June 2006 Newsletter



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 deadline for submissions to the WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL (October 11-15, 2006) is July 10, 2006 (postmark). Awards are presented for Best Feature, Documentary, Short Documentary, Short Narrative, Student Film, Cinematography, Editing, and Animation.

Awards are sponsored by Markertek, A&E Indiefilms, Docurama, Lowel Lights, Apple's Final Cut Studio, Final Draft, and Gorilla Software.

Industry participants and jurors have included Steve Buscemi, Kevin Bacon, Ethan Hawke, 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 ENTRY FORM
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)

Audience Award Winner at
2006 Silverdocs Festival


This June 28, the Woodstock Film Festival (WFF) will expand its year-round screening series Woodstock in the City, to include a summer series at the Makor Screening Room, sponsored by Indiepix.net.

The New York premiere of Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore? will kick off the summer screening series on Wednesday, June 28 at 7:30pm at MAKOR, 35 West 67th Street (between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue). A Q&A with filmmaker Frank Popper will follow along with a reception, hosted by Indiepix.net. Tickets are $15 for general public, and $10 for WFF and Indiepix.net supporters.
This event does not have reserved seating. Click here to purchase tickets.

Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore ?, which made its World Premiere and received the Audience Award at the 2006 Silverdocs Festival, is a riveting, edge-of-seat story about Jeff Smith, a 29-year old underdog campaigning for Congress. With a group of like-minded idealists, the young spitfire, lacking experience, funding, and even familial support, tirelessly campaigns against career politicians backed by the wealthy and powerful. Inspiring and rousing, Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore? is proof that there is still room in our increasingly corrupt, corporatized political system for one determined individual to incite change.

Other screenings are set for July 20, August 1, and August 17 .


On August 12, Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa presents
Location, Location, Location!,

a garden luncheon to celebrate the launch of the Hudson Valley Film Commission.

Join us and special guests on Saturday, August 12, 2006 for delectable food, drink, and company from 11:30am to 2:00pm. Tickets are tax deductible and contributors are eligible for door prizes, including a magnificent stay at the Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa, located at 220 North Road in Milton, NY.

The Hudson Valley Film Commission would like to thank the Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa for the incredible hospitality, Main Course Caterers for the wonderful food, Benmarl Winery for the delectable wine, Stephen Bruce Design for the lovely flowers, Tovey Halleck sculptures, and Bayla Laks for her idyllic harp music.

The Hudson Valley Film Commission (formerly known as Woodstock Film Commission), a division of the Woodstock Film Festival, Inc., is a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video, and media production in the Hudson Valley Catskill Region.


Ramon Bloomberg, at right of bobcat,
sets the shot.
(photo courtesy of Bill Stitt)


Director Ramon Bloomberg and his assistant, Igor Jonatas, contacted the Hudson Valley Film Commission in search of locations that evoked paintings from the Hudson River School--the golden light of dawn and dusk--for a short film and installation that Bloomberg conceived as a art project. “It's about the complicated relationship we all have with nature," said Bloomberg, "and a riff on the Hudson River School of painters.”

In addition to a location, the director needed lodging, catering, a cast, a portajohn, and some highly unusual props: a bobcat, a fox, a fawn, and a dead coyote. The Hudson Valley Film Commission (HVFC) put out an all-points bulletin and supplied on-camera talent (a father, mother, and infant daughter, played by Gerry Leonard, Pamela Sue Mann, and Fae Leonard-Mann), location scouts Bill Stitt and Joan Knight of Catskill Mountain Pictures, and taxidermist Mike Garrison of Stony Hollow Taxidermy.

“Shooting in Woodstock was great,” said Ramon, “We came up thinking we would film the places that inspired the Hudson River School painters, but after our meeting at the Hudson Valley Film Commission in Woodstock, we decided that we would shoot as close as possible to Woodstock, and as close as possible to Laurent and Bill. We were able to book the whole crew at the Woodstock Lodge. This was nice because we could have post-shoot meetings around the pool table with decent beer.”

Producer Jesse Scolaro,
director Mary Stuart Masterson,
and actor Elizabeth Ashley
on the set of The Cake Eaters
(photo courtesy of Julie Hough)


When Laurent Rejto, Hudson Valley Film Commission director, ran into producers Allen Bain and Jesse Scolaro of The 7th Floor this past March at SXSW in Austin, the conversation turned from past films that the production company has screened at the Woodstock Film Festival, including Room and Bobby Dukes to an upcoming NY production.

"Jesse told me they were in pre-production on Mary Stuart Masterson's directorial debut," says Laurent. "He followed by telling me they were slated to shoot around the city for a variety of reasons but mostly because it would be easier to find union cast and crew members. I knew they'd rather shoot upstate so when I got home, we did whatever we could to find all the incredibly talented union folks who live up this way. Within a month, they moved production for The Cake Eaters to the Hudson Valley."

The feature film, which features Bruce Dern, follows two families that are brought together by the return of one family's son and a reunion that conjures up old ghosts and issues that must be addressed. Mary Stuart Masterson is best known for her acting roles in films including Fried Green Tomatoes and Benny & Joon.

Other features slated to shoot over the summer include Racing Daylight and Superheroes.

Photo from Closure


Writer/producer Luis Garcia and director/producer Douglas Downing III are pleased to announce that their Sag-Indie feature, Closure, has wrapped and is now in post-production. Poughkeepsie, NY, and other Hudson Valley locations including Marist College were the setting for this emotionally-packed film.

Based on the award-winning one act play by Luis Garcia, Closure centers on the emotional journey to find healing and redemption from a childhood clouded with the all too common social plague of sexual child abuse.

While most stories of this nature are told from a female point of view, the protagonist in Closure is male. The Screen Actors Guild made the signatory process very simple by allowing the filmmakers to cast talented union actors at Indie fees. The producers appreciate the support of The Hudson Valley Film Commission with this very personal and much needed story.

For more info about the film, contact Luis at youngmindsproductions@yahoo.com



The Woodstock Film Festival presents a sneak preview of Little Miss Sunshine on July 22, 2006, 1:00pm, at the Tinker Street Cinema in Woodstock. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with producer Peter Saraf.

Tickets purchased in advance are $10. The cost on the day of the event is $15.
Click here to purchase tickets.

Little Miss Sunshine tells the story of the Hoovers, one of the most endearingly fractured families ever seen on motion picture screens. Together, the motley six-member family treks from Albuquerque to the Little Miss Sunshine pageant in Redondo Beach, CA, to fulfill the deepest wish of seven-year-old Olive, an ordinary little girl with big dreams. Along the way the family must deal with crushed dreams, heartbreak, and a broken-down VW bus, leading up to the surreal Little Miss Sunshine competition itself. On their travels through this bizarrely funny landscape, the Hoovers learn to trust and support each other along the path of life, no matter what the challenge.

Fox Searchlight acquired worldwide rights to the hilarious and heartfelt film following its 2006 Sundance Film Festival world premiere, which inspired the audience to a rare standing ovation. Marking the feature film directorial debut for renowned music video directors (and husband-and-wife team) Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris and the first feature script penned by Michael Arndt, Little Miss Sunshine stars an award-winning ensemble cast led by Alan Arkin, Abigail Breslin, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano, and Greg Kinnear.


"Two Thumbs Up"
Ebert & Roeper


The Puffy Chair, (2005 Woodstock Film Festival) opened June 2 in select theaters across the country, and will open t the Angelika in NYC on August 4. Check their website for up to date info. Ther film was written by Mark Duplass and directed by brother Jay Duplass.

Josh's life pretty much sucks. He's a failed NYC indie-rocker, and a failing booking agent, but he finds hope somehow in a really bad idea. He purchases a 1985 Lazy-Boy on Ebay, just like the one his dad had when Josh was a kid. He will drive it cross-country and deliver it to his father as a surprise birthday gift. And he and Emily will get some much-needed alone time on the way. But Rhett wants to come too. He needs to connect with his dad, face to face. What happens next has something to do with a big-ass purple Lazy-Boy and what it does to the three passengers on their trip down south.



The Boys of Baraka will be available on DVD June 6th nationwide. Pre-sales of the DVD are available at amazon.com. You can use the following link to order your copy today.

Produced and directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, The Boys of Baraka is a stunning coming-of-age story that follows a group of extraordinary 12-year-old boys from the most violent ghettos of Baltimore who leave everything they know to attend an experimental boarding school in the most rural corner of Kenya, East Africa. An emotionally explosive journey shot over three years, the film zeros in on a group of brave kids who are willing to cross the ocean to chase an opportunity, boys with a fierce determination to fight the label of "throwaway."

Click here to purchase The Boys of Baraka.



The Woodstock Film Festival is delighted to announce that TIME magazine, with its readership of 29 million people, is a new sponsor for 2006. It is a wonderful collaboration as the audiences of both TIME and the festival are "intellectually curious and...thrive on gathering knowledge and being inspired."

The Woodstock Film Festival was featured in the June 5, 2006 issue of TIME.

To subscribe to TIME, click here.


Lowel-Light will again support, promote, and reward the next generation of inspired filmmakers with cash/in-kind awards to be awarded at the festival.

In memory of Diane Seligman , 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.

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 February 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 and source with grace and dignity. She was grateful for every day.

We're thrilled 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 their rich Company History and impressive Client List .

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


The Woodstock Film Festival is a nonprofit organization which presents 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 http://woodstockfilmfestival.com/sponsorwoodstock.htm

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