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February 2011 Newsletter - 2nd Edition

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Join us for a special viewing of the Oscars®

And the Academy Award Nominees Are...










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Click here to listen to
Hester Mundis PSA

The Woodstock Film Festival is happy to announce that it will return to the luxurious Emerson Resort & Spa where it will present A NIGHT AT THE AWARDS: a viewing party for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards®, Sunday February 27 at 7pm.

Festivities will be held in the Emerson’s beautiful Great Room. The viewing party will be filled with decadent hors d’oeuvres, a delicious buffet and a flowing supply of bubbly.

Much like at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, red carpet fashionistas will be in attendance, so guests may want to know the name of the designer of their gown or suit!** Our resident fashionistas are:

Hester Mundis — four-time Emmy nominated author and humorist and Joan Rivers former head writer.
Martha Frankel — writer of books, interviewer of celebrities, recovering internet poker addict, lover of ethnic cooking, collector of beach glass.
*Best Dressed Female and Male will receive a special prize.

Attendees will be in for a treat with door prizes, goodie bags and red carpet photos and feel like Hollywood has come home to the Catskills. In addition to great food and fun, the event will honor friends and filmmakers associated with the festival and Hudson Valley. WFF will be rooting for several Oscar Nominees to take home the statue. For a list of Academy Award Nods, see below.

Tickets for this event are limited so get yours before they sell out!


And the Nominees Are...
WFF and HFVC are proud to congratulate friends and those with Hudson Valley ties

  • Long-time festival friend Melissa Leo nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Fighter
  • Best Doc nominee Gasland by Josh Fox, which WFF screened last summer to a sold-out crowd of 600
  • Hudson Valley resident Joel Coen is up several Oscars (with brother Ethan) for True Grit
  • Last year at this time, James Franco was starring in a film at the Empire State Railway Museum in Phoenicia, Now he's up for an Oscar for 127 Hours
  • Hudson Valley resident Mark Ruffalo up for Best Supporting Actor in The Kids Are All Right
  • WFF alumnus Debra Granik's film Winter's Bone for Best Picture and Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
  • Luke Matheny's 2010 WFF Best Short winner, God of Love in the Best Short Live Action category
  • A few other unnamed nominees are set to star in upcoming Hudson Valley productions. Stay tuned for announcements...
Meera Gandhi (left) & WFF executive
director Meira Blaustein

Woodstock Film Festival Announces the MEERA GANDHI GIVING BACK AWARD
Promoting Positive Social Change Through the Art of Film
Debuting at 12th Annual WFF Awards Gala

The Woodstock Film Festival is honored to announce that 2011 will mark the inaugural year for the Meera Gandhi Giving Back Award, which will be presented annually to a director, producer or actor who best delivers a message of social change. This prestigious award will include a cash prize of five thousand dollars. The award will be presented at the WFF Annual Awards Gala on Saturday, Sept 24 by Ms. Gandhi herself.

This partnership between the Woodstock Film Festival and The Giving Back Foundation demonstrates the commitment that both organizations have in support of humanitarian efforts through the art of film.

Meera Gandhi is a Humanitarian, Mother, Businesswoman and Diplomat who was born in Mumbai, India. As the founder of the Giving Back Foundation, she splits her time between her various causes in New York, London and Hong Kong.

Gandhi's personal life motto and that of the Foundation is: "You are to the universe as much as you give back to it." Click to read the full story...

Other WFF awards include the Lee Marvin Best Feature Award, The Diane Seligman Award for Shorts, The James Lyons Editing Awards and the Haskell Wexler Cinematography Award. For information about the Woodstock Film Festival CALL FOR ENTRIES, click here.


3 Backyards

If you missed 3 Backyards at the 2010 Annual Festival, you can catch the film at a theater near you March 11.

Nearly every sense is called upon to observe and absorb the many layers of meaning in this elusive and nuanced masterwork by Eric Mendelsohn. Set in a preternaturally squeaky-clean seaside suburb, the ordinary lives of three of its residents take unexpected turns.

Driven by an eerily plaintive score and voyeuristic cinematography, 3 Backyards blends genuine suspense with brilliant performances; a chameleon-like Edie Falco as Peggy hungers for excitement while dabbling in painting to gloss over a humdrum life. And if divorce is what happens when the conversation ends, then the marriage of world-weary John (Elias Koteas) teeters on the brink of dissolution. Eight-year-old Christina (Rachel Resheff) must guard a precious gift while stumbling upon a disturbing secret.

A treatise on loss? Are “backyards” the underbrush where secrets reside? At times maddeningly subtle, this is a mesmerizing film unafraid to pose possibly unanswerable questions. A “must see!” (Barbara Pokras, A.C.E.)

White Irish Drinkers

2010 WFF Audience Award Winner White Irish Drinkers is set to hit theaters March 25.

None would envy the lives of Danny and Brian Leary, brothers trapped in blue collar Brooklyn, circa 1975, in a family where brutality is the norm. Petty criminal Danny (Geoff Wigdor) takes the brunt of the punishment doled out by Patrick (Steven Lang), their tyrannical, alcoholic father, as long-suffering wife and mother Margaret (Karen Allen), stands by helplessly. Brian (Nick Thurston), afraid to reveal his talents, works for the hapless Whitey (Peter Riegert) at the nearly defunct Layfeyette movie theater. Shauna (Leslie Murphy), Brian’s love interest, strikes the perfect note of rough-edged authenticity as she, too, struggles to escape. Alternately tender and violent and peppered with humor, this is smart and suspenseful storytelling where the ties that bind can also break a family, and childhood memories haunt and deceive. Writer-director John Gray skillfully turns tragedy to triumph with an ending bound to shock and surprise. Powerful, well-crafted and thoroughly engaging. (Barbara Pokras, A.C.E.)


IFP Independent Filmmaker Labs
Call for Entries: First Feature Directors with Documentary or Narrative Films in Post-Production
Documentary Deadline: March 11, Narrative Deadline: April 8
IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Labs are a year-long fellowship supporting independent filmmakers when they need it most: through the completion, marketing, and distribution of their first features. Labs provide community, mentorship, and film-specific strategies to help filmmakers reach their artistic goals, support the film’s launch, and maximize exposure in the global marketplace. The program consists of three focused workshops in spring, fall and winter in New York City.
IFP seeks to ensure that at least half of participating projects have an inclusive range of voices in key positions. We especially encourage female and minority directors to apply, as well as filmmakers from outside NY & LA.
Open to all first time documentary and narrative feature directors with films in post-production. Documentary Applications open now, Narrative Applications open Feb 1! Additional information and online application:


Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It!

The wait is over: Crazy Sexy Diet by Woodstocker Kris Carr is now officially available! In case you missed it, the book burned up the charts on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Borders after its release. It climbed into the TOP 10 of the NY Times bestseller list, where it has spent the past month and still remains. Congratulations Kris.

Kris Carr is a New York Times best-selling author, motivational speaker and wellness coach. Back in 2003, she directed and starred in Crazy Sexy Cancer, an inspirational documentary for TLC that chronicled her journey from cancer diagnosis to juicy healthy living. She also authored Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips and Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor, two must-have manuals for triumphing over disease and embracing a holistic approach to recovery.

For more about Kris, visit Crazy Sexy Life




A&E INDIEFILMS® is the feature documentary production arm of A&E Networks. Since its inception in 2005, A&E IndieFilms has gained an impressive track record, with both Murderball and Jesus Camp nominated for Academy Awards®.

Recent documentaries include Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer and The Tillman Story.

The latest IndieFilms documentary is Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel, which premiered at Sundance 2011. Visit A&E.


In 2010, there were over 813 days of production in the Hudson Valley region—284 days resulted from feature films being produced in the area. Project budgets ran the gamut from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars and resulted in over $15 million of local economic development. Additional film and media revenues come to the Hudson Valley in the form of pre-production, post production and distribution.

In the last few weeks, press releases were sent announcing distribution deals with four films with major local interest – Stake Land, Higher Ground, Salvation Boulevard and Martha Marcy May Marlene.

For details about these distribution deals and current projects , visit Hudson Valley Film Commission