WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL
2017 NOVEMBER NEWSLETTER

"For the 2017 edition of the self-declared 'fiercely independent' fest, the programming was eco-friendly, class-conscious, gender-aware and racially sensitive — a fitting environment for the handful of host towns surrounding the area."

- Variety


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Distribution, award nominations, and more for films that screened at the 18th annual Woodstock Film Festival.

The Bachelors

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Kurt Voelker’s The Bachelors is now available on iTunes and Amazon. The film had its East Coast Premiere at this year's Woodstock Film Festival.

"Grieving over the death of his wife, Bill Palet (in a subtly charismatic performance by JK Simmons) makes a bold move, packing up his life and adolescent son to start anew in LA. With a striking performance by up-and-coming actor Josh Wiggins as Wes, the father-son relationship permeates the story as they each contend with their grief, assisted by the relationships they build.

Wes finds solace in new friends and pursuits, but this sense of "normal" is upended as Bill falls into a debilitating depression. Struggling to keep a grip on their lives, their story is intertwined with two women — a discerning French professor (Julie Delpy) who cares deeply for her students, and a troubled girl (impeccably played by Odeya Rush) whose kindness is obscured by a dark reputation.

Witty, heartening and full of honest sentiment and fresh dialog, The Bachelors explores how grief can sabotage our ability for compassion, while love has the power to drive healing. — Colton Cox"

THANKS TO our amazing STAFF & VOLUNTEERS

We cannot thank everyone enough. From the bottom of our hearts, we are deeply grateful for the wonderful and inspiring five days. From filmmakers, to volunteers, to staff members, to festival attendees, and everyone in-between this year was a success because of YOU! Thank you to everyone who attended this year.

We can't wait until next year - and we hope to see you all again!

The Bachelors director Kurt Voelker at the 18th Annual Woodstock Film Festival


the ballad of lefty brown

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The Ballad of Lefty Brown, starring Bill Pullman who received the Excellence in Acting Award at the 18th Annual Woodstock Film Festival for his performance in the film, is now available to watch on DIRECTV and in select theaters on December 15. The film had its East Coast Premiere at this year's Woodstock Film Festival.

In what is a uniquely American genre, director Jared Moshe takes us back to the world of cowboys and cattle barons. However, this time it's not the hero, but his sidekick in the spotlight. After Eddie Johnson (Peter Fonda) is elected Montana senator, he appoints his bumbling pal Lefty (Bill Pullman) to take over his ranch. Everyone, including Eddie's wife (Kathy Baker) thinks this is a bad decision. When things take an unexpected turn, and Eddie is gunned down, Moshe spins a stirring and compassionate yarn, as Lefty, thrown into an unaccustomed position, proves his loyalty, turning from clumsy sidekick into relentless avenger. Pullman's Lefty Brown is an inspiring character, simple, stubborn, with an invincible courage that carries the film by his masterful performance. An old-fashioned Western accentuated with a cinematic eye and attention to details, this is a story that never becomes old: that of undying loyalty of one man for another.


Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, which screened at the 18th Annual Woodstock Film Festival, is playing at the IFC Center in New York now through December 5. Please visit their website for tickets.

"America knew Hedy Lamarr as a Hollywood idol -- a beauty queen and pin-up in cinema's Golden Age -- but few knew her as the inventor of the technology behind WiFi. Director Alexandra Dean offers an intimate look into the life of Austrian-born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, who fled a dangerous marriage in the middle of the night and boarded passage to America. A chance encounter with Louis B. Mayer thrust her into the Hollywood limelight. But despite her newfound fame, Lamarr's passion remained her knack for technology, whilst her adopted country preferred a woman selling bonds over one creating military technology.

A story of suppressed genius, Bombshell taps into conversations with Lamarr's family, Hollywood notables, and the late star to reveal her frustrations with a world that would recognize her only for her beauty. A feast for our modern zeitgeist, and a cautionary tale for a society that still often denies the brilliance of women. - Colton Cox"

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story producer Adam Haggiag and director Alexandra Dean at the 2017 Woodstock Film Festival.

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story producer Adam Haggiag and director Alexandra Dean at the 2017 Woodstock Film Festival.

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Crash Pad

Crash Pad is out now on Digital. Own it on Blu-ray 12/5.

"A hopeless romantic (Domhnall Gleeson) thinks he's found true love with an older woman (Christina Applegate) only to learn that she's married and their encounter was merely an instrument of revenge against her neglectful husband (Thomas Haden Church). Initially out for blood, the husband finds himself strangely sympathetic to the romantic's plight and decides the best way for the two of them to get revenge is by moving in together, cutting her out and living a bachelor's life."


Infinity Baby

Infinity Baby is now on iTunes and On Demand across North America. Infinity Baby had its NY Premiere at the 18th Annual Woodstock Film Festival where it won the GIGANTIC PICTURES’ FEATURE NARRATIVE AWARD.

"In this absurdist comedy set in the near-future, Ben, a perpetual dater who is incapable to commit to any relationship, portrayed in a wonderfully wacky performance by Kieran Culkin, works for a company tasked with finding a forever home for genetically modified babies who don't age, cry, eat or soil diapers. So-called Infinity Babies are a stylistic choice for parents who don't want the responsibilities of raising a child. But somewhere along the way, one of these care-free babies almost dies of neglect and one of our characters discovers a need and knack for parenting. Featuring such supporting comedic veterans as Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally (both from Parks and Recreation) and Martin Starr (Freaks and Geeks, Silicon Valley), whose hilarious performances are essential to the whole, and assuredly directed by Bob Byington with beautiful black and white imagery, Infinity Baby is about trying to find our place in a world that is becoming increasingly artificial and the human relationships and connections that we hone along the way. — Evan Thomas

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Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold, which screened at the 18th Annual Woodstock Film Festival, is now screening on Netflix

Director Griffin Dunne holding a Q&A at the 18th Annual Woodstock Film Festival

Director Griffin Dunne holding a Q&A at the 18th Annual Woodstock Film Festival

"Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold is a biographical documentary featuring the life of influential American writer, Joan Didion. Directed by Joan's nephew, Griffin Dunne, Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold enlightens the viewer with an unprecedented, intimate perspective on Joan's life and career accomplishments. The film features interviews from Joan herself, as well as close family and friends, interwoven with contextual archival footage/stills to visualize Joan's astute writing. Joan, famous for bringing order to disorder through her words, exposes, examines and divulges the most pivotal events in American history, making her one of the most recognizable and influential voices within the literary world. The story of this film not only considers Joan Didion the writer, but gives light to Joan Didion, the individual."


The Light of the Moon

The Light of the Moon is now playing in select theaters. Check their website to find a screening near you! The Light of the Moon had its New York Premiere at the 18th Annual Woodstock Film Festival.

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"Walking home alone late at night after drinks with friends, listening to music on her headphones and unaware of her surroundings, a young woman is accosted and dragged into a dingy, Brooklyn alleyway. She is brutally beaten and violently raped. Staggering home to the apartment she shares with her boyfriend, the trauma becomes her new reality. Bonnie's story is, sadly, not unique. While she admits to being mugged, deep shame prevents her from disclosing the rape to her caring co-workers and concerned Latina mother. Meanwhile, her sympathetic boyfriend Matt is guilt-ridden because he wasn't there to protect her. As Bonnie struggles to regain her sense of self and rages at Matt's well-meaning attentiveness, we question if one can heal while avoiding the truth. From the impersonal rape kit to the fruitless attempt to identify the rapist, director Jessica Thompson's compassionate and engaging filmmaking deftly guides us through the psyche of the victim. — Barbara Pokras, ACE"


The Square

The Square is now playing in select cinemas. Check their website to find a screening near you!

"Christian is a sophisticated, liberal and respected curator of a contemporary art museum who is about to launch a daring new exhibit titled The Square, when in a blink of an eye, everything changes. One minute a successful man in control of his life and his surroundings, Christian becomes a victim of a theft of his wallet and phone, and is pulled into a whirlpool of events that gets more and more bizarre before it balances out again. A rich and entertaining satire that takes on the Swedish art scene, politics and human nature, The Square boasts stellar performance by Christian (Claes Bang) and Anne (Elizabeth Moss) as it takes you on a ride through individual and societal behavior."

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The Rape of recy taylor

Congratulations to the team behind The Rape of Recy Taylor on their nomination for Outstanding Documentary Film at the NAACP Image Awards. The Rape of Recy Taylor screened at the 18th Annual Woodstock Film Festival, and will open theatrically on the East Coast at the IFC Center in NYC, running from Dec 15-Dec 20. Get your tickets here.

"The numbers of women raped in Jim Crow South were staggering. In danger for their lives, they didn't report the crimes and their stories went hidden. Not Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old mother who was gang raped by six white boys in 1944 Alabama. Unbroken, she spoke up, and with the help of Rosa Parks and legions of women, they worked to get Recy Taylor justice. Set against a backdrop of soulful music, documentarian Nancy Buirski masterfully crafts the mood as we witness a terrified black woman running for her life. This powerful emotional charge persists throughout the film as we move back and forth in time. Weaving vintage clips of early race films — black stories told by black filmmakers for black audiences — with mood-setting visuals from the actual locations and current interviews with her siblings more than 70 years after the event, the hurt, indignation and ultimate vindication go far beyond one woman's story to expand on the history of race in America."

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We are proud to announce that many Woodstock Film Festival alumni and friends will have films premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, which takes place from January 18-28, 2018.


A KID LIKE JAKE

Claire Danes and Jim Parsons on set of A Kid Like Jake

Claire Danes and Jim Parsons on set of A Kid Like Jake

(Director: Silas Howard, Screenwriter: Daniel Pearle, Producers: Jim Parsons, Todd Spiewak, Eric Norsoph, Paul Bernon, Rachel Song) — As married couple Alex and Greg navigate their roles as parents to a young son who prefers Cinderella to G.I. Joe, a rift grows between them, one that forces them to confront their own concerns about what‘s best for their child, and each other. Cast: Claire Danes, Jim Parsons, Octavia Spencer, Priyanka Chopra, Ann Dowd, Amy Landecker.

Editor Michael Taylor won the James Lyons Award for Best Editing of a Feature Documentary at the 16th Annual Woodstock Film Festival for the film The Babushkas of Chernobyl.


Blaze

Ethan Hawke presenting the Trailblazer Award to John Sloss at the 6th Woodstock Film Festival

Ethan Hawke presenting the Trailblazer Award to John Sloss at the 6th Woodstock Film Festival

(Director: Ethan Hawke, Screenwriters: Ethan Hawke, Sybil Rosen, Producers: Jake Seal, John Sloss, Ryan Hawke, Ethan Hawke) — A reimagining of the life and times of Blaze Foley, the unsung songwriting legend of the Texas Outlaw Music movement; he gave up paradise for the sake of a song. Cast: Benjamin Dickey, Alia Shawkat, Josh Hamilton, Charlie Sexton.

John Sloss and Ethan Hawke are both on the Woodstock Film Festival advisory board. Additionally, John Sloss was awarded our inaugural Trailblazer award at the 6th Annual Woodstock Film Festival in 2005 by none other than Ethan Hawke.

“The Woodstock Film festival is among the finest of a dying breed: a festival that isn't trying to sell you anything, but simply and beautifully celebrating the art & craft of filmmaking.” -Ethan Hawke.


Colette

Christine Vachon accepting her Maverick award at the 8th Annual Woodstock Film Festival

Christine Vachon accepting her Maverick award at the 8th Annual Woodstock Film Festival

(U.K. – Director: Wash Westmoreland, Screenwriters: Wash Westmoreland, Richard Glatzer, Producers: Pamela Koffler, Christine Vachon, Elizabeth Karlsen, Stephen Woolley) — A young country woman marries a famous literary entrepreneur in turn-of-the-century Paris: At her husband’s request, Colette pens a series of bestselling novels published under his name. But as her confidence grows, she transforms not only herself and her marriage, but the world around her. Cast: Keira Knightley, Dominic West, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Elinor Tomlinson, Aiysha Hart.

Producer Christine Vachon was awarded our honorary Maverick Award at the 2007 Woodstock Film Festival and is on our advisory board.


Juliet, Naked

Sabine Hoffman presenting an award at 17th Woodstock Film Festival

Sabine Hoffman presenting an award at 17th Woodstock Film Festival

(U.K. – Director: Jesse Peretz, Screenwriters: Tamara Jenkins, Jim Taylor, Phil Alden Robinson, Evgenia Peretz, Producers: Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel, Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa, Jeffrey Soros) — Annie is the long-suffering girlfriend of Duncan, an obsessive fan of obscure rocker Tucker Crowe. When the acoustic demo of Tucker’s celebrated record from 25 years ago surfaces, its release leads to an encounter with the elusive rocker himself. Based on the novel by Nick Hornby. Cast: Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke, Chris O’Dowd.

Editor Sabine Hoffman is the longtime juror for the yearly Woodstock Film Festival editing awards.


Puzzle

Ben Foster, Woodstock Film Festival executive director Meira Blaustein, and Oren Moverman at the 2016 Woodstock Film Festival

Ben Foster, Woodstock Film Festival executive director Meira Blaustein, and Oren Moverman at the 2016 Woodstock Film Festival

(Director: Marc Turtletaub, Screenwriter: Oren Moverman, Producers: Peter Saraf, Wren Arthur, Guy Stodel) — Agnes, taken for granted as a suburban mother, discovers a passion for solving jigsaw puzzles which unexpectedly draws her into a new world – where her life unfolds in ways she could never have imagined. Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Irrfan Khan, David Denman, Bubba Weiler, Austin Abrams, Liv Hewson.

Screenwriter Oren Moverman was the Woodstock Film Festival's Fiercely Independent award winner in 2016 and has had several films at the festival, notably 2009's The Messenger, starring Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster who both attended with the film.

Producer Peter Saraf participated in the 2017 Woodstock Film Festival Producers on Producing panel and has attended the festival with quite a few films, including 2006's Little Miss Sunshine and 2016's Loving.


SUPER SIZE ME 2: HOLY CHICKEN

(Director: Morgan Spurlock, Screenwriters: Jeremy Chilnick, Morgan Spurlock, Producers: Keith Calder, Jessica Calder, Spencer Silna, Nicole Barton, Jeremy Chilnick, Matthew Galkin) — Muckraking filmmaker Morgan Spurlock reignites his battle with the food industry – this time from behind the register – as he opens his own fast food restaurant. (U.S. Premiere)

Morgan Spurlock in Super Size Me 2

Morgan Spurlock in Super Size Me 2


The Tale

Lawrence Inglee and Oren Moverman at the 2016 Woodstock Film Festival

Lawrence Inglee and Oren Moverman at the 2016 Woodstock Film Festival

(Director and screenwriter: Jennifer Fox, Producers: Oren Moverman, Lawrence Inglee, Laura Rister, Mynette Louie, Sol Bondy, Simone Pero) — An investigation into one woman’s memory as she‘s forced to re-examine her first sexual relationship and the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive; based on the filmmaker’s own story. Cast: Laura Dern, Isabel Nelisse, Jason Ritter, Elizabeth Debicki, Ellen Burstyn, Common.

Producer Oren Moverman was the Woodstock Film Festival's Fiercely Independent award winner in 2016 and has had several films at the festival, notably 2009's The Messenger, starring Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster who both attended with the film.

Producer Lawrence Inglee participated in the 2016 Woodstock Film Festival Producers on Producing panel and has attended the festival with film, including 2009's The Messenger, directed by Oren Moverman.


Debra Granik at 15th Woodstock Film Festival

Debra Granik at 15th Woodstock Film Festival

Untitled Debra Granik Project

Debra Granik, best known for directing 2010's Winter's Bone starring Jennifer Lawrence, has been a juror and panelist for the Woodstock Film Festival in the past. She also attended the Woodstock Film Festival back in 2014 with her film Stray Dog.


White Fang

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(Director: Alexandre Espigares, Screenwriters: Dominique Monfery, Philippe Lioret, Serge Frydman, Producers: Jeremie Fajner, Clement Calvet, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub) — An updated reimagining of Jack London’s classic novel, this thrilling tale of kindness, survival and the twin majesties of the animal kingdom and mankind traces the loving and magnificent hero White Fang, whose intense curiosity leads him on the adventure of a lifetime. Cast: Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Eddie Spears, Paul Giamatti.

Producer Peter Saraf participated in the 2017 Woodstock Film Festival Producers on Producing panel and has attended the festival with quite a few films, including 2006's Little Miss Sunshine and 2016's Loving.


Wildlife

Carey Mulligan in Wildlife

Carey Mulligan in Wildlife

(Director: Paul Dano, Screenwriters: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Producers: Andrew Duncan, Alex Saks, Oren Moverman, Ann Ruark, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riva Marker) — Montana, 1960: A portrait of a family in crisis. Based on the novel by Richard Ford. Cast: Carey Mulligan, Ed Oxenbould, Bill Camp, Jake Gyllenhaal.

In 2012, director Paul Dano attended one of the Woodstock Film Festival year round screenings with For Ellen, a film that he acted in.

Producer Oren Moverman was the Woodstock Film Festival's Fiercely Independent award winner in 2016 and has had several films at the festival, notably 2009's The Messenger, starring Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster who both attended with the film.


Won’t You Be My Neighbor

Director Morgan Neville attended the 2007 Woodstock Film Festival with his film The Cool School which won our Maverick Award for Best Documentary Feature. 

(Director: Morgan Neville, Producers: Caryn Capotosto, Nicholas Ma) — Fred Rogers used puppets and play to explore complex social issues: race, disability, equality and tragedy, helping form the American concept of childhood. He spoke directly to children and they responded enthusiastically. Yet today, his impact is unclear. Have we lived up to Fred’s ideal of good neighbors?

Morgan Neville at Woodstock Film Festival

Morgan Neville at Woodstock Film Festival


Rest in Peace to Maurice D. Hinchey, congressman and longtime friend of the festival.

Democratic congressman and longtime friend of the festival Maurice D. Hinchey passed away peacefully at his home in Saugerties on November 22. He was a beloved Statesman, a fierce and dedicated environmentalist who was cherished for his work in the community and nationwide throughout his 10 terms of public service. Hinchey was the husband of Ilene Marder, a founding member of the board of directors of the Woodstock Film Festival. He was also the recipient of the festival's 2012 Spirit of Woodstock Award and has participated in numerous film festival events throughout the years. He will be deeply missed by the thousands of community members, staff members, politicians, and his many friends and family members. To read more about Maurice Hinchey's long and remarkable career in public service visit https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/23/obituaries/maurice-hinchey-dies.html


The Woodstock Film Festival and Hudson Valley Film Commission are seeking MATCHING FUNDS for a FACILITIES GRANT.

Whether you donate $5 or $5000, every little bit helps.

Your support will help us achieve our goals to hire local contractors to (1) gut and renovate 2 office spaces and a bathroom (2) make electrical upgrades (3) replace 5 inefficient windows, and (4) prep for and install spray foam insulation under the roof line to keep heat in the building.

In 2011, the property, formerly known as Heckeroth Plumbing & Electric, was purchased at 11-13 Rock City Road. The iconic film legend Lee Marvin once worked there as an apprentice plumber. We still have and honor the tool chest he graffitied.

Over the years, countless improvements have been made to transform the property into THE FILM CENTER, which now serves as the administrative center for the Woodstock Film Festival and Hudson Valley Film Commission. In 2017, the facility also served several independent films, which were produced in the region.

Please help us reach our goal. For details, please visit our Capital Campaign page.


Photo by: Leslie Hill

Photo by: Leslie Hill

Join us at the 19th Annual Woodstock Film Festival, on October 10-14 2018.

The Woodstock Film Festival showcases some of the best contemporary filmmaking from around the world, featuring passionate, creative, captivating and affirming work by some of today's most promising and accomplished independent filmmakers. Events generate large, enthusiastic audiences, news headlines, social media exposure and a gamut of other promotional opportunities.


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The Woodstock Film Festival is extremely grateful to have so many amazing sponsors each year. This year's festival was made possible in part by Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsors, and State Support.

 


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THANKS TO OUR AMAZING STAFF & VOLUNTEERS

We cannot thank everyone enough. From the bottom of our hearts, we are deeply grateful for the wonderful and inspiring five days. From filmmakers, to volunteers, to staff members, to festival attendees, and everyone in-between this year was a success because of YOU! Thank you to everyone who attended this year.

We can't wait until next year - and we hope to see you all again!


THANK YOU NEWSLETTER ADVERTISERS!

We would like to also extend a thank you to advertisers who support our monthly newsletters including BankPurely, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Deborah MedenbachColdwell Banker Village Green RealtyThe LodgeSunflower Cafe, and Ulster Savings Bank.