WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL
MARCH 2016 NEWSLETTER

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Join us October 13-16, 2016
for the 17th Annual WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL

 


TEAM FOXCATCHER, (A Netflix release) chronicles the paranoid, downward spiral of millionaire John E. DuPont that led to the tragic murder of olympic wrestler David Schultz. Never-before-seen home videos shot during Schultz’s time at Foxcatcher Farms shed light on the disturbing events and serve as a poignant memoir to the legacy of the champion wrestler, husband, and father.

A SPECIAL SCREENING will be presented by the Woodstock Film Festival on April 24 at Upstate Films in Woodstock. For details and tickets, visit http://woodstockfilmfestival.com/events/teamfoxcatcher.php

TEAM FOXCATCHER director Jon Greenhalgh grew up on Long Island, watching and re-watching Woody Allen movies on VHS, unaware that a career in film was even possible (he remains skeptical to this day).

In the late 1990’s, after a less-than remarkable run at Syracuse University (where he would later return to earn an M.A. from the Newhouse School of Communications), Greenhalgh found himself slinging drinks at a dive bar on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It was here, in the wee-hours of the morning, that Greenhalgh conceived the idea for what would become his first feature-length documentary film, titled THE SMASHING MACHINE. That film, which chronicled troubled MMA superstar Mark Kerr, was ultimately acquired by Sheila Nevins and aired as a part of the HBO: America Undercover series in 2002. Since then, Greenhalgh has notched on-screen credit for writing, producing, and editing, and continues to search for stories rooted in the niche that have the complex visual and emotional elements necessary to break into the mainstream.

In 2012, Greenhalgh fled the intellectually exhausting confines of New York City for the age-appropriate Hudson Valley, where he currently resides with life-partner Rika Ogawa and their two-year old son, Kenzo.


"Once again, the Woodstock Film Festival and the amazing community of Woodstock comes through for the Environment! A sold out 600 seat auditorium and audience members dancing in the aisles at the end of my latest film How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change- a great evening and a great reminder of how culture and grassroots activism is a powerful combination. We're very grateful to the Woodstock FIlm Festival for hosting the film." -Josh Fox

 Director Josh Fox (4th from right) with inspired audience members

 Director Josh Fox (4th from right) with inspired audience members

Oscar-nominated director Josh Fox screened his new film How to Let Go of The World and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change on March 16 at Onteora High School to a very supportive and inspired audience.

“It was incredible,” said Woodstock Film Festival executive director Meira Blaustein, ”A full house of enthusiasts greeted Josh at the end of the film with a standing ovation. He then led them through a lively dance during the end credits. People told me the evening changed their lives”.

Josh Fox with Woodstock Film Festival Executive director Meira Blaustein

Josh Fox with Woodstock Film Festival Executive director Meira Blaustein

An in depth Q&A with Fox, congressional candidate and environmental activist Zephyr Teachout, Riverkeeper representative Kate Hudson and representatives of Earth Guardians followed the screening. Audience members left the theater moved and empowered. “Amazing,” one audience member said following the screening, “That film impacted me like The Big Short or Spotlight. I know climate change is happening but Josh made it so personal, visceral and compelling. Plus, I could watch him dance all night!  My yard sign is going up by my fence on 375”.

For tour dates, visit http://www.howtoletgomovie.com/#tour


TASTE OF WOODSTOCK

The 4th Annual Taste of Woodstock, which celebrates the culinary diversity and delicacies that the area has to offer, is set for Wednesday, May 25 from 6-9pm. Over 20 of Woodstock's top restaurants will participate in the event, which starts at the Film Center at 13 Rock City Road and continues on a walking tour around town. Attendees visit as many participating eateries as their appetites will allow.

The 4th annual Taste of Woodstock already has 13 participants confirmed, including Bistro-To-GoBread AloneCatskill Mountain PizzaCucinaGarden CafeThe Green PalateJoshua's CafeLandau GrillNew World Home Cooking, Oriole 9Provisions WoodstockShindig, The Reservoir InnWoodstock Meats, and Yum Yum Noodle Bar.
Many more chefs and eateries will be confirmed shortly.

"Taste of Woodstock is a great event for everyone, with a variety of different styles of food, drink and culinary superstars," says Woodstock Film Festival board president Lauri Andretta."We'll start you off with a glass of wine at 13 Rock City Road and hand you a map of the participating restaurants and venues, all within walking distance of the film center."

A full list of participating restaurants and tickets for the event can be found online at www.woodstockfilmfestival.com


Saturday, June 4 from 5-8pm, the Woodstock Film Festival will host the 4th SPIRIT OF WOODSTOCK CELEBRATION. As in past years, the Spirit of Woodstock will celebrate honorees who embody the fiercely independent spirit that has made Woodstock famous for over 100 years. This year's honorees, Ron Nyswaner and Philippe Petit, are recognized internationally for their individualism and their artistry.
The event will be held at a scenic estate overlooking the Ashokan Reservoir, where attendees can stroll the spectacular grounds and enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres while mingling with and hearing from the honorees. 

"It is such a privilege to honor these two extraordinary individuals who have had long ties with the Woodstock community,” said Woodstock Film Festival Executive Director Meira Blaustein. "Ron Nyswaner is one of the most prolific, bold and sought after screenwriters and filmmakers around, and Philippe Petit is not only a world renowned tight rope walker, but an extraordinary artist who is an inspiration to all who dare to dream of the seemingly impossible.”

For details and information, visit SPIRIT OF WOODSTOCK


ABOUT SCOUT

 

ABOUT SCOUT, which screened (under the title SCOUT) at the 2015 Woodstock Film Festival, opened March 11 in limited release in NY and LA.

The coming of age indie film, written and directed by Laurie Weltz, follows a rebellious young girl who convinces a suicidal young man to go on a road trip with her across Texas to track down her little sister who’s been taken by their estranged carnie father.

For showtimes and more info, visit their website.


THE AMERICAN SIDE

 

There are three sides to every story...
the truth, the lie, and The American Side.

This 2014 Woodstock Film Festival Official Selection from director Jenna Ricker, will be opening in Buffalo and New York City in April with more theaters to be announced shortly. For details, visit theamericansidemovie.com

Director Jenna Ricker talks about the film and its upcoming theatrical release: 

"The American Side is in theaters this month! The Hollywood Reporter called it an 'adrenaline-charged, pop-noir mystery, and a loving homage for film buffs' and a 'highlight of the festival' when it debuted at Woodstock in 2014. Following a mysterious suicide at Niagara Falls, a low-rent detective unravels a conspiracy to build a revolutionary invention by Nikola Tesla. The film stars Greg Stuhr, Matthew Broderick, Robert Forster, Alicja Bachleda, Camilla Belle, Janeane Garofalo, and the venerable Robert Vaughn. You'll spot another half a dozen actors from films that inspired directer and co-writer, Jenna Ricker, from Harris Yulin to Joe Grifasi. Reminiscent of the conspiracy thrillers of the 70’s, complete with a score by David Shire (The Conversation, All the President’s Men), and packed with nods to Hitchcock and classic noir, The American Side is a jigsaw puzzle mystery, climaxing under the roar of Niagara Falls. Premiering at the IFC Center in New York City on April 29th. "


DEEP RUN

 

This Susan Sarandon produced film had its East Coast premiere at the 16th annual Woodstock Film Festival. It was director Hillevi Loven's first feature length film. 

Now available on DVD through Women Make Movies.

DEEP RUN is a powerful verité portrait of trans life in rural North Carolina. Exiled by her family and rejected by an ex-partner, 17-year-old Spazz has no one to lean on for support. But when Spazz falls in love again and summons up the courage to become Cole, a strong-willed trans-man, his candid humor and steadfast, all-inclusive Christian beliefs counter the bigotry he experiences daily. 

This deeply personal documentary reveals rebirth and courage within America's deeply conservative Bible Belt as Cole struggles to find a church that will affirm his identity and the couple's relationship. With a small group of supportive friends, relatives, and his girlfriend, Ashley, Cole's search for love and belonging leads him to a radical revision of what faith and church can be. An intimate study of young outsiders in an insular Christian community, DEEP RUN explores the intersection of modern identity and faith in the American South.


DEAR PRESIDENT OBAMA

Director Jon Bowermaster and executive producer/narrator Mark Ruffalo, two local filmmakers we’ve had the good fortune of hosting at the Woodstock Film Festival, are making news with their new documentary DEAR PRESIDENT OBAMA.

DEAR PRESIDENT OBAMA takes a cross-country look at drilling, highlighting its variety of contaminations, the stories of its victims, the false promise of an economic boom, with a focus on clean energy solutions that would allow us to proceed towards a future that does not rely on yet another dirty fossil fuel extraction process. Interviews with scientists, economists, health professionals, geologists and whistle-blowers provide the core information we think will convince the current President and those that will follow to join the “anti-drilling” majority growing across the United States and call for fossil fuels to be left where they belong: in the ground.

For info about upcoming screenings, visit DEAR PRESIDENT OBAMA.


ACTOR MARTINEZ by Nathan Silver and Mike Ott

*Nathan Silver received the Ultra Indie Award at the 2014 Woodstock Film Festival for his film Uncertain Terms, which was also produced in the Hudson Valley.

In Actor Martinez, a local Denver actor hires two indie filmmaker to come to town and make a film with him as the star.

Actor Martinez explores the distinction between performance and life, and the relationship between subject and director. Directors Ott and Silver become characters in the film; as they wrestle with Arthur for control of the project it becomes less clear who is manipulating whom. When the woman cast to play the love interest, Lindsay Burdge (A Teacher, Come Down Molly, First Winter) arrives on set, the very nature of the project is questioned. —Jule Rozite (Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival)

Mike Ott studied under Thom Andersen at CalArts, where he received his MFA. He is the recipient of the Audience award at AFI Fest and is currently in production on a hybrid feature: California Dreams. Nathan Silver graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2005. Filmmaker Magazine named Silver 'one of the most interesting emerging directors in U.S. indie film.' His feature film credits include: Uncertain Terms (2014) and Stinking Heaven (2015).

For details, visit https://tribecafilm.com/filmguide/actor-martinez-2016


THE FIXER by Ian Olds

*Ian Olds won Best Student Short for Two Men at the 2005 Woodstock Film Festival. In 2006, he returned to the region to film BOMB, which featured Melissa Leo, long time friend of WFF.. Rachel Brosnahan has been to the Woodstock several times with films she has appeared in, including Coming Up Roses.

Leaving behind his life as a fixer for Western journalists reporting on the war in Afghanistan, Osman (Dominic Rains) lands in a small bohemian town in Northern California, living on the couch of his friend’s mother (Melissa Leo) and working as a crime reporter for the local newspaper. Restless and eager to find purpose in the context of his new life, he befriends a couple of locals—the eccentric and unstable Lindsay (James Franco) and the elusive Sandra (Rachel Brosnahan)—recruiting them to help him penetrate the town’s peculiar subculture. When Lindsay mysteriously goes missing, Osman gets drawn into the backwoods of the town in order to find him. As things begin to take a dangerous turn, Osman is forced to confront the untenable reality of his situation.

Shot with rigorous attention to atmosphere and milieu, The Fixer is a slow-burning thriller that employs stillness to create an undercurrent of suspense. Director Ian Olds adroitly exposes the larger-than-life characters who often inhabit the smallest of towns.—Shayna Weingast (Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival)

Olds received an MFA from Columbia. His directing credits include Occupation: Dreamland (Academy Award short-listed, Independent Spirit winner), Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi (Tribeca winner, Emmy nominated) and the experimental narrative Francophrenia. Olds received a Guggenheim Fellowship, Rockefeller Foundation's Media Arts Fellowship, and attended Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters Lab.

For details, visit https://tribecafilm.com/filmguide/fixer-2016


KING COBRA, directed and written by Justin Kelly

*KING COBRA was produced in Kingston, Saugerties, Rhinecliff, Red Hook, Warwick, and Monroe, NY. More than twenty Hudson Valley crew members and over a hundred actors/dayplayers worked on the film during fall of 2015.

This ripped-from-the-headlines drama covers the early rise of gay porn headliner Sean Paul Lockhart (Garrett Clayton), aka Brent Corrigan, before his falling out with the producer (Christian Slater) who made him famous. When Sean decides he’d be better off a free agent, a cash-strapped pair of rival producers (James Franco and Keegan Allen) aim to cash in by any means possible. With Alicia Silverstone and Molly Ringwald.

Justin Kelly's feature directorial debut, I Am Michael (starring James Franco, Zachary Quinto, Emma Roberts and executive produced by Gus Van Sant), premiered at both Sundance and Berlin’s 2015 festivals. Prior, he worked as an editor while making short films, music videos, and developing features.

For details, visit https://tribecafilm.com/filmguide/archive/king-cobra-2016


LIFE, ANIMATED by Roger Ross Williams

*Roger Ross Williams is an Academy Award winner and a resident of the Hudson Valley region whose previous film God Loves Uganda screened at the Woodstock Film Festival.

Life, Animated is the story of Owen Suskind, a young autistic man who was unable to speak as a child until he discovered a unique way to communicate, developed by immersing himself in the world of animated Disney films. When we first meet Owen—along with his father, Ron, mother Cornelia, and brother Walter—he is a young child, silent and unable to connect with other people or to convey his thoughts, feelings or desires. Over time, Owen’s affinity for animated Disney characters leads him to memorize all of the dialogue in these films, and by repeatedly watching the films, he finds the tools he needs to understand, communicate, and connect with the world around him. Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams has captured the magnificence of Owen’s remarkable transformation: from a life of lonely isolation to the independence of young adulthood. Owen’s inspirational story is a potent reminder that stories serve as a powerful means of persevering through dark times and moving us all toward the light.—Deborah Rudolph (Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival)

Roger Ross Williams’ first film Music by Prudence won the 2010 Academy Award for documentary short subject. He is the first African American director to win an Academy Award. Williams next directed the feature documentary God Loves Uganda, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and went on to screen at over 60 film festivals worldwide.

For details, visit https://tribecafilm.com/filmguide/life-animated-2016


Little boxes by rob meyer

Little-Boxes.jpg

Little Boxes was filmed partly in Newburgh by Rob Meyer who won Best Student Short for Aquarium at the 2005 Woodstock Film Festival. In 2014, he returned with his feature film, A Birder's Guide to Everything, which he co-wrote with Luke Matheny, who won Best Student Short at the 2013 Woodstock Film Festival with God of Love (it went on to win an Oscar). Little Boxes is executive produced by Cary Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation, True Detectives, Sin Nombre) who also won Best Student Short at the 2004 Woodstock Film Festival for Victoria Para Chino. Talk about NYU all-stars! In addition to narratives, Rob had made several documentaries including several about Hudson Whiskey, based in Gardiner, NY. Check them out on Vimeo.

In Little Boxes, it’s the summer before 6th grade, and Clark is the new-in-town biracial kid in a sea of white. Discovering that to be cool he needs to act ‘more black,’ he fumbles to meet expectations as rifts are exposed in his tight-knit family, his parents also striving to adjust. This poignant comedy about understanding identity is the second feature from TFF alumnus Rob Meyer. Executive Produced by Cary Fukunaga. With Melanie Lynskey, Nelsan Ellis, Armani Jackson, Oona Laurence, Janeane Garofalo, and Christine Taylor.

Rob received his MFA from NYU’s graduate film program. As an Associate Producer at PBS’s NOVA, HBO Documentary Films, and National Geographic, Rob has worked on several award-winning documentaries. Based in NYC, Rob currently has several film, television and commercial projects in development with his writing partner, Luke Matheny. 

For details, visit https://tribecafilm.com/filmguide/little-boxes-2016


MR. CHURCH by Bruce Beresford

*Bruce Beresford was the 2010 Woodstock Film Festival Honorary Maverick Award Recipient.

A dying mother finds that she is unable to continue caring for her young daughter Poppy on her own, and so retains the services of one Henry Joseph Church to look after the girl. Mr. Church is an expert chef and immediately takes a shine to his precocious new ward. What began as a temporary arrangement blooms into a lifelong friendship between the talented chef and the maturing young woman. As time passes, Poppy’s curiosity about her mysterious friend will push the limits of their bond.

As directed by the Oscar-nominated Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy), Mr. Church is a tender coming-of-age family drama about the families we have and those we make. Eddie Murphy delivers a nuanced dramatic performance as the titular character, and co-stars Britt Robertson, Xavier Samuel, Natascha McElhone and Lucy Fry round out the pitch perfect cast. —Cara Cusumano (Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival)

Bruce has earned Academy Award nominations for writing and directing. Additionally, he’s earned nominations for Golden Globes as well as the Director’s Guild of America. He is best known for Tender Mercies, Driving Miss Daisy, Crimes of the Heart and Peace Love and Misunderstanding, which was filmed in the Hudson Valley.

For details, visit https://tribecafilm.com/filmguide/mr-church-2016


THE PHENOM by Noah Buschel

*Noah Buschel has screened several films at the Woodstock Film Festival including Sparrows Dance and Neal Cassady. Ethan Hawke has been on the Woodstock Film Festival advisory board since 2001.

Major-league rookie pitcher Hopper Gibson (Johnny Simmons) has lost his focus. After choking on the mound, he’s sent down to the minors and prescribed sessions with an unorthodox sports therapist (Paul Giamatti), who pushes him to uncover the origins of his anxiety. Beneath it all is his fraught relationship with his overbearing ex-con father (Ethan Hawke), whose tough love is the source of both his success and his paralysis. The Phenom is not your typical sports movie; TFF alumnus Noah Buschel (Glass Chin) brings depth and complexity to this gripping psychological portrait of an athlete at a crossroads in the big-league sports grind. —Genna Terranova

Buschel's body of work includes Glass Chin (TFF 2014), Sparrows Dance, The Missing Person, Neal Cassady and Bringing Rain.

For details, visit https://tribecafilm.com/filmguide/phenom-2016


TEAM FOXCATCHER by jon greenhalgh

Jon Greenhalgh's TEAM FOXCATCHER  (A Netflix release) chronicles the paranoid, downward spiral of millionaire John E. DuPont that led to the tragic murder of olympic wrestler David Schultz. Never-before-seen home videos shot during Schultz's time at Foxcatcher Farms shed light on the disturbing events and serve as a poignant memoir to the legacy of the champion wrestler, husband, and father. 

TEAM FOXCATCHER tells the story of descent into tragedy largely through the lens of Nancy Schultz, whose incredible footage chronicled her family’s time at Foxcatcher Farms. Archival home videos and first-hand interviews show how the charismatic Schultz, an Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion, became the heart of the program and DuPont’s closest confidant. But on the fringes of this powerful partnership emerged a manic, mentally unstable DuPont, fueled by a disturbing obsession with power, wealth and influence. The film builds to the tragic final hours at Foxcatcher Farms, the murder of Dave Schultz, and the two-day police standoff before DuPont was ultimately arrested and charged.

For details, visit https://tribecafilm.com/filmguide/eagles-soar-high-2016


THE TICKET, by Ido Fluk

*The feature was filmed in several Mid Hudson Valley towns including Kingston, Kerhonkson, Ellenville, Stone Ridge and Rhinebeck, during the summer of 2014, and features many local crew and cast members. Producer Oren Moverman has been to the Woodstock Film Festival with several films including The Messenger, starring Woody Harrelson. Producer Claude Dal Farra is on the Woodstock Film Festival Board of Directors.

When a blind man inexplicably regains his vision, he becomes possessed by a drive for a better life—a nicer home, a higher paying job—leaving little room for the people who were part of his old life. Dan Stevens, Malin Åkerman, Oliver Platt, and Kerry Bishé star in this haunting parable of desire, perception, and ambition.

Ido Fluk is a New York–based writer-director. His directorial debut, the crowd-sourced Israeli road film Never Too Late, premiered at Edinburgh Film Festival and won the Regard D'or at Fribourg Film Festival, leading Variety to dub Fluk 'a talent to watch.' The Ticket is his first American film.
For details, visit https://tribecafilm.com/filmguide/ticket-2016


YOUTH IN OREGON by joel david Moore 

*YOUTH IN OREGON was filmed in Dutchess County and was co-produced by Woodstock Native Joey Carey (Sundial Pictures). In addition to several local crew members, one of the principals has a house in Dutchess.

Frank Langella, Billy Crudup, Christina Applegate, Mary Kay Place, and Josh Lucas star in this dramedy about an ailing man traveling to Oregon to be legally euthanized. Langella is superb, capturing the frustration, resolution, and desperation that swirl around so profound a decision. Actor-turned-director Joel David Moore creates a powerful affirmation on the search that finds value in the life you have.

Joel David Moore is an accomplished actor, director and writer. Moore’s comprehensive acting background soon drove him to explore other aspects behind the camera. In 2005, he made his directorial debut co-writing, co-directing, producing and starring in the psychological-thriller Spiral. In 2013, he directed his sophomore feature Killing Winston Jones, starring Richard Dreyfuss, Danny Glover, Danny Masterson and Jon Heder.

For details, visit https://tribecafilm.com/filmguide/youth-in-oregon-2016


The 17th Annual Woodstock Film Festival is now open for submissions. Film categories include narrative & documentary features, short narrative, student short narrative, short documentary, 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 Student Short and Best Short Doc.
Submit your film at Woodstock Film Festival.com or Without a Box or FilmFreeway.

Gigantic Pictures at WFF 2015

Gigantic Pictures at WFF 2015

We are thrilled to welcome back our partner GIGANTIC PICTURES. They are returning in force as a 2016 sponsor. In addition to sponsoring Woodstock Film Festival's Best Narrative Feature Prize (winner gets $5,000 cash prize), the New York based company has committed to sponsoring Best Short Narrative (winner receives $2,000 cash prize) and Best Student Short Narrative (winner receives $1,000 cash prize).

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, the Carpe Diem Andretta Award, The James Lyons Editing Awards, and the Haskell Wexler Cinematography Award.

Award winners also receive a beautiful hand crafted trophy and in-kind prizes.


THANK YOU NEWSLETTER ADVERTISERS!

We would like to also extend a thank you to our official 2015 WFF sponsors and three advertisers who joined us for year-round Newsletter support: Mid- Hudson Limo, Sunflower Natural Foods Market, and Waterside Getaways!


THANK YOU TO OUR 2015 SPONSORS!