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Chun, Acker, Fesser, Yoonessi, Olds, Fakunaga, Paladino, Angeles, Kunstler, Mendoza, Noble

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Binta and the Great Idea

Dear Lemon Lima (The Short)

The Show


So far 2009 has been a great year for Alumni of the Woodstock Film Festival.
Here is a list of a few WFF alumni and what they have been up to this year.

#1 Tze Chun's short film Windowbreaker screened at WFF2006. His feature debut Children of Invention is screening at select festivals and premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival

#2 Shane Acker's animated short "9" played WFF2005. The 'Tim Burton produced' feature version opens this August from Focus Features

#3 Javier Fesser won best short honors in 2005 for Binta and the Great Idea. His feature film Camino has been winning awards throughout Europe.

#4 Suzi Yoonessi filmed and premiered No Shoulder at WFF2005 and the short version of Dear Lemon Lima at WFF2007. The feature film version of Dear Lemon Lima recently premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

#5 Ian Olds won Best Student Short for Two Men at WFF2005. His short Bomb was filmed in the Hudson Valley and screened at WFF2006. His feature documentary Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi premieres on HBO on August 17.

#6 Cary Fakunaga's Victoria Para Chino won Best Student Short at WFF2004. His feature Sin Nombre received amazing reviews during its spring 2009 release. Cary also was the cinematographer of Sikumi, which won Best Student short at WFF2008.

#7 Sascha Paladino won Best Short Doc for Obstinato: Music for Two in 2004. His feature film Throw Down Your Heart is currently in theaters.

#8 Cruz Angeles' short film The Show won Best Student short at WFF2003. His feature film Don't Let Me Drown is screening at select festivals and premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

#9 Emily & Sarah Kunstler's Tulia, Texas won Best Short Doc at WFF2003. Their feature doc Disturbing the Universe is screening at select festivals and premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

#10 Paola Mendoza's Autumn's Eyes received best documentary editing honors at the WFF2003. Her feature film Entre Nos currently has been receiving outstanding reviews.

#11 Gabriel Noble's Autumn's Eyes received best documentary editing honors at the WFF2003. His feature film documentary P Star Rising is currently screening at a festival near you.



TAKING WOODSTOCK Screening & Reception in Woodstock

Academy Award® winning director/producer Ang Lee and screenwriter/producer James Schamus will be coming to Woodstock on Saturday, August 8th to offer a special sneak peek of their newest film, TAKING WOODSTOCK.

Along with Mr. Lee and Mr. Schamus, Michael Lang, the long-time Woodstocker widely known as the key promoter of the August '69 Woodstock Music & Art Festival and a key character in the film, will be in attendance.

Based on the memoirs of Elliot Tiber, the comedy stars Demetri Martin as Elliot, who inadvertently played a role in making 1969’s Woodstock Music and Arts Festival into the famed happening it was. Elliot found himself swept up in a generation-defining experience that would change his life – and popular culture – forever. Featuring a standout ensemble cast, and songs from a score of ‘60s musical icons including The Grateful Dead, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, and Country Joe and the Fish – plus a new recording of “Freedom” from Richie Havens –TAKING WOODSTOCK is a joyous voyage to a moment in time when everything seemed possible.

The film also stars Dan Fogler, Henry Goodman, Jonathan Groff (as Michael Lang), Eugene Levy, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Imelda Staunton, with Emile Hirsch and Liev Schreiber. Click to view trailer.



It is now all the rage in the Age of Al Gore and Obama, but can you remember when everyone in America was not "going green?" Visually stunning, vastly entertaining and awe-inspiring, EARTH DAYS looks back to the dawn and development of the modern environmental movement--from its post-war rustlings in the 1950s and the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson's incendiary bestseller Silent Spring, to the first wildly successful 1970 Earth Day celebration and the subsequent firestorm of political action.

Directed by acclaimed documentarian Robert Stone (OSWALD'S GHOST, GUERRILLA: THE TAKING OF PATTY HEARST), EARTH DAYS is both a poetic meditation on humanity's complex relationship with nature and an engaging history of the revolutionary achievements and missed opportunities of groundbreaking eco-activism. To view the trailer, click here.

Opening dates are August 14th at The Quad Cinema in Manhattan, August 21st at Laemmle Monica 4 in West Hollywood, and nationwide September 11th.

Nicole Eastman & Gerard Butler
at "Ugly Truth" premiere


Catch THE UGLY TRUTH, which was written by Woodstock resident Nicole Eastman, in theaters beginning July 24th!

When we asked Nicole to comment on her experience with the film, which is directed by Robert Luketic and stars Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler, here's what she wrote...

"When I wrote THE UGLY TRUTH, I gave myself the challenge of creating a romantic comedy -- traditionally a female genre -- that would appeal to both sexes. Initially, I was daunted by the prospect of creating not just a convincing male character, but a male chauvinist pig, who could somehow win the hearts of female audiences. Surprisingly, after the initial trepidation, I had more fun writing the character of Mike Chadway than any other character I had created in the past.

I hoped the male character would be edgy, obscene...and, most important, totally realistic. I knew I achieved my objective when people, upon first reading the script, refused to believe a woman wrote it. (Hopefully they were convinced after meeting me.) I wrote many drafts of THE UGLY TRUTH and have seen the project change hands multiple times in recent years. However, I am happy to report that the film is as funny and charming (and raunchy!) as I hoped it would be.

I never imagined, when I was brainstorming an idea for my very first job -- the first assignment in a two-picture deal I had at Warners -- that someday this would be a major motion picture with this kind of manic buzz surrounding it. The stars, Gerard Butler and Katherine Heigl, were brilliantly cast and bring a genuine chemistry to all of their scenes together. I am thrilled with the final result and I hope everyone will come out to see it."


WFF presented an advanced screening of ADAM on July 11, followed by a Q&A with director Max Mayer. If you missed it, now's your chance to catch it. The film will be released by Fox Searchlight in select theaters on July 29th.

Romance can be risky, perplexing and filled with the perils of miscommunication - and that's if you aren't ADAM, for whom life itself is this way. In this heartfelt romantic comedy, Hugh Dancy stars as Adam, a handsome but intriguing young man who has all his life led a sheltered existence. Then he meets his new neighbor, Beth (Rose Byrne), a beautiful, cosmopolitan young woman who pulls him into the outside world, with funny, touching and entirely unexpected results. Their implausible and enigmatic relationship reveals just how far two people from different realities can stretch in search of an extraordinary connection.

Lauren Graham at WFF special
screening of The Answer Man


In April, WFF presented a special screening of THE ANSWER MAN at Soho House, NYC, with special guest Lauren Graham.

On June 26, THE ANSWER MAN premiered on VOD and premieres in theaters on July 24.

From first-time director John Hindman comes THE ANSWER MAN, a romantic comedy starring Jeff Daniels, Lauren Graham and Lou Taylor Pucci. Arien Faber (Daniels) is the reclusive author of 'Me and God,' a book that has redefined spirtuality for an entire generation and has been translated into over 100 languages. On the eve of the 20th anniversary of his still wildly popular book, Arlen continues to be sought after as the man who has all the answers. Arlen's life collides with Elizabeth (Graham), a singe mom raising her seven year-old son, and Kris (Pucci), a young man fresh out of rehab who is searching for meaning. Both Elizabeth and Kris are hopeful that Arlen has the answers, but the truth is, he hasn't got a clue. The film also stars Kat Dennings and Oliva Thirlby.


I SELL THE DEAD, produced by Fessenden's Glass Eye Pix, is being released by IFC Films on August 7th and will be available on demand August 12th.

19th century justice has finally caught up to grave robbers Arthur Blake (Dominic Monaghan) and Willie Grimes (WFF friend and alumni Larry Fessenden). With the specter of the guillotine looming over him, young Blake confides in visiting clergyman Father Duffy (Ron Perlman), recounting fifteen years of adventure in the resurrection trade. His tale leads from humble beginnings as a young boy stealing trinkets from corpses, to a partnership with seasoned ghoul Willie Grimes as they hunt creatures unwilling to accept their place in the ground. The colorful and peculiar history of Grimes and Blake is one filled with adventure, horror, and vicious rivalries that threaten to put all involved in the very graves they’re trying to pilfer.

Mark Duplass (left) and Josh Leonard (right) star in
'Humpday,' a film directed by Lynn Shelton (center).


Writer/director Lynn Shelton, director of My Effortless Brilliance and recipient of the Someone to Watch Award at the 2009 Independent Spirit Awards, expertly mines the biggest ironies of the male ego to hilarious effect. HUMPDAY is a buddy movie gone wild.

It's been a decade since Ben (Mark Duplass) and Andrew (Joshua Leonard) were the bad boys of their college campus. Ben has settled down and found a job, wife, and home. Andrew took the alternate route as a vagabond artist, skipping the globe from Chiapas to Cambodia. When Andrew shows up unannounced on Ben's doorstep, they easily fall back into their old dynamic of macho one-upmanship. Late into the night at a wild party, the two find themselves locked in a mutual dare: to enter an amateur porn contest together. But what kind of boundary-breaking, envelope pushing porn can two straight dudes make? After the booze and 'big talk' run out, only one idea remains—they will have sex together...on camera. It's not gay; it's beyond gay. It's not porn; it's art. But how exactly will it work? And more importantly, who will tell Anna (Delmore), Ben's wife?

How did Mark Duplass and Josh Leonard first meet? Funny you should ask!
Here's an excerpt from their interview with the Daily Californian:

DC: How did you meet up with Josh Leonard? Were you part of the dedicated fan-base that went searching for him in the woods after the BLAIR WITCH PROJECT was released, or were you friends?

MD: Not really, I mean I love the Blair Witch Project, but I met Josh years afterwards at the Woodstock Film Festival*. He was a fan of The Puffy Chair and I was a fan of BLAIR WITCH, and we struck up a little bit of a friendship, but I didn't know him too well before going into the movie. I recommended him to Lynn because he and I have a really great natural rapport, and there's something special about the bond between the characters Ben and Andrew that I felt that Josh and I naturally have together, which is on one hand the ability to be emotionally above board and do therapy talk and be New Agey and sensitive and estrogen-laden, but at the same time if things go wrong, we both have huge tempers and have 1970s alpha males in us too.

* Josh was attending WFF2005 as the director of the short The Youth In Us

Magnolia Pictures opened HUMPDAY in theaters on July 10th.

Maggio sets up a dark mood
on last day of production



BITTER FEAST recently wrapped shooting in the Hudson Valley. The Glass Eye Pix feature film was directed by Joe Maggio (Milk & Honey, Paper Covers Rock) and co-stars James LeGros (Visoneers) and Joshua Leonard (Humpday). Without revealing too much, we can let you all know that the film will feature a top chef, a menu of culinary delights with a side order of horror. Cast and crew included some favorite folks who have shot repeatedly in the Hudson Valley including Lisa Myers, Shawn Annabel, WFF intern Mellisa Misner, Michael McDonough (Down to the Bone), Larry Fessenden, Beck Underwood (Creepy Little Doll), Peter Phok, Brent Kunkle and many others.

Several upcoming films are currently looking for locations, cast and crew. For more information and photo samples, visit us on Blogger.


10th Anniversary Woodstock Film Festival merchandise is now available for purchase! You can find items on our website or at our office on 86 Mill Hill Road in Woodstock.

Woodstock Film Festival souvenirs are also available through these local retailers:

*Free Spirit Of Woodstock, 69 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY. (845) 679-0008
*Pleasures, 45 Tinker St, Woodstock, NY. (845) 679-2085

Commemorative posters and t-shirts feature our 10th Anniversary design by legendary graphic maestro, Milton Glaser, creator of the “I (heart) New York” logo and other iconic artwork seen across the globe. The exclusive design ushers in the 10th annual Woodstock Film Festival, which will be held from Wednesday, September 30th through Sunday October 4th.

Check out all WFF souvenirs online including posters, tshirts, caps, mugs and more!

LOCAL NEWS (not so local)
RUNA: Beverages Driving Amazonian Agroforestry + Fair Trade

Woodstock resident and Brown student Daniel Blaustein-Rejto has spent the summer in Ecuador working with RUNA FUNDACION and meeting with indigenous communities and farmers, researching native Amazonian history and calculating the amount of carbon sequestered by Runa’s agroforestry efforts.

“It’s very exciting to be involved with Runa’s work at such an important time,” Daniel expressed. “There’s still room for innovation and new ideas, so both my work and opinions have a significant impact. And of course, working in the beautiful Amazon is more than I could have ever dreamed of.”

“Runa’s mission is to diversify economic strategies for indigenous Amazonian communities and create economic incentives for sustainable management of natural resources,” according to the organization’s co-founder and co-director, Dan MacCombie. “In order to do this, Runa is building a vertically integrated supply chain to commercialize a culturally important plant called Guayusa (why-you-suh)”

Guayusa is a plant largely endemic to the Ecuadorian Amazon and has been the go-to trusted source of energy and nutrition for Amazonian indigenous people for thousands of years. A truly balanced stimulant with a naturally sweet taste, guayusa not only contains caffeine to awaken the mind, but also is rich in vitamins and amino acids to fortify the body. Its combined effect is one of sustained energy, mental clarity, and what the indigenous Quichua people call "mental strength and courage."

Runa is currently a FINALIST for an award from Idea Blob. Their efforts can be supported by voting for Agroforestry and Fair Trade in the Amazon at www.ideablob.com






Check out Eric Goldman PKA erOc at his website Dariffs.com. Eric is a music producer in LA, born and raised in Woodstock. He has worked with and produced many of the hippest artists in LA and composed dozens of compositions for them. His studio has produced award winning songs for Electronic Arts' smash video games including Madden football and Need for Speed. His songs have also appeared on Tony Hawk's video games. His team has branched out, composing music for many popular TV shows and tracks in the hit feature film “Failure to Launch” with Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey, Disney's “Step Up 2,” “Pokemon” and others .

The big news is that Eric and his writing team (See Sound Music) have been signed by the Disney Co to compose music for a new series that will air this fall entitled "Viper Slap". It is being produced by the same Disney producers who created “Hannah Montana,” the Jonas Brothers and High School Musical. This new show is the "boy" version of Hannah Montana and stars Logan Miller (recently in " Ghosts of Girlfriends Past"). If that is not exciting enough, Eric has composed, produced, played most of the instruments and performs in the "Electrolightz" a band generating lots of interest with major labels. The Electrolightz features Rami Perlman PKA Rami Dearest (son of Itzhak Perlman) and LA rapper "Namebrand". The music is cutting edge electro-pop.  Check out the tracks on myspace.com/electrolightz and keep an eye out for their music video recently shot in LA at Digisyn Studios.


TIME has a rich history of covering the arts, regularly featuring profiles of artists and entertainers, reviews of the latest movies, music and literature, and essays on emerging trends. Quotes from renowned TIME film critics, such as Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel, are frequently cited in promotions for movies - whether Hollywood blockbusters or foreign, indie and art house favorites.

Every day TIME.com's Entertainment Channel provides the latest news and analysis, exclusive videos and behind-the-scenes photo galleries, and insightful blogs from writers such as culture critic James Poniewozik. TIME's signature voice and trusted content provide 40 million readers worldwide with insight and big-picture perspective to help them make sense of their world.

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.

Shoot your next film in the Hudson Valley Catskills...
The Hudson Valley Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video, and media production to the Hudson Valley Catskills.

Join us for special events through the year including HVPG screenings.
The Hudson Valley Programmers Group is dedicated to creating, curating and administering a touring road show program that brings internationally renowned filmmakers and artists to the region, and providing them with the opportunity to exhibit their work and interact with the community.