WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL
JANUARY 2016 NEWSLETTER
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Join us October 13-16, 2016
The 17th Annual Woodstock Film Festival is now open for submissions. Film categories include narrative & documentary features, shorts, animation, music videos, and teen films. The early bird deadline is April 11.
Cash prizes are awarded for Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Short Narrative, Best Short Doc and Best Student Short.
Other awards include Best Animated Short, the Tangerine Award for Best Female Director, the Ultra Indie Award sponsored by Gray Krauss Statford Sandler Des Rochers LLP and Black Magic Design, Carpe Diem Andretta Award, The James Lyons Editing Awards, the Haskell Weller Cinematography Award. Award winners also receive a beautiful hand crafted trophy and in-kind prizes.
Release week has officially begun for Woodstock Film Festival Ultra Indie winner Ross Partridge and his film LAMB! On January 4, Ross arrived at the Apple Store, SoHo in NYC to discuss LAMB.
LAMB opens in theaters 1/8 and hits iTunes and On Demand 1/12!
LAMB, based on the novel by Bonnie Nadzam, traces the self-discovery of David Lamb in the weeks following the disintegration of his marriage and the death of his father. Hoping to regain some faith in his own goodness, he turns his attention to Tommie, an awkward and unpopular yet adventurous eleven-year-old girl played beautifully by rising young star Oona Laurence. LAMB is convinced that he can help Tommie avoid a destiny of apathy and emptiness, and takes her for a road trip from Chicago to the Rockies, planning to initiate her into the beauty of the mountain wilderness. Never quite certain where LAMB is going, the film maintains a slow-burning intensity as the unfolding circumstances threaten to veer into very disturbing territory. But LAMB is not LOLITA, and Ross Partridge masterfully directs and stars in what is truly a provocative psychological drama of two lonely strangers, one a grown man, the other a mere child, who use one another to find direction and purpose in their lives.
Ross Partridge is the writer and director of LAMB, in addition to starring in it. He has co-produced the Duplass Brothers' The Do-Deca Pentathlon, was a producer of the HBO documentary UNCLE FRANK, and executive produced the PBS 9/11 documentary AMERICA REBUILDS: A YEAR AT GROUND ZERO. He directed the feature film INTERSTATE 84 (filmed in Hudson Valley) starring Kevin Dillon and executive produced by Kevin Spacey, as well as the webseries WEDLOCK, with Mark Duplass, Rob Corddry, and Jennifer Lafleur.
Woodstock Film Festival Executive Director Meira Blaustein will once again head to Park City, Utah to cover the Sundance Film Festival. She will be on the lookout for the best in independent film as well as meet with filmmakers and industry heavyweights. If you are going to be in Park City and want to meet up with her for a cup of coffee or a bite to eat, send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year's Sundance Film Festival includes many films that feature friends, alumni, advisory board members and Hudson Valley locals.
AS YOU ARE, directed by Miles Joris-Peyrafitte was filmed partly in the Hudson Valley and mostly in the Capital District. The film features part-time local Mary Stuart Masterson. Greg Meola’s Company 1 Productions, based in Olivebridge, provided grip, lighting, and electric services.
AS YOU ARE is the telling and retelling of a relationship between three teenagers as it traces the course of their friendship through a construction of disparate memories prompted by a police investigation. Cast: Owen Campbell, Charlie Heaton, Amandla Stenberg, John Scurti, Scott Cohen, Mary Stuart Masterson.
EQUITY, directed by Meera Menon, was line produced by Brian Cange and edited by Andrew Hafitz who both reside in Phoenicia. Andrew Hafitz is also known at the Woodstock Film Festival for winning the James Lyons Editing Award for DON’T LET ME DROWN directed by Cruz Angeles.
In EQUITY, a female investment banker, fighting to get a promotion at her competitive Wall Street firm, leads a controversial tech IPO in the post-financial-crisis world, where regulations are tight but pressure to bring in big money remains high. Cast: Anna Gunn, James Purefoy, Sarah Megan Thomas, Alysia Reiner.
GOAT, directed by Andrew Neel (DARKON) and written by David Gordon Green (GEORGE WASHINGTON), was co-produced by WFF advisory board member and 2007 Maverick Award recipient Christine Vachon.
Reeling from a terrifying assault, a 19-year-old boy pledges his brother’s fraternity in an attempt to prove his manhood. What happens there, in the name of "brotherhood," tests both the boys and their relationship in brutal ways. Cast: Nick Jonas, Ben Schnetzer, Virginia Gardner, Danny Flaherty, Austin Lyon.
WHITE GIRL, directed by Elizabeth Wood and sound designed by Bearsville resident Coll Anderson, is also produced by by WFF advisory board member and 2007 Maverick Award recipient Christine Vachon.
Summer, New York City: A college student goes to extremes to get her drug dealer boyfriend out of jail. Cast: Morgan Saylor, Brian 'Sene' Marc, Justin Bartha, Chris Noth, India Menuez, Adrian Martinez.
HOW TO LET GO OF THE WORLD (AND LOVE ALL THE THINGS CLIMATE CAN’T CHANGE) is directed by Josh Fox who opened the 2015 Woodstock Film Festival with a keynote speech and premiered GASLAND for 600 people at Onteora High School in 2010.
Do we have a chance to stop the most destructive consequences of climate change, or is it too late? Academy Award-nominated director Josh Fox (GASLAND) travels to 12 countries on six continents to explore what we have to let go of—and all of the things that climate can't change.
LIFE, ANIMATED was directed by Catskill resident Roger Ross Williams.
Owen Suskind, an autistic boy who could not speak for years, slowly emerged from his isolation by immersing himself in Disney animated movies. Using these films as a roadmap, he reconnects with his loving family and the wider world in this emotional coming-of-age story.
SUITED is directed by Jason Benjamin and produced by Carly Hugo who is known for her involvement in BACHELORETTE HOT COFFEE and has also worked on films in the Hudson Valley such as HIGHER GROUND.
Bindle & Keep, a Brooklyn tailoring company, makes custom suits for a growing legion of gender-nonconforming clients.
CERTAIN WOMEN, directed and written by Kelly Reichardt, is based on stories by Maile Meloy. An adjunct professor at Bard College, Kelly Reichardt’s films THEN A YEAR and WENDY AND LUCY both screened at the Woodstock FIlm Festival. Co-producer Larry Fessenden is a WFF regular.
The lives of three woman intersect in small-town America, where each is imperfectly blazing a trail. Cast: Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams, James Le Gros, Jared Harris, Lily Gladstone.
THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CARING, directed and screenwritten by Rob Burnett, stars part-time Hudson Valley resident and 2013 WFF guest Paul Rudd.
Having suffered a tragedy, Ben becomes a caregiver to earn money. His first client, Trevor, is a hilarious 18-year-old with muscular dystrophy. One paralyzed emotionally, one paralyzed physically, Ben and Trevor hit the road, finding hope, friendship, and Dot in this funny and touching inspirational tale. Cast: Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts, Selena Gomez, Jennifer Ehle, Megan Ferguson, Frederick Weller.
INDIGNATION is directed and written by Woodstock Film Festival Honorary Trailblazer Honoree, James Schamus.
It's 1951, and among the new arrivals at Winesburg College in Ohio are the son of a kosher butcher from New Jersey and the beautiful, brilliant daughter of a prominent alum. For a brief moment, their lives converge in this emotionally soaring film based on the novel by Philip Roth. Cast: Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, Tracy Letts, Linda Emond, Danny Burstein, Ben Rosenfield.
LITTLE MEN is directed by Ira Sachs and screenwritten by Mauricio Zacharias. Ira Sachs has previously filmed in the Hudson Valley and has served several times as a juror for the Woodstock Film Festival.
When 13-year-old Jake’s grandfather dies, his family moves back into their old Brooklyn home. There, Jake befriends Tony, whose single Chilean mother runs the shop downstairs. As their friendship deepens however, their families are driven apart by a battle over rent, and the boys respond with a vow of silence. Cast: Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Ehle, Paulina Garcia, Theo Taplitz, Michael Barbieri.
NORMAN LEAR: JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU is directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. The Woodstock Film Festival has screened their previous films including DISSIDENT, THE BOYS OF BARAKA, and JESUS CAMP. As long term friends of the festival, the two directors have also participated as panelists and jurors.
How did a poor Jewish kid from Connecticut bring us Archie Bunker and become one of the most successful television producers ever? Norman Lear brought provocative subjects like war, poverty, and prejudice into 120 million homes every week. He proved that social change was possible through an unlikely prism: laughter.
NOTHING LEFT UNSAID: GLORIA VANDERBILT & ANDERSON COOPER is directed by Liz Garbus who has been on multiple juries at the Woodstock Film Festival. Her most recent film WHAT HAPPENED MISS SIMONE? was partly filmed in the Hudson Valley and is short listed for the Oscars.
Gloria Vanderbilt and her son Anderson Cooper each tell the story of their past and present, their loves and losses, and reveal how some family stories have the tendency to repeat themselves in the most unexpected ways.
UNLOCKING THE CAGE is directed by 2001 WFF Maverick Award recipients Chris Hegedus and Donn Alan Pennebaker.
Follow animal-rights lawyer Steven Wise in his unprecedented challenge to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. By filing the first lawsuit of its kind, Wise seeks to transform a chimpanzee from a “thing” with no rights to a “person” with basic legal protection.
MAGGIE’S PLAN is directed and written by Rebecca Miller who is a WFF filmmaker alumni since the festival screened her earlier film THE BALLAD OF JACK AND ROSE in 2006.
A young woman’s determination to have a child catapults her into a nervy love triangle with a heart-throb academic and his eccentric critical-theorist wife. Cast: Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Travis Fimmel.
MILES AHEAD, directed by Don Cheadle, collaborated with music supervision from Saugerties local Ed Gerrard.
Inspired by events in Miles Davis’s life, this is a wildly entertaining, impressionistic, no-holds-barred portrait of one of twentieth-century music’s creative geniuses. Cast: Don Cheadle, Ewan McGregor, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Lakeith Lee Stanfield, Michael Stuhlbarg.
Special Screening: JACK OF THE RED HEARTS
Join Woodstock Film Festival's special screening of JACK OF THE RED HEARTS on Saturday, February 6 at Upstate Films Woodstock. Screening starts at 2pm followed by a Q&A with director Janet Grillo.
Starring stellar actors such as AnnaSohpia Robb (SOUL SURFER, CARRIE DIARIES) and Famke Janssen (TAKEN, X-MEN), Jack of the Red Hearts follows an aging out of foster care yet street-smart teen, JACK (AnnaSophia Robb) who gets in trouble with her Probation Officer. Needing to lay low, she cons her way into a job as live-in companion to a child with severe autism, GLORY (Taylor Richardson: ANNIE). Intending to stay a few weeks and make a few bucks, Jack is stunned when she makes a positive impact on Glory. Meanwhile the family, in particular the mother KAY (Famke Janssen) makes a positive impact on Jack. The wounded, scrappy survivors begin to heal each other a little bit--until the law catches up, the truth comes out, and Jack must choose: save herself or help someone else.
"I'm delighted and honored to share JACK OF THE RED HEARTS with the Woodstock Film Festival community," expressed Janet Grillo. "As a new resident of Saugerties, I was drawn here by the beauty, gracious pace of life and vast cultural resources. The people I've met here are warm, generous and stimulating. It's a pleasure to integrate into my new 'hood' with this very personal film, as an introduction. Although I didn't write JACK, I infused it what I've lived and learned, as the mother of a child on the Autism Spectrum desperate to achieve the fullest life for my child, without sacrificing my own. JACK is funny, entertaining and poignant in turns...kind of like life!"
Janet Grillo is a critically acclaimed filmmaker and award-winning producer. FLY AWAY, which she wrote, directed and produced, was sited by LA TIMES as one of four indies most overlooked for an Oscar nomination in 2011. AUTISM THE MUSICAL, which she Exec Produced, aired on HBO and won two Emmys in 2008. As Sr VP of Production at New Line, she oversaw the cult classic HOUSE PARTY and launched careers of many filmmakers. Janet is an Arts Professor at NYU Tisch Kanbar Institue of Film & TV, and the mother of a son on the Autism Spectrum.
4th Annual TASTE OF WOODSTOCK
On May 25, 2016, come and delight your palate with the many different tastes that Woodstock has to offer. In 2015, 25 local hosts provided food or beverages including Blue Mountain Bistro To Go, Black Eyes Suzie’s, Bread Alone, Catskill Mountain Pizza, Cucina, Garden Cafe, The Green Palate, Joshua’s Cafe, Landau Grill, Little Apple, Mountain Gate Restaurant, New World Home Cooking, Oriole 9, Maria’s Bazar, Woodstock Cupcakes, Provisions Delicatessen, Sante Fe Woodstock, Shindig, Sunflower Cafe, The Tea Shop, Woodstock Emporium, Woodstock Wines & Liquors, and Yum Yum Noodle Bar. *All participating restaurants are within walking distance.
Lisa Myers, who worked as Woodstock Film Festival personnel coordinator from 2007 to 2009, is currently based in Brooklyn NY working as an art director and production designer for film. Over the past years she's had the pleasure of revisiting WFF with several of her films - including PUTZEL, NOR'EASTER and CONCUSSION.
Recently, she's been designing films such as MANHATTAN NOCTURNE starring Adrien Brody, MY BLIND BROTHER starring Adam Scott, Jenny Slate and Nick Kroll as well as THE LAND featuring Erykah Badu.
The Woodstock Film Festival has always been and always will be her favorite festival for the people, the events, and the quality of independent films shown.