2009 WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL
JOIN US SEPT 30-OCT 4, 2009
Among its line-up of nearly150 “fiercely independent” films, panels,
"For over one-hundred years, Woodstock has been a place of dreams and ideas for art, political philosophy and alternative lifestyles." To honor and build on these traditions, the Woodstock Film Festival presents EXPOSURE, a program which features panels, and thought-provoking international films that emphasize social, political and environmental concerns. By hosting EXPOSURE in a setting that has a longstanding tradition for social consciousness, the Woodstock Film Festival creates a natural progression by which programming can focus on matters that affect our lives and our world while seeking to heighten awareness and to stimulate dialogue and positive resolution.
21 BELOW (New York Premiere) (Dir. Samantha Buck) depicts the day-to-day struggles of a family faced with poverty, terminal illness, drugs, and teenage pregnancy, trapped in a socio-economic class.
AFTER THE STORM (East Coast Premiere) (Dir. Hilla Medalia) follows three New York theater professionals as they produce Once On This Island with children in New Orleans determined to help rebuild a community that four years after Hurricane Katrina has shockingly yet to be rebuilt.
EYES WIDE OPEN (U.S. Premiere/World Cinema) (Dir. Haim Tabakman) Aaron, a respectable butcher in Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox community, is married to Rivka and a dedicated father to four children. He hires young Ezri, a handsome and homeless Yeshiva student to help in the butcher shop. Aaron becomes Ezri's patron, but when they go together to a remote "Mikve" (sacred ritual bath), an intimate moment occurs between them. From that moment on, Aaron is swept away in a whirlpool of love and lust for Ezri. When Aaron is threatened by the "Modesty Guards" of the Ultra-Orthodox community, he comes to a decision to commit an irreversible act.
OCTOBER COUNTRY (New York Premiere) (Dir. Michael Palmieri, Donal Mosher), this heartbreaking documentary portrays the hardships of blue-collar life haunted by war, teen pregnancy, foster care and child abuse in New York's Mohawk Valley.
REDLIGHT (World Premiere) (Dir. Guy Jacobson, Adi Ezroni) Narrated by Lucy Liu, "REDLIGHT" is a powerful feature documentary about child sexploitation, an epidemic happening in every country around the world. Filmed over a four year period, "REDLIGHT" focuses on the personal stories of young Cambodian victims and two remarkable advocates for change: grass-roots activist Somaly Mam and politician Mu Sochua. Both have since been nominated for the Noble Peace Prize. The filmmakers Guy Jacobson and Adi Ezroni won the prestigious Global Hero Award for their work in Cambodia.
SHOOTING BEAUTY (New York Premiere) (Dir. George Kachadorian) tells the story of fashion photographer Courtney Bent and how her life was changed forever after given the opportunity to photograph the severely disabled. In this documentary, Courtney explores the world of the disabled through their eyes.
THE TIGER NEXT DOOR (Dir. Camilla Calamandrei) For twenty years, Dennis Hill has fed his obsession for tigers by breeding and selling them to other “collectors” in a largely hidden and unregulated market for captive bred wild animals.
FILMS OF THE HUDSON VALLEY:
AGAINST THE CURRENT (East Coast Premiere) a heartfelt drama directed by Peter Callahan (Last Ball), depicts a man, haunted by a tragic loss in his past, who is determined to swim the length of the Hudson River from Troy to New York City. Showcasing tour-de-force performances by Joseph Fiennes, Justin Kirk and Elizabeth Reaser, this beautiful film paints a unique portrait of the Hudson River and its surrounding countryside. The film will also be featured during the Hudson Valley Programmers Tour (from Troy to NYC) just after the Woodstock Film Festival (see www.hvpg.org)
OCTOBER COUNTRY (New York Premiere) portrays the hardships of blue-collar life in New York's Mohawk Valley. The documentary tells the story of a family haunted by war, teen pregnancy, foster care and child abuse. First time directors Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher's film uses rich visual metaphors and floats through multiple storylines to paint a portrait of a family: unique in their own right but representative of the struggles of America's working class.
THE PERFECT AGE OF ROCK 'N' ROLL (East Coast Premiere) featuring Lukas Haas, Peter Fonda and Ruby Dee, was directed by Scott Rosenbaum and produced by Joe White. The story tells of a young musician, eager to avoid being a one hit wonder, returning home to unite with a former collaborator and childhood friend. "I have been a part time local of Woodstock for about ten years," says White. "There are few places where all forms of art can come together and flourish in harmony while maintaining integrity. As a filmmaker I have always admired the Woodstock FIlm Festival for its commitment to that integrity."
SPLINTERHEADS (East Coast Premiere) (Dir. Brant Sersen) A romantic comedy that tells the story of Justin Frost (newcomer Thomas Middleditch) a lazy, good for nothing, who, while visiting the local carnival, falls for sexy carnie con artist Galaxy (Rachel Taylor), and begins to understand that there's more to life than doing nothing. Several scenes were shot locally in Pine Bush, New Paltz and High Falls, NY. The film was written and directed by Brant Sersen, whose last film, Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story was also filmed in the Hudson Valley.
THE 4TH OF JULY PARADE (World Premiere) (Dir. Miranda Rhyne) A touching mother and daughter story shot all around the Hudson Valley in Woodstock, Saugerties, Kingston, Catskill. The film is directed by Miranda Rhyne. "Despite not knowing how to drive," she quipped. " I grew to know Ulster County and the surrounding areas quite well." When she was ten years old she was cast as the lead character in the Sundance Film Festival grand jury prize winning film "Angela" by director Rebecca Miller.
A HORSE IS NOT A METAPHOR (Dir. Barbara Hammer) Rreceived the prestigious Teddy Award for Best LGBT short film at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival. The film is a hopeful, multilayered experimental film with music by Meredith Monk that offers a first-person account of surviving—and thriving—with cancer. Barbara Hammer is a visual artist working primarily in film and video. She has made over eighty works in a career that spans fourty years and is considered a pioneer of queer cinema. She lives and works in New York City and Woodstock.
THE BELL (World Premiere) (Dir. Erik Weigel) Based on the Emerson poem of the same name was diredted by Erik Weigel (El Camino) who spent the summer living in a Woodstock house once owned by famed American director Preston Sturges. The short film, which is narrated by Martin Sheen, stars local children and was filmed on location at the Woodstock Day School in Woodstock, NY.
ICE SAILING ON THE HUDSON & three other Hudson River Shorts by Josh Aronson - part of the Hudson River Short Film Series, celebrating the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's historic trip up the Hudson River.
KNIFE POINT (Dir. Carlo Mirabella-Davis) follows a family that crosses paths with a traveling salesman at the end of his rope. The short is directed by Delaware County native Carlo Mirabella-Davis and was filmed in East Meredith, Delhi, Oneonta, and Hamden NY. In addition to the crew, the lead actor Lev Gorn and Davis Hall have local connections. "It was a real community production," recalls Carlo. "Locals and neighbors let us shoot on their land, put up members of the crew and even the use of their goats for the end sequence. The Hudson Valley area is my muse, and I'm currently writing a feature film that will take place up there as well."
LOVE AND ROADKILL (New York Premiere) (Dir. John David Allen) Filmed entirely in Columbia County and produced by Columbia County resident James Ivory (A Room With A View, Howard's End) and features local actor Bill Camp. The film captures a rare moment of reflection on life and death during an otherwise usual scenic ride through the countryside.
MUSIC WE ARE (World Premiere) (Dir. Mirav Ozeri) A documentary by Woodstock resident Mirav Ozeri, provides a rare look into the creative process of legendary jazz drummer Jack Dejohnette (2008 Grammy winner), Danilo Perez and John Patitucci as they create their latest album. The film was shot entirely in Catskill, NY.
OOOM: OUT OF OUR MINDS (Dir. Tony Stone) A a stunning, mythical and musical journey, occurring in three time periods. Conceived by musician Melissa Auf der Maur (Hole / Smashing Pumpkins) and birthed by Filmmaker Tony Stone (Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America) this mini epic is proudly self-produced and shot in the Hudson Valley on high definition video fueled entirely by solar power.
STOOGE (World Premiere) (Dir.Mickey Breitenstein) Rrelationships, monogamy and infidelity. The short film was shot in a barn , which was built in 1864 as part of the Elwyn Farm in Woodstock, NY. Will Lytle, the Director of Photography, is a Onteora Graduate and a former student of the Indie Program. Actor Aren Stirbl grew up and was part of the Youth Theater Program in Woodstock. Mickey Breitenstein was raised and schooled in Woodstock. He recently returned to the area after working in the film industry in Los Angeles for fourteen years.
FOCUS ON MUSIC
HARLEM ARIA (Dir. William Jennings) is an urban fairytale about a mentally challenged young man from Harlem, who dreams of becoming an opera singer, just like his idol, Fabiano Grazzi.
MIGHTY UKE (Dir. Tony Coleman) (World Premiere) This lovely film travels the world to discover why so many people of different nations, cultures, ages and musical tastes are turning to the ukulele to express themselves, connect with the past, and with each other.
NEIL YOUNG TRUNK SHOW (Dir. Jonathan Demme) (U.S. Premiere) Catching lighter moments with Neil Young backstage and featuring electrifying and soulfully acoustic songs onstage, this fascinating film depicts Young performing at a small theater in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. Academy Award winning director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) following up on his 2006 Neil Young documentary Heart of Gold, continues to be the unprecedented auteur of the concert documentary.
NO GOOD REASON (New York Premiere) (Dir. Michael Mierendorf) Natalie Merchant has less than three days to arrange and record a song featuring musicians and singers who are currently or recently homeless. The track is featured on "Give US Your Poor" a new CD featuring homeless artists collaborating with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Jewel, Bonnie Raitt, John Sebastian, and many others.
THE PERFECT AGE OF ROCK 'N' ROLL (East Coast Premiere) (Dir. Scott Rosenbaum) featuring Lukas Haas, Peter Fonda and Ruby Dee, depicts a young musician, eager to avoid being a one hit wonder, returning home to unite with a former collaborator and childhood friend who has become a middle school music teacher. The reunion forces the two to recall their youthful ambitions and reexamine the choices they've made.
TRIMPIN: THE SOUND OF INVENTION (Dir. Peter Esmonde) German-born artist/composer Trimpin uses extraordinary mechanical and electrical inventions to create music that is both wild and truly unique. In this seamlessly edited documentary, Peter Esmonde explores Trimpin's life and work to uncover the roots of this eccentric MacArthur Fellow's genius. This lively film tracks the artist/inventor/composer's creative investigations as Trimpin builds a 60-foot tornado of automatic electric guitars; devises a 'perpetual motion' sculpture; and collaborates with the Kronos Quartet on a world premiere for toy and homemade instruments.
WOODSTOCK: NOW AND THEN (Dir. Barbara Kopple) Featuring never-before-seen footage, photographs and illustrations of the '69 concert, this documentary examines Woodstock and the extent of its influence through today's musicians, artists, and political figures. Following the film, there will be a special reception attended by Executive Producer and '69 Woodstock promoter Michael Lang and two-time Academy Award winning director Barbara Kopple (Harlan County, USA, American Dream).
Barn Door Pictures in association with highbrow entertainment presents‚ TICKLING LEO, Winner of the Jury Prize for Best Feature at the 2009 Stonybrook Film Festival
When Zak and his pregnant girlfriend Delphina visit his estranged father in the Catskills for Yom Kippur, they find him suffering from dementia and inadvertently uncover a dark family secret from WWII: an impossible sacrifice Zak's grandfather (Eli Wallach) made to join Rudolph Kasztner's controversial freedom train out of Hungary.
"Davidson gets the most out of his solid cast in this promising first feature. A small but compelling story that eschews treacle in favor of raw dramatic tension while maximizing its rock bottom budget."--New York Magazine
For screening dates, visit TICKLING LEO
The Box Office also offers a cool array of WFF souvenirs, including 10th Anniversary Commemorative posters and t-shirts designed by graphics legend Milton Glazer.
Come by 13 Rock City Road, Woodstock, NY (Right off the village green)
120db Films, Ciroc Vodka, Time Magazine, BMI, Syfy, Stella Artois, Teany, WDST, The James Lyons Estate, The Lee Marvin Estate, Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences,