OCTOBER 10 - 14 • 19th ANNUAL WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL
The Woodstock Film Festival’s Summer Youth Film Lab, held at the Center for Creative Education in Kingston, NY, started on July 9th and concluded July 27th.
The Lab serviced 10 students. 3 instructors, 3 TAs, and the program director.
Each day has had a mentor come in mid-day to talk with the students. During the first week, the mentors included filmmaker Alex Smith (Slaughter Rule, Winter in the Blood, Walking Out) who talked to them about screenwriting and directing; Academy Award winning actress Melissa Leo (The Fighter, Frozen River, I’m Dying Up Here) who talked to them about acting and the relationship between actors and their directors; Sound recordist and mixer Carl Welden who talked to them about sound recording; NYU film professor and filmmaker Janet Grillo (Fly Away, Jack and the Red Hearts) who talked to them about filmmaking and also about working in the industry; and Academy Award winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams (Life Animated, God Loves Uganda) who talked about documentary filmmaking and the differences between that and working on narrative films.
"It’s a wrap for week one of the WFF Summer Youth Film Lab. Students have learned about the basics of filmmaking and are now embarking on the beginning stages of their own short film projects. Instructor Gregg Bray says that "it has been inspiring to work with such wonderful emerging talent. The mentor visits have been invigorating and eye opening". Johnny Fuentes, a student of the lab says he "really likes the mentor visits. I like learning about what they do and how important their roles in the industry are". Another student, Alessandra Pinillos says that she has learned a lot of things that she didn’t know about the film process. In just one week the students have covered everything from learning about the art of storytelling to shot composition and working with the digital production equipment."
The second week saw visiting mentors, including Greg Meola of Company 1 Productions (who will come with his grip truck and go through his massive gear with the students); Jeremiah Wenutu who will talk about production assistant jobs; Jacob Hutchings who will talk about line producing, and editor Sabine Hoffman (Maggie’s Plan, Elvis & Nixon) who will talk about editing. The students will also pay a visit to Kingston Radio, where they will get a tour of the station and will give a live radio interview about their experience at the Lab. The students will spend most of next week in production, while on the third week they will spend their time in post production as they finish their films.
On the last day of the Youth Film Lab, the students screed their finished films to family and friends. After a visit at Radio Kingston where the students were interviewed live on the radio by the radio's executive director Jimmy Buff, the students, teachers and teachers assistant went back to the Center for Creative Education and got ready for their "closeup"; the screening of their films in front of many of their family members and friends. And so we all got to see three wonderfully unique, thoughtful and accomplished films that were written, directed, produced, acted, composed and edited by the teenage students. So proud of each one of them and so happy for them. For those interested, these films will be screened also at the Woodstock Film Festival this October.
The Woodstock Film Festival Summer Youth Film Lab was made possible with support from an anonymous donor.
The Woodstock Film Festival 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
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.
Finding Oscar was made after co-producer Scott Greathead persuaded his childhood friend, Hollywood producer Frank Marshall, that it was a story that had to be told. The film is a Kennedy/Marshall Company production directed by Ryan Suffern. The Executive Producer is Steven Spielberg. The film was made in association with USC Shoah Foundation, which Steven Spielberg founded to record and preserve the testimonies of Holocaust survivors, and with Friends of FAFG, which supports the work of the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala.
From Film Lab director Megan Sperry -
The Woodstock Film Festival, in collaboration with Upstate Films: Woodstock, presented a special screening of LEAVE NO TRACE on June 23rd. The sold-out event drew moviegoers from across the region to watch Debra Granik's newest film and participate in thoughtful discussion after the screening.
"I felt so fortunate to be able to attend an advance screening of LEAVE NO TRACE, hosted by Meira Blaustein and the Woodstock Film Festival. The film is immensely powerful and assured, hypnotic and illuminating, impeccably acted by Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie, and shot by the great Michael McDonough, who has collaborated with Debra Granik on every one of her extraordinary features. The Q&A gave the audience access to Debra’s thoughts and process, with an emphasis on how her ideas about narrative and politics inform her filmmaking. A memorable evening." - filmmaker Katherine Dieckmann (Strange Weather, Motherhood, Diggers)
"Wow Meira, what a loyal, focused, and outstandingly engaged cinema culture you and the festival have solidified in the land of WFF! I will not forget this night with the fullness and presence of interacting with film supporters and appreciators. Thank you for your long-running interest in the work, and for all that you do to make nights like Saturday happen (in addition to the big October).
Lots and lots of thanks." - Debra Granik
LEAVE NO TRACE opens theatrically June 29, 2018 via Bleecker Street.
WAYS TO SUPPORT THE WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL
Founded in 2000 as a grassroots arts organization driven by the sheer love of film and community, the Woodstock Film Festival has grown into one of the premiere independent film festivals in the US, bringing together thousands of filmmakers and film lovers over the years. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit 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 Woodstock Festival showcases passionate, creative and thought-provoking work by some of today's most promising and accomplished independent filmmakers from all over the world. This comprehensive programming could not happen without the support of grants, state and family foundations, corporate sponsorship, and individual giving. We are currently gearing up for our 19th edition in the fall of 2018, with our eyes set on the fall of 2019 as well, when we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Woodstock Film Festival. 2019 also marks the 50th anniversary of the legendary Woodstock Festival, as well as the 100th anniversary of Woodstock as America’s oldest colony of the arts.
Films, panels, parties and the Maverick Awards Ceremony during the Woodstock Film Festival generate large, enthusiastic audiences, news headlines, social media exposure, and a gamut of other promotional opportunities for all of our supporters Our success is linked to your generous support. Here is your chance to be a part of what actor Paul Rudd calls "a great festival... what a film festival should be, which is really independent films and showcasing the work of filmmakers you might not know about;” and what Ethan Hawke describes as “a festival that isn't trying to sell you anything, but simply and beautifully celebrating the art & craft of filmmaking."
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Internships offer students the opportunity to get hands on experience with all the necessary components of running a festival from press and marketing to operations and production. We are currently looking for interns in all departments for the time leading up to the festival.
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Do not miss this opportunity to work with industry professionals in a fun, fast-paced festival environment!
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