June 2004 Newsletter



"Young filmmaker getting their first screenings at a festival,
be well advised to check Woodstock out".
(Bingham Ray)

“This is the place to be to show your movie.” (Gill Holland)

The fifth
anniversary celebration of the fiercely independent Woodstock Film Festival, October 13-17, 2004 celebrates new voices of independent filmmakers with great films, seminars, workshops, concerts, parties and good people. Awards are presented for  Best Feature,  Best Documentary, Best Short Documentary, Best Short Film, Best Student Film,  Best Cinematography (The Haskell Wexler Award), Best Film Score (The Elmer Bernstein Award) and Best Animation (Awarded by Bill Plympton).  Entry fees range from $25 - $50. The final deadline is June 28. For additional info visit http://www.woodstockfilmfestival.com/forms/2004entryform.htm

For info about music events, visit FOCUS ON MUSIC.


Check out and bid on some amazing items online as part of  WFF's 2004 'NOT SO SILENT AUCTION.' Items include show tickets to Blue Man Group, Gathering of the Vibes, 42nd Street; a weekend stay at the Emerson Inn and Spa, Art Photos of Marlon Brando, Bob Dylan, Bjork, Deborah Harry, Anthony Hopkins - services – artwork from K.L. McKenna, Bill Ward, Lenny Kislin; Marmot’s Phenomenon El Jacket from Cabin Fever; the films of Ron Mann; memorabilia from George Clooney, Annabella Sciorra, Martin Scorsese, and much more. Online bidding will stop at 10am on Saturday, July 17. Two items - tickets to Gathering of the Vibes and tickets to Thoroughly Modern Millie" will end bidding early.

The  results will be announced  and posted on 7/19 unless otherwise noted. Check out the goods at http://woodstockfilmfestival.com/auction.htm


FARMINGVILLE by Carlos Sandoval and Catherine Tambini will screen Friday, June 11 @ 8:30pm at the Woodstock Community Center on Rock City Road in Woodstock.

In this award winning Independent Television Service (ITVS) and Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) co-presentation documentary, the shocking hate-based attempted murders of two Mexican day laborers catapulted a small Long Island town into national headlines, unmasking a new front line in the border wars: suburbia. For nearly a year, Carlos Sandoval and Catherine Tambini lived and worked in Farmingville, New York, so they could capture first-hand the stories of residents, day laborers and activists on all sides of the debate. Filmmaker Carlos Sandoval will be present for Q&A.

Woodstock Firemen provide extra rain


NO SHOULDER, based on a screenplay by local playwright/screenwriter Nina Shengold (Leading Women : Plays for Actresses 2) was in town to shoot exteriors in late May.

The film, a Columbia University thesis production produced by Jennifer Grausman, directed by Suzi Yoonessi and starring Melissa Leo, (co-star of "21 Grams" and the upcoming "Hide and Seek," with Robert DeNiro), brought approximately 30 crew and cast members to the area.
Local filmmaker Tobe Carey suggested the location -- Zena Highwoods Road -- to simulate the towering pines of Washington State's Olympia Peninsula, where the story is set. The scene included a truck, a sedan, 2 stunt drivers, rain towers, and a thoroughly wet hitchhiker. Making it additionally complicated, the scene was shot "day-for-night," a technique that allows filmmakers to shoot during the daytime, manipulate the exposure of the film on set and then in the lab, in a way that makes the scene appear to have occurred during the night.
Captain Payton and volunteers from the Zena Volunteer Fire Department (Don Todd, John Mountford, Jon Crowley, Vikki Crowley, Renee Todd and Jim Crowley), local police officers, Jeremy Rushkoski and John Amorosa, as well as the Kingston Water Department played key roles in the success of the shoot. Local filmmakers also contributed to the production: cameraman Jamie Hull, production manager Bill Stitt, and various crew members.
Family of Woodstock also played a key role. When it was discovered that an actress was shy a piece of wardrobe, Bill Stitt suggested Family of Woodstock as a possible source. Sure enough, wardrobe was found, a donation was made, the problem was solved and the show went on.
NO SHOULDER was one of many recent productions brought to the area by the Woodstock Film Commission. Another recent shoot featured a Cosmopolitan photo spread. The Woodstock Film Commission, under the auspices of the Woodstock Film Festival, promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting  film, video and media production.

Kip Pardue "Remember the Titans," "Driven"


Michael Kelly (Dawn of the Dead)

Newly formed LasalleHolland announces the May production of its first feature, Tim Kirkman’s LOGGERHEADS. Kirkman’s documentary “Dear Jesse” was released by Cowboy Booking and garnered him both Emmy and Spirit award nominations. Film is produced by LasalleHolland principal and WFF Advisory board member Gill Holland (Sundance winning “Hurricane Streets”, Fox’s “Greg the Bunny”) and executive produced by WFF Advisory board member Stephen Hays and LasalleHolland principal Lillian Lasalle.

Inspired by a true story, LOGGERHEADS interweaves three stories in three time periods in the three geographical regions of North Carolina.  Grace (two-time Golden Globe nominee Bonnie Hunt) has moved in with her mother (two-time Oscar nominee Melinda Dillon) and embarks on a search for the child she secretly gave up for adoption as a teenager.  The son Mark (“Remember the Titans” Kip Pardue), a charismatic drifter, travels to a coastal town to help save the endangered Loggerhead turtles. When Mark meets a local motel owner (“Dawn of the Dead’s Michael Kelly), he must decide whether to keep traveling or settle down.  His adoptive mother Elizabeth (TBD) has lived a fishbowl existence as a small-town minister’s wife, and when her neighborhood starts to change around her, she must decide whether to stand by her conservative husband’s beliefs or take a stand on her own.

The HBO star of “Deadwood's Robin Weigert and “An Officer and a Gentleman” co-star David Keith round out the cast.  Oliver Bokelberg, who shot the Sundance winning “Station Agent” is on for lensing duties, and the film is cast and co-produced by Cindy Tolan, who cast John Sayles’ “Casa de los Babys” and Sundance-winning “Personal Velocity.” 



Photo by Erik Lamont

Annie Nocenti, journalist, writer, screenwriter, and Woodstock Film Festival advisory board member recently took over the reigns of editor-at-large at High Times magazine. High Times, the legendary pot magazine, is having its 30th anniversary this year, and has re-launched as an outlaw politics and culture magazine. While still covering the war on plants, the magazine views illegality of marijuana as a metaphor for how our freedoms and civil liberties have been impinged on, and points out the embedded hypocrisy of the drug war.

She was the editor of a screenwriting magazine, Scenario and editor-at-large at Prison Life. She has interviewed scores of great directors including Francis Ford Coppola, Roman Polanski, Mary Harron, Steven Soderberg, and Darren Aronofsky. She has written numerous comic books and graphic novels for Marvel and D.C. Comics, including Typhoid, Kid Eternity, Daredevil, Longshot, and upcoming Batman stories. She was the script editor for The Fifth Night screenplay reading series at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Nocenti’s plays have been included in the 24-hour Play series and at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors series.

The new publisher and editor in chief of High Times is part time Hudson Valley resident, Richard Stratton, the executive producer and creator of the hit dramatic Showtime series "Street Time". He wrote and produced the 1998 feature film, SLAM, which won the Grand Jury prize at Sundance and the Camera d’Or at Cannes, as well as numerous other awards.

Click at your own risk

Joining Bill PLympton on this years Woodstock Film Festival animation jury will be Signe Baumane. Her animated films are known for their mythical content, often involving twisted metaphors, sexual innuendos, and perverse humor. Baumanes techniques vary from painted cel to colored pencil, always traditionally crafted. The internationally acclaimed animator has garnered over 20 major festival prizes throughout the past 15 years, screening at hundreds of film festivals worldwide. This June, Baumane is a judge at the prestigious Annecy International animation festival, where two of her recent films will screen as part of "Best of New York Animation" program. Baumane continues to explore her distinctive story telling and imagery; her next short film is set for a summer 2004 release. Baumane lives and works in New York City.

HART PERRY, Hudson Valley resident and celebrated documentary filmmaker, has been shooting a documentary off and on for the last 6 years about Jesse Jackson. He recently traveled with him to Libya, Kosovo (to free US prisoners), Israel/Palestine, and all over the US to keep hope alive. The film is a "Fog of War" type doc with Hart doing all the shooting. He is currently raising funding for post production.

Harts most recent film, which spanned and took over twenty years to film and finish is VALLEY OF TEARS. The documentary follows the lives of Mexican-American migrant farm workers in Raymondville, TX since 1979 when the onion workers' strike broke out. What followed was a fight not only for higher pay but also for equal rights and representation. For 24 years, the county's Mexican-American residents were determined to fight for their rights. The film is distributed by 7th Art Releasing. The New York Times’ Dave Kehr wrote: Dense, contradictory and distressingly honest, "Valley of Tears" is that rarity among political documentaries: a genuinely thought-provoking film.

The documentary was recently awarded the Award for Best Documentary at Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, which showcases contemporary films by Latinos and indigenous peoples from North, Central, South America and the Caribbean.


Laura Levine's award-winning and thoroughly entertaining documentary film, DIGGING FOR DUTCH: THE SEARCH FOR THE LOST TREASURE OF DUTCH SCHULTZ, will have its New York City premiere on Tuesday, June 29th at the Two Boots Pioneer Theater (http://www.twoboots.com). The film will screen for one night only as part of the Cinewomen NY Screening Series (http://www.cinewomenny.org).
This first-time documentary - filmed in Phoenicia, NY - has been the subject of feature articles in The New Yorker, the New York Times, Harvard Magazine, the London Sunday Telegraph.....even the National Examiner. 
DIGGING FOR DUTCH had its world premiere at the Woodstock Film Festival and its international premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, which called the film. "An eccentric and charming tale of gangsters, buried treasure, obsession and small-town
America." Levine's first documentary short subject, "Peekaboo Sunday," was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival.

Screening is from 7-9pm and seating is limited. Free pizza and beer after the movie!
The Two Boots Pioneer Theater is located at 155 East 3rd Street in NYC, 212-254-3300.
For additional information,  please visit   www.diggingfordutch.com

Friday, June 11 at 5:45pm catch 2004 Sundance Film Festival-Special Jury Prize BROTHER TO BROTHER at the Loews Cineplex 34th Street, 312 W 34th St at 8th Ave. Rodney Evans feature-length drama which invokes the glory days of the Harlem Renaissance through the memories of Bruce Nugent, who co-founded the revolutionary literary journal Fire!! with Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston and Wallace Thurman. As an elderly man, Nugent meets a gay, African-American teenager in a homeless shelter and together they embark on a surreal narrative journey through his inspiring past. The film was edited by WFF advisory board member Sabine Hoffman ("Personal Velocity," All Over Me")

"BROTHER TO BROTHER brings depth and intelligence to black politics and sexuality” -David Rooney, Variety

FERRY TALES, which was nominated for a 2004 Academy Award and is also edited by Sabine Hoffman) is playing at the Brooklyn Film Festival this coming Sunday, June  13 at 4:00pm at the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn.

For hundreds of commuters it is just a routine trip form the quiet of Staten Island to the frenzy of Manhattan. But not for all. Every morning a fascinating group of women spends those 30 minutes gathered around the mirrors in the Powder Room of the Staten Island Ferry. As they put on their make-up they transform themselves form housewives to business women. Juggling multiple worlds these women have hilarious and serious insights beyond race and class stereotypes.

Director Jenny Stein

At a time when the public is more concerned than ever about the health and environmental problems associated with large-scale factory farming, PEACABLE KINGDOM explores another angle of this unfolding story: the interconnected life journeys of farm animals, former farmers, and animal rescuers struggling against an out of control industrial system.

Breaking generations of silence in the farm community, Peaceable Kingdom weaves together themes of respect, forgiveness, commitment, and healing, offering a vision of a more peaceful world that is well within our reach. Plays FREE for everyone at Upstate Films on Saturday, June 19 at 1pm. Howard Lyman will be there in person. Lyman (affectionately known as “The Mad Cowboy”) a former cattle rancher/feedlot operator turned vegetarian and food safety activist. The event is co-sponsored by The Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Since 2001, Catskill Animal Sanctuary (CAS) has provided a safe and loving haven for abused and abandoned farm animals. CAS also provides innovative educational programs and resources to schools, youth organizations, and other community organizations.


On June 4,5 and 6, come out to see film and video work by local teens. Onteora students have been hard at work this year creating some of the best fiction shorts, animations, documentaries and experimental media yet produced by this award winning class. David Nelsen Epstein and Taima Smith (co-director of "Searching for the Onteora Indian," "Najeeb" which both played at WFF) are co-teachers at Indielabs in Onteora. Indielabs is run by Indie Works, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to helping public schools engage students who are working below their potential. 

Screenings run from 7-9 at the Woodstock Community Center in Woodstock. Friday is dedicated to animation and experimental films. Saturday will screen short fiction and Sunday, documentaries. For additional information, call (845) 657-5100.

Help Save the Hudson River June 19-20. As the Great Hudson River Revival ’04 draws near, organizers report some great improvements over last year’s event. Not only will folks like Ani DiFranco and Dar Williams be performing, but each of them and all the other folks in the line up will be doing multiple sets each day. That means you’ll want to be there BOTH Saturday and Sunday to catch you favorite performer in back to back appearances and at the same time, catch a couple of sets from some great “up and comers!”

the festival that built a boat that saved a river! Enjoy the music and storytellers, the food, and the juried craft show. Kick up your heels in the dance tent, see what's new at the green trade/show expo, the discovery tent, participate in riverfront and field activities, or sail the Hudson on the historic Sloop Clearwater.

(excerpted from the Daily Freeman)

SAUGERTIES - Horse Shows In The Sun lived up to its name Sunday.

Under a cloudless sky, the new $6 million hunter and jumper horse show grounds in Saugerties, HITS-on-the-Hudson, completed the first of seven weeks of its summer circuit in grand style.

More than 4,500 attended the final day, highlighted by the $75,000 Mercedes Grand Prix.

Chris Kappler, recently named to the U.S. equestrian team competing in this summer's Olympic Games in Athens, won the Grand Prix in an eight-horse jump-off.

Prior to the main event, spectators were given an exhibition of international sports dressage and driving. Fans will get a better look at dressage Aug. 27-29 when Olympian Lendon Gray will hold a junior event, "Dressage 4 Kids." (read the full article at Daily Freeman)



June 19 from 5 – 6pm, celebrate the publication of "Healthy Highways: The Traveler's Guide to Healthy Eating" with a Golden Notebook autograph party at  the Woodstock Guild. For additional info, call the Golden Notebook at 845-679-8000. Better still, come by for the party.

(from the Chronogram article by Pauline Uchmanowicz) Ever been out of town and craving health food with no idea where to find it? Roam the streets no longer. Healthy Highways: The Traveler’s Guide to Healthy Eating (2004), is a glove-compartment atlas with listings and directions to 1,900 food stores and eateries scattered across all 50 states. The innovative guide—written up in Self, the Miami Herald, Muscle & Fitness and other national publications—seems poised to succeed along the lines of The Supermarket Handbook (1973), the bestseller that launched authors Nikki and David Goldbeck into the food-writing limelight. Kicky in design and layout, easy to read, and fun to use, the natural foods gurus’ latest release seems to proclaim Charles Reich’s 1970 vision alive and kicking—despite these fast-lane, drive-thru times. (Read the rest of the story at Chronogram.

WFF volunteer and novelist Joan Schweigharst has a new book out. Gudrun’s Tapestry is a powerful, enchanting and vivid tale of a lone woman’s quest to face the Fifth century’s greatest terror, Attila the Hun. The only thing she bears is a cursed sword and a belief that she must act to preserve her people, the Burgundians. Along the way Gudrun unexpectedly discovers the capacity to love a man who may be a mortal enemy. In finally confronting her true self, she must embark on an inner journey to cope with adversity in the outer world. Grounded in history and loosely based on the Poetic Edda, Gudrun's Tapestry--a ForeWord Magazine "Book of the Year" finalist--takes the reader on a quest of self-discovery in a tale of magic and courage that resonates through the centuries to touch the reader‚s heart and soul.

Available wherever books are sold, on-line at Amazon & B&N.com and publisher direct at http://www.gudrunstapestry.com.

Stephen Hays is back on board for the fourth year running as a Woodstock Film Festival superstar sponsor. Hays is partner and co-founder of Seneca Capital, a New York-based hedge fund, and has eighteen years experience on Wall Street. Over the last decade, he has invested in numerous film projects and recent credits include the following: Co-Producer They Are Among Us (Allison Eastwood, Bruce Boxleitner); Co-Executive Producer Drop Dead Sexy (Crispin Glover, Jason Lee, Pruitt Taylor Vince); Executive Producer  Loggerhead (Kip Pardue, Melinda Dillon, Bonnie Hunt) and Executive Producer  Confess.com (Eugene Byrd, Melissa Leo, Ali Larter). Stephen is presently involved in a half-dozen other projects at various stages of development. In addition, he has recently partnered with UK-based Paradigm Hyde Films (www.phfilm.com), a gap lender/financier to independent films worldwide, as a strategic investor. In eighth grade, Stephen made films with Woodstock Film Festival co-founder, Laurent Rejto.

WFF presenting sponsor, Markertek is one of the nation's largest direct marketers of broadcast & studio recording supplies and equipment. Whether you've visited them before or recently discovered them, you'll find that their way of doing business is simple. Markertek is the best professional supply solution for customers because they are the easiest, simplest, and most efficient place to find and buy everything you need for your studio or project. They have the most products in stock anywhere and ship quickly from warehouse distribution centers located on both coasts of the USA.

Their team is the best in the industry because they support the customers through all phases of their needs. Markertek customers are backed by a name they can trust.

A LOVE LETTER (email) from WFF volunteer Carol Galione

3 June 2004

Dear Friends,

When is the last time you actually got an email from someone you knew?

Well I am going to send you this letter and I hope that you do just that, send this on to a friend or loved one, change the name if you'd like. If you can't pass it on, don't worry, you won't be smitten by god or have to watch seven years of really bad reality TV (Whoop's, maybe you will, sorry), nor will you have to endure locusts, (well maybe that's coming too), well I'll forgive you if you don't, how's that?

What inspired me to send this letter is that many people I have spoken with lately have shared that they are feeling depressed, due to what is happening in the world today. I too have felt depressed, helpless, afraid and a little paralyzed, sickened by the grim reality of what is actually happening at this very moment, right now, and not just in the far corners of the world but here too at home sometimes. I'm sure you all know what I mean. I was also inspired by the power of this thing we have called the Internet. I've used it for many things, mostly out of convenience, but recently when helping to get the word out about an event, I realized how important it could be.

I have been thinking for a while about something I could do personally, and I know it's not much but I got the idea to write this letter. I was thinking about that film that came out a few years ago, Pay it Forward, I believe it was called. I must confess I did not see the film but I remember hearing a lot about it and thinking, what a wonderful concept. I also remember that people received letters urging them to pay it forward, well I never received a letter like that and it occurred to me that maybe you didn't either. So here is your letter.

Now, I know that all of you are extraordinary; I know that on a daily basis many of my friends do things like feed people, and coach baseball, and donate money and visit the sick and the elderly. I know that you are bright and aware that we are really capable of changing things by the way we vote or by organizing. I know that we may not even agree about what the problems are, that is not what I am speaking of for now.

What I am talking about is something we all have that we don't even think about. I am talking about the gift of grace. I am talking about the biggest things that take the smallest effort really. I look around and see so many people suffering on a daily basis that well may be their problems won't be solved by a smile from a stranger, but think how many times you have been walking down the street wrapped up in your own little world and someone you don't even know gives you a smile, or if you are grumbling because you are late to work and traffic is horrendous and someone waves you into the merge lane, or someone holds the door for you or bends down to pick up something you've dropped. It is my theory that if we all felt a little warmth from each other we would be more likely to 'pay it forward'. We are all fortunate for different reasons and it is easy to take that for granted sometimes. Think of it this way; if we remember to pass on that good fortune in small ways we are all capable of, it is a way of constantly reaffirming our own good fortune.

So that is it. As your friend I am asking you to give a smile, or a hug. Many of us are not aware of each other's personal struggles, some people wait weeks to feel the touch of another human being. Kids are being taught as early as grade school that it's sexual harassment. Remember when it was just nice to hold someone's hand?

I am asking you all to tune in a little, be aware of other people's feelings. THERE ARE COUNTLESS WAYS TO DO A FAVOR. I hear from my elders about how people used to be courteous, I refuse to believe that the world is so different than it once was. People do not feel as alone when they know there is a neighbor close by to lend a helping hand, get to know your neighbors. A stranger is just someone you haven't introduced yourself to. I always say someone is less likely to do something bad to you if they know you, so think of it as insurance. We can set an example for the rest of the world. Watch out for not just yourselves but for each other, that is one way we can defiantly make the world a better place.

In times like these it is hard to remember that we are more than just our government, or our state or our town or our school district or our church, we are people, and fortunately we do not run on gasoline, we run on love, feel the love, and pay it forward.

Love your friend, neighbor, mother, sister, aunt, cousin, colleague, student and classmate, Carol Galione

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, and diversity. The Woodstock Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production.

The Woodstock FIlm Festival is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency

2004 sponsors: Markertek.com, Catskill Mountain Region Guide, Ruder Finn, Schieffelin & Somerset, I Love NY, Kodak, Ameribag

The Woodstock Film Festival newsletter is compiled and written by Laurent Rejto. If you would like to contribute a story idea, email Laurent@woodstockfilmfestival.com.

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