2003 WRAP UP, LIFE
WITHOUT DEATH, GOODBYE HUNGARIA, AWARDS
SEASON, IN YOUR FACE,
ON THE PLASMA,
IN VIDEO STORES
Two thousand and three was a great year for the Woodstock
Film Festival. In addition to expanding its scope and adding venues,
programming featured some of the year’s top films including the East
Coast Premieres of “Pieces of April,” “Shattered Glass,” “Casa de Los
Babys,” “Piggie,” “Go Further,” “Godfathers and Sons,” “The Revolution
Will Not Be Televised.”
Esteemed members of the film world who participated included Lili
Taylor, Woody Harrelson, Marcia Gay Harden, Annabella Sciorra, Dan
Hedaya, Olympia Dukakis, Aidan Quinn, Liev Schreiber, Griffin Dunne,
Leon Gast, Elmer Bernstein, Robert Downey Sr., and many others.
Concerts featured Grammy winner Peter Rowan, Tony winner Lilias White,
Dean Wareham & Britta Phillips of Luna, and other great musical acts.
Special events included Exposure, Focus on Music, and the Youth
Initiative, which gave area youth the opportunity to meet and talk with
top industry members, INCLUDING three Academy Award winners.
The Woodstock Film Commission provided location, crew, talent and
production support for short films, TV spots, still photo shoots, and
several feature films including “Down to the Bone,” which will premiere
in dramatic competition at Sundance 2004 and “The Thing About My Folks”
starring Paul Reiser and Peter Falk.
In addition to the above mentioned, the WFF produces year-round events
and a monthly e-newsletter which promotes independent filmmakers and
industry members. Every month, the WFF showcases the best and brightest
independent films, and we offer young people a continued opportunity to
explore careers in film through internship and work opportunities. In
2003, we were particularly thrilled to see several festival alumni
spread their wings to attain film production in Los Angeles and New York
on films including “The Last Samurai,” and “Down to the Bone" and with
industry leaders including Indigent and ABC Television.
Plans for the FIFTH-YEAR celebration went into effect immediately
following the 2003 event, and many special events are being planned for
October 13-17, 2004.
BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP! Like so many other not-for-profit
organizations, the Woodstock Film Festival has felt the sizeable impact
of government cutbacks, the evaporation of grants, and corporate
downsizing. As a result we are doubling our fundraising efforts and
turning to individual donations to fill the gaps in our budget.
To maintain the quality of our programs and further develop the
resources to sustain a year-round program of screenings, workshops,
filmmaker retreats, youth initiatives, concerts, and seminars we are
asking for your TAX-DEDUCTIBLE FINANCIAL SUPPORT.
Every dollar received enables us to maintain our high level of
programming, make important upgrades to equipment, facilities and film
venues, and to retain a year-round office and staff. Every dollar goes
into creating film, music and arts related opportunities programming,
and bringing to you all the magic that is the Woodstock Film Festival.
We sincerely thank you in advance for your time and consideration and
for your generous contribution. Please know that your financial support
is greatly appreciated and will be put to good use!
To donate online using paypal, visit
or you can send a check or call us with your credit card number at the
contact info listed below.
We look forward to a sustained dialogue with you as we continue to grow
and provide more and more exciting opportunities. Thank you in advance
for you support and may 2004 bring you, and yours, a happy and healthy
PO Box 1406 / 86 Mill Hill Road
Woodstock, NY 12498
"Life Without Death"
DEATH & GOODBYE HUNGARIA
As part of its
dedication to year-round programming, the WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL will
present monthly screenings and scheduled workshops throughout 2004.
“Life Without Death,” a film by Frank Cole and Francis Miquet,
will screen Sunday, January 11 at 6:00 pm at Woodstock Town Hall on
Tinker Street in Woodstock. The doc is an intense personal account of
filmmaker Frank Cole's Guinness Record crossing of the Sahara Desert by
camel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. In the course of his
journey, as he overcomes thirst, loneliness and getting lost, Cole is
also forced to confront his own mortality. Striking images of his
Saharan odyssey and flashbacks of his aging grandfather timelessly fuse
with an evocative music score by Richard Horowitz to create an
unsettling meditation on death and a powerful cry for life. For more
Necessary Illusions Productions.
In conjunction with Alternative Videos of Woodstock, “Goodbye
Hungaria,” a film by Jon Nealon (who will appear in person) will
screen Wednesday, January 14 at 7:30 pm at Inquiring Minds Gallery, 64
Partition Street in Saugerties, New York. Both political tale and love
story, “Goodbye Hungaria” is set in a refugee camp in Hungary. This
cinema verité documentary chronicles the lives of a Palestinian refugee
and an American volunteer. They both struggle to make life better in a
camp caught in the bureaucracy of international politics and, in the
process, fall in love. The film traces their unlikely story from the
hopelessness of the refugee camp, to the United States where they come
to start a new life. For more info,
Patricia Clarkson in "Pieces of April"
Hayden Christensen in "Shattered Glass"
As the Award season preps up, we’d like to take the opportunity to
congratulate the following for their well-deserved kudos.
Independent Spirit Award Nominations were recently announced. The
ceremony can be seen on Bravo, Saturday February 28 at 10/9pm
WFF’s 2003 opening night film, “Pieces of April” (United Artists)
received nominations for best screenplay, Peter Hedges, best supporting
female, Patricia Clarkson, and the John Cassevetes Award, which is given
to the best feature film made under $500,000 -- writer/director: Peter
Hedges; producers: Alexis Alexanian, John S. Lyons, Gary Winick.
WFF’s 2003 closing night film “Shattered Glass,” (Lions Gate Films) is
up for three spirit awards including best feature (producers: Craig
Baumgarten, Tove Christensen, Gaye Hirsch, Adam Merims), best
screenplay, Billy Ray, and cinematography, Mandy Walker.
Ron Nyswaner’s “Soldier’s Girl” (Showtime) was nominated for best male
lead, Lee Pace, and best supporting male, Troy Garrity.
Paul Devlin’s “Power trip,” was nominated for best documentary.
“Blue Car,” (Miramax) which screened at the 2002 WFF, was nominated for
beat first screenplay, Karen Moncrieff, and best female lead, Agnes
On December 18th, Golden Globe Award nominations were announced in
preparation for the presentation ceremony on January 25, 2004.
Uma Thurman, who helped announce this year’s Golden Globe Awards
nominations, found herself in the running for Best Actress (Motion
Picture – Drama) for her role as The Bride in “Kill Bill Vol. 1”
(Miramax). *Little known fact about “Kill Bill” is that much of the
screenplay was scribed in Woodstock. Tarantino’s Cumberland Farm runs
have become part of Woodstock lore.
Ron Nyswaner’s “Soldier’s Girl,” (Showtime,) was nominated for Best
Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, Bachrach/Gottlieb
Denys Arcand’s “The Barbarian Invasions,” from Miramax, is up for Best
Foreign Language Film.
Congratulations to all.
Larry Beinhart, Congressman Hinchey,
and Richard Fusco
IN YOUR FACE
Every Sunday morning at Woodstock’s Colony Café, a crew of twenty
political artist-activists have been staging “In Your Face,” a
television show, with the idea of creating a political community, a
lively forum and public gathering. "The original impulse," according to
co-creator Jeff Moran, "came out of the sense that corporations,
right-wing talk shows and the Bush-speak spinmeisters had completely
hijacked the political and social dialogue. “In Your Face” is doing its
part to take it back."
The hosts are author Larry Beinhart (Wag the Dog) and Richard Fusco. The
creators integrate politics and music (featuring the Artist Formerly
Known as Pepe and Bruce Milner…and whoever else comes by) then throw in
two or three short films, mini-docs, person-in-the-street interviews.
Weekly features include Steve Gottleib’s Timmy and Mr. Science puppet
shows, The Terrors of Tess the Librarian, and other special reports.
Outside agitator guests have included Congressman Maurice Hinchey, FAIR
co-founder Jeff Cohen, Denis Moynihan, a community organizer from
Democracy Now, and Bob Thurman, one of the world's leading Buddhist
scholars, author and Chairman of the Department of Religious Studies at
Check out the website—www.inyourfacetv.com—and the series of satirical
posters designed by Scott Menchin.
Want to be part of it? If you have an idea, a short film, a live skit or
a piece of music…if you want a copy for cable access in your
community…if you want to send money, guns, and lawyers, call In Your
Face at (845) 679-0043 or email
Gale Harold & Jennifer Elster in "Particles of Truth"
ON THE PLASMA
Particles of Truth (WFF 2003) has been airing on the Sundance Channel in
the "New Voices" series. Catch the remaining screening New Year's Day at
What distinguishes "Particles of Truth" is the skill and grace with
which director Jennifer Elster cuts between disparate (but intersecting)
narrative lines, providing layer upon layer of telling detail and
startling insight as the pieces of the emotional puzzle fall into place.
This thematic whirlwind provides an ideal example of the power of film
can document the human condition and inspire audiences to look beyond
the surface. The film spills over with stunning high-definition digital
cinematography and uniformly excellent performances. Prior to
filmmaking, Elster made a living as a fashion stylist for countless
photo shoots and music videos for such artists as David Bowie, Garbage,
Fiona Apple, and Moby to Gwyneth Paltrow, Isabella Rosselini, Liv Tyler,
and Chloë Sevigny. As a result, particles of truth is as beautiful to
look at as it is emotionally honest. (TG) For more info, please visit
http://www.particlesoftruth.com or call Matter Productions
Also on the plasma, catch "Pipe Dream," and "Wendigo."
New York actress Natalie Picoe and the late Tunbridge farmer George
Lyford star in John O'Brien's evocative movie "Nosey Parker," which was
released on VHS and DVD this month in time for the holiday season. Photo
Credit Jack Rowell
IN VIDEO STORES
Nosey Parker' Hits the Stores
"Nosey Parker," the John O'Brien movie that won wide acclaim in 2003,
has been released on VHS and DVD video, and is in area stores now,
according to Jack Rowell of Braintree, associate producer of both "Nosey
Parker" and "Man with a Plan."
"Nosey" is the third of O'Brien's "Tunbridge Trilogy," movies that evoke
the environment of O'Brien's home town. It stars Chelsea farmer George
Lyford and New York actress Natalie Picoe, with lesser roles for Richard
Snee and Fred Tuttle.
"This is a film to own, adore, and watch with your family evey holiday
season," said eFilm Critic.com about "Nosey Parker."
It involves an out-of-state couple who move into a beautiful new home in
Tunbridge but don't quite know how to fit in until Lyford, who comes
visiting as a town lister, shows them the rural ropes.
The film's nostalgic poignancy is heightened because Lyford himself died
during the filming of the movie.
O'Brien's other Tunbridge films are "Vermont Is for Lovers" and "Man
with a Plan," featuring Fred Tuttle.
The latter movie led directly to Tuttle's entering the race for
Republican nominee for U. S. Senator in 1998, in which he defeated Jack
McMullin before waging a friendly campaign with incumbent Sen. Patrick
Leahy, actually endorsing his opponent.
The DVD of "Nosey Parker" has additional material for the fans. It
includes a special selection of Lyford's jokes, the theatrical trailer,
a commentary track by Director O'Brien, and some deleted scenes, which
include Mike Gordon of Phish being interrogated by a state
Information and more material is available on the web at
including the opportunity to buy posters, stickers, and the ever-popular
"Spread Fred" bumper sticker.
Nosey Parker on DVD and VHS, and Man with a Plan on VHS, are now
Bellwether Films, by calling 800-399-1070, or thru many local
retailers in Northern New England.
Stay tuned for our January Sundance newsletter!
The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit,
501 (C) 3 organization with a mission to present an annual program and
year-round schedule of film, music, and art-related activities that
promote artists, culture, inspired learning, diversity, and sustainable
economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media
production and exhibition.
The Woodstock FIlm
Festival is made possible in part with public funds from the New York
State Council on the Arts, a State Agency
2003 prime sponsors: Markertek.com,
Organic Style, Catskill Mountain Region Guide, Ruder Finn, Amtrak,
United Artists, Planet Noise, Cineric, WDST - 100.1 FM