Award winners and presenters
Maggie Renzi, Haskell Wexler
& John Sayles
Ang Lee, James Schamus & Melissa Leo
Gavin O'Connor "Pride and Glory" signs in at WFF
Here’s to the Woodstock Film Festival as it passes the Ninth Annual celebration and moves steadily towards its first double digit, landmark, Tenth Annual Woodstock Film Festival. Lauded by filmmakers, industry members and press alike, the festival this year was an astounding success culminating in an Awards Ceremony that would make the most seasoned movie inside man star-struck. See video clips from the entire festival online.
Introduced by Academy Award nominated actor David Strathairn, two time Academy Award nominated writer/director John Sayles and five time Independent Spirit Award nominated producer Maggie Renzi, two time Academy Award winner and WFF Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Cinematographer Haskell Wexler spoke from the heart saying, “The Woodstock Film Festival stands for what humanity should strive for…Get out there and use your art to express good, human things and denounce and expose all the lies and deceptions that have become a part of our life.”
Introduced by actress Melissa Leo (Frozen River, 21 Grams) and Academy Award winning director and long time collaborator Ang Lee, three time Academy Award nominated writer/producer, CEO of Focus Features and WFF Trailblazer Award Recipient James Schamus complemented the festival saying, “This has been an amazingly warm and welcoming and genuine award ceremony."
Introduced by famed producer and entertainment lawyer John Sloss, irreverently, obscenely and outrageously hilarious Cannes and Sundance award winning writer/director/actor and WFF Maverick Award Recipient, Kevin Smith amidst a legendary acceptance speech who’s hilarity was only rivaled by its blue content, thanked WFF, the audience of filmmakers and his fans saying “Y’all in this room and whoever else out there have been supporting us and what we do for fifteen years and it’s been really sweet and I thank you a lot.”
During the festival, despite the heightened atmosphere that pervaded the five days packed with films, panels, concerts, and parties, guests still found time to explore beautiful Woodstock, NY, and as they passed from one independently owned store to another, they were taken with the leaves turning the fiery orange that has become synonymous with this autumn celebration. Brilliantly talented filmmakers Declan Recks, Eugene O’Brien and Eileen Walsh, the director, playwright/screenwriter, and star of Eden, arriving from distant Ireland loved Woodstock’s charm and natural beauty. After exploring Woodstock Eileen Walsh remarked, “I feel like I’ve bought half the town.”
Jeremy Yaches, producer of WFF Best Documentary Winner In A Dream exclaimed, “We had a terrific time at the festival and we are very grateful for the awards and all of the good vibes. Thanks again for having us and for making it so much fun. You guys were all so helpful and good to us, we truly appreciate it. I also wanted to commend the programming. Every movie I saw at the festival was great! Look forward to doing it again in the future!"
Academy Award nominated actor (Good Night and Good Luck) and long time friend of the festival, David Strathairn remarked, “It was wonderful too see how the festival has grown (don't get any bigger!) and still has maintained its particular charm and eccentricity and hands on feel. All a testament to your guidance and instincts. Brava!”
At our Documentary Filmmaking panel, Moderator Heidi Ewing, Academy Award Nominated Documentary Director (Jesus Camp), after introducing panelists Morgan Spurock (Supersize Me), Ellen Kuras (The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)), Michael Tucker (The Prisoner: or How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair), Keif Davidson (Kassim the Dream), Ron Mann (Know Your Mushrooms, Grass) and Brett Morgen (The Kid Stays in the Picture), remarked, "Looking over the name cards of these panelists is like the who's who of independent documentary filmmaking."
Executive Director Meira Blaustein noted that after every panel, guests and panelists mingled outside talking about what they had just seen till past the time the next panel had begun. Many guests approached her wondering whether it was possible to get a copy on DVD.
The Festival’s success this year was only possible because of our local and international support, our loyal sponsors, our glowing and enthusiastic press, our diehard staff and volunteers all dedicated to supporting and sharing independent film, and of course, the filmmakers, whom we love and we cherish their creative, artistic visions and their unflinching desires to put beauty on film despite any financial restraints.
If you think this year was amazing, just wait until the next one. As we begin the long path to the Tenth Annual Celebration we plan the return of some of the many film giants who have frequented the festival in years past, while inviting new and exciting faces to join us to celebrate our 10th year. We hope to see you all and many new faces along the way when we go up again 9/30/09 – 10/4/09.
Woodstock Film Festival Staff
2008 WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL “NOT SO SILENT ONLINE AUCTION”
A bevy of eclectic and ‘fiercely’ exclusive items are up for grabs this year at the Ninth Annual Woodstock Film Festival’s Not So Silent ONLINE Auction, with items open for bidding until Oct. 9.
While auctions are wrapping up quickly, items are still available to the highest bidder including an original 1966 photograph of Bob Dylan by renowned photographer Barry Feinstein. It is the same iconic image that was immortalized by actress Kate Blanchet on film during last year’s screening of Todd Haynes’ Dylan bi-opic I’m Not There.
“Virgin Echinacia” 2004 by Portia Munson is a film festival exclusive scanned flowers mandala, printed with ink on rag paper by Woodstock Graphic Studio. The beautiful floral menagerie would sell at a price exceeding $7,000 in Portia’s New York City Gallery, but is being offered at much lower price at www.Woodstockfilmfestival.com.
A weekend stay at the magical Waterfall House retreat will also be offered by WFF. Adjacent to a babbling brook and waterfall, the peaceful and secluded vacation home offers a perfect setting for a romantic getaway or simply a relaxing escape from the urban bustle. The home offers two bedrooms, two full baths, den with pullout sofas, and a completely equipped kitchen with a delightful view from the coffee nook. Bidding for this item is open until Oct. 6.
Among the auction items you will also find a uniquely crafted necklace with freshwater pearls by Serena Van Rensselaer, two autographed B-52’s posters, a wine trio package offered by Empire Merchants Wine and Spirits, and a DVD boxset of HBO’s John Adams miniseries starring Paul Giamatti (Sideways, American Splendor) complete with David McCullough’s bestselling biography on the life and times of John Adams.
There is only a limited time to get your chance at winning a Woodstock Film Festival exclusive.
The proceeds go to support WFF’s year round activities and events geared towards providing outlets for and screenings of independent film in the Hudson Valley.
Please go to the WFF homepage to find out more.
WFF 08 Press Coverage went Round The World!
This year, thanks to an enthusiastic press corps, the Woodstock Film Festival again received extensive coverage regionally, nationally and internationally, with two Associated Press stories and a bevy of stories in major press, including coverage in England, France and China (!).
We received great pre-fest coverage in Daily Variety and the Wall Street Journal and in newspapers, magazines and radio throughout New York.
WFF #9 was prominently featured on the Entertainment pages of Yahoo, USA Today, MSN, Fox News, AOL, Google, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, Miami Herald, and on many, many outstanding film and entertainment websites and blogs internationally, including IndieWire and Salon.com.
We would also like to thank our regional press - particularly Daily Freeman, Poughkeepsie Journal, Times-Herald Record, The Woodstock Times, WDST, WKZE, WAMC Public Radio and WPDH for the superb year-round coverage they provide to our home communities.
Many of these stories can be read just by googling Woodstock Film Festival or visiting our press page. Many thanks to our friends in the press for the fine job!!!