March 2006 Newsletter
CALL FOR ENTRIES - EARLY BIRD ENTRY SPECIAL
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 OPENS MARCH 17 IN NEW YORK
THE DEVIL'S MINER, which won the 2005 WFF Maverick Award for Best Documentary announced the NYC theatrical release at Cinema Village (www.cinemavillage.com) 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 www.thedevilsminer.com
SHAKESPEARE BEHIND BARS
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 http://www.twoboots.com/pioneer/blackballed.htm for tickets. By buying tickets now, you can help extend the theatrical run throughout the city and the country.
TROOP 1500: GIRL SCOUTS BEYOND BARS AWARD-WINNING PBS SERIES INDEPENDENT LENS ON MARCH 21!
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.”
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.
WOODSTOCK FILM COMMISSION EVOLVES INTO
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 http://www.hudsonvalleyfilmcommission.org
On the set of The Northern Kingdom
in Andes, NY (photo: Valerie Fanarjian)
THE NORTHERN KINGDOM
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'
LOS ANGELES, March 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Seventeen years after the last tourby The Cars -- one of the most successful and influential bands of the late
Advance tickets are available now at http://www.vh1classic.com
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 levonhelm.com. 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 levonhelm.com or by calling the high school at 657-2373
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.
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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 Hudson Valley Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production.