Tickets are selling fast - don't wait until the last minute. Tickets are available both online and over the phone (845-810-0131)
WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL BOX OFFICE (13 Rock City Road, Woodstock, NY) will be open:
September 12 to October 7 • Wednesday through Sunday, from Noon-6PM (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays)
October 8-13 • Daily from 9AM to 7PM
October 14 • 9AM to 6PM
The Woodstock Film Festival is proud to announce eight films making their New York premiere at this year's festival. These films and filmmakers tackle significant societal issues and tell fascinating stories, while also unveiling their films for the first time in New York State.
Give Us This Day, directed by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist
East St Louis is a post-industrial city across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, MO, with deep racial divides and the highest homicide rate per capita in the U.S. Give Us This Day is an unflinching look into the lives of three members of the local police and three city residents as each attempts to both survive and improve their own lives, as well as that of their city. Shot over the course of one year, the cinema vérité approach exposes a city with too many guns, too little education, excessive poverty, and a long history of racial tension. With no agenda to find easy explanations for complex problems, the film unsparingly documents the day-to-day realities of life in a broken urban system and attempts to cast some rays of hope and understanding on one of the biggest and seemingly least solvable problems in modern day America.
The Interpreters, directed by Andrés Caballero and Sofian Khan
To sign on as an interpreter for the U.S. army in the wake of war in the Middle East is risky business. But the promise of escaping to freedom is a powerful incentive for the three interpreters whose personal stories unfold in this illuminating, provocative, often frustrating, as well as heartwarming film, as they try to rebuild their lives: A chain-smoking Iraqi code-named Phillip Morris, finally coming to the U.S. with the help of an American soldier colleague; Malik, an Afghani, still working as an interpreter at the US base in Kabul, despite threats to his life; and Mujtaba, who fled with his family to Turkey hoping for passage to a better life in Europe. Theirs are the stories that often go unheard, and in a world where it is easy to feel disconnected from war and the human condition, these men remind us what freedom is supposed to look like, and what so many are still deprived of.
Julia Blue, directed by Roxy Toporowych
All Julia has ever wanted was to do good. Filmed just after the 2014 revolution in war-torn Ukraine, Julia, determined and vivacious, is an excellent student, a heartfelt volunteer and a passionate activist. While waiting to be accepted to photojournalism school in Germany, she unexpectedly finds herself falling for English, a handsome and brooding soldier who’s dealing with the physical and emotional devastation of war. Will Julia’s goals and dreams be thwarted by her soldier? Can she leave just when he needs her the most? Punctuated by stirring cinematography – depicting the post-revolution country from Kyiv to a remote Capathian village — Julia Blue serves as a reminder of the hardest choices humankind deals with: living or loving? It brings heart and compassion to war, and opens our eyes to how intense and fleeting love is when people are fighting for their lives.
Personal Statement, directed by Juliane Dressner and Edwin Martinez
Young kids growing up in urban poverty must grapple with circumstances that have seemingly nothing — yet everything — to do with getting into college: homelessness, poverty, homophobia, food scarcity. To make matters worse, most public schools don't have enough counseling support to help students navigate the increasingly complicated application process. Determined not to become statistics in an unjust system, high schoolers Karoline, Enoch and Christine are working as college counselors even as they are applying to college themselves. In a film populated by feisty, hard-hitting students and nurturing mentors, Personal Statement is an inspiring chronicle of dedication, promise, challenges, and also disappointment.
Swimming With Men, directed by Oliver Parker
His job is a drag, his wife may be cheating on him, and he’s not getting any younger. Accountant Eric (Rob Brydon) is simply treading water when he discovers a newfound sense of purpose, thanks to an unexpected source: a group of similarly stuck-in-a-rut guys who have found camaraderie and self-worth through synchronized swimming. Sure, they may be a bit paunchy, but they’re determined to prove they have what it takes to be a whirling, twirling, scissor-kicking aquatic dream team. And they’ve set their sights on the ultimate prize: the world championship. Showcasing the sharp wit of The Trip series’ Rob Brydon, Swimming With Men is a bighearted, delightfully offbeat ode to answering your calling, no matter where you are in life.
Up to Snuff, directed by Mark Maxey
W.G. 'Snuffy' Walden may be one of the most influential (but least known) contributors to the soundtrack of your life. If you watched thirtysomething, The Wonder Years, Friday Night Lights, or The West Wing, the guitarist Snuffy Walden possibly had more impact on you than Eric Clapton or Jimi Hendrix. Snuffy started out like many talented musicians in the '60s and '70s, embracing the Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll lifestyle, while trying to make it in a rock band. Unlike his music peers, Snuffy quietly transitioned into one of the most successful, well liked and impactful television composers of our time. As Snuffy himself says, 'I didn't choose a life in music, music chose me.' Learn how this massively influential, near unknown survived the '60s and '70s to help define the '90s and '00s.
What Is Democracy?, directed by Astra Taylor
"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. 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.
The World Before Your Feet, directed by Jeremy Workman
Former engineer Matt Green has a passion and a purpose: to walk every block of the over 8,000 miles of every New York City borough. Forsaking material attachments and relying on friends and strangers to provide shelter, Green is part human greeting card, part urban anthropologist, botanist, and historian. Driven by an insatiable curiosity, impervious to the elements and always amiable, he takes us along on a tour of the city to places that will surprise even born and bred New Yorkers. Director Jeremy Workman (WFF 2013, Audience Award, "Magical Universe") immerses the viewer in a sensory universe visible only to those who choose to slow down and observe. What began as a two-year project has morphed into five-plus years. Far more than an ode to a great metropolis, this is an engaging, entertaining and inspiring portrait of a man pursuing his own private dream.
The 19th Annual Woodstock Film Festival is slated to host a variety of compelling and groundbreaking panels that engage audiences and stimulate interest in the vast industry that is film and media.
Come hear this year's honorary Maverick Award recipient as she chats about her legendary career in theater, opera and film.
Julie Taymor is the intelligence and artistic life force behind The Lion King, the most successful stage musical ever. She began her film directing career with Titus, followed by Frida, the Frida Kahlo biopic starring Salma Hayek, which only recently has been revealed to be an early battleground of Hurricane Harvey Weinstein. Whether it's the musical Across the Universe or an adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest, rebel Taymor has demonstrated a unique vision and creative path, bringing a widespread appreciation of quality and substantive change to the arts.
Thelma Adams is a prominent American film critic and an outspoken voice in the Hollywood community. A two-time chair of the New York Film Critics Circle, she has been the in-house film critic for Us Weekly and The New York Post, and has written essays, celebrity profiles and reviews for Yahoo! Movies, The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Parade, Marie Claire and The Huffington Post. She co-produced the Emmy-nominated Feud: Bette and Joan, and is the author of the bestselling historical novel, The Last Woman Standing and Playdate, which O described as "a witty debut novel." Her forthcoming novel, Bittersweet Brooklyn, will be published in November 2018.
For filmmakers, working in the documentary form has always been a world apart from that of working in the narrative/scripted form. The objectives were different, the approach and style were different, the funding sources were different. But are they still? Today more and more documentary filmmakers venture into the narrative form with diverse levels of success. What does it take to create outstanding and successful works in both forms? Join two award-winning filmmakers as they share their cross-over experiences.
Roger Ross Williams is the first African American director to win an Academy Award with his short film Music By Prudence. Williams has directed a wide variety of acclaimed films including God Loves Uganda, which was shortlisted for an Academy Award, and Life, Animated, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2017. Williams is on the Board of Governors for the Academy of of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences, representing the Documentary branch, as well as being on the Diversity Committee for the Academy. He serves on the Alumni Advisory Board of the Sundance Institute, the Advisory Board of Full Frame Festival and the Board of the Tribeca Film Festival.
Williams has been named by Variety to the New York Power List as a "digitally savvy, entrepreneurial trailblazer'' in the entertainment industry and serves on the board of Docubox Kenya, a documentary fund and mentorship program based in Nairobi that supports African filmmakers. He also serves on the Board of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, the first major museum in Africa dedicated to contemporary art.
Matthew Heineman is an Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker who has twice won the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary Award from the Directors Guild of America, one of only three directors to win the prestigious honor twice. His two DGA wins, City Of Ghosts and Cartel Land, both premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Courage Under Fire Award from the International Documentary Association. City Of Ghosts was nominated for a BAFTA Award, PGA Award and a Primetime Emmy Award. Cartel Land was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, won three Primetime Emmy Awards and the George Polk Award in Journalism. At Sundance, Heineman won the Best Director Award and Special Jury Prize for Cinematography.
Heineman recently directed and executive produced The Trade, a docu-series that also premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Previously, Heineman co-directed and produced the Emmy-nominated documentary Escape Fire: The Fight To Rescue American Healthcare. A Private War is Heineman's debut feature film.
Music In Film, Sponsored by BMI Case Study - Up To Snuff • Featuring W.G. "Snuffy" Walden and Mark Maxey
Millions of people have been touched by his music, yet few know the journey, hardships and triumphs of musician and composer W. G. Snuffy Walden. Filmmaker Mark Maxey brings Snuffy's transformation from hard-core rock 'n roller to award-winning composer to the screen in his documentary Up to Snuff. Hear how this massively influential, nearly unknown talent survived the 60’s and 70’s to help define the 90’s and 00’s.
Mark Maxey is an Emmy Award-winning producer and director based in Washington, DC. His documentary Up To Snuff explores the life and career of musician/composer W.G. Snuffy Walden, and features Aaron Sorkin, Martin Sheen, Tom Arnold, Lawrence O'Donnell, among others. Maxey's television productions include American Valor, The Honors, Salute to American Heroes, and On Stage at the Kennedy Center with Marvin Hamlisch. Maxey is chairman of the Washington West Film Festival and a member of the Producers Guild of America, National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, National Association of Television Program Executives, and the American Film Institute.
W.G. Snuffy Walden is an American musician and composer of film and television soundtracks. He has been nominated for 13 primetime Emmy Awards, winning Outstanding Main Title Theme for The West Wing, and has won more than 50 BMI awards, including BMI's prestigious Richard Kirk Award for outstanding Career Achievement. His widely recognized music has been heard on close to a hundred television programs, including The West Wing, Thirtysomething, The Wonder Years, Friday Night Lights, Nashville, The Drew Carey Show, Felicity, Norm, Ellen, Rosanne, My So-Called Life, I'll Fly Away, and others, as well as seven feature films and documentaries. Snuffy's ability to combine intricate emotions and musical simplicity has earned him a special place among the ranks of composers, as his work continues to ring with genuine warmth and truth.
Doreen Ringer Ross is Vice President Film, TV & Visual Media Relations at Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), where she directs all activities serving composers for screen. She has established key programs for composers, including the Sundance Composers' Lab and the BMI Film/TV Composers Conducting Workshop. She oversees BMI's film scoring scholarships at USC, UCLA and Berklee College of Music, and has created artist development platforms with the Sundance Film Festival, IFP Filmmaker Labs, IFP Filmmakers Conference, Los Angeles Film Festival, SXSW Film Festival, and the Woodstock Film Festival. Ringer-Ross serves as Vice Chairman of the Board for The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, is a member of the Peabody Awards Board, Advisory Board of the American Youth Symphony, Advisory Board for the IFP Filmmaker Labs, and is on the Board of the World Soundtrack Award.
Women in Film, Crossing the Line • Featuring Blair Breard, Naomi McDougall Jones, Ryan Elizabeth Cunningham
2018 has seen the #MeToo campaign turn into a powerful movement, empowering women from all walks of life. With seemingly more women gaining a foothold in a film industry traditionally dominated by men, what is the future likely to hold? Are we finally heading towards gender equality in the entertainment and film world or are we still embedded in the status quo? Hear from some of the women who began their film careers long before it was conventional, as they discuss the pitfalls and successes of their respective careers' trajectory and illuminate what has changed and what remains the same.
Allison Dunne is host and producer of NPR-affiliate WAMC Northeast Public Radio's 51%, a weekly show about women's issues that is carried on some 100 public and commercial stations across the country. The show is from WAMC's National Productions division. Allison, an award-winning reporter, has spent the better part of the last 17 years as Hudson Valley Bureau Chief at WAMC. She holds a bachelors in broadcast journalism from Boston University and pursued her Master's in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University. She began her journalism career in print, in financial journalism in New York City, including serving as the Latin American reporter for financial publications.
Blair Breard is a New York based producer. She started her career in film on John Sayles' Passion Fish and has worked on a number of films with a variety of directors since then, including I Shot Andy Warhol, Indie cult favorite Pootie Tang, the critically acclaimed Margaret, and Margot at the Wedding. Breard executive produced The Drop, Baskets, Better Things, Strangers, and the award-winning comedy series Louie, for FX. Her company Bossy Boots has a first-look deal with FX, recently sold a pilot to Showtime and has several other projects in development.
Naomi McDougall Jones is an award-winning writer, actress, producer, and activist based in New York City. She is in post-production on her second feature, Bite Me), which she wrote and starred in. Her first feature, which she also wrote, produced and starred in, was the twelve-time award-winning Imagine I'm Beautiful. Her pilot The Dark Pieces, is in development for TV in Canada. A thought leader for bringing gender parity to cinema, her virally sensational TEDTalk, What it's Like to Be a Woman in Hollywood, has been viewed over 1 million times. She is the founder and Chief Impact Officer of The 51 Fund, a venture capital fund dedicated to financing films by women and is currently writing a book, The Wrong Kind of Woman: Dismantling the Gods of Hollywood.
Ryan Elizabeth Cunningham is an Emmy and Peabody award-winning producer. Select TV producing credits include Inside Amy Schumer and Broad City (Comedy Central), Louie (FX); Search Party and The Last O.G. (TBS); Strangers (Facebook); Horace and Pete (Hulu); The Electric Company (PBS), as well as several prominent stand-up specials for Netflix and HBO. Her film credits include Keep the Change, starring the first leading cast on the autism spectrum; Becks, winner of the US Fiction Prize at the LA Film Festival 2017; and the ill-fated I Love You, Daddy, directed by Louis C.K. Ryan recently launched the development company Running Woman with the goal to tell stories that haven't been heard before. She's also co-owned the NYC-based post-production house Running Man for the last decade.
Power of Youth • Featuring filmmaker Juliane Bresser and Harry Lee, student Karoline Jimenez, student Roda Mohamed, and student Sam Levine
Franklin D. Roosevelt said, We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future. Every generation faces unique challenges and today's youth will be handed a world much different from that of their parents. The future of most industries is rapidly changing and the skills they will need to prepare for what's ahead is unpredictable. The POWER OF YOUTH panel features filmmakers whose work focuses on the goals and dreams of today's youth, some of the youth who are the subjects of those films, and an aspiring young filmmaker still in high school who hopes to make a career in film. Join the discussion as they explore how today's youth and tomorrow's adults can navigate society for a better tomorrow.
Megan Sperry is a documentary filmmaker and educator who advocates for social change. Her first feature-length documentary, The Domino Effect (2012), about the re-development of the Domino Sugar factory on the Williamsburg waterfront in Brooklyn, NY, has screened at such notable venues as the Church Center for the United Nations, The Goethe Institute in NYC, and the Austrian Museum of Architecture. The film continues to serve as a teaching tool for universities and organizations across the U.S. In the fall of 2015, Sperry joined the Digital Media and Journalism department at SUNY New Paltz. During the summer of 2018, she served as the Program Director for the Woodstock Film Festival Youth Film Lab.
Juliane Dresser, Director, Personal Statement
Karoline Jimenez, Student, Brooklyn High school, featured in Personal Statement
Harry Lee, Co-Director, Somaliland
Roda Mohamed, Student at Abaarso School, featured in Somaliland
Sam Levine, Participant in the 2018 Woodstock Film Festival Summer Youth Film Lab and high school student at the Woodstock Day School
Steve Buscemi became interested in acting during his last year of high school. After graduating, he moved to Manhattan to study acting with John Strasberg. He was cast in his first lead role in Parting Glances (1986). Since then, Buscemi has worked with many of the top filmmakers in Hollywood and has appeared in films too numerous to list, including Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Handsome Harry,and most recently, The Death of Stalin. Buscemi has directed the feature films Trees Lounge, Lonesome Jim and Interview, as well as many TV series episodes (Boardwalk Empire, Portlandia, Nurse Jackie, the Sopranos, Park Bench with Steve Buscemi), and has executive produced both for TV and film, including Dreaming of a Vetter World, screening at the festival.
William Fichtner started his acting career on the stage in New York. He followed by appearing in the television series As The World Turns. Since then has appeared in a long list and wide range of films, including Crash, Black Hawk Down, Go, The Perfect Storm, Heat, Elysium, and 12 Strong, and the upcoming OG, Finding Steve McQueen, and All The Devil's Men, to name just a few. His directorial debut, Cold Brook, has been a labor of love for Fichtner and co-writer Cain DeVore for years. He directed, produced and starred in the film that was mostly shot in his beloved hometown of Buffalo, New York.
Martha Frankel is the author of the memoir Hats & Eyeglasses: A Family Love Affair with Gambling, the executive director of the Woodstock Bookfest and the host of the weekly show, Woodstock Booktalk.
Virtual Reality • Featuring curators Carol Silverman and Dario Laverde and Virtual Reality artists and experts
Virtual Reality (VR) is the next phase of storytelling for creators and artists. It is an exciting new medium that must be experienced live to be understood. The Woodstock Film Festival Virtual Reality Lounge curators and other VR innovators will discuss today's trends in VR and 360 experience, and explore the fast developing new approaches and discoveries within this immersive art form.
John Benton is a narrative designer whose work ranges from traditional film to emerging media. Most recently, he won the Tribeca Film Festival's Mobile Storytelling Prize, as well as London's PttPixel MarketPrize for his interactive graphic novel. He is a fellow at the IFP NY Media Center, working primarily in VR. Benton's work has been shown in galleries, festivals, and museums around the world. In the last few years he has been working primarily with haptic, an immersive environment. At NYUSPS, Benton teaches digital filmmaking and video game design at the Center for Applied Liberal Arts.
Kiira Benzing is a storyteller crossing the mediums of theater, improv, documentary, fiction, and virtual reality. Her work melds intimate, character-driven portraits with high concept, abstract motifs and a magical edge. She is inspired by blending genres and brings her imaginative flair to filmmaking and creating new forms for storytelling.
Dario Laverde is a senior developer evangelist at HTC with an EE background background. He has 25+ years software development experience, including mobile, embedded, web, and enterprise. Among his various professional roles, he has worked as an Android instructor, consultant, Java architect, author, and entrepreneur. Dario has founded several developer communities, including NYC Java, NYC-GDG, NY Android, and is currently active with the VR community. You can follow him on twitter @virtual_dario.
Stephanie Riggs is an interdisciplinary content creator focused on directing narrative-driven virtual and immersive experiences. She began developing virtual reality in the 1990s, building interactive Virtual Reality HMD projects featured at SIGGRAPH and E3.
Samantha Gorman is the co-director of game studio Tender Claws. She specializes in writing for interactive media across genres including expanded cinema, games and virtual reality. Tender Claws’ first release PRY (prynovella.com) was one of Apple’s 25 best apps of 2015, a finalist for the Future of Storytelling Prize and a finalist in IGF for “Excellence in Narrative.” Following PRY, Tender Claws has grown and released “Virtual, Virtual Reality” (VVR) which draws on her seven years of experience in developing Virtual Reality at Brown University’s CAVE VR studio. VVR won the 2017 Google Play Award for “Best VR Experience” and Unity Awards Finalist “Best VR Game” and “Best Mobile VR” at Raindance among others. Samantha is a Ph.D. research fellow in Media Arts and Practice at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.
Carol Silverman is a painter and an Emmy award-winning set decorator for film and television. Her decorating work can be seen on Saturday Night Live, HBO series Boardwalk Empire, feature film Rough Night, and many others. She was a creative advisor to the NYU Future Realities Lab production of the Holojam in Wonderland VR theater installation at the 2017 Future of Storytelling conference. She was also part of the production team for the VR Arcade at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.
Other virtual reality experts and artists to be announced
The Evolution of Platforms for Visual Storytelling and Distribution • Featuring Richard Abramowitz, Eric Sloss, Jake hanly, and adam brightman
In the late 1880s, various people began experimenting with photos, blending them together to give the illusion of a motion picture. During the same era, Thomas Edison patented the earliest version of the motion picture camera, while the Lumiere Brothers created the first motion picture. A few years later, in 1905, the first five-cents admission movie theater opened in a storefront in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, ushering in the era of accessible movies for all. And the world has never been the same.
The movie making and the movie watching experience have developed and morphed many times over since those formative years, yet the essence of it all - visual storytelling - has stayed the same. Our panel of experts will take us down memory lane and juxtapose past trends with today's and tomorrow's ever-evolving technologies and formats.
Richard Abramowitz is an innovative leader, distributing and marketing independent films for over 35 years. His company, Abramorama, takes a personalized approach that bypasses traditional film studios and their methodology, providing valuable distribution alternatives. Among his many distribution projects are Ron Howard's Grammy-winning The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — The Touring Years; Laurie Anderson's Heart of a Dog, Peabody Award-winner Listen to Me Marlon, Banksy's Spirit Award-winner and Academy Award-nominee Exit Through the Gift Shop, and Spike Lee's 4 Little Girls.
Eric Sloss is an executive at Cinetic Media, where he runs the North American sales division for the company. He is responsible for working in tandem with the finance, management and sales arms to devise worldwide distribution strategies for feature narrative and documentary films.
Jake Hanly is the VP, Acquisitions at Gunpowder & Sky responsible for sourcing, evaluating and negotiating distribution agreements for Gunpowder's slate of theatrical releases, digital distribution and sales agency titles. Previous titles include Heart Beat Loud, The Little Hours, Summer of 84, Prospect and Tragedy Girls. He is also directly involved in the development of Gunpowder & Sky original productions and film financing initiatives. Prior to joining the acquisitions department, Jake ran the acquisitions department and worked in the sales group at FilmBuff.
Adam Brightman, film and television producer known for films such as Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Vamps, Escape at Dannemora, and Zero Day.
Our festival staff and interns have selected some of their favorite fiercely independent films that are being screened at the upcoming 19th Annual Woodstock Film Festival.
Dorst (Craving), directed by Saskia Diesing
Lovely, young Coco has no idea what to do with her life. Plagued by numerous questions about her childhood, she is desperate for any kind of love. Based on the novel by one of Netherlands' finest authors, Esther Gerritsen, who collaborated with director Saskia Diesing on the script, it is clear from the start that Coco's relationship with her mother is strained, and her powerful older lover is rather dispassionate. When she learns her aloof, albeit charming mother is terminally ill, Coco decides to move in and dedicate herself to caring for her even though her mother isn't interested in having her there. The timeless question of what it means to be 'family' anchors Craving, and the three strong lead roles are perfectly cast in this very intimate, personal and lustful comedy that runs the gamut from hilarious to, at times, outright uncomfortable.
Give Us This Day, directed by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist
East St Louis is a post industrial city across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, MO, with deep racial divides and the highest homicide rate per capita in the U.S. Give Us This Day is an unflinching look into the lives of three members of the local police and three city residents as each attempts to both survive and improve their own lives, as well as that of their city. Shot over the course of one year, the cinema verite approach exposes a city with too many guns, too little education, excessive poverty, and a long history of racial tension. With no agenda to find easy explanations for complex problems, the film unsparingly documents the day-to-day realities of life in a broken urban system and attempts to cast some rays of hope and understanding on one of the biggest and seemingly least solvable problems in modern day America.
Shakedown, directed by Leilah Weinraub
It is rare that we get to see stories about queer people of color. Shakedown focuses on a world most people never normally get to see: a black lesbian strip club in Los Angeles during the early 2000s that helped to define club and gay culture today. The story is told in a bold, iconic style — using images from promotional flyers and hyperactive soundscapes mixed with captivating footage of the dancers in action. What kept me most glued to the screen was the intensely personal interviews that allow us to peek into the lives of these women — and share some truly intimate moments with them. The creative approach used to tell this story is perfectly executed, and the film does not hold back from highlighting social injustice and discrimination against marginalized groups of society.
Socrates, directed by Alex Moratto
After his mother's sudden death, 15-year-old Socrates, living in the favelas of coastal São Paulo, must learn to survive on his own or be put into state care. This gritty, gripping story is told through his eyes as he struggles to carry on. Desperate to make money, Socrates searches for work and takes occasional day jobs. Disowned by his estranged, abusive father because of his sexuality, he is left to survive on his own. An unlikely relationship with a male co-worker, Maicon, gives Socrates some hope, but Maicon's homophobia gets in the way of their relationship evolving. As Socrates' life begins to unravel, we reflect upon our own struggles and how we, as humans, pull through. Produced by Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes) and filmed with a micro budget of under $20,000, Socrates is the debut feature from Brazilian-American director Alex Moratto and was co-written, produced and acted by at-risk teenagers with the support of UNICEF.
Our area has a great selection of unique coffee shops worth visiting. For delicious hot/iced coffee, lattes, or cold brews, look no further than these fantastic local shops.
The Mud Club is brought to us by a group of likeminded individuals whose mission is to bring world class flavors in both Coffee and Baked Goods, while building an eco-friendly business model that will leave our Earth a better place for those generations to come. Their focus lies in the quote: “If we all save a little, we all save a lot”. The Mud Club also has a happy hour from 7 am to 8 am with $1.00 organic drip coffee.
43 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock, NY 12498
In an antiques-filled neighborhood, Outdated Cafe offers organic light fare, baked goods & coffee in quirky digs. Celebrate great food & design in the large open “antique café”. Outdated Cafe offers an eclectic mix of vintage goods & antiques. Everything in the café is for sale – from the chair you sit on to the art on the walls to the excellent coffee and farm-fresh food. Outdated Cafe Lite is a new location added this year, located in mid-town Kingston.
314 Wall Street, Kingston, NY 12401
26 Downs Street, Kingston, NY 12401
Carthaigh Coffee is a multi-roaster specialty coffee cafe located in Stone Ridge. The cafe is also a gallery space, showing diverse local and emerging artists. Carthaigh Coffee also has discussion groups, and collaborates with local producers and companies to promote wellness and local growth, while also remaining true to the core mission to deliver quality coffee to Ulster County.
3669 Main Street, Stone Ridge, NY 12484
All That Java is a coffee stand located in both in Rhinebeck and on Route 28 in Kingston. Taking inspiration from the drive-thru coffee stands popular on the West Coast, All That Java blends convenience and comfort into a harmony that is truly unique to the area. Bolstering a simple menu, a text ordering system, and well-regarded coffee, All That Java offers an experience that is unparalleled in the Hudson Valley.
6579 Spring Brook Avenue, Rhinebeck, NY 12572
454 NYS Route 28, Kingston, NY 12401
Gigantic Pictures is a New York City-based feature film, documentary and television production company founded by producers Brian Devine and Jason Orans. Recent projects include the documentaries NIGHT SCHOOL (PBS); THE GREAT INVISIBLE (SXSW 2014 Grand Jury Prize); 99%: THE OCCUPY WALL STREET COLLABORATIVE FILM (Sundance 2013, U.S. Documentary Competition); LET FURY HAVE THE HOUR (Tribeca 2012); Feature films include Independent Spirit nominated NIGHT CATCHES US (Sundance 2010, U.S. Narrative Competition); DARE (Sundance 2009, U.S. Narrative Competition) starring Emmy Rossum and Rooney Mara; Ramin Bahrani's Independent Spirit nominated GOODBYE SOLO (Venice FIPRESCI Prize 2008).
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