilla-The Taking of Patty Hearst, Onk Bak, A League of Ordinary Gentlemen), Mary Jane Skalski (producer, The Brothers McMullen, The Jimmy Show, The Station Agent, Chain), and others. Moderated by David Rooney (New York film reviewer and reporter, Variety).

Panel: What is Success ($12)
Sat. Oct. 16, 4:30pm at Colony Café in Woodstock
In Your Face: Film and Politics for Breakfast

Larry Beinhart and Richard Fusco of In Your Face (a bi-weekly Woodstock and Free Speech TV show) interview Brent Renaud (Off to War), Sarah and Emily Kunstler (Getting Through to the President), and other guest. Larry is best known as the author of American Hero which became Wag the Dog. Richard has been a radio personality and has been a pioneer in the intersection of traditional media and the Internet.

In You Face: Film and Politics ($5 suggested donation at door)
Sun. Oct. 17, 10:30am at Colony Café in Woodstock
(doors open at 10am for breakfast)
Bagels & a Panel  Down to the Bone  (Sponsored by New York Women in Film and Television)
New York Women In Film and TV presents a case history study of Debra Granik’s Down to the Bone, a digital film shot entirely in Woodstock and surrounding Ulster County areas. The story entails a young mother’s hidden cocaine habit, her quest to come clean and create a better life for herself and family. This feature is a rare hybrid of reality and fiction. It developed from Granik’s Sundance Award winning short, Snake Feed, which starred the real life person the story is based on . Down to the Bone uses professional actors in the  leading roles and non-professionals in the supporting roles. The film debuted at Sundance 2004. Debra Granik won the Dramatic Directing Award and Vera Farmiga, lead actress, won Special Jury Prize. Panelists include Debra Granik, (director/co-screenwriter); Susan Leber, (executive producer), Vera Farmiga, (lead actress), Richard Liekse, (co-screenwriter/ life model), Corinne Stralka, (life model), and Michele Baker (location scout). 
Bagels and a Panel: Down to the Bone ($15 at door)
Sun. Oct. 17, 11am at Center for Photography in Woodstock - Tickets Sold at Door
Music for Film (Sponsored by BMI)

Join moderator Doreen Ringer Ross, vice president of film/TV Relations at BMI, for a frank discussion about music in film and the in and outs of film scoring, music supervision and licensing. Panelists include musician/songwriter Chris Stein (co-founder of Blondie), Paul Broucek (exec. vp music for New Line, Lord of the Rings), music supervisor Tracy McKnight (pres. Commotion Records; A Dirty Shame, End of the Century: The Ramones, Raising Victor Vargas, High Art), film composer Nathan Larson (Boys Don't Cry, Prozac Nation, Phone Booth, The Woodsman), filmmaker Nicole Kassell (The Woodsman), producer Laurie Trombley (Amazing Grace: Jeff Buckley)

Panel: Music For Film with BMI
Sun. Oct. 17, 12:30 pm at Colony Café in Woodstock
Reading and Talk with Ron Nyswaner:
Blue Days, Black Night — OUT: A Screenwriter’s Life, The Ultimate Confession

Screenwriter Ron Nyswanernominated for an Academy Award for Philadelphia, and  author of the Peabody Award-winning cable film Soldier’s Girl—will talk about his journey from an awkward, sometimes violent childhood among tobacco-chewing, deer-hunting, coal-mining relatives in Pennsylvania to his misadventures in Hollywood, sparring with studio executives and egomaniacal stars, slipping into drug addiction, and falling in love with the wrong people. Along the way, Nyswaner has turned to writing for salvation, creating plays, screenplays, and recently, a book–Blue Days, Black Nights: A Memoir. 

For Nyswaner, writing is an act of confession, catharsis, revenge, and redemption. He will talk about negotiating Hollywood as an out-of-the-closet gay man in the early 1980s, long before the era of  Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. He will describe the genesis and creation of the groundbreaking film, Philadelphia and the origins of Soldier’s Girl, a true story of the murder of Pfc. Barry Winchell, who was dating a transgendered woman. Nyswaner will speak in detail of shaping screenplays from controversial, real-life stories, commenting upon the social and political ramifications, the artistic challenges, and the ethical considerations."  Books available at courtesy of The Golden Notebook.

Blue Days, Black Night — OUT: A Screenwriter’s Life, The Ultimate Confession ($8 - tickets available at the door)
Sun. Oct. 17, 2:30 pm at Colony Café in Woodstock  

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*Schedule is subject to change
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Upstate and CMFT will also screen beta sp and digibeta films.
Bearsville, Mountain View, WCC are are beta sp & digibeta




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