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May 2011 NewsletterSPIRIT OF WOODSTOCK
Celebration on the Hudson
WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES
To reserve your tickets for this special event, CLICK HERE.
HUDSON VALLEY PROGRAMMERS GROUP PRESENTS SPECIAL SCREENING OF
The Hudson Valley Programmers Group is proud to announce that Emmy-Award® Winning
In 2002, 22 Palestinian and Israeli teenage girls traveled to the U.S. to participate in a women's leadership program called Building Bridges for Peace. My So-Called Enemy is about 6 of the girls and how the transformative experience of knowing their "enemies" as human beings meets with the realities of their lives at home in the Middle East over the next seven years.
WFF Presents a special screening of Salvation Boulevard
Based on the hit book by renowned Woodstock Author Larry Beinhart, Salvation Boulevard is the story of Pastor Dan, a charismatic preacher who has captivated a city with his charm. Ex-deadhead and recovering hippie Carl is one of the loyal sheep in his flock. When Dan finds himself in a compromising situation, Carl is called into service in a most unconventional way. The mega-church is cast into shadow, and a hellish storm begins brewing that could jeopardize its entire existence. The road to hell—in this case, Salvation Boulevard—is paved with good intentions—gone hysterically wrong. Director George Ratliff peels back the onion to take a satirical look at Christian fanaticism—one guilty pleasure at a time. (Synopsis courtesy of Sundance)
Salvation Boulevard stars and A-list cast including Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Greg Kinnear and Marisa Tomei.The screening will include Director George Ratliff and writer Larry Beinhart!
Stay tuned. More details to come shortly! (Special screening courtesy of IFC Films)
WFF at LAFF
Meira Blaustein, Exec Director of The Woodstock Film Festival is planning her next festival visit -- this time to the Los Angeles Film Festival. Each year, Meira previews some of the Summer's top independent films at the west-coast film fest, which has been showcasing the world’s best independent features, including premieres of smash-hits The Devil Wears Prada and Sunshine over the past 17 years.
This year, LAFF is highlighting many films with WFF and Hudson Valley Connections, and Meira cannot wait to attend their screenings!
Having its World Premiere at LAFF, Bernie is directed by Indie icon and 2008 WFF Honorary Maverick Award Recipient Richard Linklater. He returns to his Texas roots in this delightfully poker-faced black comedy—based on a true story—about East Texas assistant funeral home director Bernie Tiede, beloved for his generosity and sweet spirit. So well liked is Bernie, especially by the town’s elderly ladies, that nobody in Carthage will say a bad thing about him, even when he commits a very nasty crime. (Courtesy LAFF)
Hudson Valley's own Higher Ground is being highlighted at yet another festival! The film will be featured as part of LAFF's Summer Showcase.
Directed and starring area resident Vera Farmiga, Higher Ground is the story of Corinne, a youthful and knowledge-thirsty young woman, who, as a girl, ambivalently raises her hand in Sunday school to accept Christ as her personal savior. At that moment, she unwittingly begins an odyssey that will carry her into adulthood. Balancing her relationship with the Bible and Jesus Christ with more secular interests like Lord of the Flies and a teen rocker (who in truth reminds her a bit of the Son of God), Corinne is magnetized by the church, remaining in its orbit while stumbling through adolescent sexuality and then young motherhood. When a near-fatal accident cements her relationship with the Christian faith, things get really interesting in Farmiga's tale of one rural woman's spiritual journey. (Courtesy LAFF)
On the Ice
On the Ice is the feature version of the 2008 Diane Seligman Award for Best Student Short Film, Sikumi (On the Ice) and was a Sundance hit this past January. Now at LAFF, director Andrew Okpeaha Maclean paints the picture of the isolated, frozen town of Barrow, Alaska, where Iñupiaq teenagers Qualli and Aivaaq have grown up like brothers in a tight-knit community defined as much by ancient traditions as by hip-hop and snowmobiles. Early one morning, on a seal hunt with their friend James, a tussle turns violent, and James is killed. Panic stricken, terrified and with no one to blame but themselves, Qallii and Aivaaq lie and declare the death a tragic accident. As Barrow roils with grief and his protective father becomes suspicious, Qalli stumbles through guilt-filled days, wrestling with his part in the death.(Courtesy LAFF)
|An Ordinary Family
With the follow-up to his charming debut Chalk (Official Selection of WFF 2006), director Mike Akel has proved himself to be a filmmaker very much interested in the casual, intimate moments of the everyday. A dramedy about two brothers (one straight, one gay) driven apart by their opposing world views, An Ordinary Family introduces us to the adult children of the Biederman family as they come together for their annual vacation to relax and dig up unresolved issues. If Chalk was a playfully funny film, then An Ordinary Family is a thoughtful and bittersweet one, with Akel again emphasizing an easy rapport between his characters that feels remarkably akin to real life. (Courtesy LAFF)
Coming off the recent success at the WFF Soho House Event, hosted by 120db Films' Stephen Hays, Terri is a touching and often funny-yet awkward story of one teenage outcast.
Different in every possible way, from his weight to his refusal to wear anything but pajamas, Terri spends his days mocked at school and largely left to his own devices at home. When Mr. Fitzgerald, the school’s well-intentioned Vice Principal, turns his attentions to Terri’s antisocial eccentricities, and a popular girl suddenly becomes a pariah, Terri finds himself on an unexpected path to friendship.
Jacob Wysocki as Terri delivers an exquisitely unaffected performance and is perfectly matched by the hilarious and poignant John C. Reilly. With Terri, Mamma's Man director Azazel Jacobs and writer Patrick deWitt breathe new life into the American teen movie, reminding us that we’re all outsiders and it’s all going to be okay. (Courtesy LAFF)
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.
“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
"... 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, Adaptation)
"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)
If you haven't heard, there's a big Bill Plympton weekend at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens! Friday night is the gala book party, then Saturday is the premier of Adventures in Plymptoons by Alexia Anastasio. That night, Bill will be screening his last 2 feature films, Hair High and Idiots & Angels, so don't go to the beach and expose yourself to the harmful sun! But rather, expose your imagination to glorious animation!
Bill Plympton may be the only major animator who still hand-draws every single image of his own films. Though his approach to filmmaking may be old-fashioned, his offbeat and inventive artistic sensibility is unique. This two-day program of screenings and discussions celebrates Plympton's new book, Independently Animated. Visit Bill Plympton's website and YouTube channel.
|Playing With Parkinsons
Burrill Crohn is the award winning local documentary filmmaker whose work, mostly about music (especially jazz), has been seen on many broadcast and cable stations around the world over the past 30 years. He is now working on a new documentary, Playing with Parkinson's about legendary jazz guitarist (and all around remarkable being) Sangeeta Michael Berardi who, despite the onset of Parkinson's disease 11 years ago, continues to make music any way he can (painting and poetry, too) while living life with courage, determination, zero self-pity and plenty of joy. The next phase of the project is documenting an upcoming recoding session with Sangeeta and some of the musicians he recorded and played with in his virtuosic past. "The challenge" Sangeeta says, "will be to see whether we can merge on a new common ground based on sound, intention, and what I like to call the 'virtuosity of the soul'". You can find out more about this project at Playing With Parkinsons.
IFP’s Independent Film Week, which is currently accepting submissions for its 33rd annual forum, being held for the first time this year at Lincoln Center in New York City, September 18-22, 2011.
IFP is currently seeking entries for the following sections of the Project Forum:
BLUE SKY's Ahead!
The Woodstock Film Festival is thrilled to welcome aboard the animation giant Blue Sky Studios!
Blue Sky Studios is the Academy Award®-winning, feature CG animation studio behind the wildly successful ICE AGE franchise. Using their propriety rendering software, CGI Studio®, Blue Sky creates photo-realistic, high-resolution, computer-generated character animation and rendering to tell timeless stories to children of all ages. Blue Sky’s productions include Ice Age (2002), Robots (2005), Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006), Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who (2008), Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs (2009) and Rio, currently in theaters. Blue Sky Studios is wholly owned by Twentieth Century Fox.