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WFF presents local filmmaker Tracy Christian and Street Journeys — her uplifting film of hope — at Upstate Films, Woodstock, Saturday March 2 at 2:30pm.
Peter Travers of "Rolling Stone" called Street Journeys "an exhilarating documentary that speaks to the nurturing power of art...prepare to be wowed."
In the heart of Nairobi, where abandoned children wander the streets with no relief from the grim realities of poverty, hope for the future is dim, until renowned Kenyan actress Anne Wanjugu restores the children's spirit through the healing power of theater. But when an unexpected event puts their resilience to the test, it’s up to the children to draw on their strength, and glean lessons of faith, family, and the rising of the spirit without their mentor.
To purchase tickets click HERE.
|HVPG: THE BRASS TEAPOT
The Hudson Valley Programmers Group presents The Brass Teapot at two local venues.
The film, which was shot in the Hudson Valley stars Juno Temple (The Dark Knight Rises) and Michael Angarano. Director Ramaa Mosley's feature debut is a magical dark comedy that reminds us to be careful what we wish for. John (Angarano) and Alice (Temple) live in small town America- married, very much in love, and broke. Once voted "most likely to succeed," Alice struggles to make ends meet while her friends enjoy the good life. Her husband John, neurotic and riddled with phobias, just wants to get the bills paid. But an accident leads them to a roadside antique shop where Alice is spontaneously drawn to a mysterious brass teapot. It isn't long before they realize that this is no ordinary teapot and that perhaps they have found the answer to all of their financial woes...
To purchase tickets online, visit HVPG. Proceeds benefit participating venues.
Members of the cast and crew will be in attendance. Details to follow.
The Hudson Valley Programmers Group (HVPG) administers a year round touring exhibit
Shawn accepting awards in Woodstock
and at Oscars®
The winner of the Diane Seligman Award for BEST SHORT at the 2012 WFF (CURFEW) won the OSCAR. That's twice in three years. GOD OF LOVE won the Diane Seligman Award for Best Student Short at the 2010 WFF prior to winning Oscar®.. In 2011 WFF short selection TIME FREAK was honored with an Oscar nomination but no win.
So the big question is, who will win best short film at the 2013 WFF and will they be OSCAR contenders in 2014? Stay tuned to find out.
Other Hudson Valley Oscar® winners included Ang Lee (best director) for LIFE OF PI and Vassar's Anne Hathaway (LES MISERABLES).
We were pulling for MONDAY'S AT RACINE and KING'S POINT for best short doc since both screened at WFF 2012, but were still thrilled that the OSCAR went to INOCENTE. Filmmakers Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine who won the Haskell Wexler Award at Woodstock Film Festival in 2007.
It's March and that means it's once again time for the SXSW Film Festival to hit the streets of Austin, Texas.
As always WFF will be following the filmmakers that have made our festival great over the years as well as the people who live in the Hudson Valley and the films that have shot here.
If you are in Austin enjoying the films and the music send us a tweet or post on our Facebook page and let us know. Make sure to check out our full page AD in the program guide.
|SXSW NARRATIVE COMPETITION
Destin Daniel Cretton is back with his second narrative feature after last year's I Am Not a Hipster, which screened at WFF 2012.
Short Term 12 is told through the eyes of Grace (Brie Larson), a twenty-something supervisor at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers. Passionate and tough, Grace is a formidable caretaker of the kids in her charge – and in love with her long-term boyfriend and co-worker, Mason (John Gallagher Jr). But Grace’s own difficult past – and the surprising future that suddenly presents itself – throw her into unforeseen confusion, made all the sharper with the arrival of a new intake at the facility: a gifted but troubled teenage girl with whom Grace has a charged connection. READ MORE...(Courtesy SXSW)
|SXSW DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
Directors AJ Schnack and David Boone Wilson's are teaming up for a new documentary. Schnack directed the 2009 film Convention about the 2008 Democratic Convention, which had its NY Premiere at WFF 2009. Wilson served as the Cinematographer on that film.
Now the pair are co-directing a story of family, community, music and tradition set against the backdrop of Branson, Missouri, a remote Ozark Mountain town that is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the United States. Here, millions from around the country, and particularly from the American Midwest, flock for a return to "old fashioned, traditional values" and the family-style entertainment of Branson's 100+ staged music shows, many of which feature families performing together. READ MORE... (Courtesy SXSW)
Joe Swanberg's Nights and Weekends was featured at WFF 2007 and the prolific director and actor has now churned out his 16th feature film in just 8 years.
Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson) work together at a craft brewery. They have one of those friendships that feels like it could be something more. But Kate is with Chris (Ron Livingston), and Luke is with Jill (Anna Kendrick). And Jill wants to know if Luke is ready to talk about marriage. The answer to that question becomes crystal clear when Luke and Kate unexpectedly find themselves alone for a weekend. READ MORE... (Courtesy SXSW)
Neil Labute's short BFF was an official selection of WFF 2012 and now the controversial playwright and filmmaker returns to feature filmmaking with a script based on his own play Some Girls. The pic is directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer (Party Girl).
The film follows a successful writer (Adam Brody) who, on the eve of his wedding, travels across the country to meet up with ex-lovers in an attempt to make amends for past relationship transgressions. Crisscrossing from Seattle to Boston, he reunites with high school sweetheart Sam (Jennifer Morrison), sexually free-spirited Tyler (Mía Maestro), married college professor Lindsay (Emily Watson), his best friend’s little sister Reggie (Zoe Kazan), and “the one that got away" Bobbi (Kristen Bell). READ MORE... (Courtesy SXSW)
|SXSW DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT
PJ Raval's fascinating documentary Trinidad was an official selection of WFF 2008 and the filmmaker returns with another LGBTQ documentary focusing on an often neglected segment of the population...seniors.
There are an estimated 2.4 million lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans over the age of 55. LGBTQ seniors are 5 times less likely to access social services than their heterosexual counterparts, half as likely to have health insurance coverage, and 10 times less likely to have a caretaker if they fall ill. In response to inequities in care, LGBTQ seniors turned to each other for a solution. Some organized to build retirement facilities; others worked within their cities to create a support network. READ MORE... (Courtesy SXSW)
Animator Danny Madden breaks out of the animated world to write and direct his first feature film. His animated short (notes on) Biology was part of the 2012 WFF Animation program.
Stale sounds of the suburbs send a teenager out with a sound recorder in search of better ones. Listening with this device he begins to build his own soundscape and drift away from his surroundings. His dependence on the recorder affects his relationship with a charismatic girl and he struggles to re-engage with the world around him READ MORE... (Courtesy SXSW)
|SXSW 24 BEATS PER SECOND
"Twenty Feet from Stardom" follows several diverse and gifted backup singers living in the shadows of super stardom. These singers belong to the first family of American voice and represent a range of styles throughout late 20th Century music. Their stories resonate with themes of sacrifice, triumph, stardom, and the glory of achieving that perfect blend of harmony. Their voices are indelible, but their names remain unrecognized. READ MORE... (Courtesy SXSW)
This short thriller by part time Hudson Valley resident and 2011 WFF Alum Vladimir de Fontenay (New Skin) was also shot locally and features a number of local actors including WFF co-founder Laurent Rejto!
Mobile Homes follows Ali, a young mother trapped in human trafficking. Constantly moving from city to city, she is transported with her 7-year-old son Alex. As she survives day to day, Alex explores mobile home sales-lots in the hopes of establishing a permanent home. READ MORE... (Courtesy SXSW)
Another 2011 WFF Alum, Lauren Wolkstein, whose creepy short The Strange Ones (co-directed with Christopher Radcliffe) had audiences talking, hits SXSW with another taut drama.
A 30-year-old American woman enters a teenage party in the South of France. Some of the guests wonder who she is and what she is doing there. READ MORE... (Courtesy SXSW)
WFF's Music Director Paul Green is opening his much anticipated music school, the Paul Green Rock Academy Monday March 4th. The Academy is for kids ages 8 - 18 and will be housed at the Peterson House in the Bearsville Theater complex. Among the teachers are accomplished musicians and WFF's friends and alums including Lindsey Webster, Connor Kennedy and Tracy Bonham Fine. The first performance by the students will be Pink Floyd's The Wall.
Electrick Children- March 8
2012 WFF Official Selection Electrick Children begins a limited theatrical run March 8 in NY.
The power of music can be a transformative force, but 15 year old Rachel, a young girl from a fundamentalist Mormon sect, believes it has the power to create life. Sheltered from the outside world, Rachel discovers rock music for the first time and is enraptured by the soulful singing emanating from the speakers. So enraptured, that upon learning that she is pregnant three months later, she comes to believe the music she heard is the cause of the new life growing inside of her. Escaping the marriage arranged for her, Rachel heads out in search of the voice on the tape that was responsible for her immaculate conception. Up and coming star Julia Garner dazzles as Rachel as she takes a life altering road trip to the city of Sin and discovers the world beyond her previously sheltered existence.
Mariachi Gringo- March 15
2012 WFF Official Selection Mariachi Gringo is beginning its limited theatrical run in the US this month with screenings in several cities across the country including a date at the Jackson Heights Cinema in Queens. The film is directed by two time WFF alum Tom Gustafson and stars Shawn Ashmore as a wannabe American Mariachi singer.
What happens when a born and raised Kansas boy turns thirty and hits his limit? He runs away to Mexico in hopes of becoming a professional Mariachi musician, of course! Director Tom Gustafson, whose feature debut Were the World Mine was a smash hit at WFF 2008, captures the beauty of Mexico and the glory of following one’s dreams despite the cost in his sophomore film Mariachi Gringo. Gustafson’s Mariachi Gringo, avoids the cliché’s of a runaway story and leaves audiences with an honest and emotionally moving account of what it takes to follow your heart and achieve your dreams.
|ON DVD and VOD
California Solo- March 5
The 2012 Woodstock Film Festival film that received both the Maverick Award Winner for BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE (sponsored by Gigantic Pictures) and Best Editing Award (sponsored by Technicolor/PostworksNY) will soon be available on DVD.
When you reach the top, is there anywhere to go but down? Former Britpop rock star Lachlan MacAldonich, in a sublime performance by Robert Carlyle, finds himself at this precipice as a once promising music career is now awash in booze and self- loathing. Director Marshall Lewy’s, sophomore effort is a moving departure from his feature debut, the comedy Blue State. Lachlan, now a farm manager in southern California, faces deportation after another ill-fated night of drinking and driving. In an effort to stave off expulsion from the U.S. he must reconnect with his ex-wife and the daughter he barely knows and finally face the demons he has been avoiding to reclaim a life teetering on the edge. –Michael Burke
Kumaré- March 12
*2011 WFF Official Selection
The search for spiritual fulfillment becomes grist for the mill as Hindu-American skeptic Vikram Gandhi sets out on a grand experiment to prove that religious leaders are no better than the rest of us. Vikram, through a few cosmetic changes, transforms himself, becoming the guru Sri Kumaré. Accompanied by two colleagues, the newly minted guru heads for Phoenix. His teaching? Illusion is truth, and truth is illusion, and that we don't need gurus to make ourselves happy. He soon attracts a following and Kumaré becomes a mirror for the observer. Ironically, one of his followers proclaims, "There's nothing phony about him." But what happens when the "holy man" must reveal the "hoax?" And will the student become the teacher? An orgiastic sound healing session is just one of the many delights in this smart and very funny film, part Zelig with a nod to a kinder, gentler Borat.
Kumaré is currently available for steaming on Amazon instant video.
Bachelorette- March 19
2012 WFF Sponsor and Hudson Valley production company BCDF's latest hit and 2012 Sundance favorite Bachelorette will drop on DVD March 19. You can already watch it streaming on Amazon.
On the night before an old friend’s wedding, three frisky bridesmaids go searching for a little fun but find much more than they bargained for. With lovely Becky (Rebel Wilson) set to marry her handsome sweetheart, the remaining members of her high school clique reunite for one last bachelorette bacchanal in the Big Apple. Regan (Kirsten Dunst) is an overachieving, Uber-Maid of Honor who’s secretly smarting over the fact that she’s not the first to marry, while Gena (Lizzy Caplan) is a whip smart sarcastic who’s actually a closet romantic, and Katie (Isla Fisher) is a ditzy beauty who loves the good life. Based on her critically acclaimed play “Bachelorette,” Leslye Headland writes and directs this razor-sharp comedy about women on the verge of hilarious breakdowns, spectacular breakthroughs, and even closer friendships.
Hudson Valley resident Christina Vinsick wrote, directed and starred in this locally produced feature film. The pic was produced through her Folded Leaf production company and now, after a successful crowd funding campaign it will have an online and DVD release.
"Overall, the performances do a great job of straddling that line between truth and dramatic development. There are some missteps here or there, some dialogue that is a bit too on the nose for its own good, but overall everyone is solid. Besides, how can you go wrong with a cameo from John Heard, right?
Still, this is Christina Vinsick's film from start to finish, not just because she portrays Charlie but also because she wrote and directed the film. To which she does a great job all around; this is not a vanity or ego piece where the writer/director cast themselves to show how great they are. She delivers an honest human in Charlie, and a film that I know many can relate to, even if we hope they didn't." Read the FILM THREAT review.
The Woodstock Film Festival's Call for Entries is open! Hurry over to woodstockfilmfestival.com and submit your feature, short, music video or teen film for consideration for the 14th Annual Woodstock Film Festival taking place October 2-6, 2013. You can also submit through Withoutabox.com It’s shaping up to be our best year yet and we want you to be a part of it.
Honoring unique vision and artistic quality, WFF's COMPETITIVE Maverick Awards are presented for Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Short Documentary, Best Short Film, Best Student Film, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Animation. Cash, prizes and/or services valued at well over $50,000 are given out. Audience Awards are presented for Best Feature and Best Documentary.
|HUDSON VALLEY FILM COMMISSION NEWS
The Hudson Valley Film Commission is currently working on over 40 projects including feature films, shorts, muic videos and photo shoots for the Hudson Valley region. Keep checking our Facebook page for updates.
If you're a SAG - AFTRA actor make sure your listing on our webpage is up to date with all your current information.
The Hudson Valley Film Commission offers services free of charge and relies on government grants and private contributions to sustain its mission.
We would like to welcome back Gigantic Pictures to the 2013 Woodstock Film Festival. The company will once again be sponsoring the Gigantic Pictures Narrative Feature Award with a $5000 cash prize going to the winner of the top Narrative film. The Award in 2012 was presented to California Solo.
Gigantic Pictures is an active producer of low and mid-level budgeted feature films and documentaries. They can take you from idea to delivery, supervising all aspects of the filmmaking process including budgeting, scheduling, pre-production, production and post-production.