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April 2011 Newsletter - 2nd Edition

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Early Bird Deadline Fast Approaching



Terri (Jacob Ways) and
Mr. Fitzgerald (John C. Reilly)
in Terri

Special WFF Benefit & Screening of 2011 Official Sundance selection

Join host Stephen Hays of 120dB Films for an exclusive screening and reception of Terri starring John C. Reilly, with director Azazel Jacobs in attendance. May 10 at SOHO HOUSE, NYC.

The screening will be followed by a special reception with hors d'oeuvres, wine, complimentary cocktails from Ketel One, and beer lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery.

Terri is the story of a teen who is orphaned to an uncle who is fading away, mercilessly teased by his peers and roundly ignored by his teachers. When the dreaded vice-principal sees something of himself in Terri, they establish a friendship which opens Terri up to the possibility that life is not something to be endured, but something to be shared, and even enjoyed. Film courtesy of ATO Pictures

Limited Availability. Purchase your tickets early by CLICKING HERE.
Contributions benefit the Woodstock Film Festival and Hudson Valley Film Commission Capital Campaign..


Since moving in April 1 into our new home on 13 Rock City Rd., workers have been busy turning this 1930's plumbing shop into a state-of-the art Film Center. So far, we've converted a storage room into a finished conference and multi-use space, and we're currently retrofitting the attached garage into workshop space for casting calls, filmmaker workshops and more! See up to date progress by clicking here!

There's still an enormous amount of work ahead of us and some major elements we're unable to afford. If you can help offset costs for any of the following, please let us know or contribute online at our capital campaign page.
Drop ceiling for back room ($2,000). New flooring for main office ($2,500) and box office ($1,500).


Mark Your Calendars - July 9: Inaugural Spirit of Woodstock Benefit on the Hudson

The Woodstock Film Festival inaugural Spirit of Woodstock Benefit on the Hudson, Saturday July 9 at 7 PM at a magnificent penthouse loft on the Hudson River. Once an old piano factory, this newly renovated space features a rooftop entertainment area offering panoramic views of the river.

Mr. Michael Lang, originator of the 1969 Woodstock Arts and Music Festival and the evening’s honoree, will be presented with the first annual Spirit of Woodstock Award. The night will feature live music, entertainment, and a creative, fun dinner generously provided by Celebrity Caterer Mary Giuliani. From NYC and the Hudson Valley, musicians, actors, filmmakers, artists, art lovers and movers and shakers are invited to celebrate in this special tribute! Stay Tuned for more information.


WFF at Tribeca

Meira Blaustein, Exec Director of The Woodstock Film Festival is planning her festival visit -- this time to the Tribeca Film Festival. Each year, Meira previews some of the Summer's top indie films at the NYC-based film fest, which has screened over 1200 films from over 80 countries since its first festival in 2002.

This year, Tribeca is highlighting many films with WFF and Hudson Valley Connections, and Meira cannot wait to attend their screenings!

Higher Ground

Shot in the Hudson Valley last summer, resident actress - turned director Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air) makes her directorial debut and stars in the adaptation of Carolyn S. Briggs' memoir. Set in a tight-knit spiritual community at the height of feminism in the 1960-70s, Higher Ground is an exquisite study of one woman's internal struggle with love and relationships. Farmiga delivers a nuanced performance straight from the gut, with compelling support from John Hawkes, Donna Murphy, Bill Irwin, and Joshua Leonard. (courtesy Tribeca)

The Last Right of Joe May

The Last Right of Joe May, by WFF Alumn Joe Maggio (2010's Bitter Feast) is the story of small-time Chicago hustler Joe May (the incomparable Dennis Farina). Joe always felt like a great destiny awaited him, but with his health ailing and his age advancing, he's never looked more like a bum. Broke and evicted, he's taken in by a troubled young mother and daughter, in whom he finds one last shot to be a hero. Pulsing with the spirit of classic urban dramas, The Last Rites of Joe May is a subtle, sophisticated tale of redemption. (courtesy Tribeca)

The Bully Project

Directed by WFF Alum Lee Hirsh (Amandla! Revolution in Four-Part Harmony), The Bully Project is not your typical schoolyard documentary. More than 18 million young people in the U.S. will be bullied this year. This alarming documentary takes us into a disquieting year in the life of several students joining this staggering statistic. As teachers and parents struggle to find the answers, the students do what they can to survive a school day. Rare access and emotionally charged footage offer a never-before-seen exploration of America's bullying crisis and a necessary call to action. (courtesy Tribeca)

The Newlyweds

Ed Burns, who brought Nice Guy Johnny to 2010 WFF, is world-premiering his latest flick The Newlyweds at Tribeca. When you get married, you're not just getting a husband or wife-you get the family, the friends, even the exes. With crackling humor and sharp insights into modern relationships, writer/director Edward Burns tracks a newly wedded couple whose honeymoon period is upended by the arrival of the husband's wild-child baby sister and the crumbling marriage of the wife's meddlesome sister. Burns, Caitlin FitzGerald, Max Baker, Marsha Dietlein Bennett, and Kerry Bishé star.(courtesy Tribeca)

The Magic Valley

As one warm October day unfolds, the sleepy town of Buhl, Idaho will never be the same. The latest from WFF Alumn Heather Rae (The Dry Land, First Circle), The Magic Valley tells the tale of a fish farmer who finds his crop destroyed, a couple of kids are playing an unusual game in the sun-dappled fields, and after a wild party a sleepless teenager is harboring an awful secret... First-time director Jaffe Zinn presents an atmospheric picture of small-town life with a sharp eye and assured hand.(courtesy Tribeca)

A Good Old Fashioned Orgy

Jason Sudeikis leads an ensemble cast of bright comic talents as Eric, a thirty-something party animal famous among his close circle of friends for his lavish summer theme parties at his father's swanky Hamptons pad. But when members of the crew start settling down, and Eric's dad announces plans to sell the beach house, Eric decides it's time for one last party to go out with a proverbial bang—a good old fashioned orgy. With Lindsay Sloane, Lucy Punch, Leslie Bibb, Lake Bell, Tyler Labine, and Will Forte.Co -directed by festival friend Liza Burnett Fefferman, A Good Old Fashioned Orgy is making its North American premiere at Tribeca. (courtesy Tribeca)


The latest from producer Jen Gatien (2010 Soho House Benefit hit Holly Rollers), Limelight is a documentary about the King of the NY club scene. As the owner of legendary hotspots like Limelight, Tunnel, Palladium, and Club USA, Peter Gatien unstoppable—until years of legal battles led to his eventual deportation to Canada. This exuberant documentary charts Gatien's rise and fall against the transformation of New York City, offering a wild ride through a now-closed chapter in the history of NYC nightlife. From the director of Cocaine Cowboys. (courtesy Tribeca)


Detachment features festival friend and actress Reagan Leonard and is produced by festival friend Peter Sterling (currently producing Predisposed). Director Tony Kaye (American History X) creates a unique and stylized portrait of the American education system through the eyes of a closed-off substitute teacher (Adrien Brody) whose stoic view on life is impacted by a student, a fellow teacher, and a teenage runaway at the failing public school to which he's assigned. The astounding ensemble cast includes Marcia Gay Harden, Lucy Liu, Blythe Danner, James Caan, Tim Blake Nelson, William Petersen, and Bryan Cranston. (courtesy Tribeca)

Catching Hell

Barely coming off the commotion stirred up from his last documentary Client 9, Oscar®-winning director Alex Gibney brings Catching Hell to Tribeca.

It's the pop fly that will live in infamy. When Chicagoan Steve Bartman fatefully deflected a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, the city's long-suffering Cubs fans found someone new to blame for their cursed century without a World Series title. Gibney explores the psychology of die-hard sports fans, the frightening phenomenon of scapegoating, and the hysteria that turned mild-mannered Bartman into the most hated man in Chicago. (courtesy Tribeca)

Semper Fi: Always Faithful

Master Sergeant Jerry Ensminger's loyalty was always to the Marine Corps. But after his nine-year-old daughter died of a rare type of leukemia, Jerry's relentless search for answers leads to a shocking discovery exposing one of the largest water contamination sites in U.S. history. Living by the Marine creed, this drill instructor-turned-activist puts his own pain aside and takes on the top brass in an impassioned struggle for justice on behalf of his fellow soldiers and family. Making its World Premiere, Semper Fi is the product of festival friends and alumni producers Todd & Jedd Wider and director Rachel Lebiert (Beyond Conviction).(courtesy Tribeca)




Early Bird Deadline for Entry Submissions: May 6!

Each year film and music lovers from around the world gather at the Woodstock Film Festival for an innovative variety of films, first-class concerts, workshops, celebrity-led panels, an awards ceremony, and fantastic parties.

Be a part of the 12th Annual Woodstock Film Festival
, September 21-25, 2011. For information about submitting your film, visit our Call for Entries

“The Woodstock Film Festival is always a pleasure to attend, and the talent that is showcased always amazes me. It's a wonderful and important showcase for any independent filmmaker.” -Steve Buscemi

"The Woodstock Film festival is among the finest of a dying breed: a festival that isn't trying to sell you anything, but simply and beautifully celebrating the art & craft of filmmaking."
-Ethan Hawke

"... It's just a straight up, wonderful event. Over the last decade you have built this into a truly great festival." -Peter Saraf, producer (Our Idiot Brother, Little Miss Sunshine, Adapatation)

"We could not have had a better time. Woodstock is an incredible film festival and we are so honoured to have had the opportunity to be a part of it. It was a delight to share our film with such passionate audiences in a community that embraces independent filmmaking and we are absolutely glowing from winning the Best Feature Narrative Award. Thank you so much for everything!" -Eleanor Burke and Ron Eyal, Stranger Things (Lee Marvin Award Winner at 2010 Woodstock Film Festival)


The Woodstock Film Festival and grant maker Lowel-Light, will once again support, promote and reward the next generation of inspired filmmakers with their annual award.

In memory of Diane Seligman , a beautiful person who celebrated life in the way she lived, and for all those who knew Diane and in whom she lives, the DIANE SELIGMAN AWARD is presented to the "Best Short Narrative" and "Best Student Short" to honor films that are vibrant, life affirming and created by filmmakers filled with energy, creativity and passion. Diane lived in the moment, in the flow, in harmony with the life force & source with grace and dignity. She was grateful for every day.

2010 winners of the Dianne Seligman Awards included Gof of Love by Luke Matheny (Best Student Short), Hirosaki Players by Jeff Sousa (Best Short) and Roscoe Holcomb from Daisy Kentucky by John Cohen (best short Doc). God of Love went on to win the 2011 Oscar for Best live action short.