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featuring BELA FLECK with CASEY DRIESSEN and BEN SOLLEE. (related film- Throw Down your Heart):VALERIE NARANJO, the first approved female player of the Gyil (African Xylophone), opens!

IN ARE THE EONS:  Rock Guitar Legend EARL SLICK and Singer/Songwriter SAPHIN  in a multi media musical extravaganza. Co-presented by WACBIZ. (related film- Predisposed)

A rare opportunity to experience the iconic musician/poet /cultural phenomenon in an intimate Woodstock setting. Said John Lennon - “Donovan is as important and influential as either Dylan or the Beatles”. (related film-Sunshine Superman: The Journey of Donovan)

If you missed Outernational last time they appeared at the Woodstock Film Festival, don't let it happen again. The Village Voice wrote, "Coupled with dynamic rhythms that somehow flow together like streams of water, their ripped-from-the-headlines lyrics of liberation struggle had the audience literally-at least in the case of one wild fan in a Mexican wrestling mask-hanging from the rafters."

RENNIE CANTINE AND RVR. For 12 years Rennie toured with the Butterfield Blues Band. Rip Van Ren, Rennie?s Band, features Flash on Seven String Bass. Flash has toured with Bernie Worrell and George Clinton. He brought his own band to Europe and played the main stage at Woodstock 94- fronting his own band.

(Woodstock, NY) Sept. 27, 2008: Music has been synonymous with Woodstock from even before the legendary music festival that bore its name in 1969. Host and home to musicians and artists for more than a century, the renowned Woodstock tradition is highlighted by the 2008 Woodstock Film Festival’s Focus on Music program, honoring its creative history as a center of progressive thinking, and independent spirit, explored through the medium of music- in concerts, films and panels.

WFF is proud to present musical icon Donovan,the legendary singer/songwriter/social activist, in a triple-header - in concert, on film and as our special guest on our esteemed BMI panel.  Bursting onto the international world scene in the mid-‘60s, the Scottish troubadouris perhaps best known for such iconic hits as Sunshine Superman, Mellow Yellow, Catch the Wind,  Hurdy Gurdy Man and Season of the Witch, among many other favorites. Sunshine Superman: The Journey of Donovan, a World Premiere documentary by director Hannes Rossacher,  paints an intimate portrait of Donovan, spanning four decades of peace, love and incomparable music. Narrated mostly by Donovan in a fascinating series of anecdotes and interviews- with plenty of songs - the film follows him from his early days in Glasgow, to his international success in the '60s, to the present day.  Donovan’s musical genius will also be explored when he appears as  special guest on our popular BMI Panel, hosted by Doreen Ringer-Ross.  Donovan in  Concert… Saturday, Oct. 4, 8pm at COLONY CAFÉ. Tickets are $50 cash only at door. There are limited tickets available.

Kick-starting the festival with the opening concert, Abigail Washburn andThe Sparrow Quartet featuring Bela Fleck with Casey Driessen and  Ben Sollee, explores the exquisite, borderless sounds of two banjos, fiddle and cello. Washburn who has been hailed by the Wall Street Journal as “a daring, definite talent, whose feel for the folk idiom results in moving material…. Soulful is the word.”   The group is recently back from China, where they played in concert at the American Embassy during the Beijing Olympics. For tickets, visit Bearsville Theater.

Opening for The Sparrow Quartet on Wednesday night, percussionist Valerie Naranjo  playing the African xylophone or  GYIL; Naranjo is also the star of a Woodstock Festival Film, Knock on Wood, a short beautiful documentary detailing her love of African xylophone music and how it lead her to Ghana, where her performances on the gyil prompted a decree that women be permitted to play the instrument for the first time. Hear her in concert at the Bearsville Theater… for those who love world music, this night is a must!

This year, Bela Fleck is also the producer and star of the documentary Throw Down Your Heart, director Sascha Paladino’s cinematically beautiful, full length documentary, chronicling Fleck’s recent trip through Africa to uncover the roots of the banjo.  Bela meets his match in exuberance and sheer musicality as he journeys through Uganda, Tanzania, Gambia and Mali to play and record with notable musicians.  Screening Saturday night at the Bearsville Theater.

Master Guitarist Earl Slick and Singer/Songwriter Saphin join together in concert Friday night at the Colony Café as The Eons (their fan-favorite track Secrets appears in another festival film, Predisposed). These works are guitar driven-rock masterpieces encompassing a musical spectrum from Retro to Future! Slick is a guitarist and producer best known for his collaboration with David Bowie over the past three decades, and has played on John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy and Milk and Honey.  Since his first deal with Warner Brothers, Saphin continues to rise as an accomplished producer and singer/songwriter. His vivid visions via video interaction produce an innovative and amazing musical experience!  Slick and Saphin deliver driving, edgy rock performances in an evocative and altogether seductive sonic and visual package! Click here tfor ticket info

If you missed Outernational last time they appeared at the Woodstock Film Festival, don't let it happen again.
"These boys are the next big thing..." says BBC Radio. "They are an incredible mix of hip-hop, hard-rock, and world music. They mix politics and dance music in the best way, much like The Clash did." MTV News said "Outernational uncompromisingly tells the truth, and they paint a picture of the world the way they see it and a way that we don't hear on the radio and television as much as people need to. They're very political, but super exciting." NYC's Outernational just finished its debut album for Warner Bros. The record was produced by Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine with guest appearances by Chad Smith of the Chili Peppers among others. Watch for the EP to be released this fall and debut album early '09. Performance follows awards ceremony at Backstage Productions in Kingston. Admission is free. Doors open at 11:15pm.

Rennie Cantine and RVR. Rennie Cantine is the founder of the Woodstock Guitar Festival, now in its 8th year, and the director of the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce Music on the Green series, now in its 3rd year. As requested by Janie Hendrix-Right, Rennie had the honor of closing Woodstock ?94 with the national anthem. He has shared the stage with Levon Helm, Tony Levin, Arlo Guthrie, Rick Denko, Duke Robillard, Jimmy Vivino, Papa Chubby, Jerry Marotta, Harvey Sorgen, to name a few. For 12 years Rennie toured with the Butterfield Blues Band. Rip Van Ren, Rennie?s Band, features Flash on Seven String Bass. Flash has toured with Bernie Worrell and George Clinton. He brought his own band to Europe and played the main stage at Woodstock ?94- fronting his own band. He currently leads the band, da 411.

BMI Music Panel with Donovan
One of our central panels in the WFF line-up is the annual BMI Music in Film discussion with Doreen Ringer-Ross. Vice-President of Film/TV Relations at BMI, Ross has worked in the music Industry for over two decades and currently specializes in outreach to the film and music communities. Her groundbreaking work has contributed to the Woodstock Film festival since its inception.

This year’s panel features an extraordinary one-on-one conversation with ‘60’s folk-rock-pop poet/legend Donovan, who transformed the pop music landscape with a series of enigmatic and meaningful pop masterpieces that continue to be loved and played on radio and TV and in cubs worldwide. In the past five years Donovan has completed the successful album Beat Cafe; a new box set, Try for the Sun: The Journey of Donovan; and a book, The Autobiography of Donovan: The Hurdy Gurdy Man (Arrow Books). Donovan also fulfilled his 40-year interest in Transcendental Meditation by heading up the musical wing of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace. And now, this year Donovan celebrates his 40th anniversary of his trip to India with the Beatles where they studied transcendental mediation and bought it back to the West. Donovan returns to the stage for a slow world tour in 2009.

Music Films:
All Together Now is a NEW YORK PREMIERE, directed by award-winning documentarian Adrian Wills.  This beautiful film captures the moment in history when two of the greatest groups of artists, The Beatles and the performers of Cirque du Soleil, come together to create the outstanding show, LOVE.  Fueled by a dream from George Harrison and Cirque du Soleil director Guy Laliberte, we get an inside look at this newest Cirque show, through breathtaking rehearsal footage and often hilarious interviews with all parties involved, including the two surviving Beatles.

Johnny Cash’s America documents the life of central musical and cultural American figure, the Man is Black, Johnny Cash.  Of All the Things  tells the story of Singer/Songwriter/Producer Dennis Lambert and his late-in-life comeback sparked by a trip to the Philippines. 

The festival’s musical films also focus on social issues.  In Playing For Change, directors Mark Johnson and Jonathan Walls Traveled across four continents over three years with cameras and a mobile recording studio to bring together cultures through world music.  The musical feature, Were the World Mine, confronts homophobia in a unique light when a homosexual boy turns his narrow-minded town gay with the help of magical potion. 

Many of our shorts focus on music as well.  Love No, is the new music video from European Pop Band, The Teenagers. Pickin and Trimmin is a short doc about a rural North Carolina barbershop where the town is slow but the music is fast. The Phone Book is the first ever musical adaptation of the most widely owned book in creation, the telephone directory.Classical Reign, part of our Shorts for Youth’s program, shows a family split over their differing tastes in music.

Complimentary Music Films:
Each year, the film festival creates a complimentary CD for filmmakers, idustry members, press, and guests. This years CD includes tracks by Johnny Cash, The Sparrow Quartet, On Filmmore, The Eons and many others musicans and composers who will be represented at the 2008 Woodstock Film Festival.


The ninth annual Woodstock Film Festival takes place October 1 - 5, 2008. The ‘fiercely independent’ event will include more than 140 films, panels, concerts, and special events that will be featured at venues in Woodstock and the neighboring towns of Rhinebeck, Kingston and Rosendale. Visit for detailed program information.

Over the years, the Woodstock Film Festival has established itself as one of the best independent film events in the country by premiering exceptional films, hosting the most talented emerging and established professionals in the movie industry, presenting A-list concerts, parties and panels, and creating innovative and stimulating programming year-round.

The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music, and art-related activities that promotes artists, culture, inspired learning, and diversity. The Hudson Valley Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video, and media production.

For information contact (845) 679-4265 or visit

P.O Box 1406, Woodstock, NY 12498 - (845) 679-4265 -