FEATURE DOCUMENTARIES

Home - 2004 Schedule
Feature Narratives - Feature Documentaries
Shorts: Death, Confusion & Hysterics - Shorts: Love & Hate - Shorts: Coming of Age
Shorts: Animation - Short Documentaries - Shorts: Focus on Music
Shorts: Screening With - Shorts: Almost Midnight
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Todays Picks:
 

AMAZING GRACE:
JEFF BUCKLEY

Directed by Nyla Adams and Laurie Trombley
USA / 2004 / 60 minutes

Fri. Oct. 15, 7pm at Woodstock Community Center in Woodstock
SOLD OUT

Sun. Oct. 17, 3:30pm
at Town Hall in Woodstock

SOLD OUT


Synopsis:
In Europe, they speak of him in holy whispers. In America, he’s a mysterious footnote.  He was poised for huge commercial success, but Jeff Buckley’s untimely death kept him on the periphery of popular music. Amazing Grace: Jeff Buckley, a passionately crafted documentary, sets out to investigate the extraordinary phenomenon of Jeff Buckley, a musician of relatively modest commercial success, with only one full-length album, who has become a veritable tour de force of inspiration for artists across the globe.

Interviews include all four of the Jeff Buckley Band members, friends, family, colleagues, critics, DJs, producers, and fans. From Sydney, New York, and London to Memphis, Montpelier, and Los Angeles, the film takes viewers on an expansive yet incredibly intimate trip through the world of Jeff Buckley, and explores how he continues to inspire his fans–from classical composers to rock n’ roll superstars and everyone in between.

"Singer songwriter Jeff Buckley is remembered in hues of grey and sepia in this biography charting his rise from obscurity to his untimely death. "Grace," he said, "is what matters -- in anything. It keeps you from reaching for the gun too quickly." This is an intimate portrait of a true artist and avid journal keeper who translated his experiences into music."
(Barbara Pokras)

Bio:
Laurie Trombley was handpicked by Jeff Buckley to be his fan relations manager while she was attending the College of New Rochelle in Westchester, New York. She's spent the past nine years marketing for various companies, including A&E Television and The History Channel, FUSE, and Regal CineMedia, while moonlighting as co-producer and co-director of her first film, Amazing Grace: Jeff Buckley.

Nyla Bialek Adams worked as an audio visual technican while studying at Trinity College in Hartford. After graduating, she spent several years working in documentary programming at A&E television before leaving to co-produce, co-direct, and edit Amazing Grace: Jeff Buckley.


Main Credits:
Directors/ Producers/ Cinematographers:
Laurie Trombley, Nyla Bialek Adams


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East Coast Premiere

CONVERSATIONS
WITH NICKLE


Directed by Lorette Bayle
USA / 2003 / 72 minutes

Sun. Oct. 17, 1:30pm at Town Hall in Woodstock
*Benefit screening for
  South of Albany ALS Support Group


Synopsis:
Conversations with Nickle is a narrative documentary that takes us through profoundly surprising events in Gay Nickle Lauritzen’s life as she struggles to overcome the disabling effects of Lou Gehrig’s disease. With inspiring humor and courage, Nickle teaches us about the immense power of the human spirit.

Bio:
Lorette Bayle is an award-wining documentary and narrative filmmaker. Her narrative film Mariela's Kitchen won a Silver Award for Best Dramatic Short at the Houston International Film Festival, was a finalist in the Next Frame Festival, screened in festivals internationally and domestically, and aired on Fine Cut for KCET (PBS, Los Angeles) in 2001. Lorette produced and directed a number of in-studio programs for KUED (PBS, Salt Lake City), winning a Silver Award for Brahms at 100 in 1997. She has traveled to three continents to produce and shoot documentaries, some of which include Haite, Land of Hope, The Enchanted Gardens of England, and A Gift to the City. She has worked for the Sundance Institute, Independent Feature Project/LA, and American Zoetrope. Currently, Lorette is a production executive at the Eastman Kodak Company. She completed an MFA in film and theater directing at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in 1999.

Main Credits:
Director: Lorette Bayle
Producer: Lorette Bayle
Cinematographer: Lorette Bayle
Editor: Bryan Pitcher
Composers: Phil Curtis, Brian Demke
 

 

CHAIN

Directed by Jem Cohen
USA / 2004 / 99 minutes

Fri. Oct. 15, 7pm at Bearsville Theater in Woodstock

Sat. Oct. 16, 7pm at Upstate Films II in Rhinebeck


Synopsis:
As regional character disappears and corporate culture homogenizes our surroundings, it’s increasingly hard to tell where you are. In Chain, malls, theme parks, hotels, and corporate centers worldwide are joined into a monolithic “superlandscape” that shapes and circumscribes the lives of two women. One is a businesswoman studying the international theme-park industry. The other is a young drifter, living and working illegally on the fringes of a shopping mall.

“This experimental feature/doc succeeds in being both mesmerizing and thought-provoking as it explores geographical and emotional displacement.” (Jeff Economy)

A good bit of the film was shot in upstate New York!

Bio:
New York filmmaker Jem Cohen's work includes Benjamin Smoke (2000), Lost Book Found (1996), Instrument, with the band Fugazi - 1999, Amber City (1999), and Buried in Light (1995). Both Chain and Benjamin Smoke premiered in the Berlin Film Festival's Forum section. Cohen's work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, and has been featured on PBS, the Sundance Channel, the BBC, and ARTE. Cohen has worked extensively with musicians, including Vic Chesnutt, R.E.M., Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Sparklehorse, Elliott Smith, Jonathan Richman, and Patti Smith.

Director: Jem Cohen
Producers: Mary Jane Skalski, Jem Cohen
Cinematographer: Jem Cohen
Editors: Jem Cohen, David Frankel
Features: Miho Nikaido, Mira Billotte

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World Premiere  

DON’T CALL IT HEIMWEH...

Directed by Thomas Halaczinsky
USA / 2004 / 60 minutes

Preceded by The 43rd Spring & Old Country

Sat. Oct. 16, 11:30am at
Woodstock Community Center

Synopsis:
The Greeks call it nostalgia–in German Heimweh. At the age of eighty-two, Margot Friedlander begins a journey to resolve a life long search for home and identity. Surviving Nazi Germany hidden by Germans while her family was murdered in Auschwitz has left her with truly conflicted feelings.

Six decades ago Margot Friedlander fled her native Berlin as the city succumbed to Nazi control. She narrowly escaped with her life; the rest of her family was not so fortunate. A lifetime later she returns to find a homeland she no longer recognizes, confronting bitter memories and educating German youth about hardships they can barely comprehend. A moving and unsentimental tale of one woman's indomitable will to survive.(Jeff Economy)

Bio:
Thomas Halaczinsky was born and raised in Germany and has lived in New York City since 1991. He has produced several feature films here and abroad, among them Facing the Forest (1993), directed by Peter Lilienthal and shot on location in Israel. In the United States he produced the feature film Zoo (1999) and line-produced Cross-Eyed (1997). As a documentary filmmaker he has produced and directed numerous films shown on television here and abroad. Recently he completed the first segment of a compilation film about elderly women in the Unitd States, entitled I am… that premiered at the Jewish Women's Film Festival in New York City, 2002. He produced and directed the lead segment for a television-special about Stanley Kubrick's film 2001 - A Space Odyssey reaching the year it projected for German/French culture channel ARTE. For his participation in the Emmy winning documentary about war crimes against women in former Yugoslavia Calling The Ghost, that debuted on HBO/Cinemax he won an ACE award in 1996 in the category international documentaries. Mr. Halaczinsky made his directorial debut as a codirector with Der Himmelsschluessel (Key to Heaven) a film about a 90-year-old woman and the impact that Catholic religion had on her life. (Directed by Karl Heinz Rehbach and produced for renowned Kleines Fernsehspiel ZDF, Germany.)

Main Credits:
Director, Producer: Thomas Halaczinsky
Cinematographer: Francisco Dominguez
Editor: Sabine Krayenbuehl

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New York Premiere

DOUBLE DARE

Directed by Amanda Micheli
USA / 2003 / 81 minutes

Sat. Oct. 16, 4pm at
Catskill Mountain Foundation Theater II in Hunter

Sun. Oct. 17, 11am at
Town Hall in Woodstock


Synopsis:
Double Dare is a double-barreled, action-packed documentary about two Hollywood stuntwomen, Jeannie Epper and Zoe Bell. Jeannie, who refused to retire at sixty-two, doubled for Wonder Woman in the 70s, and Zoe landed the coveted job of doubling for Xena at the age of eighteen. With star-studded interviews and rollicking live-action stunt sequences, Double Dare is a candid look at two strong, dedicated women who pursue tough careers in male-dominated Tinseltown.

Bio:
Amanda Micheli is an award-winning filmmaker with a solid background as both a director and a cinematographer. She shot, edited, and directed Just for the Ride, a documentary about the women's pro rodeo circuit, that won an Academy Award and an International Documentary Association Award in student categories and premiered on the prestigious PBS series POV in 1996. Since then she has shot a Sundance Award-winning documentary (My Flesh and Blood, HBO) and an Emmy-nominated film set in Cambodia (The Flute Player, PBS). She was more recently the cinematographer of Witches in Exile, a film shot in Ghana, that won the Special Jury Prize at SXSW in spring 2004 and is scheduled for release later this fall.

Amanda's second film as a director, Double Dare, won the audience award for Best Documentary at both the AFI FEST in Los Angeles and the San Francisco International Film Festival, and is scheduled for release in early 2005. She is currently shooting and producing an HBO documentary directed by photographer Lauren Greenfield. Other production credits include You're Gonna Miss Me (in post), Same River Twice (Sundance, 2003), and the ITVS series American Girls. Amanda is a graduate of Harvard University and has been a member of the top U.S. women's rugby team for over a decade.

 

East Coast Premiere

THE FORBIDDEN TEAM



Directed by Arnold Krolgaard
and Rasmus Dinesen
Denmark / 2003 / 55 minutes

Preceded by Devotion and Defiance

Fri. Oct. 15, 7pm at
Town Hall in Woodstock

Sat. Oct. 16, 2pm at
Catskill Mtn. Foundation II in Hunter


Synopsis:
The Forbidden Team is the story of a national football team without a nation. It is a humorous documentary about a cultural clash, dreams coming true, and football–as Buddha would have played it!

The Forbidden Team follows the Tibetan National Soccer Team as they get ready for the first major game of their career. Invited to play against Greenland in Denmark, the Tibetan team enlists the services of a Danish coach who struggles against the odds to get the team ready. They are described as “looking like the Flanders battlefield in World War One, their training takes place in pea-soup fog, and their field is actually part of a thoroughfare used by people and animals during both practices and games. And dealing with the Indian government on visa matters is a whole other story!

What transpires is a beautiful film that paints an enormously touching portrait of a team for whom there is much more at stake than merely winning the game.

"Stunning cinematography blends sports and spirituality in this documentary about a Tibetan refuge soccer team in India training for their first international event. Brisk editing deftly blends slow and fast motion and perfectly reveals this duality. A heartfelt exploration of themes of freedom and nationhood, a cameo of the Dalai Lama is an added treat." (Barbara Pokras)

Bio:
Rasmus Dinesen has produced and/or directed the short films Traffic Safety, The Duel, Summertime, and United Colors of Football.

Arnold Krøigaard directed the TV documentary Frederik to All Times and served as both the director and scriptwriter on the documentary AIDS is Easy to Cure.

Main Bio:
Directors: Arnold Krolgaard, Rasmus Dinesen
Producers: Karim Stoumann, Jesper Holm, Joanna Din Mitchew, Malena Belafonte
Editors: Mette Zeruneith, Flemming Davidsen
Composers: Jesper Mechienburg, Supersonic

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DEVOTION AND DEFIANCE
screening prior to The Forbidden Team
 

A short film by Kunga Palmo
USA / 2004 / 35 minutes

Fri. Oct. 15, 7pm at Town Hall in Woodstock

Sun. Oct. 17, 2pm at
Catskill Mtn. Foundation II in Hunter


Synopsis:
This powerful film contains extensive footage from monasteries in Tibet and chronicles the complex struggle of monks and nuns who defy the Chinese government’s heavy-handed attempt at control.

Bio:
Kunga Palmo has worked on Tibetan issues for the past six years and has traveled extensively in Tibet and to Tibetan refugee communities in India and Nepal. Her interest in filmmaking began about 3 years ago, and since then she has worked on production teams for a number of museum, broadcast, and student films. Today, Kunga Palmo is a freelance video editor and continues to work to promote human rights and self-determination for Tibetans. Devotion and Defiance is her first film.

Main Credits:
Director: Kunga Palmo
Producer: International Campaign for Tibet

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THE FUTURE OF FOOD
 

Directed by Deborah Koons Garcia
USA / 2004 / 89 minutes

Fri. Oct. 15, 8:45 pm at
Catskill Mountain Foundation Theater II in Hunter

Sat. Oct. 16, 7pm at
Town Hall in Woodstock
SOLD OUT


Synopsis:
There’s a revolution going on in the farm fields and on the dinner tables of America–a revolution that originated behind the closed doors of corporate boardrooms and government agencies over the use of genetically modified organisms in our food. The Future of Food offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled G.M.O products that have quietly filled grocery store shelves over the past decade.

From the test tube, to the farm field, to the supermarket, the film follows the personal stories of the farmers in the United States and Canada who have been sued by large multi national corporations for continuing the time-honored tradition of saving seeds, and the scientists in the United States and Europe who have been censored for raising serious public and environmental health concerns. Finally, consumers are beginning to question why this has escaped the attention of both the media and the federal agencies in charge of keeping our food safe.

The Future of Food unravels the complex web of market and political forces that are changing the nature of what we eat. Food has gone from being a basic need to becoming part of a billion dollar battle to control the world’s food production.

"A nightmare scenario unfolds step by step in this meticulously researched documentary on the impact of corporate “pharming”. Industrializing food at the genetic-cellular level, the filmmakers expose the takeover of our seed supply by the US pesticide industries and the death of farming as we know it. An intelligent and hard hitting wake-up call to all of us as food consumers."
(Barbara Pokras)

Bio:

Deborah Koons Garcia fell in love with filmmaking when she first picked up a Bolex, while a student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1970. She went on to receive her M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her educational series All About Babies, narrated by Jane Alexander, won a Cine Golden Eagle and a Gold Medal from the John Muir Medical Film Festival, among other awards. Deborah´s feature film Poco Loco "finds its groove in gentle romantic fantasy," according to Variety, and won awards at the Philadelphia, Rivertown, and Orlando film festivals. She was the instigator and chief creative consultant for Grateful Dawg, a documentary about the musical friendship between her husband Jerry Garcia and David Grisman. Grateful Dawg premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and went on to a lively run on the festival circuit, in theaters, and on television.
 
Main Credits:
Director: Deborah Koons Garcia
Producers: Catherine Lynn Butler, Deborah Koons Garcia
Cinematographer: John Chater
Screenwriter: Deborah Koons Garcia
Editor: Vivien Hillgrove
Composer: Todd Boekelheide

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New York Premiere

GUERRILLA:
THE TAKING OF PATTY HEARST

Directed by Robert Stone
USA / 2004 / 90 minutes

Fri. Oct. 15, 9:30pm at
Upstate Films I in Rhinebeck

Sun. Oct. 17, 1pm at
Tinker Street Cinema in Woodstock

SOLD OUT


Synopsis:
With Guerrilla, filmmaker Robert Stone brings into sharp focus the mood of the early 1970s, a mood that inspired the formation of the first radical domestic terrorist cell to become a media sensation in the United States, the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). The SLA wreaked havoc on the West Coast and our national psyche for over two years, leaving behind a rich trove of paranoid recordings and scores of violent acts, including the kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst, who would subsequently join the SLA under the alias “Tania.” As much a thriller as it is a document of the times, Guerrilla brings a striking, shocking moment in the nation’s history back to light.

"Robert Stone's brilliant chronology of the SLA uses disembodied voices, first hand accounts and extensive archival footage to create a portrait of young people responding to the horrors of war and social inequality. With images of Robin Hood and the saga of Patty Hearst at its core, were these SLA 'soldiers' revolutionaries, terrorists or true patriots?" (Barbara Pokras)

Bio:
Robert Stone was born in England in 1958 and spent his childhood in both England and America. He graduated with a degree in history from the University of Wisconsin/Madison in 1980. Eventually settling in New York City, he began making a film about nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific. The result was the acclaimed Radio Bikini (1987), nominated for an Oscar for best feature documentary. This was followed by the feature documentaries The Satellite Sky (1989), about the U.S. reaction to Sputnik; and Farewell Good Brothers (1992), about 1950' flying saucer cults. All three films are being re-released in Hi-Def by IFC. Robert created a twenty-two-part permanent film and video installation for the JFK Library in Boston. He also served as a director of photography and associate producer on several documentaries, including the cult classic Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey (1994 Sundance award winner). His only fictional film is World War Three (1998), a controversial fake “historical documentary” for ZDF German Television entitled . In recent years he has shot and directed several verité films including the feature documentary American Babylon (2000), about Atlantic City. He lives in Rhinebeck, N.Y. with his wife and two sons.

Main Credits:
Producer: Robert Stone
Cinematographers: Howard Shack, Richard Neill, Robert Stone
Editor: Don Kleszy
Composer: Gary Lionelli
Featuring: Michael Bortin, Timothy Findley, Russell Little

Courtesy of  Magnolia Pictures

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East Coast Premiere

I LIKE KILLING FLIES

Directed by Matt Mahurin
USA / 2003 / 80 minutes

Sat. Oct. 16, 4:45pm at Bearsville Theater in Woodstock

Sun. Oct. 17, 12pm at Upstate Films I in Rhinebeck


Synopsis:
With over 900 items on the menu, all conjured up from scratch in a Rube Goldberg kitchen the size of a walk-in closet, Kenny Shopsin, a self-taught chef in his tiny family-owned New York City restaurant, spends his days feeding his neighbors. And when there is a lull in the cooking, Kenny steps out from behind his Frankenstein stove and holds court, serving up morsels of wisdom and wit on life, death, sex, politics, and even food. But after 32 years in the same sheltered workshop, his family loses the lease and must now find a new place for Kenny to cook.

Bio:
Matt, who lives in N.Y. has spent twenty years as an illustrator, photographer, film director, and teacher. His political and social illustrations have appeared in Time, Newsweek, Mother Jones, Rolling Stone, Esquire, The London Observer and New York Times.

His photographic essays have focused on the homeless, people with AIDS, the Texas prison system, abortion clinics, mental hospitals, Nicaragua, Haiti, Belfast, Mexico, Japan, and France. He has published three books of personal fine-art photographs and has photographs in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Matt has directed music videos for Peter Gabriel, U2, REM, Tracy Chapman, Sting, Bonnie Raitt, Ice-T, Metallica, David Byrne, and Joni Mitchell. In 1996, he wrote and directed the feature film Mugshot, which won the Best Film Award at the 1996 Hamptons Film Festival.

Main Credits:
Director , Producer, Cinematography, Editor: Matt Mahurin

Courtesy of THINKfilm
 

 

IN THE REALMS OF THE UNREAL

Directed by Jessica Yu
USA / 2004 / 81 minutes

Fri. Oct. 15, 9:15pm at
Town Hall in Woodstock

Sat. Oct. 16, 2:30pm at
Upstate Films II in Rhinebeck


Synopsis:
In the Realms of the Unreal explores outsider art from the inside. Eschewing expert opinion, it reflects the uniqueness of its subject, employing vivid animation and experimental elements to immerse us in Henry Darger’s world and all its strange beauty. Brought to life on film, the works reverberate with universal themes: the search for meaning, control, connection, moral direction. Through Darger’s eyes, the film reveals this odd man to be Everyman. He lived a virtually friendless existence, but his imaginary life was as exciting and colorful as his real life was tedious. By day, he scrubbed floors, attended Mass, rummaged through garbage cans. By night, he ruled a world in which the forces of innocence and good fought a bloody battle against the forces of treachery and evil. By juxtaposing Henry Darger’s parallel but opposite universes, the film shows how he forged magic out of the bleakest of lives, leaving a legacy that has inspired other artists around the world.

Bio:
Jessica Yu, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker, won the 1997 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short for Breathing Lessons: The Life And Work of Mark O'Brien, an intimate portrait of a writer who lived for four decades paralyzed by polio and confined to an iron lung.

Yu's narrative short Better Late was the debut film for the fXM Shorts Series. It has been featured in sixty festivals since its premiere at Sundance 1997, and won First Prize for Short Drama at the New York Festival. Her other films include Men of Reenaction; Sour Death Balls, which won several awards including Best Live Action Short at the Santa Barbara Film Festival; and the documentary Home Base, the winner of several festival awards. She also directs commercials, for which she has won a New York Emmy.

Main Credits:
Director: Jessica Yu
Producers: Susan West, Jessica Yu
Screenwriter/Editor: Jessica Yu
Cinematographer: Tim Bieber
Music: Jeff Beal (original music)
Featuring: Henry Darger, Dakota Fanning (narration), Larry Pine (narration)

Courtesy of  Wellspring Media

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A LEAGUE OF ORDINARY GENTLEMEN

Directed by Christopher Browne
USA / 2004 / 93 minutes

Sat. Oct. 16, 6:30pm at
Catskill Mountain Foundation Theater II
in Hunter

Sun. Oct. 17, 3:30pm at
Bearsville Theater in Woodstock


Synopsis:
Four professional bowlers’ lives are interrupted when their league is purchased by a trio of Microsoft programmers who hire a Nike marketing guru to turn professional bowling into the next second-tier sports franchise.
Featuring: Pete Weber, Wayne Webb, Walter Ray Williams, Jr., Chris Barnes, Steve Miller

Bio:
Chris Browne's film career began in 1999 as a production assistant on laxative commercials in New York. He then moved into documentary film, working at the Checkerboard Film Foundation, where he helped produce several little-seen documentaries about local artists.

Main Credits:
Director: Christopher Browne
Producers: Wilhelmus Bryan, Alexander Browne
Cinematographers: Mike Dejalaise, Dan Marachino, Ken Seng
Editors: Kurt Engfehr, Dave Tung
Music: Gary Meister

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MAKING GRACE

Directed by Catherine Gund
USA / 2004 / 87 minutes

Preceded by Shake the Rain

Sat. Oct. 16, 3:15pm at Woodstock Community Center

Synopsis:
Ann Krsul and Leslie Sullivan want to be mothers together. Ann will carry the baby and Leslie will leave her job to stay at home and raise their child. Choosing the route of the anonymous sperm bank, they hope to match Leslie’s physical characteristics so that Ann can give birth to a baby with the potential to look like them both. Ann is a worrier, compulsively analyzing and judging their performance at each stage of the process. Leslie is soothing, a quiet counterpoint. Together they ride the menstrual roller coaster, until finally, one year later, Ann is pregnant. At first, both women continue to work. Free time is consumed by pre-birth activity: baby shower registration, Lamaze class, and design of the baby announcement. Between events, they argue with relatives over how to explain two mommies to their nieces and nephews. Month eight, Leslie ends her job to prepare for full-time mommyhood. Ann continues to work all hours, holding her now-huge tummy as she shuffles from job site to job site, fretting over everything. But Baby Grace is born on time, with bright red hair (a trait known to neither

family). Gund follows the Krsul-Sullivan household during Grace’s first year. As Ann and Leslie make their way, we are with them, meeting challenges universal to all families and facing those unique to lesbians.

Bio:
Catherine Gund, the founder of Aubin Pictures, is an award-winning film/videomaker, writer, and organizer. Her media work, which focuses on the radical right, race relations, art and culture, HIV/AIDS, reproductive rights, the concept of democracy, and gay and lesbian issues, has screened around the world in festivals, on public and cable television and at community-based organizations, universities, and museums. Her productions include On Hostile Ground, Hallelujah! Ron Athey: A Story of Deliverance, When Democracy Works, Positive: Life with HIV, Sacred Lies Civil Truths, Not Just Passing Through, Among Good Christian Peoples, and Keep Your Laws Off My Body, as well as work with the collectives DIVA TV (co-founder) and Paper Tiger Television. She was the founding director of BENT TV, the video workshop at the Hetrick-Martin Institute for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender-youth.

Main Credits:
Director, producer, cinematographer: Catherine Gund
Editor: Aljernon Tunsil
Composer: Paul Armstrong

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MOJADOS:
THROUGH THE NIGHT

Directed by Tommy Davis
USA / 2004 / 64 minutes
in Spanish and English

Preceded by Victoria Para Chino

Sat. Oct. 16, 1pm at
Town Hall in Woodstock

Synopsis:
Director Tommy Davis goes along with four men from a small village in Mexico as they leave their families, embark on a 120-mile trek across the deserts of Texas, and  attempt to evade the U.S. Border Patrol, overcome dehydration and hypothermia, and come face-to-face with death.

"Verite footage is the backbone of this harrowing journey of four Mexicans driven to endure hunger, thirst and danger to better the lives of their families. Night footage of the border crossing is especially haunting. Interspersed with interviews, some flashbacks and a skillfully executed photo montage this is video journalism of the highest order."
(Barbara Pokras)

Bio:
Tommy Davis (writer, producer, director) was born in McAllen, Texas, in 1978. He studied at the George Washington University and interned during his summers for Artisan Pictures, Jersey Films, and Miramax Films. He has written and directed several short fiction films. Mojados: Through the Night is his first documentary.

Main Credits:
Director, Screenwriter, Cinematographer: Tommy Davis
Producer: Nicole Boxer
Editors: Luis DeLeon, Tommy Davis
Composer: Sin Panache
Featuring: Guapo, Oso, Tigre, Viejo, Mario Agundez, James Chism,
Dave Evans, George Manzango, Ryan Massey, George Morin

Visit Website

 

East Coast Premiere

THE NOMI SONG

Directed by Andrew Horn
USA / 2004 / 96 minutes

Fri. Oct. 15, 9:45pm at
Upstate Films II in Rhinebeck

Sat. Oct. 16, 10:30pm at
Tinker Street Cinema in Woodstock


Synopsis:
Looks like an alien, sings like a diva–Klaus Nomi was one of the 1980s most profoundly bizarre characters: a countertenor who sang pop music like opera and brought opera to club audiences and made them like it. A story of fame, death, friendship, betrayal, performance, and the greatest New Wave rock star that never was!

Andrew Horn’s writing and directing work has encompassed a wide range (from  films on post-modern dance in New York to one of Germany’s most popular soap operas; from film musicals to music documentaries; from Eastern Europe to the East Village. His feature films include Doomed Love and The Big Blue, as well as the documentary feature East Side Story.

"Even in New York's new wave scene where shock and outrage was the norm, Klaus Nomi was a true pop music anomaly, a unforgettably striking performer with androgynous extraterrestrial looks and an operatic falsetto to match. Nomi was like an apparition that seemingly could have appeared at no other time, yet seemed to exist outside of time; he hobnobbed and collaborated with figures like David Bowie and incredibly, brushed up against mainstream success before his life was tragically cut short as one of the first victims of AIDS. Music, reminiscences, and never-before-seen archival footage fill this loving tribute."
(Jeff Economy)

Bio:
Born in New York, Andrew Horn graduated from New York University School of the Arts, where his junior thesis film was nominated for an Academy Award. After living in New York as a filmmaker and graphic artist (before the age of the computer!), he came to Berlin in 1989 as a guest of the DAAD Berlin Artist Exchange fellowship program, where he has remained, working as a filmmaker, writer, journalist, and film researcher.

His latest film, The Nomi Song, brings all the above together. "It somehow marks the last hurrah of my youth-in time, but hopefully not in spirit.”

Main Credits:
Director: Andrew Horn
Producers: Thomas Mertens, Annette Pusacane, Andrew Horn
Cinematographer: Mark Daniels
Editor: Anne Even

Courtesy of  Palm Pictures

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World Premiere

OFF TO WAR

Directed by Brent and Craig Renaud
USA / 2004 / 75 minutes

Preceded by Getting Through to the President

Thurs. Oct. 14, 8:30pm at
Bearsville Theater in Woodstock

Synopsis:
Is America ready for war?  Follow the Arkansas National Guard as weekend warriors are activated, trained, and finally deployed to Iraq.  Observe what happens to their businesses, churches, schools, and families.  This is the new millennium’s real “Band of Brothers”. This is history’s only film that documents a war and a group of soldiers from start to finish.

Bio:
Brent and Craig Renaud are brothers and filmmakers who were born and raised in Little Rock, Ark.

Since 1995, they have been working with celebrated documentary filmmaker Jon Alpert on award-winning projects in places like Afghanistan, Cambodia, Bolivia, China, Pakistan and Iraq.

In addition to the Off to War series for the Discovery Times Channel, the Renaud brothers are finishing their first film for HBO called Dope Sick Love due out this fall.

Courtesy of DCTV & Discovery/Times Channel

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New York Premiere

GETTING THROUGH
TO THE PRESIDENT

(precedes OFF TO WAR and POPaganda)

A short film by Emily and Sarah Kunstler
USA / 2004 / 7:28 minutes

Emily and Sarah Kunstler will appear on the
IN YOUR FACE
panel, Sunday, Oct. 17, 10:30am at the Colony Cafe.

Synopsis:
From May 5-8, 2004, the Documentary Campaign commandeered a payphone in Washington Square Park to record telephone calls made to the White House comment line by hundreds of New Yorkers.

Bio:
Emily Kunstler graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with honors and a BFA in film and video in 2000, and she is a graduate of the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program (2004). Emily worked as a video producer for Democracy Now!, an independent national television and radio news program that broadcasts on the Pacifica Radio Network and on public access and satellite television. She is co-founder of Off Center Productions, a documentary production company dedicated to using video in the service of social justice.

With Off Center Productions, Emily directed and edited the films Tulia, Texas: Scenes From the Drug War*, Patterns of Exclusion: The Trial of Thomas Miller-El, In the Name of Security, and The Road to Justice.

Emily was an associate producer on The Documentary Campaign's Persons of Interest, and directed Getting Through to the President.

Sarah Kunstler has a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. Together with her sister, Emily Kunstler, she founded Off Center Productions (www.off-center.com). She has worked as a freelance photojournalist and as media director of the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice.

With Off Center Productions Sarah produced and directed the films Tulia, Texas: Scenes from the Drug War, Patterns of Exclusion: The Trial of Thomas Miller-El, In the Name of Security, and The Road to Justice.

*Tulia, Texas: Scenes From the Drug War received the
2003 Woodstock Maverick Award for BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY.

Main Credits:
Directors: Emily and Sarah Kunstler
Producer: Haskell King
Executive Producer: Lawrence Konner

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PARALLEL LINES

Directed by Nina Davenport
USA / 2003 /  98 minutes 

Sat. Oct. 16, 1:30pm at
Woodstock Community Center in Woodstock

Sun. Oct. 17, 1pm at
Catskill Mountain Foundation II in Hunter


Synopsis:
Parallel Lines
is an American roadtrip movie with a twist. The journey takes place in the fall of 2001, as filmmaker Nina Davenport drives from California back home to New York, where her apartment once overlooked the World Trade Center. The events of September 11th quickly recede into the background of this documentary, becoming instead a portal into the inner lives of Americans. The filmmaker stops along the road to talk with strangers who end up sharing their personal stories of loss with astonishing candor: A woman tells of losing custody of her children; a veteran describes his battle with post traumatic stress disorder; a cowboy reveals that his mother murdered his father. Touching on a wide range of subjects from the meaning of love to the horror of the atomic bomb, a film that begins as the story of one New Yorker’s journey home in the aftermath of tragedy becomes a portrait of American identity and history.

"New Yorker Nina Davenport was in San Diego at the time of the September 11 terrorist attacks. A few weeks afterwards she took a six-week-long road trip back to her home town, with only her video camera and random meetings with friendly strangers for companionship. She documented their simple transient intimacies along with her own thoughtful ruminations; the result is this warm and humane essay-style documentary that engages the viewer in the kind of dialogue possible in the days after the tragedy, a poignant memento of a fleeting vulnerable communal moment that already seems relegated to memory." (Jeff Economy)

Bio:
Parallel Lines
is Nina Davenport's third film. Her first film, Hello Photo, completed in 1995 and funded by Harvard University's Film Study Center, depicts her travels through India. While editing the film, she worked as a teaching assistant in the filmmaking program at Harvard, where she had studied as an undergraduate. Premiering at Rotterdam, Hello Photo won numerous festival awards, including Best Documentary in Melbourne, Australia; Outstanding Independent Film at the New England Film and Video Festival; and Best Cinematography in Cork, Ireland. Davenport's second film, Always a Bridemaid, premiered in 2000 on HBO/Cinemax Reel Life and on Channel Four's True Stories in the United Kingdom. A feature-length, personal documentary shot on 16mm, Always a Bridesmaid has aired in numerous other countries, and is distributed on video by Docurama/New Video. Davenport is the recipient of an National Endowment for the Arts grant. She works as a producer and cameraperson on many television shows, including NBC's Crime & Punishment, Bravo's The 'IT' Factor and PBS's Art Close Up. She shoots and edits all of her films, and is currently finishing her fourth film, Los Pericos, about a mariachi duo in Mexico. Davenport grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and lives in New York City.

Main Credits:
Directed, Produced, Filmed & Edited by Nina Davenport
Music: Sheldon Mirowitz

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POPAGANDA THE ART
& SUBVERSION OF RON ENGLISH

 

Directed by Pedro Carvajal
USA / 2004 / 78 minutes

Fri. Oct. 15, 4:45pm at
Bearsville Theater
in Woodstock

Sat. Oct. 16, 4:30pm at
Upstate Films II in Rhinebeck

Synopsis:
POPaganda
: The Art & Subversion of Ron English is a film about the culture-jamming and billboard-liberation antics of Ron English. The modern-day Robin Hood of Madison Avenue, Ron paints, perverts, infiltrates, reinvents, and satirizes modern culture on canvas, in songs, and  on hundreds of pirated billboards. Shot entirely guerilla style, the film chronicles the evolution of an artist who offers an alternative universe where nothing is sacred, everything is subverted, and there’s always room for a little good-natured fun.

Bio:
Pedro Carvajal has made documentaries on East Village squatters, the Yanomami, and an AIDS patient (winning the Chicago International Film Festival's Silver Plaque Award). His video series Citizen Art and Subvertising focuses on culture jamming in public spaces, particularly billboard liberation, in which an outdoor ad is altered to critique the original company or product, or to deliver a public service message. Citizen Art focuses on the antics of the billboard liberation collectives Artfux and Cicada, with whom Pedro collaborated in Jersey City and New York. Subvertising has additional grass roots footage, as well as commentary by sociologists and media critics.

Main Credits:
Director/Producer: Pedro Carvajal
Editor: Kevin Chapados
Featuring the art of Ron English. Also featuring art by Shepard Fairey, ArtFux, Cicada, and Anthony Ausgang

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SCREAMING MEN (HUUTAJAT)
 

Directed by Mika Ronkainen
Finland-Denmark / 2003 / 76 minutes

Fri. Oct. 15, 12:30pm at
Tinker Street Cinema in Woodstock

Sun Oct 17, 3pm at
Upstate II in Rhinebeck

Synopsis:
Meet the choir of screaming men that travels from Finland to Tokyo with the goal of getting good photographs of their Japanese audience while performing the Japanese national anthem. Meet the choir that screams the French national anthem at the museum of modern art in Paris even though the museum and the embassy of Finland try to prevent them…

Screaming Men is a film about power, nationalism, intransigence and firm belief in your own art. The creative process of conductor Sirviö often leads to conflicts between the choir and the outside world - sometimes also within the choir. The film follows the choir both in Finland and on international concert trips (France, Japan, and Iceland) during a time span of five years. Similarly to the choir, the documentary walks the thin line between the dead serious and the absurd.

Bio:
Mika Ronkainen is the most productive documentary filmmaker in the northern half of Finland. Screaming Men is his theatrical distribution debut. His previous work include the prize-winning and acclaimed documentaries Before the Flood, Father's Day, Oulu Burning, and Car Bonus. Ronkainen has predominantly depicted social themes. The cultural board of the city Oulu rewarded Ronkainen with the Oulu City Culture Award of 2002 and the Art Committee of the Oulu Province named Ronkainen the young artist of 1998. Ronkainen was a member of Mieskuoro Huutajat 1994-1998.

Main Credits:
Director, Screenwriter: Mika Ronkainen
Producer: Kimmo Paananen
Cinematographer: Vesa Taipaleenmäki
Editor: Pernille Bech Christensen
Music: Olli Tuomainen, Petri Sirviö

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World Premiere
SCHOOL BOARD BLUES
 

Directed by Tobe Carey
USA / 2004 / 75 minutes

Thurs. Oct. 14, 6:30pm at
Bearsville Theater in Bearsville

“First God invented idiots. That was just for practice. Then, he invented School Boards.” Mark Twain

The Onteora School District includes Woodstock, plus 350 square miles of rural New York. In January 2000, the Onteora Indian was removed after fifty years as the school’s mascot. A backlash followed, which The New York Times headlined “Culture War in the Catskills.” Conservatives swept into office, restored the mascot, removed the anti-discrimination policy, and began micromanaging the district. Online groups targeted the “Jew-inspired” education; New York State Police posted undercover agents at meetings; the majority pushed to fire the district superintendent. The filmmaker’s wife, Meg, was elected to the school board in 1998, but never anticipated a fight over racial stereotyping and Onteora’s superintendent. The school board was the best show in town, and Tobe Carey, and his wife were right in the middle of it all.

Bio:
Tobe Carey is a documentary maker with thirty years of experience. From innovative films like Giving Birth, honored at the First Global Village Video Festival in 1972, through School Board Blues, he has produced dozens of long- and short-form programs. His recent documentaries, Deep Water: Building the Catskill Water System (co-produced with Artie Traum and Robbie Dupree) and Indian Point-Nowhere to Run, were featured at the 2002 and 2003 Woodstock Film Festival and are in active distribution.

Tobe is president of Willow Mixed Media, Inc., a not-for-profit group specializing in arts projects and documentaries about issues of social concerns. Among his productions are The Hudson River PCB Story, Woodstock Summer of 94, Cancer: Just a Word...Not a Sentence, and Always Creative with Linda M. Montano. He and his wife, Meg Carey, have worked as co-producers on several documentaries, including The Infertility Tape and School Board Blues.


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SHOCKING & AWFUL
 

Directed by various independent video activists
USA / 2004 / TBD

Fri. Oct. 15, 9:15pm at
the Woodstock Community Center

Shocking and awful is the way many people view the current situation in Iraq and the United States. The war continues to takes its toll on Iraqi civilians, international aid workers, journalists and U.S. troops. Here at home we are seeing how waging a “perpetual war” is affecting our own lives as well.

Selections will be screened from this thirteen part series on war and occupation, a compilation of work from around the country and the world. Topics include: Women and War, Art of Resistance, The Military (Dance of Death), The Destruction of the Libraries and Museums: Erasing History.

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SOLDIERS PAY
(preceded by Old Country)
 

Directed by David O. Russell,
Tricia Regan, and Juan Carlos Zaldivar
USA / 2004 / TBD

Sat. Oct. 16, 12:45 at Bearsville Theater in Woodstock

“I thought I could perhaps make a difference before the election, let people see the situation, how Iraqis wanted to get rid of Saddam, but also show what war does to people.” These are the words, spoken by director David O. Russell, and quoted in an August 16th article in the New York Times, that prompted Warner Brothers to drop Soldiers Pay unceremoniously from it’s roster. The film, which was graciously given back to the filmmakers to distribute on their own, is a meditation on the current war in Iraq. David O. Russell, together with co-filmmakers Tricia Regan and Juan Carlos Zaldivar, interviewed dozens of people over a six week period, and created a chorus of voices -- including veterans of the war, Iraqis who rose up against Saddam after the last war and escaped to the US, journalists, politicians, psychologists, and even a two star general who led the Marines to victory in the first Gulf War. Soldiers Pay is not a partisan film, it listens to people from all sides, and of varying opinions. What the film strives to do is give a full picture of a morally ambiguous war, one which is exacting an enormous toll on our soldiers, on Iraq, and on America.
 

STILL THE CHILDREN ARE HERE
 

Directed by  Dinaz Stafford
India / USA / 2004 / 86 minutes

*Indigenous language of Garo people with subtitles

Sat. Oct. 16, 2:45 pm at Town Hall in Woodstock

Synopsis:
For the Garo people of Sadolpara, growing rice is a way of life and worship.  As the world changes around them and they come face-to -face with market economies, they find this is no longer enough.

This intimate portrait of a community presents us with a story of life and humanity that is common to us all.

By following one agricultural cycle of growing rice in the Himalayan foothills, this film allows us a glimpse into a society at the edge of change and allows us to critically examine the nature of “development.”

Commentary:
"Beautifully produced, shot and edited, this study of the Garo families in Saldopara, Northern India features extraordinarily intimate footage of a people who are the guardians of ancient strains of rice. Two elderly sisters provide a running commentary on changing ways, and the legend of the Sungod is woven throughout. A richly narrative experience." Barbara Pokras

Bio:
Dinaz Stafford was born in London, and grew up in Bombay. She graduated from the University of Bombay and went on to complete a master degree in Psychology in Richmond. After working as a psychologist with violent emotionally disturbed children, she met diector Mira Nair, who wanted to have a child psychologist at the workshops for street children during the making of Salaam Bombay! . Dinaz subsequently worked with Nair on Mississippi Masala, The Perez Family and Kama Sutra. She also did local casting for the John Sayles film Sunshine State (2001).

In 1993 Dinaz Stafford made Kisses on a Train, a short film for Channel Four that won the Grand Prix at the Clermont Short Film Festival and the Audience Prize in Geneva.

Dinaz commutes between India, the U.K., and the States, and when asked where she feels most comfortable, she admits–in an airplane. Still, the Children Are Here is her first feature documentary film.

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East Coast Premiere

TROLLYWOOD
 

Directed by Madeleine Farley
2004 / UK / 80 minutes

Sun. Oct. 17, 11am at
Tinker Street Cinema in Woodstock

Trollywood ($8)
Fri. Oct. 15, 5:30pm at Upstate Films II


Synopsis:
Seizing on the humble shopping cart as a metaphor for the dispossessed, first-time director Madeleine Farley goes behind the scenes to explore life on the streets with some of Los Angeles’s homeless. Trollywood presents a moving portrait, as she gives homelessness a human face, and shows that where there is great material depravation there is solidarity and hope.

Commentary:
"The meaning of the shopping cart, or “trolly” becomes a central theme in this refreshingly clever and straightforward exploration of the many facets of homelessness in Los Angeles. Well crafted and skillfully blending humor and pathos, this often invisible population is revealed in all its’ diversity and individuality. A rich mosaic of music adds to the mix." (Barbara Pokras)

Bio:
Madeleine Farley is a London-based photographer and filmmaker.

In December 2001 she arrived in Los Angeles for the opening of her traveling exhibition Movie Tips. By this point Madeleine had added a short animated film to the show: a pastiche of Psycho starring Q-Tips.

Appalled by the level of homelessness in L.A. and the juxtaposition of extreme wealth and severe poverty, she set about documenting the city's homeless in a series of photographs. She soon realized that if she really wanted to capture their humor, courage, and chutzpah in a credible way, she was working in the wrong medium. Trollywood, a documentary exposing the flip side of the American Dream and the lives and lifestyle of the spiritually rich but materially poor, was born.

Madeleine Farley is currently working on her first feature, a love story set in Londons's Sho and starring Lucy Davis from the TV show The Office (UK).

Contact Information
 

 

WITCHES IN EXILE
 

Directed by Allison Berg
2004 / USA / 79 minutes

Fri. Oct. 15, 5pm at Town Hall in Woodstock

Synopsis:
A gripping story of women in Ghana accused of witchcraft and exiled to “safe camps”.  Often charged with murder for “unexplained” deaths, these women are victims of widely held cultural beliefs.

Commentary:
Incredible as it may sound in 2004, there are places where the term "witch hunt" is not an archaic metaphor, but a brutal reality. In contemporary Ghana, superstitions act as a kind of social control where misogyny is a way of life, and the mere fact of being a woman is enough to condemn you to death. Through interviews with some of the thousands of "Witches Homes" internment camp residents, clips from popular witch-hunting films like "End of the Wicked," and footage from actual witch-testing and curing ceremonies, Witches In Exile uncovers a disturbing slice of feudal superstition still alive today. (Jeff Economy)
 

 

WORDS OF MY PERFECT TEACHER

Directed by Lesley Ann Patten
USA / 2003 / 102 minutes
 

Sat. Oct. 16, 10:30am at Tinker Street Cinema

Synopsis
Featuring charismatic Tibetan lama and filmmaker Khyentse Norbu, Words Of My Perfect Teacher is the warm and comedic story of three students on journey in search of wisdom – chasing a guru who doesn’t want to be found. 

Bio
Lesley Ann Patten is a director/writer who began creating material for television in 1990. Her work has been broadcast internationally in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. In addition to directing, writing, and co-producing her first feature-length documentary, Words Of My Perfect Teacher, Ms. Patten is featured in the film in her first on-camera role.

Main Credits:
Director, Screenwriter: Lesley Ann Patten
Producers: Kent Martin, Lesley Ann Patten
Cinematographer: Kent Nason
Editor(s): Peter Giffen, Lesley Ann Patten

Featuring:
Zongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Bernando Bertolucci, Gesar Mukpo, Steven Seagal, Aunt Shirley
 

 

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO BUSH
(LE MONDE SELON BUSH)

Directed by William Karel
France / 2004 / 90 minutes

Thurs. Oct. 14, 7:30pm at
Upstate Films II in Woodstock
SOLD OUT

Fri. Oct. 15, 12pm screening is
Bearsville Theater in Woodstock


Eight years apart, George Bush and his son, George W. Bush, have succeeded each other at the head of the world's most powerful nation. An unprecedented phenomenon in American history. The key events of the last twelve years have taken place during their terms in office: the collapse of the Soviet empire and the Communist bloc, the first Gulf War, the events of September 11, the globalization of terrorism and the war in Iraq.

William Karel’s The World According to Bush is based on fully verified facts and eyewitness accounts. It offers a disturbing and striking portrait of the exercise of power at the head of the world’s leading democracy, as well as the unacceptable alliances that have been forged and that remain painstakingly concealed.

Courtesy of  Flach Pictures
 

 
 
Tinker Street, Upstate Films and the Catskill Mountain Foundation Theater are 35mm facilities.
Upstate and Catskill Mountain Foundation Theater will also screen beta sp and digibeta films.
Bearsville Theater, Town Hall, WCC are are beta sp & digibeta

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