Award-winning cinematographer, Haskell Wexler, ASC, is set to receive the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award at the 9th Annual Woodstock Film Festival (WFF) this October 1-5.
“Haskell Wexler’s outstanding talent as a cinematographer, his unique voice as a director, and his unwavering passion as a social activist have been an inspiration and a guiding light to the Woodstock Film Festival audience and to the film community at large,” Woodstock Film Festival Co-Founder and Executive Director Meira Blaustein said, “We are thrilled to present him with the Woodstock Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award”.
Considered one of the most well respected cinematographers in the film industry today, Haskell Wexler’s career spans six decades and work ranging from such films as Bound for Glory, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Interviews With My Lai Veterans, and American Graffiti. Wexler has received five Academy Award® nominations, two Oscars® (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Bound for Glory) and a number of other prestigious awards, honoring his outstanding achievements in the photography of a wide range of films.
“My professional interest is photography,” commented Mr. Wexler. “Photographers are storytellers who have always been welcome at Woodstock. George Orwell said, 'In a time of universal deceit telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.' Artists are not required to be revolutionaries. The Woodstock Film Festival is not just another festival where filmmakers show their work and distributors test the market. The place, Woodstock, is identified with the spirit of that historic concert. The Film Festival continues the sound and images of those rebel artists of the ‘60’s. The Woodstock Film Festival encourages rebels who tell stories artfully and honestly. I am very appreciative of my Woodstock honor."
The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Haskell Wexler at the 2008 Woodstock Film Festival Award Ceremony on Saturday, October 4, by his longtime friends and colleagues, writer / director John Sayles, producer Maggie Renzi and others. For complete press release, click here
NETFLIX TO CLOSE DISTRIBUTION, PRODUCTION COMPANY RED ENVELOPE ENTERTAINMENT
According to the Associated Press, Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey said that the company "weighed the fact that it was often in the same room with studio partners at film festivals, and 'we didn't want to compete' with them."
"It was a relevant effort," Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos (who received the 2007 WFF Honorary Trailblazer Award. said in a statement to indieWIRE, "But relevance and meaningful are two different things. We're very proud of the films, which were successful critically and commercially. But we don't have to own the rights to make that happen."
While the financial impact on the company will be relatively small, the news comes as yet another hurdle for the independent film distribution industry to overcome; back in May, Warner Bros. announced that they were shutting down its two indie divisions, Picturehouse and Warner Independent Pictures.
Among those affected by the move is Red Envelope Entertainment head Liesl Copland, a good friend of WFF. "It was a strategic move," Copland told indieWIRE, "It's just no longer strategically necessary to buy one movie at a time when they have a tremendous amount of deals with a huge segment of the independent sector. It's been a very fast evolution."
PHILIPPE PETIT AND DIRECTOR JAMES MARSH INTERVIEWED BY indieWIRE
James Marsh, the director of the award-winning documentary Man on Wire, and Hudson Valley resident Phillipe Petit, the tightrope-walking subject of the doc, were recently featured in an interview with independent film website indieWIRE. The film, which won both the World Cinema Jury Award: Documentary and the World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival this year, is based on Petit's 1974 tightrope walk between the two towers of the World Trade Center, a whopping 1,350 feet above the ground.
Check out the indieWIRE interview here
Magnolia Pictures will open Man on Wire in limited release on Friday, July 25 in New York; it will come to select theaters nationwide on August 8.
Petit may have his story return to the big screen in a different form. It is rumored that he is in talks with director Robert Zemeckis (of Forrest Gump fame) to develop his book, To Reach the Clouds: My High Wire Walk Between the Twin Towers, into a feature film.
IN SEARCH OF A MIDNIGHT KISS
In Search of a Midnight Kiss centers on Wilson, a 29-year old writer who posts a personal ad on Craig's List in search of a date for New Year's Eve. His response is Vivian, a strong-willed woman who wants to find Mr. Right by midnight. Shot in black and white, the film chronicles their journey, at times comical and at times more serious, through the streets LA. As the clock ticks on towards midnight, their relationship grows, and their attraction for each other is indubitable. The film is inspired by director Alex Holdbrige's own experience in adjusting to life as a full-time writer and director in Los Angeles.
Featured at last year's WFF, In Search of a Midnight Kiss won the Maverick Award for Best Editing for a Narrative Feature. Already out in UK theaters, the film will make its U.S. premiere in NYC on August 1.
American Teen, the hit Sundance documentary produced by WFF sponsor A&E Indie Films, will be coming to theaters Friday, July 25. The much-hyped film follows four high school students from Warsaw Indiana as they finish their senior year in the rural town. There's Jake, the shy geeky kid who'll do anything to find a girlfriend; Colin, the kind-hearted jock who's under tremendous pressure to get a basketball scholarship so that he can afford college; Hannah, the beautiful misfit who can't wait to get out of her conservative hometown; and Megan, the queen bee who'll do anything to get what she wants. Nanette Burstein has crafted a documentary so intimate and captivating that we forget the film we're watching is a documentary at all.
Opens in NYC and LA July 25
The Duplass Brothers' latest film, Baghead, is a horror spoof about a "guy with a bag on his head."
The idea for the film, which was featured at Sundance and LAFF, came about on the set of the filmmakers' previous film, The Puffy Chair. When asked by a crew member, "What's the scariest thing you can think of?" Someone replied, "A guy with a bag on his head staring into your window." Some agreed, while others laughed at the absurdity of it, and the conversation ended up as a launching pad for their next project.
The film centers on four struggling actors headed out to a cabin in the woods of California to write a screenplay they plan on starring in. Handsome Matt, played by Kingston-native Ross Partridge, is in an on-again-off-again relationship with the wet blanket of the group, Catherine. Flighty Michelle has been dating Chad, the chubby but funny one, but she is really into Matt. The group decides to make their film a thriller about a man with a bag on his head, something Michelle dreamt up the first night in the cabin. But soon fiction begins to blur with reality. While Michelle tries to hit on Matt without the others catching on, paranoia sets in on the group and no one is sure who to believe anymore. Is Baghead real or is he all part of Michelle's imagination?
Known for their impact on the emerging "mumblecore" genre in independent cinema, the Duplass brothers attended the Woodstock Film Festival in 2005, where their film The Puffy Chair was screened.
In theaters August 1
Frozen River, the Grand Jury Prize-winning film at Sundance, stars Melissa Leo, a close friend of WFF, as Ray Eddy, a woman struggling to survive after her husband leaves her, having gambled away all of their savings. Ray sets out in search of her husband, and along the way, she meets Lila Littlewolf, a Mohawk woman who makes money by smuggling illegal immigrants into the country. Ray and Lila team up, in hopes that they can make the money they need to get by, and travel in Ray's car across the frozen St. Lawrence River.
"A wonderfully directed film full of atmosphere, heart, and outstanding performances by Melissa Leo and Misty Upham, Frozen River is ultimately about the strength that resides in family and the way hope in a dire situation can be uncovered by courage and trust." (Sundance Film Festival)
Leo's performance has already garnered rave reviews, and ever since Sundance, there's been buzz going around that she may even pick up a Best Actress Oscar nomination.
MARK DONATO AT THE COLONY THIS FRIDAY, JULY 25
Local singer-songwriter Mark Donato will be playing a special show on Friday, July 25th at the Colony Café in Woodstock. Come out and support Mark and his musical pals Mark Lerner (on bass) and Eric Parker (on drums) as they play songs from their upcoming album, A History of Boys and Girls. Click here to listen to Mark.
They will be preceded by the insurmountable Kyle Esposito of the Meg Johnson Band, at 7 p.m.
TODD RUNDGREN - The Arena Tour With Special Guest Joey Eppard
Todd Rundgren (a former Woodstocker) will be in concert with Jesse Gress on Guitars, Rachel Haden on Bass, Matt Bolton on Keyboards and Prarie Prince on Drums.
Rundgren's myriad production projects include albums by Patti Smith, Cheap Trick, Psychedelic Furs, Meatloaf, XTC, Grand Funk Railroad, and Hall And Oates. Rounding out his reputation as rock's Renaissance Man, Rundgren composed all the music and lyrics for Joe Papp's 1989 Off-Broadway production of Joe Orton's "Up Against It" (the screenplay commisioned by The Beatles for what was meant to have been their third motion picture). He also has composed the music for a number of television series, including "Pee Wee's Playhouse and Crime Story."
Click to hear Artie
FOLK MUSICIAN ARTIE TRAUM DIES AT 65
Local music legend Artie Traum, died Sunday, July 20. He was 65."It is with profound sorrow that we announce the untimely passing of Artie Traum, a brilliant and creative musician as well as a much-beloved husband, brother, uncle and friend," a statement put out by the Traum family on Artie's website said. Traum passed away peacefully at his home in Bearsville after a four year battle with a rare ocular melanoma that spread to his liver.
Traum, who produced and recorded with The Band, James Taylor, Pete Seeger, Levon Helm, Larry Campbell, Phil Lesh and many others, was featured in more than 20 albums over the course of his lifetime. In addition, he and his brother Happy performed as a duo and were managed by Albert Grossman.
Not only was Artie Traum a talented guitarist, composer, songwriter and record producer, he was also a skilled documentary film producer.
"Artie Traum was a true folk music master whose kind spirit and prolific talent inspired many. The Woodstock Film Festival was fortunate in 2002 to screen the film Deep Water, about the building of the Ashokan reservoir, which was directed and produced by Woodstock residents Tobe Carey, Robbie Dupree and Artie Traum. He will be deeply missed," said WFF Co-Founder and Executive Director Meira Blaustein.
Traum is survived by his wife Bev, brother Happy and many firends and family...
Want to get the word out about your business or organization? What better way to do so than by placing an ad in WFF's 9th Annual Commemorative Program!
This program will be the only official Woodstock Film Festival program with advertising opportunities. Advertisements in the program are generally reserved for sponsors, but right now we are offering a limited number of ads to non-sponsors on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Your ad will be seen by thousands in print and hundreds of thousands online during the 9th Annual Woodstock Film Festival this October 1-5. But act quickly! Spaces are filling up, and our August advertising deadline is fast approaching! To place an ad in our 9th Annual Commemorative Program, click here or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for a different way to support the 2008 Woodstock Film Festival? Click on the links to learn more about supporting us through: Auction Contributions, Web Advertising, Sponsorship, Private Contributions, and Foundation Support.
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