February 2006 Newsletter
CALL FOR ENTRIES - EARLY BIRD ENTRY SPECIAL
Courtesy of New Line Home Entertainment, the Woodstock Film Commission hosted a DVD release party Thursday, February 16, 8:30pm for THE THING ABOUT MY FOLKSstarring Paul Reiser (TV’s Mad About You, Bye Bye Love, Diner) and Peter Falk (TV’s Columbo, Wings of Desire, The In-Laws). Click here for more info.
The feature film was shot almost entirely in Ulster County due to the efforts of the Woodstock Film Commission. The film was originally slated to shoot in Pennsylvania. Hundreds of local residents appeared as extras in the film while others worked as crew members.
A hilariously truthful journey into the ties that bind family, love and marriage – as well as the misunderstandings that inevitably bring people closer together – is at the heart of New Line Home Entertainment’s The Thing About My Folks, an affecting dramatic comedy arriving on DVD on February 14, 2006. Screenwriter Paul Reiser co-stars with the legendary Peter Falk in this deeply personal, semi-autobiographical film about a father and son on a road trip that leads, ultimately, to a strengthened sense of family. Also featuring Academy Award®-winner Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck, Steel Magnolias) and Elizabeth Perkins (Must Love Dogs, Big).
The Woodstock Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production. The WFC works under the auspices of the Woodstock Film Festival, 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.
To buy the DVD, visit THE THING ABOUT MY FOLKS
David Strathairn as Edwartd R. Murrow in
GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK
Congratulations to WFF advisory board member David Strathairn for receiving an Oscar nomination for his brilliant portrayal of Edward R. Murrow in Goerge Clooney's timely GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK. Kudos also go out to GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK casting director (and WFF advisory board member) Ellen Chenoweth for another superb job. This coming June, watch for Strathairn to start production opposite Mellissa Leo in RACING DAYLIGHT.
The WFF would like to congratulate our friends at Focus Features for Oscar nominations including BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, PRIDE & PREJUDICE and THE CONSTANT GARDENER; Warner Independent Pictures for the nominations of GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK, MARCH OF THE PENGUINS and PARADISE NOW; our friends at THINKFilm and A&E Indie Film for the nomination of MURDERBALL; Magnolia Pictures for the nomination of ENRON; THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM; IFC Films and The Weinstein Company for TRANSAMERICA.
Congratulations also go out to Liz Garbus and Rory Kennedy, executive producers of doc nomination, STREET FIGHT. Directed by Marshall Curry, this documentary follows the 2002 mayoral campaign in Newark, New Jersey in which the Cory Booker attempted to unseat longtime mayor Sharpe James. Click here for screening info.
|Magnolia Pictures and Shorts International Present
The 2005 Academy Award Nominated Shorts
Coming to select theatres are this year’s 10 Academy Award nominated live action and animated short films. For the first time, audiences around the country will have the opportunity to view these films in advance of Oscar night.
Opening February 24th in New York, NY – Cinema Village, Los Angeles, CA – Fairfax Cinemas, Denver, CA – Starz Cinema, Seattle, WA – Varsity Theatre, Berkeley, CA – Shattuck Cinemas, San Francisco, CA – Lumiere Theatre, Fort Worth, TX – Modern Art Museum
Visit www.magpictures.com for further details.
John Goodman plays hepcat hot rodder Ed "Big Daddy" Roth in Ron Mann's doc
TALES OF THE RAT FINK
WFF director of development Laurent Rejto will be at SXSW from March 9-14. To contact Laurent, email laurent at woodstockfilmfestival.com
Among the hundreds of premieres that will be screened at 2006 SXSW, watch for Ron Mann's TALES OF THE RAT FINK; a wild bio about Renaissance man Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, who engineered a shift in mid-twentieth century culture with his customized cars, "monster" T-shirts and America's alternative rodent - "Rat Fink".
The film features an all-star cast of voices including John Goodman as Rat Fink, Jay Leno, Ann-Margret, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Paul Lemat, The Smothers Brothers, Billy F. Gibbons, Matt Groening, Robert Williams and Tom Wolfe.
Ron Mann's other films include GO FURTHER (WFF 2003), GRASS and much more. Visit Sphinx Productions for more info.
Also appearing at the 2006 SXSW is 2004 WFF Maverick Award recipient and GO FURTHER star Woody Harrelson. Harrelson co-stars in Robert Altman's opening night film, A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION. Check out the full SXSW film schedule online.
WFF executive director Meira Blaustein and deputy director Nikki Goldbeck will be at the Miami International Film Festival this coming March. To contact Meira, email Meira at Woodstock Film Festival.com. To contact Nikki, email Nikki at woodstockfilmfestival.com.
Among the many films playing, two are produced by part-time Woodstock residents.
Other Miami highlights include YO SOY BORICUA, PA'QUE TU LO SEPAS! (I'M BORICUA, JUST SO YOU KNOW?) by Rosie Perez. The film is co-directed by Liz Garbus (WFF 2003), and produced by Garbus and Rory Kennedy, who received Best Documentary nonors for A BOY'S LIFE at the 2003 WFF.
Also appearing at both Miami and SXSW is Mary Harron's THE NOTORIOUS BETTIE PAGE, which features Hudson Valley part timers Lili Taylor and David Strathairn.
For more info, visit Miami International Film Festival
Local writer wins award at Sundance for drama by Germain Lussier, Times Herald-Record.
Brougher, who wrote and directed the film, was born in Catskill, grew up in New Paltz and graduated from Kingston High School in 1986.
She now resides in Manhattan, but she shot the film locally with the help of the Woodstock Film Commission (read the full story online at Times Herald Record)
The award continues an amazing streak for features films shot in the Hudson Valley with help from the Woodstock Film Commission.
In 2002, Rebecca Miller’s PERSONAL VELOCITY which was shot in Ulster County, won the Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and Ellen Kuras received the award for Best Cinematography. In 2004, the Sundance directing prize for dramatic feature was awarded to Debra Granik for her film DOWN TO THE BONE, which was produced in the Woodstock, Saugerties and Kingston area. New Paltz resident Vera Farmiga earned a special-jury prize for her performance in the film, which was recently released theatrically to critical acclaim. For her powerful performance as a married woman with kids fighting to clean up her act, Farmiga was just honored by the LA Critics Award as Best Actress for 2005.
THE NIGHT LISTENER
THE NIGHT LISTENER
Miramax Films has acquired the North American rights to the Hart Sharp Entertainment and IFC Films co-production, NIGHT LISTENER, company president Daniel Battsek announced Tuesday from the Sundance Film Festival. Directed and co-written by Patrick Stettner (THE BUSINESS OF STRANGERS) NIGHT LISTENER, tackles the narrative of Armistead Maupin's story in which popular public radio storyteller Gabriel Noone (Robin Williams) develops an intense phone relationship with a young listener named Pete (Rory Culkin) and the social worker who rescued him from a life of abuse (Toni Collette). But Gabriel soon comes to the startling realization that it is quite possible that neither the boy nor his painful account of his childhood really exist. The deal was negotiated at the Sundance Film Festival by Michael Luisi (EVP, business affairs) and acquisition execs Kristin Jones and Peter Lawson on behalf of Miramax and Mike Hogan and Robert Kessel of Hart Sharp and Richard Klubeck of UTA. No theatrical release date was announced. [Brian Brooks]
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
produced by former Woodstock resident
and WFF advisory board member,
PARK CITY '06 BIZ DAILY: "Sunshine" Pact Among Top Tier of All-Time Sundance Fest Deals by Eugene Hernandez (January 22, 2006)
The film marks the feature debut for the husband and wife team known for a career of notable music videos by such bands as The Smashing Pumpkins, Jane's Addiction and Macy Gray. The film, based on the first feature script by Michael Arndt, is described as the story of six-member family traveling from Albuquerque to the "Little Miss Sunshine" pageant in California.
The films stars Alan Arkin, Abigail Breslin, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano, and Greg Kinnear. It was produced by Big Beach and Bona Fide Productions, with Marc Turtletaub, David T. Friendly, Peter Saraf, Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa serving as Producers, and Jeb Brody and Michael Beugg serving as Executive Producers. It is scheduled to be released in summer 2006.
The Duplass Brothers
ham it up at the 2005 WFF
As reported by Indiewire's Eugene Hernandez (January 18, 2005)
...A highlight of last year's Sundance Film Festival was the low-budget indie feature "The Puffy Chair" by Jay and Mark Duplass. Roadside Attractions and Netflix announced today a joint venture to release the movie together in theaters this Spring, followed by DVD and TV distribution.
Read the full story in Indiewire
The dramatic comedy by award-winning playwright Adam Rapp, WINTER PASSING charts the fractious reunion of an estranged father and daughter. Struggling twenty-something actress Reese Holden (Deschanel) has been promised big dollars for publication of love letters written by her legendary, but reclusive father, novelist Don Holden (Harris), to his equally revered late wife, also an acclaimed writer and Reese's mother. In search of these letters, Reese treks from New York City back home to Michigan, where she finds her father in flagrant disregard of his own health and living with two younger housemates: one, a practical former grad student, Shelly (Amelia Warner) and the other, a would-be musician, Corbit (Ferrell). Though no angel herself, Reese does not approve of this ad-hoc "family." Little by little, she comes to appreciate her unlikely new siblings, and as secrets are revealed, Reese comes to terms with her father, their shared past and hopeful future.
UNKNOWN WHITE MALE
Opening in theaters this February 24, from Wellsping Media is UNKNOWN WHITE MALE. The Times of London review says, " FASCINATING AND THOUGHTFUL! AN EXTRAORDINARY FILM THAT POSES SOME UNIVERSAL AND PROFOUND QUESTIONS ABOUT OURSELVES AND WHAT EXACTLY MADE US WHO WE ARE! ”
UNKNOWN WHITE MALE is the true story of how Bruce, a successful former stockbroker, struggles to learn who he was and who he will become. The documentary, produced, directed and edited by Bruce’s longtime friend, Rupert Murray, chronicles this profound journey.
For trailer, schedule and additional info, visit UNKNOWN WHITE MALE
OUR BRAND IS CRISIS
March 1, Koch Lorber Films launches OUR BRAND IS CRISIS
Rachel Boynton's excellent, probing documentary goes behind-the-scenes to show the manipulation and orchestration that is involved in big-time political campaigning. OUR BRAND IS CRISIS follows members of the consulting firm of Greenberg Carville Shrum to Bolivia, where they have been hired to help controversial candidate Gonzalo "Goni" Sanchez de Lozada reclaim the presidency. With only a few weeks left before the election, consultants Jeremy Rosner, Stan Greenberg, and James Carville work their magic, softening Goni's liberal image and shaping his message to appeal to the masses.
In his typically audacious fashion, Carville delivers some of the film's most unforgettable quips. Meanwhile, the unemployment situation is threatening to spark a full-fledged national riot, raising the stakes even higher. Boynton's film is edited at a brisk, taut pace, adding drama to the already tense proceedings. An insightful after-the-fact interview with Rosner provides even greater context for the horrific situation that unfolded a year later and which, in fact, opens the film with a bang. Enlightening, engaging, and thought provoking, OUR BRAND IS CRISIS is a vital, profound work of nonfiction cinema.
"Our Brand is Crisis is an amazing insight into the corporate swill that politics has become, even on the supposed ‘liberal’ side of the game." (Hollywood Bitchslap)
WOODSTOCK, NEW YORK – BLACKIE & THE RODEO KINGS
THE NORTHERN KINGDOM
For more info about upcoming productions in the Hudson Valley, visit
Last month, Woodstock actor Barbara Sicuranza appeared as a dayplayer in Henry Miller’s latest film ANAMORPH. Sicuranza, who also appeared in Miller’s last pix, LATE WATCH, plays a forensic technician on the scene of a gruesome murder scene opposite another Hudson Valley resident, Willem Dafoe. Dafoe plays a detective who returns to work after a five-year leave of absence. His investigation of a new case causes flashbacks to a series of murders that caused him to leave the force. The shoot was shot at the Brooklyn Navy yard.
Monday, February 13, 2006
Delivering the punch and flash of a headlining stadium tour while maintaining the intimacy of a garage band jam session, three icons of modern music Saturday night shook the rafters of a Woodstock recording studio.
Those who attended the latest edition of former Band drummer Levon Helm's "Midnight Ramble" house concerts — typically sold out at $100 a ticket — were simply left shaking their heads.
Helm for his semi-regular concert Saturday welcomed two surprise guests — Elvis Costello and New Orleans composer, singer and pianist Allen Toussaint, an anchor of that city's music scene.
Costello played acoustic guitar but did not sing for a good part of the evening. He played none of his hits and looked like a rumpled college professor late for class. But he was obviously very pleased to be playing Helm's sideman on songs he was learning on the spot.
When Costello did sing, he stopped the show.
The Woodstock Film Festival and grant maker Lowel-Light , will once again support, promote and reward the next generation of inspired filmmakers with an annual cash/in-kind awards valued at $10,000.
In memory of Diane Seligman , a beautiful person who celebrated life in the way she lived, and for all those who knew Diane and in whom she lives, the DIANE SELIGMAN AWARD is presented to the "Best Short Narrative" and "Best Student Short" to honor films that are vibrant, life affirming and created by filmmakers filled with energy, creativity and passion. Three other in-kind awards will be presented for "Beat Feature," "Best Documentary," and Best short doc."
Diane Seligman: Diane was a beautiful, loving, and giving person. She touched and inspired all who knew her. As a teenager in the 1960's, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease and was the lone survivor in a large experimental treatment group. Against the odds and medical advice, she gave life to and raised a son and a daughter. She passed away on Feb 27,2004 from respiratory complications caused by the radiation that had originally helped to save her. Diane lived in the moment, in the flow, in harmony with the life force & source with grace and dignity. She was grateful for every day.
The 2005 Diane Seligman Award for Best Short Narrative was presented to Javier Fesser for BINTA & THE GREAT IDEA. The 2005 Diane Seligman Award for Best Student Short was presented to Ian Olds for TWO MEN.
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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, diversity, and sustainable economic development through film, video, and media production and exhibition. The Woodstock Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production.