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Happy New Year!





The Comedy


Keep the Lights On















Meira in Sundance in 2011
Oh, what lengths we go to, to bring the best in film to Woodstock!




Happy New Year to all of our colleagues, supporters and friends. We hope your 2012 is off to a great start!

While many of us think about the upcoming elections, climate change, economy issues and other things that we should all do our part for and take care of (it is our beautiful planet people!), we at WFF also think about other "important" things such as what we're going to pack as we gear up towards our annual pilgrimage to Park City, Utah - one pair of Long Johns? Two, three or more?

Soon thousands of filmmakers, actors, industry members, press and film lovers from all over the world will converge in that snowy resort town to see this year's most promising crop of new films from the U.S. and abroad. Deals will be made on the slopes and in backrooms of some of the hottest parties; new talented filmmakers will be discovered; projects will be kicked off, moving audiences, industry members and distributors alike; careers will be launched and ideas will be exchanged.

As in the past, the 2012 Sundance Lineup is packed with Woodstock Film Festival friends and alumni, films and filmmakers from New York's beautiful Hudson Valley region.

Our pals Ron Nyswaner and Phil Dorling will world premiere their directorial debut Predisposed starring our good friend Melissa Leo, as well as Jesse Eisenberg and Tracy Morgan. The film was produced by Hudson Valley's own film studio BCDF, headed by our friends Claude and Brice Dal Farra. Two other BCDF films will make their world premieres in Sundance, Bachelorette and Liberal Arts. We can't wait to see all three!

One of WFF's founding members of its Advisory Board, producer Peter Saraf will see Safety Not Guaranteed take its bow, while another board member, producer Stephen Nemeth's film The Surrogate makes its world premiere. Mark and Jay Duplass will see their thriller Black Rock on the big screen for the first time. Meanwhile WFF friend Ira Sachs flips the switch on his film Keep the Lights On, which was shot in part here in the Hudson Valley with support from the Hudson Valley Film Commission. The Festival's long time wild and wacky friends Larry Fessenden and Brent Kunkle will be looking for laughs with the world premiere of The Comedy, and another set of compatriots, the dynamic duo of the documentary film world, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, will tip off with DETROPIA. Can't wait to see them all! See details and comments from the filmmakers on these films and more below.

WFF's Co-Founder & Executive Director Meira Blaustein will be on hand Jan 19-26 along with WFF Operations Director Heidi Johnson.

WFF Board Member Steven Hays of 120dB Films will also be in Park City. Along with the NYS Governor's Office for Motion Picture & Television Development, 120dB Films will host a brunch celebration for the Woodstock Film Festival and the Hudson Valley Film Commission.

If you are interested in attending our WFF/HVFC Brunch Celebration, setting up a meeting, sending Meira and Heidi party invites (don't be shy, 5 parties a day just isn't enough…), discussing film submissions, sponsorship opportunities or producing your next film in the Hudson Valley, feel free to get in touch. You can contact Meira at meira[at] and Heidi at heidi[at]

For Meira's daily reports from Sundance, check the WFF blog, the Poughkeepsie Journal and their blog Peace Love and Movies. Listen for live radio interviews with Meira from Sundance on WAMC Northeast Public Radio's Roundtable, on Up and Running with Rick on WKZE and on Mornings with Gattine on WDST.

Happy New Year everyone, see you all at the movies!



Starring Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth,
Brit Marling, Nate Parker, Laetitia Casta


Nicholas Jarecki (WFF Alum Director, The Outsider) makes waves with this taut and alluring suspense thriller about love, loyalty, and high finance. Arbitrage—buying low and selling high—depends on a person's ability to determine the true value of any given market. It's a talent that has made billionaire hedge fund magnate Robert Miller the very portrait of success in American business. But on the eve of his sixtieth birthday, Miller finds himself desperately trying to sell his trading empire to a major bank before the extent of his fraud is discovered. When an unexpected bloody error challenges his perception of what things are worth, Miller finds that his business is not the only thing hanging in the balance.... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)

Starring Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan,
James Marsden, Adam Scott, Kyle Bornheimer


Bachelorette is one of three highlights this year from friends at BCDF Pictures - producers Brice and Claude Dal Farra and Lauren Munsch along with their colleagues Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Jessica Elbaum.

WFF chatted with BCDF Principal and Bachelorette Producer Claude Dal Farra. What makes this film special? "Bachelorette is the funniest script that has come to us. We fell in love with it and its brilliant first-time director [Leslye Headland]. The cast of course is also amazing and hilarious—they reminded me of some friends I have back home in France!"

Regan is used to being first at everything. Imagine her horror and chagrin when she finds out the girl everyone called Pig Face in high school is going to tie the knot before she does! But Regan sucks it up and takes on bridesmaid duties along with her childhood pals: substance-abusing, promiscuous Gena and ditsy Katie. The single ladies are determined to put their bitterness aside and have an awesomely hedonistic bachelorette party.... READ MORE... (courtesy Sundance)

Starring Robert Carlyle, Alexia Rasmussen,
Kathleen Wilhoite, A Martinez,
Michael Des Barres, Danny Masterson

California Solo

From the Director of Future Imperfect (WFF Official Selection 2005) comes California Solo. Lachlan MacAldonich is a self-described "lazy Scotsman" and former guitar player for a once-popular 1990s rock band. No longer famous, he now lives a comfortably numb existence working on an organic farm outside Los Angeles. He drinks himself into a stupor every night and retires to his shabby apartment to record his podcast, recounting the tragic deaths of great musicians... READ MORE...(Courtesy Sundance)

Starring: Graham Phillips, David Duchovny,
Vera Farmiga, Ty Burrell, Justin Kirk, Keri Russell


Having a self-absorbed New Age mother (played by Hudson Valley Resident and Friend Vera Farmiga) and an estranged father means 15-year-old Ellis Whitman has grown up relying on an unconventional guardian: a goat-trekking, marijuana-growing sage called Goat Man. So when Ellis decides to leave the alternative ways of his desert homestead for a stuffy East Coast prep school, major changes are in store. But not in the way you'd think. Though often stoned, the exceedingly smart and capable Ellis effortlessly aces school and excels at track. As the year progresses, it's his relationships with the adults in his life that test him, challenging his beliefs about responsibility and trustworthiness... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)

Hit RECord at the Movies with Joseph Gordon-Levitt

WFF welcomed Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 2002 with the film Manic and now we're cheering him on in his new venture. He has built a production company around a beautiful idea. Launched at the 2010 New Frontier at the Sundance Film Festival, is an online community that brings artists from around the world together to work on each other’s projects. A writer can submit a story from Berlin, and someone in Cupertino can illustrate it, while musicians from Dublin, Istanbul, and Kansas, contribute to the soundtrack. Since its launch, the hitRECord community has grown to include 70,000 artists with hundreds of projects being produced in collaboration with their artistic director, Regular JOE... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)

Starring Josh Radnor, Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins,
Allison Janney, John Magaro, Elizabeth Reaser

Liberal Arts

The second Sundance Selection to come from our friends and BCDF Pictures Producers Claude and Brice Dal Farra and Lauren Munsch, Liberal Arts also features Production Design by Woodstock Native Jade Healy.

We asked Claude about the cast. "It's great to be working with Lizzie again after her fantastic performance in Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding." he told us, "And it's an absolute pleasure to have someone as multitalented as Josh Radnor as our writer, director, and co-star."

Newly single, 35, and uninspired by his job, Jesse Fisher worries that his best days are behind him. But no matter how much he buries his head in a book, life keeps pulling Jesse back. When his favorite college professor invites him to campus to speak at his retirement dinner, Jesse jumps at the chance. He is prepared for the nostalgia of the dining halls and dorm rooms, the parties and poetry seminars; what he doesn’t see coming is Zibby—a beautiful, precocious, classical-music-loving sophomore.... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)

Starring Parker Posey, Eric Mabius, Annie Parisse,
Josh Pais, Cheyenne Jackson, Edward Herrmann

Price Check

WFF Alum Parker Posey stars in Price Check, directed by Michael Walker.

Pete is a good guy who used to be cool. Once living his dream in the music industry, he now toils away in the pricing department of a failing supermarket chain to provide for his loving wife and young son. When Pete’s new boss, Susan, takes over the department, her high-energy enthusiasm and unconventional ideas start to shake things up. She aims to reinvent the company while grooming Pete for the executive fast track. Making more money now than he ever hoped to in the music industry, Pete begins to wonder if this new career is just what he needs to become the man he’s always wanted to be... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)

Starring Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon,
James Marsden, Liv Tyler, Peter Saarsgard

Robot and Frank 

Produced by Galt Niederhoffer (Jump, Lonesome Jim, Grace is Gone) and set sometime in the future, Robot and Frank is a delightful dramatic comedy, a buddy picture, and, for good measure, a heist film. Curmudgeonly old Frank lives by himself. His routine involves daily visits to his local library, where he has a twinkle in his eye for the librarian. His grown children are concerned about their father’s well-being and buy him a caretaker robot. Initially resistant to the idea, Frank soon appreciates the benefits of robotic support—like nutritious meals and a clean house—and eventually begins to treat his robot like a true companion. With his robot’s assistance, Frank’s passion for his old, unlawful profession is reignited, for better or worse... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)

Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Melissa Leo, Tracy Morgan,
Isiah Whitlock Jr., Sarah Ramos, Emma Rayne Lyle


WFF & HVFC have been following the details of Predisposed for quite some time. We are happy to announce the film's acceptance into Sundance 2012. Predisposed is based off the short film of the same name, which shot in Ulster County and screened at WFF in 2008 and Sundance in 2009. The short film, was directed by Phil Dorling, who just a few years prior had volunteered as a WFF parking lot attendant! Look at him now!

Now co-directed by Academy Award® nominee and friend Ron Nyswaner and Dorling, Predisposed, is the story of piano prodigy Eli Smith who has talent to burn, but he is constantly derailed by his troubled mother, whose vices keep getting in his way. On the day of his big audition for a prestigious music program, Eli attempts to get his life on track by taking her to rehab. Enlisting help from two hapless drug dealers, mother and son embark on a riotous journey where events spiral comically out of control. Along the way, this gang of misfits faces the mistakes of the past, the challenges of the future, and the possibilities of love... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)

The film also features the work of some other good friends. It is the third Sundance film from BCDF Pictures Producers Brice Dal Farra, Claude Dal Farra and Lauren Munsch, along with Neda Armian Paul Prokop and Nyswaner.

"It's thrilling to be going back to Utah, for my second Sundance premiere," Ron told WFF, "this time with my talented colleague, Philip Dorling, for our new feature, Predisposed, with Jesse Eisenberg, Melissa Leo (our muse and inspiration), and Tracy Morgan.  We can't wait to screen the film at Sundance and hope to have a special Woodstock Film Festival event."

When we asked producer Claude Dal Farra about his experience, he said, "Jesse, Melissa, and Tracy really made for a great team—the chemistry between them was astounding! Working with Phil and Ron was equally exciting as they were so passionate about the movie."




Ethel is the latest from Director Rory Kennedy who won WFF's Best Feature Documentary in 2003 for A Boy's Life.

It would have satisfied even the most voracious history buffs if Rory Kennedy, youngest child of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, had enlisted her mother’s perspective simply as a fresh angle on the Kennedy years. But Ethel is so much more. Intimate, humorous conversations and never-before-seen images from the family troves uncover an enthralling story of a vivacious, authentic heroine whose transformation from rambunctious Republican firecracker to savvy Democratic campaigner to socially conscious single mother of 11 arcs definitively as her husband’s drama unfolds... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)


Starring Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry

Beast of the Southern Wild

You may remember a remarkable short film, Glory at Sea, which won 2008 WFF's Diane Seligman Award for BEST SHORT. Filmmaker Benh Zeitlin is back with another beautiful film - this time a feature length, Beast of the Southern Wild.

Hushpuppy, an intrepid six-year-old girl, lives with her father, Wink, in “the Bathtub,” a southern Delta community at the edge of the world. Wink’s tough love prepares her for the unraveling of the universe; for a time when he’s no longer there to protect her. When Wink contracts a mysterious illness, nature flies out of whack—temperatures rise, and the ice caps melt, unleashing an army of prehistoric creatures called aurochs. With the waters rising, the aurochs coming, and Wink’s health fading, Hushpuppy goes in search of her lost mother.... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)

Starring Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Kate Lyn Sheil,
Alexia Rasumussen, Gregg Turkington, James Murphy

The Comedy

The Comedy is a feature from our producer friends and neighbors Brent Kunkle and Larry Fessenden (Bitter Feast). We asked Brent about his quirky film, and he said, "The news at Sundance was startling at first with such an off-beat film. We're excited to work with an emerging auteur talent in director, Rick Alverson. In today's unsettled social state, we hope The Comedy will prove deeply disturbing, yet poignant, while making you laugh, but probably for all the wrong reasons."

Indifferent even to the prospects of inheriting his father's estate, Swanson has been insulated his whole life by the bubble of privilege. He and his hipster friends live in a tepid social paradise, aka Williamsburg, where their good fortune breeds indifference and recreational cruelty. They pacify their discontent with games of mock sincerity and irreverence, as though humor itself were dying and had nothing left to do but turn on itself. Testing limits to break through their numbness, they act out like spoiled children—with ironic beards and beer bellies... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)

Starring Mark Webber, Shannyn Sossamon,
Michael Cera, Jason Ritter, Amanda Seyfried, Frankie Shaw

The End of Love

From the director of WFF 2008 Selected Feature Explicit Ills, Mark Webber, The End of Love is the story of Mark, a struggling actor stuck between the life he once knew and the one waiting for him. When the mother of his two-year-old son suddenly passes away, Mark is forced to confront his shortcomings. Their fates, now intertwined, hang in the balance as Mark grapples with his ability to grow up. When he meets Lydia, a young mother, he is no longer able to live in the comfort of denial... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)

Starring Paul Dano, Jon Heder, Jena Malone,
Margarita Levieva, Shaylena Mandigo, Julian Gamble

For Ellen
Produced by Jen Gatien (Holy Rollers)

Jen Gatien, producer of 2010 WFF Soho House Event feature Holly Rollers, has a new film starring the incredible young talent, Paul Dano. Jen spoke about her connection to the film and its location, "For Ellen was not only a very personal story for So Yong Kim as the writer/director but was also for me as we shot in the region that I was born," Jen chronicled. "After reading the script, which was written for elsewhere in the country, I asked So to consider shooting on the border of New York State and Canada with its open roads along the icy St Lawrence River. I had always wanted to return to that area to capture its beauty and stillness."

After an overnight long-distance drive, Joby (Dano) has a special meeting—with lawyers and his ex-wife. A struggling musician with the prerequisite tattoos, slimy hair, goatee, and his head firmly floating in the clouds, Joby hasn't been around to be a dad. Now is his last chance to fight for shared custody of his daughter, Ellen... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)


Starring Thure Lindhardt, Zachary Booth, Julianne Nicholson,
Souléymane Sy Savané, Paprika Steen

Keep the Lights On

Keep the Lights On chronicles the emotionally and sexually charged journey through the love, addiction, and friendship of two men. "Keep the Lights On is a film that I made from the gut. I wanted it to be as messy, sexy, open, shameless, and with as much complexity, and contradiction, as life itself." Producer Ira Sachs told WFF.

The film shot partly in the Hudson Valley with Hudson Valley Film Commission help. When we asked Sachs about his experience here, he said, "Our week of production in the Woodstock area -- including scenes at the Peekamoose Blue swimming hole and the Phoenicia Diner -- was a bit like a midsummer's nights dream. We stayed at the very welcoming Catskills Season Inn, and, away from our city lives, the boundaries came down, and we became a family. It was one of the most memorable weeks of shooting I've ever had, and I'm very pleased that some of the magic of the region made it into the movie."

The Narrative Feature is the fervent story of documentary filmmaker, Erik, and closeted lawyer, Paul, meet through a casual encounter, but they find a deeper connection and become a couple. Individually and together, they are risk takers—compulsive, and fueled by drugs and sex. In an almost decade-long relationship defined by highs, lows, and dysfunctional patterns, Erik struggles to negotiate his own boundaries and dignity and to be true to himself... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)

Starring Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass,
Jake Johnson, Karan Soni

Safety Not Guaranteed

WFF pals Jay and Mark Duplass (2005 WFF's The Puffy Chair) have teamed up with WFF Advisory Board Member Peter Saraf (2011 Sundance's Our Idiot Brother) to make yet another zany film.

"Safety is without a doubt the best time travel movie I've ever produced." Saraf explained to WFF "I'm very excited about this movie and can't wait to show it at Sundance. If we can get the time machine working again we'll be able to world premiere it at Woodstock as well."

Three magazine employees are sent to investigate a personal advertisement placed in the newspaper: guy seeking partner for time travel. They venture to the coast and set up a haphazard surveillance. Darius is recruited as the shill; her dry wit and cynical nature are perfectly suited to trap this enigmatic oddball, Kenneth, and get a good story. But it is she who first sees past the paranoid loner façade to the compelling person inside. The drawback? This still doesn't rule out the possibility that he just might be crazy... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)

Mark Duplass stars in the film in addition to Executive Producing along with his brother Jay. We asked Mark about his role in the film. "This is the first time I've played a character who is drastically different from me. For whatever reason, I have played quite a few roles that are thinly veiled versions of myself, so this one was a big challenge for me. A fun one, too." Can't wait to see it Mark!

Starring Brady Corbet, Mati Diop, Michael Abiteboul,
Constance Rousseau, Lila Salet, Solo

Simon Killer

From the Producers of Martha Marcy May Marlene (shot here in the Hudson Valley) comes Simon Killer. Both films had their sound work and mix done right in Woodstock by Coll Anderson, who also recently worked on Restrepo and Union Square (WFF2011).

A recent college graduate goes to Paris after breaking up with his girlfriend of five years. His life should be open-ended and full of promise, but he can't shake his feelings of loss. Being a stranger in a strange land only aggravates his situation. When he falls in love with a young mysterious prostitute, a fateful journey begins, though we soon learn that Simon is the one with deeper secrets... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)

Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul,
Octavia Spencer, Nick Offerman,
Megan Mullally, Mary Kay Place


Smashed is the most recent film from Director James Ponsoldt, his films Off the Black and Junebug and Hurricane both screened at WFF.

Kate and Charlie like to have a good time. Their marriage thrives on a shared fondness for music, laughter... and getting smashed. When Kate's partying spirals into hard-core asocial behavior, compromising her job as an elementary schoolteacher, something's got to give. But change isn't exactly a cakewalk. Sobriety means she will have to confront the lies she's been spinning at work, her troubling relationship with her mother, and the nature of her bond with Charlie... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)

Starring John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy

The Surrogate

WFF Advisory Board Member and friend Stephen Nemeth is back at Sundance with another Feature. We asked him how he feels about his latest venture, "I feel more connected to this film than any I have ever been involved with…it's a true and amazing story about a remarkable man!" Nemeth remarked. "(It's) totally tender, sweet, funny, quirky, touching, healing and personal. This was all in the script written by Ben Lewin who directed it, and the reason everyone came aboard to make this happen and we are all thrilled to be premiering in Sundance and looking forward hopefully to taking it to Woodstock as well!"

The quest for love appears insurmountable when a man confined to an iron lung determines, at age 38, to lose his virginity. Based on the autobiographical writings of Berkeley, California–based journalist and poet Mark O'Brien, The Surrogate chronicles his attempt to transcend the limbo between childhood and adulthood, in which he is literally trapped. With the blessing of an unusual priest and support from enlightened caregivers, the optimistic and always droll O'Brien swallows his fear and hires a sex surrogate... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)

Check out the Sundance Video: Meet the Artist to learn more about Ben Lewin and The Surrogate.




WFF veteran doc Producer/Directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady have brought to the table yet another raw and emotional portrait - DETROPIA. We had a moment to chat with Rachel on her hopes in bringing the film to Woodstock.

"Being a documentary filmmaker is truly one of the best professions I could ever imagine and Heidi and I are thrilled and excited to share our latest DETROPIA with the world this winter," Rachel expressed to WFF. "Hopefully we will be at Woodstock 2012 with it as well, so we can have a proper 'home screening' with it!"

Detroit's story has encapsulated the iconic narrative of America over the last century— the Great Migration of African Americans escaping Jim Crow; the rise of manufacturing and the middle class; the love affair with automobiles; the flowering of the American dream; and now . . . the collapse of the economy and the fading American mythos. With its vivid, painterly palette and haunting score, DETROPIA sculpts a dreamlike collage of a grand city teetering on the brink of dissolution... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)

The House I Live In

Eugene Jarecki (2010 WFF's Freakonomics)'s seminal film Why We Fight dissected the underbelly of the American war machine. Now, with scalpel-like precision, Jarecki turns his lens on a less visible war—one that is costing more lives, destroying more families, and quickly becoming a scourge on the soul of American society. In the past 40 years, the War on Drugs has accounted for 45 million arrests, made America the world's largest jailer, and destroyed impoverished communities at home and abroad. Yet drugs are cheaper, purer, and more available today than ever. Where did we go wrong, and what can be done?... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)

We're Not Broke

Associate Producer and WFF Vet Paul Rachman gets together with his wife Director Karin Hays and co-director Victoria Bruce for this latest econ-exposé. With the United States in the grip of the worst economic recession since the Great Depression and an unprecedented budget deficit, the conclusion that our country is broke seems unquestionable. At least that's what politicians and pundits want ordinary citizens to believe as they call for massive spending cuts.

Hayes and Bruce's searing doc reveals that, strangely absent from this rhetoric, is the infuriating fact that multibillion-dollar corporations are based in the U.S., make money from American consumers, and often even receive lucrative contracts from the government, yet pay nothing in U.S. income taxes. By exploiting tax-law loopholes and spending millions on lobbyists to pressure politicians to protect their interests, corporations pocket billions while the less-connected middle class disappears, and the poor get poorer... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)



Chris Messina, Marin Ireland

28 Hotel Rooms

Woodstock's Joey Carey of Sundial Pictures (Pariah) is one of the executive producers of 28 Hotel Rooms by Matt Ross.

28 Hotel Rooms is a love story, a new romantic film. It's the portrait of a relationship - seen through the prism of an affair that takes place in a series of hotel rooms – over the course of 15 years.

A man and a woman, both 25 years old, meet in an empty bar in a city in which neither lives. Soon drunk, and thinking that they'll never see each other again, they have a one-night stand.

Almost a year later, they bump into each other and sleep together again. Before even defining what they're doing, they continue to meet in hotels, in cities neither lives in, every 9 months or so. Soon, what started as a drunken chance encounter has become something neither planned for, the central relationship in their lives.

Over the course of the film, they marry other people, have children, they attempt to leave their partners and finally be together, and they fight to understand what the hell they're doing and why.

Starring Sydney Aguirre, Susan Tyrrell,
Nathan Zellner, David Zellner


Kid-Thing is the latest feature from Director David Zellner (The Virile Man played 2004 WFF). On the outskirts of Austin, 10-year-old Annie tears around on her BMX bike, hurls dough at cars, and smashes things up with her baseball bat. Her father, a goat farmer-cum-demolition derby driver, does little parenting. Annie has no friends her age, so her daily routine is filled with solitary mischief. Playing in the woods one day, she hears a woman's plaintive call for help from an abandoned well. Though Annie feels driven to visit the well daily, she is unsure about how to deal with the woman's plight... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)

Starring Mike Birbiglia, Lauren Ambrose, James Rebhorn,
Carol Kane, Cristin Milioti, Aya Cash

Sleepwalk with Me

Jacob Jaffke, producer of several WFF selected films (Off Season, Bitter Feast, The Innkeepers) is partnering with Ira Glass to bring us another witty tale.

"I'm going to tell you a story, and it's true....I always have to tell people that." So asserts comedian-turned-playwright-turned-filmmaker Mike Birbiglia directly to the viewer at the outset of his autobiographically inspired, fictional feature debut. Birbiglia wears his incisive wit on his sleeve while portraying a cinematic surrogate. We are thrust into the tale of a burgeoning stand-up comedian struggling with the stress of a stalled career, a stale relationship threatening to race out of his control, and the wild spurts of severe sleepwalking he is desperate to ignore... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)



Starring Kate Bosworth, Lake Bell,
Katie Aselton

Black Rock

Its a family affair... Black Rock is yet another product of the unstoppable duo of Jay and Mark Duplass - this time playing the roles of Executive Producer - Mark also as screenwriter and his wife Katie Aselton as Director, but it's not your typical Duplass hit.

We asked Mark to tell us why this film is so different than his previous films. "This film came out of this desire that Katie and I were having to do something completely different," he explained. "Just break out of our mold. It was so fun making this film. It was almost like we were cheating on our existing marriage to sensitive relationship movies by having a torrid affair with a thriller."

Sarah invites her old friends, Abby and Lou, on a reunion trip to a remote island in Maine. There will be laughter, tears, and a boozy catharsis. It's the sort of weekend that can transform the three into fully realized, grown-ass women. You already know this movie, right? Wrong.

Emotional release will come, but this is no weepy ballad of reconciliation. Working from a script by her husband, Mark Duplass, Katie Aselton returns to the Festival with a taut, satisfying thriller... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)

Shut Up and Play the Hits

2007 WFF Honorary Maverick Award Recipient Christine Vachon plays the role of Executive Producer on this Midnight flick.

With the release of their debut album in 2005, New York City's LCD Sound system changed the face of dance music, combining equal parts punk, soul, and disco. Their devoted fan base steadily grew, bolstered by Grammy nominations and recognition as one of the best live bands in the world. In early 2011, touring to support their first Billboard Top 10 debut, LCD Sound system announced its largest gig to date—Madison Square Garden—and that the concert would be their last ever... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)


Starring Joe Swanberg, Adam Wingard, Sophia Takal, Kate Lyn Sheil, Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughes

V/H/ S

Another WFF Vet and member of Larry Fessenden's brood, Director Ti West (The Roost, Trigger Man, The Innkeepers) partners with Adam Wingard, Glenn McQuaid, Radio Silence, David Bruckner and Joe Swanberg ,to deliver V/ H/ S to the screen.

When a group of petty criminals is hired by a mysterious party to retrieve a rare piece of found footage from a rundown house in the middle of nowhere, they soon realize that the job isn't going to be as easy as they thought. In the living room, a lifeless body holds court before a hub of old television sets, surrounded by stacks upon stacks of VHS tapes. As they search for the right one, they are treated to a seemingly endless number of horrifying videos, each stranger than the last... READ MORE... (Courtesy Sundance)




Director Alex Berger (a part time Woodstocker) is a long-time chum of the fest and we asked her about making her new documentary Danland with her adult film subject. "It was a tumultuous journey making this film. Our lead character was in the [adult film] world, so i guess it should have been that his life was hectic, and that often made him difficult to find," she explained.

We asked Alex to elaborate. What did she mean, difficult to find? "It was most stressful when we traveled all the way to Vegas from NYC with a full crew...and he wouldn't return our calls for more than a 24 hour period. You and your crew are just sitting there thinking, 'I sure hope he calls me back...' But of course, I didn't just wait around. I would stake out the hotels and bars he frequented and luckily I would eventually find him."

"It was a tough film to make and a tough film to let go of, but I am ready now and excited to get people's reactions," she said. "I say this now, but, of course if they are mainly negative, I may change my mind."

Check it out at



Perfect Sense VOD January 6

Eva Green and Ewan McGregor burn up the screen in this romantic sci-fi, drama set in the near future where humans begin to lose their senses one by one.  Perfect Senseis a 2011 WFF Official Selection and a hauntingly good story of loss and love.

Perfect Sense will be available On Demand beginning January 6 and in Theaters February 10.

Higher Ground

Higher Ground January 10
Hudson Valley's Vera Farmiga's directorial debut was shot in the Hudson Valley and produced by local production company BCDF.  The Hudson Valley Film Commission was integral in aiding the production in many aspects.  

Higher Ground will be available on BluRay, DVD and Digital Download  January 10. Pre-Order Yours Today.

Bombay Beach January 17

WFF 2011 Official Selection and winner of the James Lyons Editing Award, Bombay Beach is making its way to DVD.

Decades ago, the Salton Sea, two hours outside Los Angeles, was a tourist hot spot and a symbol of 1950s-era American optimism. Now, a victim of environmental decline, it stands mostly abandoned, its boomtown communities now decaying relics of a bygone era. Visionary filmmaker Alma Ha’rel investigates one such town – Bombay Beach – and weaves together the stories of its inhabitants with surreal poetry and beauty.

Bombay Beach will be available on DVD January 17. Pre-Order Yours Today.

Another Happy Day, January 24
Ellen Barkin and Demi Moore clash in this family drama, which was an official selection of WFF 2011.  Barkin was also the recipient of the WFF Honorary Excellence in Acting Award.  Playing the excitable, emotional Lynn, Barkin is at the center of a whirlwind of a family reunion, on the eve of her estranged son’s wedding.

Another Happy Day will be available on DVD January 24, Pre-Order Yours Today.

The Lie January 24
Josh Leonard directs and stars in this drama about a lie that has troublesome consequences.  The Lie screened at WFF 2011 and also stars Jess Weixler. 

The Lie will be available on DVD January 24. Pre-Order Yours Today.

The Other F Word January 31

Have you always wanted to know what it was like to be a punk rocker?  How about having a punk rocker for a father?  In this charming and often hilarious documentary you will get both.  Meet some of the most well-known rockers of the last 20 years and discover how they have dealt with something they never considered in their youth- Fatherhood.  A 2011 WFF Official Selection, featuring the Chili Peppers' Flea, Mark Hoppus (Blink 182), Lars Fredrickson (Rancid), Fat Mike (NOFX) and many others.
The Other F Word will be available on DVD, January 31.  Pre-Order Yours Today.



WFF would like to share a very special message with you from More To Live For Producer Susan Brecker

Hi Meira,

I hope all is well.

I am thrilled to be able to write you this email; a match has been found from the testing we did at the Woodstock Film Festival!

It is too soon to tell if the person can transplant their cells, but there was a match found.

We are deeply grateful to you and your terrific staff for the great support of our film and this cause.  Please let everyone know that the WFF is responsible for, quite possibly, saving someone's life.

I will keep you posted as I learn more, and until then- thank you, thank you.

Happiest New year to you and yours.





2011 was a great and prosperous year for independent film production in the Hudson Valley, and the film commission played a major role in not only supporting filmmaking in the region but by attracting it as well. Several productions were brought to the region as a result of HVFC lobbying efforts with filmmakers and production companies. Some major productions that resulted from these efforts were Brass Teapot, In Our Nature and three productions from Germany: Das höchste Glück der Erde, Harriets Traum, Zum Teufel mit David.

December was a busy month for production, specifically for short films including Mobile Home (shooting in Ulster & Greene County), Persephone (shooting at Backstage Productions in Kingston) and Spin (filming in Columbia County).

Work for 2012 has already begun with vigor. Several features are currently making inquiries for January and February productions. For up to date posts regarding needs relating to locations, accommodations, catering, vendors, cast and crew, check out our updates on Facebook, Twitter and Blogger.

The Hudson Valley Film Commission offers services free of charge and relies on government grants and private contributions to sustain its mission. PLEASE CONSIDER making a years end contribution to the Hudson Valley Film Commission by snail mail to HVFC, PO Box 1406, Woodstock, NY 12498 or make a contribution using Paypal below.



Gold Sponsors: 120 dB Films, BCDF Pictures,

Silver Sponsors: A&E IndieFilms, TIME Magazine

Superstar Sponsors: BMI, Brooklyn Brewery, Epix HD, Ketel One Vodka, Lowel Light, DST

Award Sponsors: Gigantic Pictures, Blue Sky Studios, The Giving Back Foundation, Panavision NY

Government Support: NYSCA (New York State Council on the Arts), Dutchess County Arts Council

A complete list of sponsors is available online at WFF SPONSORS