WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL
PO Box 1406, Woodstock, NY  12498, T 845.679.4265 F 509.479.5414
Email: info@woodstockfilmfestival.com,, www.woodstockfilmfestival.com
 
meira blaustein
executive director
 
 
honorary chair
elmer bernstein
 
advisory board
judy arthur
eamon bowles
ellen chenoweth
michael dorf
griffin dunne
martha frankel
leon gast
ethan hawke
sabine hoffman
gill holland
michael lang
paul mones
stephen nemeth
jeremiah newton
annie nocenti
ron nyswaner
sarah plant
aidan  quinn
peter saraf
fisher stevens
zachary sklar
john sloss
david strathairn
lemore syvan

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  August 18, 2003

Contact: Ilene Marder Media Relations - 845/246-1122; imhmedia@ulster.net

John Murphy, mPRm Public Relations – 212/ 268-3080; jmurphy@mprm.com

 

WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL SCORES AGAIN!

 4TH  ANNUAL  INDIE GATHERING

HAILED BY FILMMAKERS, INDUSTRY & AUDIENCE.

 

(Woodstock, NY), Sept., 2003: The 2003 Woodstock Film Festival  wrapped its fourth season with a first class line up of independent  films, panels, concerts and cool parties,  and a stellar list of industry and celebrity participants.

From Wednesday Sept. 17 through Sunday Sept. 21,  the 4th annual indie fest in  New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley Catskills had filmmakers raving about the  extraordinary lineup of more than 130 films, documentaries and shorts  -  including Billy Ray’s Shattered Glass, Jonathan Demme’s The Agronomist,  Peter Hedges’ Piece’s of April, and   John Sayles’ Casa De Los Baby’s – as well  as the receptive, friendly  audiences, relaxed ambiance and inspiring landscape.

An estimated 7200 people attended WFF events, with 80% of the screenings sold-out. Virtually all of the major screenings were sold-out in advance.

This year the festival expanded its homebase to theatres in nearby communities – Upstate Films in Rhinebeck and The Catskill Mountain Foundation Theatre in Hunter -  to assure higher quality screening venues and the ability to show in-demand features more than once.  Ticket sales accordingly were up about 15%.

“Our first three festivals  were so successful that there was a real  demand for additional screenings and more professional venues and we were able to deliver that this year,” said WFF’s director and co-founder Meira Blaustein, “ When you have such an  extraordinary line up of films the public and the industry respond and we will continue listening to their needs”.

Key festival participants included Woody Harrelson, Olympia Dukakis, Dan Hedaya, Annabella Sciorra, Marcia Gay Harden, Lily Taylor, Aidan Quinn,  Liev Schrieber,  Griffin Dunne, Tim Blake Nelson, Peter Hedges, Bingham Ray, Elmer Bernstein, Robert Downey Sr., Leon Gast, Ron Nyswaner, Michael Almereyda, Ron Mann,  Zachary Sklar, Bill Plympton,  Larry Fessenden, John Lyons, Liz Garbus, Rory Kennedy, Martin Garbus, Donald Westlake, John S. Lyons, David Torn, Alexis Alexanian, Lucy Barzun, Linda Cohen,  Mark Urman, Ellen Chenoweth, Peter Saraf, Barbara Hammer, David D’Arcy, Owen Gleiberman, David Rooney, Jonathan Foreman. Musicians performing this year included Joey Eppard and Three, Britta Phillips and Dean Wareham of Luna, Peter Rowan and friends, Bill Keith, Jay Ungar, Tony Garnier, Buddy Merriam, Karl Berger, Steve Gorn, Joshua Pearl, Lillias White, and many other stellar professionals.

In accepting the festival’s Honorary Maverick Award  celebrating independence in art and social issues, actor/activist Harrelson quoted Martin Luther King and Gandhi, and urged the 200 or so filmmakers in attendance to speak up as individuals to inspire hope and bring positive change and sustainable development to a troubled world. Known for his environmental activism almost as much as for his eclectic performances in more than 30 films, Harrelson’s leadership on behalf of clean air and water, forest protection, organic living, renewable energy and sustainable living is profiled in director Ron Mann’s documentary Go Further (East Coast Premiere).

The Best Feature Award was presented to Assisted Living  by Elliot Greenebaum, with Best Documentary honors going to A BOY’S LIFE  by Rory Kennedy.  (Click here for a complete list of award recipients)

The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, (501) C-3 organization. Its mission is to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film-related activities  combining inspired learning and the promotion of sustainable economic development by attracting film, video and media production to the Hudson Valley Catskills region.

The presenting sponsor of the 2003 Woodstock Film Festival was MARKERTEK.COM, America’s largest broadcast supply house. Other major sponsors included ORGANIC STYLE MAGAZINE, along with Amtrak and the Catskill Mountain Region Guide; also United Artists, Kodak, Cineric, Docurama, Nerve.com, Planet Noise, Writer Guild of America East,  Made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts.

For more information, call (845) 679-4265 or visit www.woodstockfilmfestival.com

 

AWARDS INFO
Each year the following awards are presented. Prizes vary from year to year. Check below for 2003 prizes.

Honorary Maverick Award
Best Feature (awarded to first time feature filmmaker)
Best Feature Documentary (awarded to first time feature filmmaker)
Best Short Film
Best Short Documentary
Best Student Film
Best Animated Film (judged and presented by animator Bill Plympton and panel)

The Elmer Bernstein Award for Best Film Score
will be presented by Mr. Bernstein to the film score that in his opinion best serves the nature of the film. Over the past fifty years, Elmer Bernstein has written a formidable number of major movie scores, including some of the most identifiable of all time – To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, My Left Foot to name a few. His most recent scores were composed for Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York and Todd Haynes’s Far From Heaven.

The Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography will be presented by Mr. Haskell Wexler. Haskell Wexler, A.S.C. (Bound for Glory, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Coming Home, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe, The Secret of Roan Inish), is a five-time Academy Award nominee and the recipient of a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Always politically active, Wexler directed the Oscar-winning documentary Interviews With My Lai Veterans, Introduction to the Enemy (co-director) and the fiction film Latino, and was subpoenaed by a federal grand jury for the tapes and footage of Underground, a chronicle of the Weather Underground movement.

The handcrafted Maverick Award trophies are created by Woodstock artist Steve Heller of Fabulous Furniture


HONORARY MAVERICK AWARD
The 2003 Honorary Maverick Award was presented to actor/activist Woody Harrelson for his fierce independence regarding art and politics. (click here to read transcript of acceptance speech)

BEST FEATURE
Feature Jurors:  Mark Urman, Wendy Lidell and Ira Deutchman
The Award for Best Feature was sponsored by Cineric
ASSISTED LIVING
by Elliot Greenebaum

Assisted Living chronicles a day in the life of Todd (Michael Bonsignore), a janitor in an assisted living facility who spends his days smoking pot and interacting with the residents for his own entertainment. Shot in a real nursing home with actual residents, the film is the first feature for Louisville native and NYU graduate Greenebaum.

Todd’s detachment from his surroundings is compromised only by his unlikely friendship with Mrs. Perlman, a resident who begins to confuse him with her son.  On this particular day, Todd must choose whether or not to play the part.  Greenebaum produced along with Alan Oxman, Archie Borders and Alex Laskey. 


Elliott Greenebaum


Special Mention
Extraordinary Performance
Emile Hirsch in
THE MUDGE BOY, directed by Michael  Burke.


BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY
Documentary Jurors:  Leon Gast, Robert Downey, Sr. and David D’Arcy
Award for Best Documentary was sponsored by Docurama
A BOY'S LIFE
by Rory Kennedy
Best Documentary honors went to A Boy’s Life by Rory Kennedy, a probing look into an impoverished, rural American family in Mississippi,   by the award winning director and co- founder of Moxie Firecracker Films.  Ultimately, the film proves a hopeful exploration of a harmful family legacy and is a powerful testimony to the strength of an individual.


Honorary Mention
THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED

by Kim  Bartley and Donnacha O’Briain.



BEST SHORT
Shorts Jurors: Gill Holland, Michelle Coe
An audio/video gift pack is sponsored by Markertek.com

SEVENTY-TWO FACED LIAR
by Mark Waites

 


BEST SHORT DOC
Jurors: Zachary Sklar, Sarah Plant, Joel Katz
An audio/video gift pack is sponsored by Markertek.com

TULIA, TEXAS; SCENES FROM THE DRUG WAR

by Emily and Sarah Kunstler

 

Honorary Mention
FERRY TALES
by Katja Esson


Emily and Sarah Kunstler


BEST STUDENT SHORT
An audio/video gift pack is sponsored by Markertek.com

THE SHOW
by Cruz Angeles

 

Honorary Mention
AQUI IBA EL HIMINO

(Here Was the Anthem
)
by Sergio Umansky.

An audio/video gift pack is sponsored by Markertek.com
 


Cruz Angeles accepts for "The Show"


The BEST ANIMATED SHORT judged and presented by pioneering animator Bill Plympton, was presented to DEAR, SWEET EMMA, directed by  John Cernak


The ELMER BERNSTEIN AWARD, judged and presented by the acclaimed film composer, was presented to LOVE OBJECT composer Nicholas Pike.  The film was directed by Robert Parigi.                          

An audio/video gift pack is sponsored by Markertek.com


Elmer Bernstein


The HASKELL WEXLER AWARD judged by the renowned cinematographer, was presented to SONG FOR A RAGGY BOY cinematographer Peter Robertson.  The film was directed by Aisling Walsh.

The Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography was sponsored by Kodak.