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PANEL: Actor's Dialogue
Utopia Studios
10/04/2009, 12:00PM
$ 20

Martha Frankel has been writing about film for over two decades. She has contributed to "Details," "The New Yorker," "Redbook," "Cosmopolitan" and "The New York Times." She is also the author of the 2008 memoir "Hats & Eyeglasses: A Family Love Affair with Gambling."

Vera Farmiga
Lucy Liu
John Ventimiglia

An award winning actress, Vera Farmiga continues to captivate audiences with each role she embodies. Farmiga recently wrapped production on Jason Reitman's “Up in the Air,” starring opposite George Clooney, as a frequent-flyer businesswoman who develops a romantic relationship with Clooney's character through meetings in airports and hotels around the country.

Farmiga can also be seen in the upcoming film “The Vintner's Luck,” directed by Niki Caro. Vintner's is an adaptation of Elizabeth Knox's novel of the same name and tells the story of a 19th century French peasant winemaker who endeavors to create the perfect vintage. The film co-stars Patrick Bauchau, Gaspard Ulliel, Jeremie Renier, and Keisha Castle-Hughes with Acajou Films, Laurie Parker and Robin Laing producing. Farmiga recently starred in the dark thriller “Orphan” opposite Peter Sarsgaard, Carlos Brooks' “Quid Pro Quo,” Miramax's Holocaust drama “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” and Rod Lurie's political drama “Nothing But the Truth.”

Farmiga won the Best Actress award from the Los Angeles Film Critics' Association for her performance in the independent film “Down to the Bone,” a revelatory drama about a weary working-class mother trapped by drug addiction. She also won Best Actress awards from the Sundance Film Festival and the Marrakech Film Festival and earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for the role.

Additional film credits include: “Joshua” opposite Sam Rockwell; “Never Forever” opposite Jung-woo Ha and David McInnis; Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning police drama, “The Departed,” opposite Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicholson; Anthony Minghella's “Breaking & Entering” opposite Jude Law; and “The Manchurian Candidate” for director Johnathan Demme.

Lucy Liu was born and raised in Queens, New York. Liu graduated from New York City's prestigious Stuyvesant High School and then received a BA from the University of Michigan with a degree in Asian Languages and Culture. After graduating, she pursued an acting career and is most known for her roles on television's Ally McBeal and the film blockbuster series "Charlie's Angels" and "Kill Bill."

In 2006, the documentary Freedom's Fury premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, with Liu and her "Kill Bill" collaborator Tarantino as executive producers. The film dramatizes the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, climaxing with the infamous water polo match between Hungary and the Soviet Union at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. Following its international release in 2006-07, the film was picked up by Fortissimo for international sales and became the number one box office film in Hungary shortly after its release.

Now, as both producer and narrator, Liu introduces her latest project, "Redlight", exposing and chronicling the tragedies and injustices of the international child-trafficking industry. Filmed over a four year period in Cambodia, "Redlight" focuses on the personal stories of these young victims and on two remarkable advocates for change: grass-roots activist Somaly Mam and politician Mu Sochua. Both have since been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Appointed UNICEF Ambassador in 2004, Liu has traveled the globe to meet children and experience firsthand UNICEF's efforts to do whatever it takes to save a child. She has visited their programs in Lesotho, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Russia, Côte d'Ivoire and most recently Peru. She is continually transformed and inspired by the opportunity to be a voice for children in need around the world.

2006 Woman's World Award for her outstanding humanitarian work, given to her by former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto sponsored by the World Award organization headed by former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachov.

2008 UNICEF'S Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award for helping to advocate child survival by harnessing the power of celebrity to further worldwide issues and causes.

John Ventimiglia may be best known as "Artie Bucco" on the acclaimed HBO series The Sopranos, but his career embraces extensive theater, film, narration, music and television work. His early activity in New York theater was primarily with the Machine Full theater company. Since then he worked in such productions as: "The Exonerated," "The Resistible Rise of Arturo UI" with the National Theater Company, "Door Wide Open" and "Ponies" at Studio Dante, among other plays. His film credits include "Angela" (Rebecca Miller), "I Shot Andy Warhol" (Mary Harron), "Girls Town" (Jim McKay), "On the Run," "The Lovebirds," "Postcards From America," "Kicked In The Head," "Louis And Frank" (Alex Rockwell), "Trees Lounge" (Steve Buscemi), "Mickey Blue Eyes," "The Collection," "Notorious," "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead," and most recently, the film adaptation of "Ponies" (with Kevin Corrigan). John is a frequent collaborator of the composer David Amram (Robert Frank’s "Pull My Daisy"). John reads Kerouac with David Amram and his band the first Monday of every month at Cornelia St. Cafe. He narrated "One Fast Move or I'm Gone," a documentary about Kerouac's novel "Big Sur." John narrated the 50th Anniversary Edition of the original scroll version of Kerouac’s "On the Road" for Viking Press, as well as narrating the films "Personal Velocity" and "Amalia."  John has also had an extensive television career.

Woodstock Film Festival panels are made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Academy Foundation

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