HVPG PRESENTS ROCKS IN MY POCKETS - JULY 25-26
|WORKING ON THE FILM CENTER- PLEASE HELP
The Woodstock Film Festival and Hudson Valley Film Commission's Film Center is in the midst of some terrific makeovers, but we really need your help to keep the improvements going. We recently replaced our roof, which was in complete disrepair, but we have many other projects still to do including replacing the office floors and ceilings (which have begun to fall), replacing the gutters and repainting the entire exterior.
Renovations are very costly, even when most of the work is done in house.
Please consider making a donation to our Capital Campaign. to offset these costs.
|HVPG: ROCKS IN MY POCKET
This summer The Hudson Valley Programmers Group (HVPG ) will be screening Signe Baumane's first feature film, ROCKS IN MY POCKETS, as a part of its summer screening series. Baumane one of today’s boldest and most exciting animators, is an advisory board member and a ten year long animation programer for the Woodstock Film Festival, which oversees HVPG.
In the film ROCKS IN MY POCKETS Baumane creates a humorous spin on the narrative of five women in her family, each dealing with their own battle of depression and mental illness. "Rocks In My Pockets is a 100 year history of a family's mental illness told with the help of Art, Humor and Animation," said Baumane. "It covers ground from Latvia in early 1900s to New York in 2014. By showing depression as an animated character it makes it more fun. If you can visualize your depression as a funny animated character it becomes less threatening. Laugher is the best medicine, as we all know." Rather than keeping the topic of mental illness on the hush, Baumane decides to take it head on and truly venture into the depths of one's mind and environment. This animated adventure explores topics, such as war, politics, sex, and money and take the audience on one crazy ride to sanity.
More screenings TBA. Tickets available soon.
|TASTE OF WOODSTOCK RECAP
The 2015 Taste of Woodstock took place on May 20 and once again was hit with restaurants and attendees alike. We had a great time too and are so grateful to everyone that came out to taste all the wonderful foods that we provided by the 23 participating vendors. We look forward to next year, so spread the word and don’t forget to mark your calendar for the 2015 Woodstock Film Festival, September 30-October 4.
AND NOW FOR THE VOTING…
Best Side Dish:
Congratulations to all the winners, thanks again to ALL the participating restaurants: Blue Mountain Bistro-to Go, Black Eyed Suzies, Bread Alone, Catskill Mountain Pizza, Cucina,Garden Cafe, The Green Palate, Joshua's, Landau Grill, Little Apple,
The 2015 Cannes Film Festival wrapped on May 24 and some films of note were honored.
*CHRONIC co-starring Woodstock resident and festival friend Michael Christofer picked up a best screenplay award.
*CAROL garnered a best actress award for the terrific Rooney Mara. The film is produced by Woodstock Film Festival Advisory Board member Christine Vachon.
David Broza, the subject in East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem, which had its World Premiere at the 2014 Woodstock Film Festival is being honored at the Lab / Shul Gala at City Winery, NYC, with a Peacemaker Award in recognition of his passionate dedication to coexistence, compassion and peace, on Tuesday June 16th. The is being hosted by the Woodstock Film Festival's friend and supporter Michael Dorf and his wife, filmmaker Sarah Connors. This special gala event celebrating Broza’s life and work - a visionary humanitarian and global superstar- will be filled with cocktails, delicious food, the award presentation and live music from David Broza, along with Peter Yarrow and friends.
For more about the award and to purchase tickets visit the LAB/SHUL website.
Broza was raised in Israel, Spain, and England which has shown an influence over his music. His vibrant and energetic performances have been seen and heard by a worldwide audience and have received high acclaim. Broza is also a dedicated humanitarian activist and uses his music as a way to bring the message of peace to the masses. He commits a lot of time outside the music world to work on these issues; one being the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a topic he is extremely passionate about. In 2009 he was awarded a Spanish royal medal of honor for his longtime contribution for Israel-Spain relations. Broza continues to show the world the effects music can have on social change, as well as the measures an individual can go to help make a difference. For more about David Broza, visit www.davidbroza.net.
|DOCAVIV FILM FESTIVAL
1 Building and 40 People Dancing
Mazal Means Luck
Woodstock Film Festival Executive Director Meira Blaustein attended the DocAviv Film Festival last month as a juror. Below are some of her thoughts and observations.
"A few weeks ago I had the honor to attend DocAviv, a fantastic documentary film festival in Tel Aviv, Israel, where I served as one of its jurors. Based in the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, a large, modern building in the center of town, boasting 4 state of the art screening rooms, indoors and outdoors restaurants and cafes, and many other amenities, the Tel Aviv Cinematheque is a movie lover heaven showing different quality films from all over the world while creating thematic programming, lectures and guest speakers year round. Though I have frequented the Tel Aviv Cinematheque throughout my life I have never attended DocAviv and was thrilled to do so this spring as it celebrated its 10th anniversary.
One of the things that first caught my attention was the large number of attendees. Basically each screening was sold out and the place was just teeming with people from morning until night, eating and drinking at the cafes and restaurants of the Cinematheque and filling out the theaters non-stop. Conversations about the various films often spilled out into the streets and I was impressed by how engaged the Israeli audience was. I suppose my first inkling as to how successful this festival was going to be was when I attended the opening event, held at a giant hangar in the port of Tel Aviv, where at least 1,000 people were milling about. I knew then that this was going to be fun.
In addition to screenings at the Cinematheque, the festival boasts outdoor screenings each night at different cool venues throughout town, while other screenings were held at restaurants, bars and other alternative venues in different neighborhoods so that an out of towner visiting for the first time could really get to know the city just by attending the film festival.
The lineup was excellent, combining international film festivals favorites and many local gems to create a diverse and outstanding program.
My category was the student shorts. My two co-jurors, Israeli filmmakers Noam Pinchas and Avigail Sperber were a joy to work with and while we debated at length regarding the winners, we finally all came to a unanimous decision.
First prize went to the stunning film 1 Building and 40 People Dancing by Miki Polonski:
'Not often do we see a cinematic story unfold before us with such exquisite and meticulous craftsmanship and with such respect for and understanding of its subjects. 1 Building and 40 People Dancing delicately observes the residents of the public housing of Bat Yam, taking its time, resting its lens and slowly creating a tapestry of their lives, in which both people and building gently and lovingly come to life. ‘1 Building and 40 People Dancing’ demonstrates a maturity and control of the cinematic language that is rarely seen in the work of a student. We expect great things from director Miki Polonski.'
Second prize went to the beautiful Mazal Means Luck directed by Mazal Ben Yishai
'With inspiring intimacy, using an original and moving cinematic language – and completely avoiding any clichés –Mazal Means Luck tells a small story about three generations, but succeeds in filling it with vivid colors, sounds and passion. The film is devoid of any mannerism or gimmickry; it is precise, engaging, and painfully real. The director engages courageously and closely with her parents, grandparents and even herself – as if searching for a way out from her entangled family situation, hoping to find it in each wrinkle, each blink of an eye, each shadow. Mazal Means Luck is bold, original and close as any documentary should be, surpassing its categorization as a student film. We are proud to present second prize to this film and its director, and hope she continues telling us of the world around her in her original way.'
Third prize went to the imaginative Etoile, directed by Nitzan Lahav, Liat Raviv and Lee Ben.
To see the results of all the films in competition visit http://www.docaviv.co.il/2015-en/2015/05/14/winners-announced
I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS
The 2014 Woodstock Film Festival Official Selection I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS is getting it's Theatrical Release at IFC Center in NY from May 29 - June.
The word unicorn conjures up the sense of fanciful imagination and mythical realism. It also conjures up the longing for the unrealistic and unbelievable to be true. In Leah Meyerhof’s debut feature, imagination and reality become interchangeable. Davina, played with stunning range by Natalia Dyer, seeks to escape her dire life taking care of her disabled mother, by creating dreamy settings in her room and looking for romance and adventure away from home. She finds all of that, and then some, in Sterling (Peter Vack), an older “bad boy” who seems to have invented cool.
The two set off on a wild adventure where playfulness and passion collide. A celebration of color, sound and whimsy make I Believe in Unicorns something you want to believe in.
–Svetlana Krotek, Woodstock Film Festival
The 2014 Woodstock Film Festival Official Selection RUNOFF will begin screening in theaters June 26. It will be starting with a week-long run at the Village East Cinema in NYC
The beauty of the land cannot mask the brutality of a small farm town. As harvest draws near, Betty Freeman confronts a terrifying new reality. She goes to desperate lengths to save her family and must coldly decide whom to sacrifice.
First-time writer/director Kimberly Levin’s emotionally gripping debut features a riveting performance by Joanne Kelly. Shot on rural Kentucky’s working farms, invoking a kind of heartland neo-realism, Runoff combines a driven narrative urgency with a sharp, almost documentary eye. This skillfully written narrative flips the standard gender dynamic and brings unexpected insight and realism to an established genre.
The 2014 Woodstock Film Festival Official Selection UNCERTAIN TERMS will be opening in theaters June 5.
Robbie is a guy who’s looking for an escape. Venturing to Upstate New York to flee the city and complications of his marriage, he arrives at his aunt’s bucolic country home where he hopes to find room to breathe. He soon discovers that the house has been repurposed as a respite home for pregnant teenage girls. Despite doing his best to keep to himself, Robbie soon forms bonds with the girls, stirring up the kinds of emotions that he was attempting to escape and creating an upheaval of jealousy and love triangles where rest and tranquility are meant to be the norm.
Prominent Indie director, Nathan Silver, presents a film inspired by his mother’s life. Cindy Silver (Nathan’s real life mother) plays a lead role that steals the show. The rest of the cast, comprised of professionals and non actors make this gem of a film authentic. Filled to the brim with scenes that are both poetic and wrenching Uncertain Terms is an original story about how love isn’t always as easy as boy meets girl.
–Sam Robotham, Woodstock Film Festival
|FILM FESTIVAL CALL FOR ENTRIES
Awards are sponsored by:
The 16th Annual Woodstock Film Festival is now open for submissions. Our late deadline is coming up on June 5.
The Woodstock Film Festival is accepting narratives, documentaries, shorts, music videos, animation and teen films.
Cash prizes are awarded for Best Narrative, Best Documentary, Best Short Narrative, Best Short Doc, Best Student Short and for the Ultra Indie award. Additional cash and in kind awards are presented in many categories.
In addition, the Woodstock Film Festival will present a new cash prize in 2015 for the inaugural Carpe Diem Andretta Award. The Award is presented to the film that best exemplifies living life to the fullest through character and story development in a full length narrative or documentary film.
All award winners are presented with a hand made trophy in addition to cash and/or in-kind prizes.
Our remaining deadlines are:
We are looking forward to year 16, which will feature many year round events in addition to the Fall Festival, September 30 - October 4, 2015. Stay tuned!