WHAT IS DEMOCRACY? Opens in Manhattan This Week

WHAT IS DEMOCRACY? is opening this week in Manhattan at the IFC CENTER, courtesy of Zeitgeist Films.

WHAT IS DEMOCRACY? had its NY premiere at the the 19th Annual Woodstock Film Festival in October 2018, with filmmaker Astra Taylor in attendance. Woodstock Film Festival’s Barbara Pokras elaborates on her take on the film below:

"Everywhere you look democracy is in trouble," observes director Astra Taylor as she travels the world to document the wave of authoritarianism sweeping the planet. Drawing on the ancient Greek philosophers and intercutting footage of the remnants of ancient Greece, Taylor seeks to tackle the question of "How shall we live?" With cameos by some of the most brilliant minds of our time, Taylor interviews Cornel West, Angela Davis and Wendy Brown, among others, and ferrets out the dark side of what we think of as democracy, with its institutionalized racism, poverty and greed. Plato observed the simple truth that the rich strive for more wealth to the detriment of the poor, and he thus believed that rulers should be impoverished. In a stark and revelatory interview, former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou dispels the notion of democracy — when loans from neighboring countries and the IMF result in austerity and riots. This is a fascinating account with parallels as true today as in Plato’s time. —Barbara Pokras, ACE

Joining filmmaker Astra Taylor during the week of the screenings will be special guests including: Silvia Federici, Cornel West, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor.

WHAT IS DEMOCRACY? opens Wednesday, January 16th. Showtimes, appearances, and tickets can be found at: www.ifccenter.com/films/what-is-democracy

For more information on the film please visit: www.whatisdemocracy.info

Maverick Award Winning Film, LIFEBOAT Picked Up By New Yorker Magazine

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If you missed LIFEBOAT at the 2018 Woodstock Film Festival, where it was honored with the Maverick Award for Best Short Doc, you can now view the film thanks to The New Yorker Magazine. To watch the video, visit https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-screening-room-lifeboat

Directed by Skye Fitzgerald, the 35 minute movie showcases a group of volunteers off the coast of Libya who rescue refugees from around the world as they risk their lives in flimsy rubber boats pushing off from shore in search of a better life.

"Woodstock was an incredible venue for our film,” said Fitzgerald. “It's filled with audiences with a real appetite for rigorous, unvarnished storytelling and robust dialogue surrounding issues in the films.”

In January, LIFEBOAT was shortlisted for the 2019 Academy Awards. It joins a long list of short documentaries that have screened at Woodstock prior to being honored with Oscar recognition. Other honorees include KNIFE SKILLS by Thomas Lennon, OUR CURSE by Tomasz Sliwinski, KINGS POINT by Sari Gilman, MONDAYS AT RACINE by Cynthia Wade, SALIM BABA by Tim Sternberg, LA CORONA by Amanda Micheli, FREEHELD by Cynthia Wade, WHY CAN’T WE BE A FAMILY AGAIN by Roger Weisberg and Murray Nossel, TWIN TOWERS by Bill Guttentag, and FERRY TALES by Katja Esson.

Skye Fitzgerald has been producing projects focused on human rights and social justice issues since 1998. Along the way he has collaborated and received support from the Sundance Institute, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the State Department and the Paul Robeson Fund, including being named a Fulbright Research Scholar to produce the film Bombhunters. For more info, visit www.SpinFilm.org

And the Golden Globe goes to...

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Congratulations to Woodstock resident and Woodstock Film Festival alum Joe Weisberg, and the whole team of THE AMERICANS for their Golden Globe win in the Best Television Series - Drama category.

Patricia Clarkson at the 2007 Woodstock Film Festival

Patricia Clarkson at the 2007 Woodstock Film Festival

Rachel Brosnahan on her win for THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy. 

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Our congratulations also go out to Woodstock Film Festival alums and two of everyone’s favorite actresses:

Patricia Clarkson, on her Golden Globe win for SHARP OBJECTS in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.

Melissa Leo, Meira Blaustein and Rachel Brosnahan at 2011 Woodstock Film Festival

Melissa Leo, Meira Blaustein and Rachel Brosnahan at 2011 Woodstock Film Festival

Congratulations to all nominees and winners!

FROM DOCUMENTARY TO NARRATIVE - THE MARK HOGANCAMP STORY

Director Jeff Malmberg and Mark Hogancamp during the making of MARWENCOL

Director Jeff Malmberg and Mark Hogancamp during the making of MARWENCOL

In 2006, director Jeff Malmberg began what would become the Award Winning documentary MARWENCOL, about outsider artist Mark Hogancamp. The documentary later inspired a radio story for THIS AMERICAN LIFE. The documentary was released theatrically by the Cinema Guild and aired on PBS. It won over 25 awards, including the Best Documentary award at the 2010 Woodstock Film Festival – the first public screening that Hocancamp attended.

“Mark is a beautiful and fascinating person, so to be able to tell his story over that amount of time was a real joy,” says Malmberg looking back. “At that time, the Kingston area was sort of a second home for me. I still feel really close to that area and love coming back.”

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The feature film version, WELCOME TO MARWEN, which is based on MARWENCOL, will play from 1/4 through 1/7/2019 at the Rosendale Theatre Collective. When a devastating attack shatters Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell) and wipes away all his memories, no one expects recovery. Putting together pieces from his old and new life, Mark meticulously creates a wondrous town where he can heal and be heroic. As he builds an astonishing art installation—a testament to the most powerful women he knows—through his fantasy world, he draws strength to triumph in the real one. In a bold, wondrous and timely film, WELCOME TO MARWEN shows that when your only weapon is your imagination…you’ll find courage in the most unexpected place.

WELCOME TO MARWEN is the second feature directed by the legendary director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Castaway, Forrest Gump) that features an Ulster County Resident. The film stars Steve Carell.

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THE WALK, which screened at the 2015 Woodstock Film Festival, is based on the Academy Award winning documentary MAN ON WIRE about high wire artist Philippe Petit. Before production, in 2014, actor Joseph Gordon Leavitt visited the region and practiced tightrope walking under the tutelage of Philippe Petit at Tech City in the Town of Ulster.

Zemeckis is also executive producer of NBC’s MANIFEST, which filmed its pilot episode at Stewart Airport in New Windsor.

For upcoming exhibitions featuring work by Mark Hogancamp, visit marwencol.com/artwork

OSCAR Short Lists include 2018 Woodstock Film Festival picks

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The Oscars are right around the corner. On December 17, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released shortlists for nine Oscar categories including Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Short, Best Foreign-Language Film, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Best Animated Short, Best Live-Action Short, Best Visual Effects

The Woodstock Film Festival is proud to have screened three films that have been short listed including:

Hale County This Morning, This Evening, directed by RaMell Ross was nominated for Best Documentary Feature. Described as “The most significant piece of nonfiction filmmaking of the year” by Indiewire, the film recently received the Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Documentary and has been nominated for the Independent Spirit Awards, to be held February 23rd 2019.

LifeBoat, directed by Skye Fitzgerald, has been nominated for Best Documentary Short. The heart wrenching short doc was awarded the Best Short Documentary Award at the 2018 Woodstock Film Festival,

One Small Step, directed by Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas, received a nomination for Best Animated Short.

For a complete list of nominations, visit Hollywood Reporter.

Congrats to these filmmakers and to all the nominees, and stay tuned for the final Oscar nominations, which will be revealed January 22.

Cinema Culture: The Woodstock Film Festival

Steve Buscemi in Cinema Culture: The Woodstock Film Fest

Steve Buscemi in Cinema Culture: The Woodstock Film Fest

Experience the Woodstock Film Festival as you’ve never seen it before with a behind-the-scenes look at the independent film fest hailed as ‘a true American maverick among fests.’ Hear from directors and actors like Christopher Llyod, William Fichter, Matthew Heineman, Juliane Dressner, and more about the role independent films play in the movie industry.

Click to watch

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS CLOSE OUT WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL'S 19TH ANNUAL CELEBRATION

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WOODSTOCK, NY (October 15, 2018) - The 19th Annual Woodstock Film Festival wrapped up on Sunday with the closing night film A PRIVATE WAR which was followed by a Q&A with director Matthew Heineman. More than 100 feature length narratives and documentaries were calculated at the film center late Sunday night to determine the winners of the Audience Awards. Thousands of film lovers, film industry members and filmmakers from around the world attended films, panels, and special events in Woodstock, Rhinebeck, Rosendale, Kingston and Saugerties over the last week.

Winners are announced below…

http://woodstockfilmfestival.org/2018-audience-award-winner/

FIERCELY INDEPENDENT 2018 WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL MAVERICK AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED

WOODSTOCK, NY (October 13, 2018) - On Saturday, October 13, the 19th annual Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Awards Ceremony took place at Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston, NY. The venue, in the heart of Kingston’s uptown historic district, was packed with filmmakers, film industry members, community leaders, and audience members. Awards were presented to exceptional films and honorees in numerous categories.

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Films from the 2018 Woodstock Film Festival were honored at the Maverick Awards Ceremony with presentations for Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Student Short, Ultra Indie Award, Animation Award, Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography, World Cinema Award, James Lyons Editing Award for Narrative & Documentary Features, Best Short Documentary, and the Carpe Diem Andretta Award.

Winners are announced below…

Read full release: http://woodstockfilmfestival.org/2018-maverick-award-winners

19TH ANNUAL FIERCELY INDEPENDENT WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES OFFICIAL 2018 LINEUP

WOODSTOCK, NY (September 12, 2018) - The 2018 Woodstock Film Festival will showcase 9 World Premieres, 4 North American Premieres, 1 US Premiere, 12 East Coast Premieres and 8 New York Premieres. 

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CLICK HERE TO VIEW AND DOWNLOAD PRE-FESTIVAL PROGRAM

The iconic Woodstock Film Festival was created in the year 2000. Since then, it has become one of the foremost regional independent film festivals. Establishing itself as a ground-breaking festival that offers a unique platform for filmmakers around the globe, the Woodstock Film Festival has been named among the top 50 film festivals worldwide. 

TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE SEPTEMBER 12th ONLINE AND OVER THE PHONE

(845-810-0131)

WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL BOX OFFICE (13 Rock City Road, Woodstock, NY) will be open:

September 19 to October 7 • Wednesday through Sunday, from Noon-6PM (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays)

October 8-13 • Daily from 9AM to 7PM

October 14 from 9AM to 6PM

Read full release: http://woodstockfilmfestival.org/2018-lineup-announcement/

HONORARY AWARD RECIPIENTS, CLOSING NIGHT FILM & TRIBUTE SCREENING

19TH ANNUAL WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES

HONORARY AWARD RECIPIENTS, CLOSING NIGHT FILM & TRIBUTE SCREENING

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Photo: Marc Grob

Photo: Marc Grob

WOODSTOCK, NY (August 21, 2018) - The Woodstock Film Festival is thrilled to announce its 2018 top honorary award recipients: Tony®, Emmy®, and Grammy® winning and Oscar® nominated filmmaker, Julie Taymor will receive the honorary Maverick Award at the 19th annual Woodstock Film Festival. Oscar® nominated and Emmy® award-winning director

Matthew Heineman will receive the Filmmaker Award of Distinction during that same time. The Maverick Awards ceremony takes place on Saturday, October 13, 2018 at Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston, NY.

Additionally, Heineman's feature narrative debut, A PRIVATE WAR, starring Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan and Stanley Tucci will close the film festival on the evening of Sunday, October 14th and Taymor's globally renowned ACROSS THE UNIVERSE will have a special tribute screening on the morning of October 14th. Both films will be followed by Q&As. 

The 19th annual Woodstock Film Festival takes place from October 10-14, 2018. 

 

Read full release: http://woodstockfilmfestival.org/2018-maverick-award

SPECIAL SCREENING: FINDING OSCAR

The Woodstock Film Festival (October 10-14) and WacBiz are pleased to announce a special co-presentation of the documentary Finding Oscar on September 8, 2018 at 6:00 pm held at the Rosendale Theater Collective. The screening will be immediately followed by a panel featuring producer and attorney Scott Greathead, the film’s subject Óscar Ramirez Castañeda, and forensic anthropologist Fredy Peccerelli, moderated by Woodstock Film Festival Executive Director and Founder Meira Blaustein.

ABOUT FINDING OSCAR

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Finding Oscar tells the incredible story of the 15-year search for a 3-year-old boy who survived the infamous Dos Erres Massacre in Guatemala in 1982.  Set against the background of Guatemala’s 36-year Armed Conflict, the film features three courageous Guatemalan women – a human rights activist, a young prosecutor and Guatemala’s Attorney General – who unraveled the mystery of what happened at Dos Erres and brought to justice the perpetrators of one of Central America’s worst crimes against humanity. The film also lays bare the U.S. government’s covert support for the violent policies of Guatemala’s government and its Acting President at the time of Dos Erres, General Efraín Ríos Montt, whom President Reagan publicly embraced in 1982.   

Tickets to the event are $20 and can be purchased at http://woodstockfilmfestival.com/events/findingoscar.php

Proceeds will benefit the Woodstock Film Festival and Friends of FAFG, a U.S. 501 (c)(3) tax exempt organization that supports the work of the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala, also known as FAFG (www.fafg.org). FAFG is a Guatemalan non-governmental organization that finds and identifies forcibly disappeared and other victims of Guatemala’s 36-year Armed Conflict. FAFG is dedicated to using forensic science as an instrument to recover history, clarity and truth, and to promote justice, combat impunity and build peace. 

Read full release: http://woodstockfilmfestival.org/2018findingoscarspecialscreening/

SPECIAL SCREENING: LEAVE NO TRACE WITH DEBRA GRANIK

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Woodstock, NY (June 2018) - On Saturday, June 23rd at 8:15 pm, the Woodstock Film Festival held a special screening of LEAVE NO TRACE, courtesy of Bleecker Street, at Upstate Films in Woodstock. The screening was followed by a Q&A with director Debra Granik. 

"I found the "LEAVE NO TRACE" captivating...made me think about homelessness in the USA, being homeless and surviving in the wilderness, being homeless and having PTSD and surviving in the wilderness, being homeless with PTSD and a teenage daughter and surviving .....This film was all this and more... We, the audience, learned a lot about filmmaking and the often tough choices a director has to make. A great experience. And many thanks Meira for bringing this film to town!" - Joan Snyder, artist

"[Director Debra Granik] made a film of grace and power, a story of people lost and found in America that often shows us at our noble and humble best. How rare and refreshing that is these days.” - Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

LEAVE NO TRACE is yet another example of how fortunate we are to see the film in an intimate setting, meet the director, and discover the art of the story. A father and daughter capture a seemingly safer life as survivalists and struggle to grow as individuals and remain a family. This film asks the audience to question their relationship with nature, love and who we are as individuals.

Read full release: http://woodstockfilmfestival.org/2018-leavenotracespecialscreening/

WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL 2017 FESTIVAL WRAP

"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

THIS FESTIVAL WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY
OUR AMAZING STAFF & VOLUNTEERS

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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!

Read the entire release here: https://woodstockfilmfestival.org/2017-october-newsletter-part-5/

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS CLOSE OUT WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL'S 18TH ANNUAL CELEBRATION

The Fiercely Independent Festival Concludes with Audience Favorites

CLICK HERE FOR HI-RES FESTIVAL PHOTOS
CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEOS

The 18th Annual Fiercely Independent Woodstock Film Festival wrapped up on Sunday with the closing night film ARTHUR MILLER: WRITER which was followed by a Q&A with director Rebecca Miller. Tallies from more than 120 narrative, documentary, short and animated films were calculated at the film center late Sunday night to determine the AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS. Thousands of movie buffs, film industry members and filmmakers from around the world attended films, panels, and special events in Woodstock, Rhinebeck, Rosendale, Kingston and Saugerties over the last three days, traversing everything from road blocks to drum circles to get to their screenings and fill the ballot baskets! 

Festival attendees this year included: 
Bill Pullman, Shep Gordon, Giancarlo Esposito, Rory Culkin, Griffin Dunne, Summer Phoenix, Lori Singer, Catherine Curtin, Auden Thornton, Tim Guinee, Rebecca Miller, William Horberg, Peter Saraf, Lee Aronsohn, Anne Carey, Richard Rowley, Bob Herbert, Jamie Redford, Sam Pollard, Barbara Kopple, Philippe Petit, Tamlin Hall, Catherine Eaton, Michael Lang and many more.

Read full press release @ https://woodstockfilmfestival.org/2017-audience-award-winner/

FIERCELY INDEPENDENT 2017 WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL  MAVERICK AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED

WOODSTOCK, NY (October 14, 2017) - On Saturday, October 14, the 18th annual Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Awards Ceremony took place at Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston, NY. The venue was packed with filmmakers, film industry members, community leaders, and audience members attended the event held in the heart of Kingston’s Uptown Historic District.

Awards were presented to exceptional films and honorees in numerous categories.

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Films from the 2017 Woodstock Film Festival were honored at the Maverick Awards Ceremony with presentations for Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Student Short, Ultra Indie Award, Animation Award, Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography, World Cinema Award, James Lyons Editing Award for Narrative & Doc Features, the Maverick Award for Best Short Documentary, and the Carpe Diem Andretta Award.

Winners are announced below..

Read the full press release @ https://woodstockfilmfestival.org/2017-maverick-award-winners-1/

Woodstock Film Festival Newsletters 2017

Stay up to date with the exciting news of the 18th Woodstock Film Festival. As the festival approaches, more information about the films, filmmakers, panels, and special events and guests will be posted here. 

Do not miss out on this year's films and buy your tickets at our box office or online.

CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS ONLINE
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE PDF

Every week there will be a Newsletter posted with the latest updates and highlights.

18TH ANNUAL FIERCELY INDEPENDENT WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES OFFICIAL 2017 LINEUP

WOODSTOCK, NY (September 12, 2017) - The 2017 Woodstock Film Festival will showcase 4 World Premieres, 5 North American Premieres, 1 US Premiere, 20 East Coast Premieres and 9 New York Premieres.

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CLICK HERE TO VIEW AND DOWNLOAD PRE-FESTIVAL PROGRAM

The iconic Woodstock Film Festival was created in the year 2000. Since then, it has become one of the foremost regional independent film festivals. Establishing itself as a ground-breaking festival that offers a unique platform for filmmakers around the globe, the Woodstock Film Festival has been named among the top 50 film festivals worldwide. 

TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE SEPTEMBER 20 ONLINE AND OVER THE PHONE

(845-810-0131)

The WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL BOX OFFICE (13 Rock City Road, Woodstock, NY) will be open:

September 20 to October 8 • Wednesday through Sunday, from Noon-6PM (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays)

October 9-14 • Daily from 9AM to 7PM

October 15 • 9AM to 6PM

Read full lineup release @ https://woodstockfilmfestival.org/2017-lineup-announcement

BILL PULLMAN PERFORMANCE IN ‘THE BALLAD OF LEFTY BROWN’ RECOGNIZED WITH EXCELLENCE IN ACTING AWARD AT 18TH WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL

Woodstock, NY (August 28, 2017) - The Woodstock Film Festival announced today that actor Bill Pullman will receive the 2017 Excellence in Acting Award on Saturday October 14 at Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston, NY. Director Jared Moshe (THE BALLAD OF LEFTY BROWN) will present Pullman with the award.

In addition to receiving the award, the Woodstock Film Festival will screen THE BALLAD OF LEFTY BROWN (an A24/DirecTV release) in which Bill Pullman gives a tour de force performance as the title character. Festival attendees will also have the opportunity to interact with Pullman, at the annual Actor's Dialogue on Sunday, October 15. 

Read full release @ https://wffpress.squarespace.com/pullman/

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WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES SUSAN SARANDON AS HONORARY MAVERICK AWARD RECIPIENT

18TH ANNUAL WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES SUSAN SARANDON AS HONORARY MAVERICK AWARD RECIPIENT

For additional information contact: press@woodstockfilmfestival.com

Woodstock, NY (August 14, 2017) - The Woodstock Film Festival announced today that iconic actor and producer Susan Sarandon will receive the honorary Maverick Award. In addition to celebrating Sarandon's esteemed film career during the October award ceremony, the Woodstock Film Festival will also be screening BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY— a 2017 film that Sarandon executive produced. 

Read full release @ https://wffpress.squarespace.com/2017-maverick-award

SPECIAL SCREENING: WALKING OUT

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Woodstock, NY (July 2017) - On August 12 at 2pm, the Woodstock Film Festival will present a special screening of WALKING OUT at Upstate Films in Woodstock. Following the screening, there will be a Q&A session with guests; directors Andrew Smith and Alex Smith.

For tickets, CLICK HERE. 

An urban teenager journeys to Montana to hunt big game with his estranged father. Father and son struggle to connect, until a brutal encounter in the heart of the wilderness changes everything.