APRIL 2004 Newsletter


The Show by Cruz Angeles

"Broken" by Patrick Downs


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.



Producer Peter Saraf (a WFF advisory board member), Jonathan Demme, Wyclef Jean, Michele Montas, Edwidge Danticat, Daniel Wolff, THINKFilm, and The Benefit Committee Invite you to join them for the New York Benefit Premiere of THE AGRONOMIST on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 at 7:00 p.m at the Chelsea West Cinemas Theatre in NYC. The Premiere screening will Benefit the National Coalition for Haitian Rights and Radio Haiti.

This latest film from Academy-Award winning filmmaker Jonathan Demme tells the story of Haitian national hero, journalist, and freedom fighter Jean L. Dominique. As owner and operator of his nation’s oldest and only free radio station, Dominique fought tirelessly against Haiti's overwhelming injustice, oppression, and poverty. Says producer Saraf, “Jean Dominique, whose story the film tells, is truly one of the most remarkable and courageous men I have ever met or ever hope to meet. He is a true hero in a time when we need heroes."

The WFF proudly screened THE AGRONOMIST as a work in progress in 2002 and in its completed form as a closing night film in 2003. For more info, visit THE AGRONOMIST.


Also on April 13, Michael Lang (another WFF advisory board member) invites you to celebrate reconciliation with an evening of music and readings to benefit The Parents; Circle Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Families of Peace. Join with Patti Smith and friends, Anonymous 4, The Eroica Trio, Chan Marchall (Ct Power) Paul Winter, and a host of others at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Tuesday, April 13 at 8:30pm. Tickets are available online at THE PEACEABLE EVENT or at the Cathedral Box Office (212) 662 2133.

THE PARENTS' CIRCLE is a non-political organization advocating dialogue between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.  Some 500 bereaved families set a valiant example of reconciliation, tolerance and trust as they aim to spearhead a framework for a sustained and mutually supported peace process. For more info about The Parent’s Circle, visit THE PARENT's CIRCLE.


Troy Garrity in "Milwaukee, Minnesota"


On Saturday, April 17th Woodstock List Subscribers are invited to attend a special night at the upcoming GEN ART FILM FESTIVAL. GEN ART & WOODSTOCK will co-host the New York City premiere of the feature MILWAUKEE, MINNESOTA produced by Woodstock resident Michael Brody, and directed by Allan Mindel.  Woodstock list subscribers will receive a 20% discount on tickets by entering promo code "Woodstock" (case sensitive) when prompted at GEN ART.

Winner of the "Jeune Critique Award" at the Cannes Film Festival, MILWAUKEE, MINNESOTA sets  Albert, a mentally disabled ice-fisherman against two set of con artists. Forced to fend for himself after his overbearing mother's unexpected death, Albert cleverly (albeit unwittingly) pits his aggressor's against one another in a race for his inheritance.

Director Allan Mindel's slick and stylish film comes as no surprise considering he founded Click Modeling Agency as and served as a producer for MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO, and others. The film stars Troy Garrity, Alison Folland, Randy Quaid, Bruce Dern, Hank Harris and Debra Monk. More info is available at MILWAUKEE, MINNESOTA..

Sam Shepard in This So Called Disaster


In THIS SO CALLED DISASTER, Michael Almereyda documents Sam Shepard as he directs Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Woody Harrelson and Cheech Marin in his play, “The Late Henry Moss” at San Francisco’s Magic Theater. The result is a remarkable group portrait – a vivid look at masterful performers working their way through a process of creative discovery. The documentary, which played WFF 2003, opens at the Film forum on April 21. Scheduled guests include Michael Almereyda, Nick Nolte and others. For more info, visit Film Forum.

Aidan Quinn in PLAINSONG


WFF advisory board member Aidan Quinn (An Early Frost, Legends of the Fall) stars opposite Rachel Griffiths (Six Feet Under, Muriel’s Wedding) in PLAINSONG, a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation based on the Kent Haruf bestseller.

 Aidan Quinn plays Tom Guthrie, a small-town Colorado schoolteacher whose wife, suffering severe depression, has left him. Tom must care for their two young sons, who strike up an unlikely friendship with the town’s iconoclastic spinster, Iva Stearns, played by Tony Award-winner Marian Seldes (A Delicate Balance, Mona Lisa Smile).  Plainsong premieres on CBS Sunday, April 25, 2004, 9-11p.m. ET/PT.


Earlier this month PBS was forced to edit “offensive content” from independently-produced documentary EVERY CHILD IS BORN A POET: THE LIFE & WORK OF PIRI THOMAS (WFF 2003) in order to comply with new FCC indecency rules.

The FCC has made some sweeping changes in the past few weeks regarding language on television.  There has been a rapid transformation in policy in the wake of Bono saying "fuck" on the golden globes and Janet Jackson exposing her nipple during the super bowl.  In short, language that used to be at the discretion of the broadcaster (i.e. Station or network) is now at the discretion of the FCC. The FCC is now leveling fines of up to $250,000 against stations that do not comply with the new regulations approved by congress. For the full release regarding EVERY CHILD IS BORN A POET: THE LIFE & WORK OF PIRI THOMAS, click here.



For those who did not spot Quentin Tarantino at Cumberland Farms on Mill Hill Road in 2002, in may come as a surprise that much of KILL BILL was developed right here in ole Woodstock, NY.  KILL BILL, VOLUME 1, starring Uma Thurman drops on DVD April 13. The film is an astonishing, action-packed thriller about brutal betrayal and an epic vendetta! Four years after taking a bullet in the head at her own wedding, The Bride (Thurman) emerges from a coma and decides it's time for payback ... with a vengeance! Having been gunned down by her former boss and his deadly squad of international assassins, it's a kill-or-be-killed fight she didn't start but is determined to finish!  Loaded with explosive action and outrageous humor, it's a must-see motion picture event that had critics everywhere raving!  KILL BILL VOLUME 2 opens in theaters on April 16.

THE BOYS OF SECOND STREET PARK, the documentary that follows the divergent paths of a generation of boys who grew up in New York City in the 1960s is now available on DVD and VHS. The film, directed by Dan Klores and Ron Berger screened at the Woodstock Film Festival in 2003.

Just released on DVD by Wellspring Media, is THE DREAM CATCHER, Ed Radtke’s 1999 feature film about an abandoned teenager who jumps a freight train in Philadelphia intent on reaching his uncle in Indiana, whom he believes will help him with financial difficulties including a pregnant girlfriend. In Ohio, he meets another homeless teen, who escorts him to his uncle. Finding his uncle equally broke, the duo head on to Oklahoma City to try to find the first teen's long-gone ex-con father. A confrontation between father and son send the duo on into exploits in the west including getting beaten up, busting into an Indian reservation church, and hitch-hiking with a beautiful nurse. The film won the Maverick Award for best feature film at the 2000 Woodstock Film Festival.


If you missed Blondie’s live performance at City Hall Park on Tuesday April 6 or on the Today Show on April 7, well, you can still catch them on the road as they head out to tour across America on April 16. Scheduled TV appearances include The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn (4/14) and Debbie Harry solo on VH1 Divas (4/18). For complete tour info, check out the Blondie website.

Debbie Harry was in Woodstock two weeks ago appearing in Chris Romero’s PATCH, and Chris Stein co-produced DRIVE (WFF 2003) with actor/director Barbara Sicuranza

For Local Live Music, Valen will be performing on Sat. April 10th at Powder in Tannersville with John Holt & Generous Thief, Journey, Ted Finkle and Eric Lichter with Guest appearances by members of Big Sister. Show is 10 pm door is $5, (518) 589-9812. Sat April 24th Valen will be at The Forum, Broadway Kington  $5 Acoustic set at 10 PM followed by DJ VS (Valen) spinning old school & hip hop. Stop by any Weds for an open mic night that Valen hosts at the Silver Spring Ranch in Tannersville 9 Pm - 2 Am  518-589-5559.


The Woodstock Film Festival is delighted to welcome new key sponsor I LOVE NEW YORK. For information regarding tourism, business, technology and FILMMAKING in New York State, visit I Love NY - and SHOT FILM IN NEW YORK!!!!! Visit the Woodstock Film Commission for Hudson Valley specs.


Early this month, in time for the National Association of Broadcaster spring convention in Las Vegas, Markertek (booth SL5860 ) unveiled their new ‘super user friendly’ website. If you’re looking for the newest DV gear of the best in audio video equipment, check out Markertek online. Create a wish list, order the catalog, research different items, discover the best cables in the industry or order the latest and greatest production and post production equipment and software.


The fifth anniversary celebration of the fiercely independent Woodstock Film Festival, October 13-17, 2004 celebrates new voices of independent filmmakers with great films, seminars, workshops, concerts, parties and good people. Early Bird deadline: May 15, 2004. Final deadline: June 28, 2004. Awards are presented for  Best Feature,  Best Documentary, Best Short Documentary, Best Short Film, Best Student Film,  Best Cinematography (The Haskell Wexler Award), Best Film Score (The Elmer Bernstein Award) and Best Animation (Awarded by Bill Plympton).  Entry fee ranges from $25 - $50. For additional info visit the WFF 2004 entry form.

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 sponsors: Markertek.com, Catskill Mountain Region Guide, Ruder Finn, Schieffelin & Somerset, I Love NY, Kodak

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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