November 2006 Newsletter



The special screening is sold out.


Woodstock Film Festival in association with
Warner Independent Pictures presents a special screening of
The Painted Veil, starring Naomi Watts, Ed Norton and Liev Schreiber.

As part of its year-round screening series, the Woodstock Film Festival, in association with Warner Independent Pictures, will offer a special sneak preview on December 2 of one of this year’s most anticipated new films, The Painted Veil.

Based on the classic novel by W. Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil, is a love story set in the 1920s that tells the story of a young English couple, Walter, a middle class doctor and Kitty, an upper – class woman, who get married for the wrong reasons and relocate to Shanghai, where she falls in love with someone else. When he uncovers her infidelity, in an act of vengeance, he accepts a job in a remote village in China ravaged by a deadly epidemic, and takes her along. Their journey brings meaning to their relationship and gives them purpose in one of the most remote and beautiful places on earth.

A Q&A with the film’s screenwriter Ron Nyswaner will follow. A Hudson Valley resident, Nyswaner was nominated for an Academy Award for the screenplay of Philadelphia. Other screenplays include Soldier's Girl, and Mrs. Soffel.

The Painted Veil
is nominated for a 2007 Independent Spirit Award.

Heller shows off his Rat Fink at his Fabulous Furniture workshop in Boiceville

2006 Maverick Awards,
(custom made by Steve Heller)
await presentation at
2006 Woodstock FIlm Festival
Award Ceremoney


When local artist and Maverick Award maker, Steve Heller heard that Ron Mann was coming to the 2006 Woodstock Film Festival with his movie Tales of the Rat Fink, he couldn't wait to meet him, because Ed "Big Daddy" Roth was as much of a hero and inspiration to the local artist as Picasso.

"In the 1950's and 60's Ed Roth single-handedly changed car culture," explains Heller. "Unwilling to drive the cars coming off the assembly lines, he radically customized them in a way that was totally Roth. The Rat Fink was his anti-Mickey Mouse creature---a snarling, drooling, grotesque rat that won the hearts of millions of kids through the T-shirts that Roth painted, and the models that Revell made of them."

Because of that fortuitous meeting with Ron Mann, Heller was introduced to David Chodosh who was helping curate the ultimate Ed "Big Daddy" Roth retrospective at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles. As part of that show, David Chodosh sent out specially cast models of the Rat Fink to 82 artists to paint, customize, and do whatever else they felt.

"To be included in 'Rat Fink's Revenge - The Custom Monster Collection,' was quite an honor for me," says Heller.

Other invited artists included Kenny Scharf, Stan Lee, and Mark Mothersbaugh. All were greatly influenced by Roth. Heller's piece, called Rocket Fink, put the beloved Rat Fink at the controls of his very own chrome rocketship. When Ron Mann saw the Rocket Fink he insisted and convinced Heller to go to the Members of the Museum and Artists only gala opening at the Petersen.

On Thursday, October 26, that's where Heller could be found. The show runs through June 3, 2007. Rocket Fink and three of Steve Heller's other rocketships are on display just as you enter the museum in the gift shop. The Petersen Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles, California.



Look for Norah's new album in February!


On October 7th, Bill Stitt & Joan Knight of Catskill Mountain Pictures got a call from Zoo Productions in Los Angeles to find locations for a music video with Norah Jones to promote her newest album.  Director James Frost had written a treatment for her song, “Until the End,” featuring beautiful fall landscapes:  dappled sunlight in the woods, rushing streams, sparkling lakes, and autumn meadows.  Producer Mark Hall was sure that it was all to be found in and around Woodstock - and it was.  Cooper Lake, the Comeau property and Little Deep were selected from the many location possibilities sent to them by Bill and Joan.

Sunday evening, October 15, 2 5-ton trucks, one mobile home, 3 passenger vans, 1 cargo van and 10 to 15 SUV's, vans, sedans and pick-ups arrived at the Holiday Inn in Kingston.  “The production had a crew of 35,” said Bill, “plus security guards, drivers, representatives from Blue Note Records, various friends, and, of course, Norah. When everybody was together at once, it came to 45 or 50 people.”

Monday at 6:00 a.m. a cook from Richard Conalgelo's Catering and Craft Service in New Paltz sat up a tent in the Holiday Inn parking lot and fed the whole crew a hot breakfast: eggs to order, waffles, pancakes, ham, bacon, and so on.  By 7:30 people were arriving at the Oddfellows Lodge on Wittenberg Road, which Bill had arranged through Irene deGraffe to serve as home base for the day.

“It was a picture-perfect day,” said Joan, “and everything came together as it should: Cooper Lake sparkled, the Comeau woods were shot with shafts of sunlight and everywhere was Norah Jones' beautiful voice - both live and in playback.”

“Steve Knight, Deputy Supervisor for the Town of Woodstock, the local police department,and Judy Hansen & Jane Perry of the Kingston Water Department were especially cooperative in arranging permissions and access to locations,” said Bill.

“And at the 11th hour,” said Joan, “Scott Bonesteel came up with a half cord of wood for the art department to use in the last shot of the day -- an enormous bonfire in a fire pit at a private home in Saugerties.”

Norah's last shot was finished at 7:30, and the crew burst into applause as she left the set.  Make-up, wardrobe, and other crew members were released for the day, while camera crew, grips, electricians & special effects people stayed on to do additional shooting. Around 10 p.m., a wrap was called, and people headed back to the city, after what everyone agreed was a very successful day.



WFF audience award winner SHUT UP & SING, from 2006 Maverick Award recipient Barbara Kopple and co-director Cecilia Peck, travels with the Dixie Chicks from the peak of their popularity as the national-anthem-singing darlings of country music and top-selling female recording artists of all time through the now infamous anti-Bush comment made by the group’s lead singer Natalie Maines in 2003. The film follows the lives and careers of the band over three years during which they were under political attack and received death threats, while continuing to live their lives, have children and, of course, make music. The film ultimately presents a full portrait of the Dixie Chicks as women, public figures, and musicians.

Catch it at a theater near you.

James Ponsoldt's Off the Black opens Friday, December 8th in New York at the Regal Union Square 14 and AMC Empire 25 and Los Angeles at the Landmark Nuart.

Off the Black stars (two-time Oscar nominee) Nick Nolte, Trevor Morgan, (Oscar nominee) Sally Kirkland and Oscar winner Timothy Hutton. The film, which screened at the 2006 Woodstock FIlm Festival, was edited by WFF advisory board member Sabine Hoffman,

Justin Chang of Variety wrote "Anchored by a terrific performance from Nick Nolte as a grizzled umpire who gets an unexpected second chance at fatherhood, this easygoing comedy-drama plays out slowly but assuredly, infusing a conventional story about a blossoming relationship with welcome reserves of honesty and humor."

You can get theater/ticket information at THINKFilm.



From the award-winning director of Comic Book Confidential and Grass comes Tales Of The Rat Fink, Ron Mann's wildly inventive 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".

This animated documentary features the voice talents of John Goodman, Ann-Margret, Jay Leno, Brian Wilson, Matt Groening, Tom Wolfe, Steve Austin, Robert Williams, Paul LeMat, Billy F Gibbons and The Smothers Brothers.

Check out the DVD and other merchandise including posters, models, keychains and much more.


The Shovel, winner of the Diane Seligman Award for BEST SHORT at the 2006 Woodstock Film Festival, is now online at iTunes where it has already cracked the Top 10 in sales for Short Films.

When weekender Paul Mullin (David Strathairn) discovers his neighbor digging a hole in the middle of the night, he writes it off simply as a bizarre encounter... until the neighbor and his cheating wife both disappear. Worried he's stumbled onto more than he bargained for, Paul calls on the local sheriff to help unearth the truth. And finds out that, in this small town, some secrets are better left buried.

Check it out by clicking this link:
Or just visit the iTunes Store and search for The Shovel in Short Films.

Other shorts that have played WFF, available on iTunes include Bill PLympton's The Fan and the Flower, Cary Joji Fukunaga's Victoria Para Chino, and Stephen Marro's The Quality of Mercy.


If you missed any of the following bands at 2006 Woodstock Film Festival, here's your chance to hear and order some amazing tunes.


Dub Trio - New Heavy
Dub Trio is a Brooklyn based band bringing dub and punk to the masses.

“Dub Trio plays spacious reggae grooves spiked with high-adrenaline punk rock,” says the New York Times

“The album is an agro-chill mood music mélange made more monstrous by the band’s potent creativity, studio savvy, and scarily tight precision.” Bass Player

"Outernational's music is as righteous as their politics. They have a rare combination of talent, purpose, and a great sweat drenched live show, uplifting and raw." - Tom Morello, Audioslave, Rage Against The Machine

Outernational - Live DVD
“This is not my country/it is not of me/I’m from the future/you wish you would see”
- From the Future, Outernational

It is with this irreverence and inspired vision that New York City-based Outernational has stepped onto the music scene. Outernational was formed in 2003 to fulfill a great need as this generation's revolutionary band. Outernational's sound is rooted in rock and hip-hop, while drawing from musical styles throughout the world. The band has been critically acclaimed, most notably by MTV News, The Village Voice, and Alternet.



The Rosewood Thieves - From the Decker House 
Spearheaded by singer/songwriter Erick Jordan, the Rosewood Thieves are: Mackenzie Vernacchio (organ, Wurlitzer), Will Frish (guitar, backing vocals), Richard Ray (bass), and Mark Bordenet (drums). The band's latest EP From the Decker House  is a collection of songs that harks back to the classicality of acts such as the Band and Bob Dylan.

The Sad Little Stars - The Stars Below
Formed in New York City in 2002, The Sad Little Stars began with Max Low and Rachel McIntosh on vocals and various instruments. Their first release, The Stars Below, is a 15-song recording released in 2003, which they performed as a two-piece for years, using pedals to record and loop individual parts live on the spot while moving from instrument to instrument. In anticipation of the release of their second record, The Stop Motion Breakdown, they've expanded their live show to include three incredible musicians; Woodstock's Jeffry Harrigfeld on drums, Tom Longobardi on bass and Riley McMahon on guitar, allowing Rachel and Max to style on synths and vocals.

The Felice Brothers - Through These Reins
Simone, Ian and James Felice are the oldest sons of seven children born to a carpenter and a seamstress in the Catskill Mountains. Their first two albums, Through These Reins and Gone/Iantown, were released this summer to critical acclaim. They live and sing together in a 1987 shortbus. If you like Dylan and acoustic Cobain, you'll love The Felice Brothers.

Two sisters. One murder. And a woman who
will cross the line to uncover a killer's secrets.


A new novel from local author Kim Rozencraft, who's recent novel WANTED is being adapted to the screen by Sheldon Turner, and set to star Jennifer Adiston and Meryl Streep.

In it's starred review, Publisher's Weekly wrote "Wozencraft's brilliant third psychological thriller...eloquent prose that's unflinchingly honest."

Though they are sisters, Kit and Jenny could not be more different. Jenny is the dutiful daughter, following in her father's footsteps to become a Texas cop. Now working as a detective in the the Austin Police Department, Jenny is surprised when she sees a crime report with her sister's name on it.

Kit is the rebellious one, hiding from her past. She's trying to escape the fallout of her mother's death, and the gravitational pull of her father's expectations. Working as a stripper, Kit is living in a nighttime world of pseudonyms and lies. And she's begun to notice some new characters hanging around the club.

Suddenly, one sister's murder leads to the other's investigation of it, and brings her into a world more deadly than she can imagine. As the truth unfolds, one sister begins to question everything—even her own sanity—and the role she might have played in this lethal dance. The Devil's Backbone showcases Kim Wozencraft at her best: a novelist whose power to shock and compel you is unsurpassed



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The Woodstock Film Festival really got on the map in 2006 with incredible exposure via Time Magazine and Time Warner Cable not to mention great word of mouth. Click here to read quotes about the recent festival. In addition, the organization was honored as Tourism Business of the Year by the Ulster County Development Corporation & the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce. None of this success could have happened without the help of our wonderful sponsors, private donors, and attendees. We greatly cherish your kind generosity and hope that you will please consider making an end-of-year tax-deductible contribution using our secure online website or by mailing a check to the address listed below.

You've seen what makes the Woodstock Film Festival such an integral part of this region's economic, educational and entertainment community. While our reputation for excellence continues to grow, the challenges of creating a first-rate organization that services the mid-Hudson Valley have also grown.

In this season of holiday cheer, we hope you will again consider the many needs of the Festival as we continue to bring the world's best independent films and emerging talent to light and to present youth workshops, panels, and concerts. Other programs, including workshops, special events and a summer series will be presented in 2007. We also look forward to continued local film production opportunities thanks to the Hudson Valley Film Commission.

Your contributions help us to produce these year-round programs, as well as festival events that are highly valued by industry representatives and filmmakers. In 2006, participants included Matt Dillon, Rosie Perez, Timothy Hutton, David Strathairn, Barbara Kopple, Wavy Gravy, Giancarlo Esposito, Griffin Dunne, Jonathan Sehring, Ron Mann, Melissa Leo, Bingham Ray, and many others.

Your continued support will enable us to retain a year-round presence with staffing sufficient for all programs including the Hudson Valley Film Commission which worked with more than 40 production companies in 2006, including THE CAKE EATERS (directed by Mary Stuart Masterson) and STEPHANIE DALEY (starring Tilda Swinton and Tim Hutton). Work opportunities resulted in jobs and economic development for the community and filmmakers.

Click here to make tax-deductible contribution online using our secure website. Be an important part of the 8th Annual Woodstock Film Festival and all the filmmakers and communities that it serves.

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 2007 Woodstock Film Festival?

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


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The Woodstock Film Festival is an educational 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 Hudson Valley Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development by attracting
and supporting film, video and media production in the Hudson Valley - Catskills.

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| Woodstock Film Festival, Inc.