March 2006 Newsletter



Join the following films by shooting your next
production in New York's Hudson Valley


Visit the Hudson Valley Film Commission for help finding
incredible locations, equipment, professional crews,
talent, and much more. Call (845) 679-4265 for more


Maverick Award - Designed by Steve Heller
"Woodstock is one of the few festivals where
the moviemaker is still king, and that philosophy
translates into hospitality that cannot be beat.”
Kyle Henry, director, Room


The WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL (Oct 11-15, 2006) is currently accepting submissions in all categories. Maverick Awards are presented for Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Short Documentary, Best Short Film, Best Student Film, Best Cinematography, Best Film Score, Best Editing and Best Animation. Cash, prizes and/or services are given out in each category. Audience Awards are presented for Best Feature and Best Documentary.

Industry participants have included Steve Buscemi, Peter Saraf (Big Beach Films), Bob Berney (Picturehouse), Jeanne Berney, Eamonn Bowles (Magnolia Pictures), Mark Urman (THINKfilm), Bingham Ray, James Schamus (Focus Features), Fisher Stevens (Greenstreet Productions), John Sloss (Cinetic Media), Ira Deutchman (Emerging Pictures), Ron Mann (Films We Like), John Pierson (Grainy Pictures), Christine Vachon (Killer Films), Andrew Hurwitz, Mira Nair, Todd Haynes, Woody Harrelson, Tim Robbins, Marcia Gay Harden, Lili Taylor, D.A. Pennebaker, Albert Maysles, Barbara Kopple, Leon Gast, Liz Garbus, Brett Morgen, Thelma Adams, Robert Downey, Zachary Sklar, and many others.

To apply online, and for more details, visit
One might think that New York City was where all the film action was happening in this state, but since its introduction only four years ago, the Woodstock Film Festival is proving that isn't true. Since its founding, the event has made fast friends in members of the press and the film industry. It has also built a reputation as a festival with impeccable taste. With such advisory board members as Magnolia Pictures' Eamonn Bowles, casting director Ellen Chenoweth, director-actor-producer Griffin Dunne, actor Ethan Hawke and Bingham Ray supporting the cause, a trip to Woodstock certainly can't hurt your chances of making a few worthwhile industry connections. (Movie Maker Magazine)



We hope you caught the Woodstock in the City presentation of BOXERS AND BALLERINAS at NYU Theater 006, 721 Broadway, March 20, at 7pm.

Boxers and Ballerinas is about four young people forever united by their cultural heritage and forever divided by 90 miles of water and over 40 years of political conflict.  The documentary traces the lives of a boxer and a ballerina in Miami, Florida, and a boxer and a ballerina in Havana, Cuba:  their triumphs and failures, their power and powerlessness, and the singular intensity and violence of being young.

Boxers and Ballerinas cuts through the romantic mystery of Cuba, the neon stereotype of Miami, and the political noise of US-Cuba relations to the sweat, sex, grace and aggression of winning thefight, nailing the pirouette, and chasing the dream until the body gives in.

Director Mike Cahill was a former staff editor, cinematographer and field producer for National Geographic TV and Film in Washington D.C. Co-Director Britt Marling dropped out of Georgetown University to make Boxers and Ballerinas. She returned to university to graduate number one in her class. Producer Nick Shumaker has worked with Emmy and Peabody Award winningproducer, Mike Cerre and Globe TV, a Production company in California.

For more info, visit BOXERS AND BALLERINAS


As part of the its annual auction/fundraising drive, the WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL is thrilled to announce that it is offering a one-of-a-kind autographed Fender Telecaster guitar from the band BLONDIE. Donated by founder and guitarist Chris Stein, the axe was signed and dated as part of their induction into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame in New York City on March 13, 2006.  Signatures include Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, Clem Burke, Leigh Foxx, Paul Carbonara... See close up online.

Blondie formed in New York City, and is one of the most successful rock and roll bands to emerge from the late Seventies New Wave scene. Fronted by Debbie Harry, Blondie’s eclectic hit-making sound flirted with salsa, funk, disco, reggae and rap and their 1979 Parallel Lines record, featured the hit “Heart of Glass.”

This beautiful guitar comes with a program from the 2006 Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame and a fender guitar bag. We will have additional info posted on this item shortly at WFF auction

Catch the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame induction Tuesday, March 21 on VH1


Two outstanding documentaries by Woodstock filmmakers made debuts this month in Texas at Autin's SXSW.

CRUEL AND UNUSUAL takes an unflinching look at the lives of male to female, transsexual women in men's prisons in the United States. The film is helmed by Woodstock resident Janet Baus, and co-directors Dan Hunt and Reid Williams.

a/k/a TOMMY CHONG, which recently won best documentary at Aspen's Comedy Awards, is about the arrest of comedian Tommy Chong on charges of selling drug paraphenalia. The movie makes a case that the government targeted Chong because of his high visibility. He was the only defendant with no prior convictions who did time. "You do not have to approve of drugs to be offended by the way the Justice Department under John Ashcroft created a fictitious head shop in Pennsylvania for the specific purpose of ordering paraphernalia from the Chong family’s web-based retail story, in order to nail him with that state’s laws against such merchandise." (Roger Ebert)

The doc was directed by Josh Gilbert, who amazingly enough, lives on the same street as CRUEL AND UNUSUAL director Janet Baus.


The 2006 Independent Spirit Awards celebrated the best of independent film Saturday, March 4, 2006 with several awards going to Woodstock Film Festival friends and recent participants.

Diana Ossana and Hudson Valley part timer James Schamus received the Best Feature award for BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN.

Ian Gamazon and Neill Dela Llana received the Someone to Watch Award for CAVITE, which won the 2005 WFF Maverick Award for Best Feature Narrative .

Duncan Tucker was honored for his first screenplay and Felicity Huffman as best female lead for TRANSAMERICA, which won the 2005 WFF Audience Award for Best Feature Narrative.

Ian Olds, winner of the 2005 WFF Maverick Award for his student short TWO MEN, was honored with the Truer Than Fiction prize (presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features) for the documentary OCCUPATION: DREAMLAND, which was shown as part of the WOODSTOCK IN THE CITY series. As part of his moving acceptanc speech, Olds announced that his 37-year old co-director Garrett Scott had died two days earlier from a heart attack. Olds then recalled how Garrett had gotten a call from a soldier they had photographed for their film. The soldier had told Scott how he was warned never to trust anyone with a camera but was proud to have met the two and saluted them for their work. Said Olds, “That meant more to Garrett than this award.” Continuing he added, "I loved him like a brother, I miss him already."

The live, uncensored telecast was hosted by comedian Sarah Silverman, whose indie film SARAH SILVERMAN: JESUS IS MAGIC screened at the 2005 WFF.


Steve Buscemi's LONESOME JIM opens at the IFC Center in NYC and other theaters on March 24.

Jim (Casey Affleck) begrudgingly returns to his hometown in rural Indiana after failing to make it on his own in New York. He soon remembers why he left: a doting but overbearing mother (Mary Kay Place), a distant father (Seymour Cassel), and a depressed older brother (Kevin Corrigan) whose "accidents" seem suspect at best.

Jim is soon forced to take on his brother's duties - working at his parent's factory and helping out with his two rambunctious nieces. Crippled by obligations and anxieties, Jim trudges on though every day monotones and the family's collapse after mom is mistakenly taken for a suburban drug smuggler.

Almost miraculously, hope springs from his developing relationship with a local nurse (Liv Tyler) and her young son, and Jim slowly learns to move forward without leaving anyone behind. LONESOME JIM is directed by Steve Buscemi and features heartfelt performances by Casey Affleck, Liv Tyler and Mary Kay Place.

Steve Buscemi's seamless direction and James C. Strouse's thoughtful script paint a picture of working-class characters filled with the comedy and rich details of everyday life.


THE DEVIL'S MINER, which won the 2005 WFF Maverick Award for Best Documentary announced the NYC theatrical release at Cinema Village ( for March 17th & Saturday the 18th at 8:10pm with filmmaker Kief Davidson.  Look for the film to open alsewhere.

THE DEVIL'S MINER is the story of 14-year-old Basilio Vargas and his 12-year-old brother Bernardino, as they work in the Bolivian silver mines of Cerro Rico, which date back to the sixteenth century. Through the children's eyes we encounter the world of devout Catholic miners who sever their ties with God upon entering the mountain. It is an ancient belief that the devil, represented by hundreds of statues constructed in the tunnels, determines the fate of all who work within the mines.

For more info on additional cities, visit



Go see SHAKESPEARE BEHIND BARS (2005 WFF) during its opening run at the Quad Theatre in NYC!  As you may know, opening weekend is a crucial time to show support and lay down your dollars to help create a commercial arc for an indie film to prosper for months and years to come.  

SHAKESPEARE BEHIND BARS premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005, has played at over 30 festivals internationally (including the 2005 Woodstock Film Festival) and has won 10 awards.   The film follows twenty male inmates in a Kentucky prison who have formed an unlikely acting troupe that exclusively performs Shakespeare. In this documentary, the men take on The Tempest, casting themselves according to their crimes, and exploring themes of isolation, forgiveness and transformation.  

"Remarkable!  The filmmakers encourage us to marvel at the transformative power of art. In "Shakespeare Behind Bars," the most restricted people in society find freedom in performance and release in words." -- The New York Times 


Many of you saw it at the 2004 Woodstock Film Festival. Some of you saw it elsewhere. Still others heard the word!

Finally, BLACKBALLED: The BobbyDukes Story, starring Daily Show regular Rob Corddry as a shamed paintball champion out for redemption, is coming out in theaters across the country. Starting in NY, BOSTON, TUCSON, and AUSTIN and other cities still TBD

For those of you who are New Yorkers, BLACKBALLED opens at The Pioneer Theater on April 13th. Visit for tickets. By buying tickets now, you can help extend the theatrical run throughout the city and the country.



TROOP 1500, a compelling documentary by Ellen Spiro and Karen Bernstein,tells the story of thegroundbreaking “Girl Scouts Beyond Bars” program that brings daughters into prisons to meet with their inmate moms in an attempt to break the cycle of crime within families. The documentary will screen March 21 on the award-winning PBSseries Independent Lens.

“O”, The Oprah Magazine, calls the film ”Heartbreaking and heartrending. The film shines a light on an ignored segment of society and considers how America can prevent the children of the incarcerated from feeling punished themselves.”

For more information about the film and to order, visit Troop 1500 is distributed by Women Make Movies. For more information visit


We are delighted to announce that BELLE (2004 WFF) by Ruth Sergel will have its broadcast premiere next Monday, March 27th at 8:30 pm on IFC.

Don’t get IFC? No worries! The BELLE DVD is also available online along with some great additions- interviews with the ladies of the boardwalk & the gorgeous behind the scenes super 8 (we love film!) by Tim Main.

Street Pictures is committed to engaging with communities to create challenging films about how we live our lives. BELLE forces the question: how do we engage with those people who are not all we would have them be? An easier film would demand that Belle learn from her mistakes and find redemption. Instead, it is her audience that is asked to confront their own assumptions in a world where individuals are always more complex and astonishing than films would have us believe.



The Woodstock Film Commission has officially changed its name to the Hudson Valley Film Commission (HVFC), to better reflect its actual work, according to its founders. 

Laurent Rejto, the commisson’s director said the name change is consistent with the work actually done by the group since it began  in 2000.

“It’s a natural evolution,’ said Rejto, “The name change came about to better reflect what we’ve actually been doing…. and that is atttracting and servicing film shoots throughout the  Hudson Valley.”

The HVFC acts as a conduit for preproduction, production, and postproduction providing technical and talent support to studio features, independent film, new media, short films, television shows, commercials and print ads. The commission’s efforts have raised awareness of the region within the international film industry, giving rise to the notion of “Indiewood on the Hudson”.

For more info, visit

On the set of The Northern Kingdom
in Andes, NY (photo: Valerie Fanarjian)

Dorothy Lyman, emmy-award winning actor/director is wrapping production on the feature film THE NORTHERN KINGDOM. Production took place predominantly in Andes, Delhi and Margaretville, NY. The film is based on a play by Delhi resident Nancy Sayles Garrett, and follows three interconnected families in an agricultural town and their interaction with an injured Iraq-conflict veteran who upon his return befriends a troubled boy who is building a bomb. The play was developed into a screenplay after Lyman saw a staged reading in New York City.

As an actor, Lyman has appeared in LAW AND ORDER, CSI: MIAMI, JUDGING AMY, SPEECHLESS, BLOW. As a director, she is best known for her work helming 71 episodes of THE NANNY with Fran Drescher. THE NORTHERN KINGDOM, a low budget SAG/DGA contract film is being financed in a true indie manner - from NANNY residuals. The film is produced by Dorothy Lyman, Melissa Sweeney, and Julie Thompson. Many local film professionals have made the production a pleasure for all involved. Look for the film sometime this fall.




'Road Rage Tour 2006'
The New Cars Cruise Into the Fast Lane
With Rock & Roll Hall of Famers, Blondie

LOS ANGELES, March 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Seventeen years after the last tourby The Cars -- one of the most successful and influential bands of the late
'70s/early '80s "New Wave" era -- two of its seminal members have customized a modern model that's ready to hit the road this spring in the form of The New Cars. Joining The Cars' original guitarist Elliot Easton and keyboardist Greg Hawkes for Road Rage Tour 2006 Presented by VH1 Classic, will be an all-stargroup of rockers: vocalist/guitarist Todd Rundgren, fellow Utopia bassist/vocalist Kasim Sulton and former Tubes drummer Prairie Prince.

Newly inducted Rock & Roll Hall of Famers, Blondie will ride shotgun with
The New Cars, performing classics from their new Greatest Hits -- Sound &
Vision album (Capitol/EMI) which includes the new hit "Rapture Riders," a
mash-up of Blondie's "Rapture" and The Doors' "Riders on the Storm." The Los Angeles Times calls it "one of the best mash-ups ever produced." Other
classics on the new CD include "Heart of Glass," "Call Me," "The Tide is High"and "Sunday Girl."

"Audiences know these songs and want to re-experience them in a live
context," says Todd Rundgren, "as The New Cars we want to pay homage to The Cars and know that the best-known songs are the essential core, what we're hanging our hats on." While concertgoers can certainly expect to hear all of The Cars' biggest hits, the band says they can also look forward to Rundgren's own signature tunes along with several new songs the band recently recorded.

Advance tickets are available now at


with Levon Helm and The Levon Helm Band
An S.O.S. (Save Our School) Project

Levon Helm will play a fundraiser May 6, 2006 at 8 p.m. at the Onteora High School because he believes that children should not suffer from budget cuts. The music program at Onteora, as in most schools experiencing cutbacks, IS suffering. New equipment and supplies are sorely needed. Auditorium chairs need to be repaired and/or replaced. The stage desperately needs work, including new curtains, lighting and sound. Levon hopes this event will spark interest in other area musicians to reach out and offer their talents for future events to raise money. Tax payers are over-burdened, but this shouldn't impact our kids and the quality or quantity of education they receive.

Help Levon help the kids! Come out and show your support. If you'd like to make a monetary donation, please go to If you'd like to offer a talent or service (carpenters, painters), please contact us. If you'd like to help with advertising this event, please call. We owe this to our kids....

Tickets available through or by calling the high school at 657-2373
Auditorium Adults - $50 Students with ID - $25 (Advance ticket sales only)

Raffles will include a Yamaha snare drum donated by Woodstock Music Shop, autographed by all the musicians that night, Ramble Tickets, NYC Show tickets and more...



A&E INDIE FILMS is on board for 2006 as the official documentary sponsor.

A&E Network's recently launched A&E IndieFilms, a new prime-time programming umbrella, which features the best in new independent feature documentaries. Under A&E IndieFilms, the network has established a grant for outstanding documentaries in progress, increased its Film Festival presence and will be co-branding selected theatrical releases, including feature docs acquired for airing following their theatrical runs. The network is also looking to develop and finance documentaries from the ground up.

A&E IndieFilms is a prime time programming umbrella on the network, featuring the best in new independent feature documentaries. Under A&E IndieFilms, the network has established a grant with the International Documentary Association for outstanding documentaries in progress, increased its Film Festival presence and co-brands selected theatrical releases, including feature docs acquired for airing following their theatrical runs.

Other films under A&E IndieFilms which have also generated acclaim include ROCK SCHOOL which was also featured as a special screening at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and will air on A&E in 2006; BEARING WITNESS, a powerful documentary by Barbara Kopple, Marijana Wotten and Bob Eisenhardt on women journalists in combat zones. In production are a documentary by Nanette Burstein (ON THE ROPES and THE KIDS STAYS IN THE PICTURE; and JESUS CAMP by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (THE BOYS OF BARAKA ")

Upcoming on A&E under A&E IndieFilms is ROCK SCHOOLwhich was featured as a special screening at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.

We're thrilled to announce that for the SEVENTH straight year, Markertek, America's largest video and audio supply and accessory source, has come on board as a presenting sponsor.

For over 19 years, Markertek is the supplier of choice for hundreds of thousands of Broadcast, Recording and Multimedia professionals. With content being created and delivered through conventional media outlets like television, radio and cinema or newer distribution means such as the internet, video games or cell phones, you need a partner that has more unique solutions than anybody else.

Their reputation as an innovator stems from a long-term commitment to the development of unique and elegant solutions for pro-audio, broadcast and presentation. Unlike many catalog and internet companies that buy their items from common suppliers, Markertek designs and develops many of the exclusive items they sell to offer a collection of merchandise that can’t be found anywhere else. If you love unique, then you will love Markertek! View our rich Company History and our impressive Client List .

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 Hudson Valley Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production.

Want to sponsor the 2006 Woodstock Film Festival?

For info, call (845) 679-4265 or visit

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