2003 WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL WRAP NEWSLETTER

Intro - Participants - Feature Films - Documentaries - Shorts
Panels - Concerts - Parties - Maverick Awards - Souvenirs - Photo Gallery

 

“In its fourth year, the Woodstock Film Festival was abundant in lively panel discussions, socially conscious films made by exceptionally young filmmakers and music-centered pics...” (Variety)

"Woodstock Fest Provokes and Entertains Again In Year Four" (Indiewire)

"In an ideal world (and Woodstock's denizens specialize in Utopian visions), these all-too-common celluloid celebrations shouldn't just give out-of-towners a chance to schmooze; they should reflect and enhance the communities that spawn them. And in that respect, as it nears the five-year mark, Woodstock is becoming one of the most distinctive festivals on the circuit." (TimeOut, New York)

From Wednesday, Sept. 17 through Sunday, Sept. 21, the 4th annual Woodstock Film Festival had filmmakers and film lovers raving about the extraordinary lineup featuring over ninety events, in a friendly, relaxed setting and inspiring landscape.

Visitors came from parts all over including Connecticut, Vermont, Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Virginia, New Mexico, California, Hawaii, Nebraska, Missouri, Canada and various other countries.

Major press coverage included (as of 9/29/03) New York Times, New York Post, WNBC-TV, New York Daily News, Time Out NY, Hudson Valley Magazine, Indiewire, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, AP, NPR, and more.

For helping to make the festival a rousing success, the Woodstock Film Festival would like to thank its incredibly dedicated staff members, the 150+ volunteers that make the festival a reality, the filmmakers, panelists, and industry members who came to visit from around the country and abroad, film lovers, audience members, and sponsors, including Markertek.com, Organic Style Magazine, Amtrak, Catskill Mountain Region Guide, Ruder Finn, Cineric, Planet Noise Records, United Artists, WDST, Ameribag, Kodak, Nerve.com, Showtime, The Writer's Guild of America East, and Docurama.

Equipment sponsors included Rock ‘n’ Roll Radios, Metrovision, AVHQ, Liman Video Rental, Paratore Audio-Visual and New City Video & Staging.

Presenting sponsor Markertek was represented at the festival by founder and president Mark Braunstein. “The Woodstock Film Festival,” said Braunstein, “is a perfect combination of art and technology, which dovetails with the Markertek corporate vision.”

“We’re the platinum sponsor for the festival this year,” remarked Natalie Kaye, Organic Style’s marketing director, “and we’re really happy to be here.  We thought this was a great venue for us, it really sort of matches our brand because our readers are very sort of independent minded trend-setters, not unlike the people participating in the festival this year.” Kaye also expressed that the demographics of the magazine are in sync with that of the festival – mainly well educated, affluent adults who are trendsetters more than followers, “It seemed like, brandwise, it was a really good fit for us to be a part of this, to align our advertisers brands with the event.

United Artists president Bingham Ray was in town attending his third Woodstock Film Festival. “My company, United Artists, we’re a major sponsor now.  We really believe in the festival.  I’ve been to festivals all over the world. Woodstock, just because of the town itself, is a very mellow, really low-key festival, but has really great films and really great people.”

Anyone interested in sponsoring the fifth annual Woodstock Film Festival should email sponsorwoodstock@woodstockfilmfestival.com

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.


PARTICIPANTS

Over 130 films were screened, featuring established, and emerging filmmakers. Key festival participants included Woody Harrelson, Olympia Dukakis, Dan Hedaya, Annabella Sciorra, Marcia Gay Harden, Lili 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, Liz Garbus, Martin Garbus, Donald Westlake, Peter Saraf, Barbara Hammer, and others.

Reps from United Artists, THINKFilm, Miramax, Zeitgeist, Wellspring, Cowboy, Samuel Goldwyn, Palm Pictures, Magnolia, IFC Films, Seventh Art Releasing, Docurama, WNET-TV and Lions Gate made the trek upstate to attend the festival.

Seventh Art Releasing, in town top promote Hart Perry’s exceptional “Valley of Tears” picked up Adam Yaffe’s “Book of Danny,” the comic, often poignant story of teen stoner, Danny Dubnow, played superbly by Woodstock resident Danny Randell.

As of September 21, Ron Mann was considering up to ten distribution offers for “Go Further.” Expect a deal in the coming month.


 



Aidan Quinn, Song For A Raggy Boy

FEATURE FILMS

Opening night films featured “Pieces of April,” the directorial debut for Peter Hedges, (best known for his screenplays for “What Eating Gilbert Grape,” and “About a Boy”)

“What I love about the Woodstock Film Festival?” asked Hedges during his screening. “The people!  The people are eager, they’re open, they’re smart, they’re discerning, and they’re watching my film… hopefully they’re going to like it!”

John Sayles’ “Casa De Los Babys” opened simultaneously at Upsate Films and featured a follow-up Q&A with actors Marcia Gay Harden and Lili Taylor, who were both thrilled with the outcome and their participation. 

“This is my second time at Woodstock,” exclaimed Harden. “I came last year.  And the thing about Woodstock is, like so many of the great smaller festivals, is that they show fantastic art movies, and movies with a thought behind them, and movies with a kind of social consciousness which is perfect for Woodstock because it has a history of having such a kind of conscious.  And it’s just fun! It’s beautiful, the area’s gorgeous, and if anyone’s listening who hasn’t been here, I think they should come.

“I think this festival is one of the few festivals that still celebrates film,” said Taylor, “and I don’t think it’s so much about commerce, but about really enjoying film.   The films here are wonderful, it’s a great place…”

Closing Night films featured Billy Ray's “Shattered Glass,” which explores the true story of Stephen Glass, a former associate editor at New Republic who was charged with fabricating many of the stories he wrote. Adam Penenberg, the Forbes Magazine writer whose investigative reporting led to Glass’s ultimate downfall attended the screening and took part in the Q&A.

Also closing the Woodstock Film Festival was “The Agronomist,” the long-cherished personal documentary project from Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme, celebrates the life of Haitian journalist, broadcaster and human rights activist Jean Dominique - and his tireless fight against injustice and oppression. Producer Peter Saraf was present for the follow-up Q&A.

Special screenings included three sold out shows of Ron Mann’s “Go Further.

"It’s the most wonderful festival I’ve been to,” claimed Mann. “The reception of the film is… you know… it leaves me speechless.  It’s a special festival.”

Other special screenings included Denys Arcand's “Barbarian Invasions,” “Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself,” “In My Skin,” Girlhood,” “Song for a Raggy Boy,featuring Aidan Quinn, “American Cousins,featuring Dan Hedaya, and “The Event” featuring Olympia Dukakis.

“I’m really pleased to be here,” said Dukakis of her first visit to Woodstock. “I’ve heard a lot about the Woodstock Film Festival.  I’ve never been a part of it before, so I really feel pleased to be invited.”





 

Emerging filmmakers were also present in force including Jennifer Elster with “Particles of Truth.”

 Particles of truth originally premiered at the Tribeca Film festival then wee took it to the L.A film festival and now we are here at the very relaxed very beautiful Woodstock Film Festival.  My days consist of going to parties and sitting by the stream and writing and seeing great films and I’m just having a wonderful time. I love it.

Also in town to support features were Allen Mindel and local Woodstock producer Michael Brody (“Milwaukee, Minnesota”) Alison Bagnal, Alison Dickey, Savannah Haske, Dean Wareham (“Piggie”) Amy Hobby, Laura Fraser, and Karl Geary (“Coney Island Baby”) Michael Burke (“The Mudge Boy”) Joseph Pierson (“Evenhand”) Natalie Picoe  (“Nosey Parker”) Adam Yaffe and Danny Randel (“Book of Danny”) Joe Maggio, and Clint Jordan (“Milk and Honey”) Elliot Greenebaum (“Assisted Living”) and Bill Fishman who’s “My Dinner with Jimi” gives a humorous anecdotal glimpse into the life of the former Woodstock resident.

World premieres included Cindy Baer's “Purgatory House,” a film about family, friends, drugs, and suicide written and starring 14-year old Celeste Davis. Cast and crewmembers including Jim Hanks (brother of Tom) flew in from Los Angeles for the two sold out screenings.

“When I think of our movie,” Baer exclaimed with the perky exuberance of California sunshine, “I think of freedom of expression and kickass music, so what could be better than Woodstock because that’s what I think of when I think Woodstock – freedom of expression and kickass music.

Other world premieres playing to sold out enthusiastic crowds included Adam Vardy's “Mendy,” Adam Nadler's “Shoot George,” Cambiz Khosravi's “Food-Not Drugs” and David McDonald's “Woodstock-Can't Get Here From There,” which was finished literally ten minutes prior to it’s debut screening.




DOCUMENTARIES

Documentaries were exceptionally well attended and strongly represented by filmmakers who felt instantly at home. Jayson Crittenden and Jonathan Walls arrived from California on Wednesday with “Playing for Change,” a musical journey that celebrates the lives and freedom of street musician throughout America. By Sunday, they were prepared to stay.

Woodstock reflects the same element that our movie Playing for Change reflects,” Walls stated.

“Absolutely,” added Crittenden. “The social awareness here is raised to a different level. You can hear behind over there, they have an open drum circle. I mean that’s just the kind of stuff we’re talking about. To feel free to express yourself musically, vocally or lyrically, and whichever way you want… We’re just happy to be here. It’s just such a great environment. We’ve been to a couple other film festivals and hands down -- this is by far the best one where the community comes together and gets involved with everybody. I mean it’s been an amazing adventure for us. We’ve been here almost five days and we can’t get enough of it.  I don’t want to leave Woodstock!

Other visiting filmmakers included Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi & Hugo Berkeley who were impressed with the caliber of the audiences.

“It's an engaged intellectual town," said "A Normal Life" co-director Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. "They had genuine questions. They asked about the future of Kosovo, not just [standard questions] like what was going to happen to the movie." "A Normal Life" follows seven young ethnic Albanian Kosovars who return home from refugee camps struggling to find their personal identities amidst the chaos of a country in shambles.

Rob Schumer and Ruth Oxenberg were in town to screen the musical documentary “Bluegrass Journey.”  They also managed to put together an amazing musical kickoff for the festival featuring Bluegrass legend Peter Rowan and friends, and opening act Buddy Merriam & Backroads.

Other WFF visitors included Jeffrey Kipnis (“A Constructive Madness”) Jonathan Robinson (“Every Child is Born a Poet”) Liz Garbus (“Girlhood”) Ron Mann, Woody Harrelson, Renee Loux Underkoffler, Steve Clark and Joe Hickey (“Go Further”) Marc Levin (“Godfathers & Sons”) Rory Kennedy (“A Boy’s Life”) Jack Cahill (“Long Gone”) Paul Devlin (“Power Trip”) Cynthia Wade and Heidi Reinberg (“Shelter Dogs”) Michael Almereyda (“This So Called Disaster”) Josh Nussbaum and Rob Dimin (“The White Runway”) Hart Perry (“Valley of Tears”) Dana Dowd (“Tom Dowd and the Language of Music”), and veteran doc filmmaker Barbara Hammer (“Resisting Paradise”) who commented on the festivals friendly vibe.

“This is such an intimate festival, said Hammer. “That’s why I like it.  I got to meet Olympia Dukakis.  I chatted with Lili Taylor.  I sat next to directors, and I debated editing strategies.  This is the kind of festival where you can really get to know the people who come.  And there aren’t so many, it’s not so overwhelming, people aren’t trying to sell.  There’s not that much of a hustle.  So, it’s my kind of place.”

Cinematographer Jefferson Miller represented the Academy-Award winning short doc, “Twin Towers,” which screened with firefighter Mike Lennon’s “Brothers on Holy Ground.” The screenings coincided with a visit by New York City Firefighters Jim Carney, Al Hagan, Brendan Hagan and Tim Klett, who came to the festival to serve forty pounds of  “Chicken a la Carney” to festival staff members, volunteers, actors, film directors and producers. “A lot of us, after 9/11, are looking to give back,” said Carney. “We give back with speeches, and talks at schools. We give back a little chicken. It’s a tremendous feeling.” The chicken (and the firefighters) received a thumbs up across the board.


SHORTS

Over 65 international shorts were screened covering a range of styles and topics including animation, docs, drama, suspense, comedy, gay and sex shorts. Filmmakers represented their works in force.

The animation show moderated (and led) by Bill Plympton demonstrated full support with attendees coming from as far away from Latvia, Montreal and Los Angeles with films including “Dear Sweet Emma,” “Roof Sex,” “The Spirit of Gravity,” “Woman,” “Bathtime at Clerkenwell,” “Educational Toys for Precocious Tots,” and snippets from Plympton’s upcoming “Hair High.” Seemingly inseparable, many of the animators spent the weekend housed together at the historic Eastover guest quarters. The standby line for the animation show was so long that the festival has already committed to providing additional space for 2004.

Also in town, to support his wry sex comedy “Borrowing Saffron,” was Todd Barry, Entertainment Weekly’s 2003 It Stand Up Comic. While advance ticket sales for the “Sex and the Country” show seemed somewhat slow, when the lights turned on after 70 plus  minutes of raucous laughter, the Mountain View Studio Theater was filled with an SRO crowd.

Other shorts programming included the annual sold-out comedy shorts, dramatic shorts, tension please, and identities, which featured a selection of gay shorts from hilarious to reflective.

Youth Initiative Shorts featured films by teens. On Saturday morning, at “A Day at the Roundtables” area youth were treated to career day event featuring top film industry leaders including Legendary Composer Elmer Bernstein who recalled his days as a child in Woodstock. “I’m sitting here in a school that was built in, oh I guess the mid-thirties, in a meadow I used to stand in and dream of what I would be when I grew up, hoping it would be a musician.  And, I’ve always said about Woodstock, that Woodstock was a place of magic, therefore the most appropriate place for a film festival which is itself magic.  And so, here I am, 72 years later, in that field, in this theater, working at the Woodstock Film Festival.”

Other guest teachers included Academy Award winning producer, director Leon Gast, casting director extraordinaire Ellen Chenoweth, cinematographer Peter Nelson, producers Sally Roy and Gill Holland, editors Sabine Hoffman and Andie Haffitz, attorney Miriam Stern, and others.


New York Women in Film and TV panel
 

PANELS

Panels featured emerging filmmakers, celebrities and industry leaders. Many were attending the festival with new projects.

The actor's dialogue moderated by celebrity journalist Martha Frankel featured Dan Hedaya (“American Cousins”) Olympia Dukakis (“The Event”) and Annabella Sciorra (“The Sopranos,” “Romeo is Bleeding”).

The Current Trends in Distribution Panel moderated by Indiewire's Eugene Hernandez featured United Artist prez Bingham Ray, THINKFilm head of distribution Mark Urman and Cowboy Pictures prez John Vanco.

Filmmaking in Risky Times, moderated by NPR’s David D’Arcy featured noted civil rights attorney Martin Garbus, Killer Film’s producer Katie Roumel, Academy Awards nominated filmmaker Liz Garbus, UA Prez Bingham Ray (“Bowling For Columbine”) and WFF 2002 Best Feature winner Neil Burger (“Interview with the Assassin”).

Film Critics and filmmakers faced off on a panel with Variety’s David Rooney, New York Post’s Jonathan Foreman and Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman representing critics, and filmmakers Katherine Lindberg (“Rain”), Michael Burke (“The Mudge Boy”) and Joseph Pierson (“EvenHand”) representing for filmmakers.

High Impact Docs featured documentary filmmakers Ron Mann (“Go Further”), Barbara Hammer (“Resisting Paradise”) and Liz Garbus (“Girlhood”).

Current Trends in Independent Filmmaking featured a cross section of today and yesterday’s indie cinema leaders, including renowned filmmaker Robert Downey Sr. (“Putney Swope,” “Greaser’s Palace,” “Sweet Smell of Sex”), producer Peter Saraf (“Adaptation,” “The Agronomist”) actor/writer/director Tim Blake Nelson (“O,” “The Grey Zone”), producer Ira Deutchman (“Center of the World”), Cinetic’s Erin Heidenreich, and WFF 2001 Best feature winner Larry Fessenden (“Wendigo”).

The BMI sponsored Soundtrack panel, always expertly curated and moderated by BMI’s Doreen Ringer Ross, featured music supervisor Tracy McKnight (“Raising Victor Vargas,” “High Art”) composer David Torn (“Adaptation,” “Narc”) composer Mark Suozzo (“American Splendor”), and Ron Mann who’s “Go Further” soundtrack includes an all star lineup including Natalie Merchant, Dave Matthews. Bob Weir, Medeski, Martin and Wood, String Cheese Incident and many more. The general public attendance was punctuated by many composers, and filmmakers interested in learning about the does & don’ts associated with music in film including licensing, scoring, using found music.

“Woodstock and film and music are just a natural fit if you think about the history of this place and the reputation that it has.”  Ringer Ross commented. “It’s so cool that this festival exists.  I love coming here to do stuff about music, and we always have a great time…”

The Screenwriting panel, sponsored by the Writers Guild of America East and moderated by editor/screenwriter Annie Nocenti, featured renowned novelist/screenwriter Donald Westlake (“The Grifters,” “Point Blank”), academy award winning screenwriter Ron Nyswaner (“Philadelphia,” “A Soldier’s Girl”), the accomplished Michael Almereyda (“Happy Here and Now,” “This So Called Disaster”) and new comer Mike Jones ("EvenHand").

Last but certainly not least, WFF hosted New York Women In Film and Television’s panel, “The Making of a Low Budget Indie.” The case study focused on the festival’s opening night film Pieces of April and was moderated by the director of New York State Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Television Pat Swinney Kaufman. Speakers featured screenwriter/director Peter Hedges, producers John S. Lyons, Alexis Alexanian and Lucy Barzun, music supervisor Linda Cohen and distributor, UA prez Bingham Ray.

In addition to panels, several book signings took place care of Newmarket press featuring Peter Hedges' "Pieces of April," and Tim Blake Nelson's "The Grey Zone."




CONCERTS

Musicians performing at the 2003 Woodstock Film Festival provided a wide spectrum of styles from Bluegrass, Jazz and Broadway to trip hop, and rock.

Grammy-award winning bluegrass artist Peter Rowan wooed the crowd with his storytelling and musical style as he performed on opening night at Catskill corners with friends, Bill Keith, Jay Ungar, Dylan bassist Tony Garnier, and fourteen year old mandolin virtuoso Jack Dwyer. Buddy Merriam and Back Roads opened with some hard driving, old-timey Bluegrass

Karl Berger, founder of the Creative Music Studio and a six-time winner of the Downbeat Critics Poll as a jazz soloist, kept the groove going at the Catamount Café after party as he performed with world respected bansuri master Steve Gorn, and friends.

Songwriter, instrumentalist, singer Joey Eppard and his band 3, a post-emo, alternative rock band with unique acoustic/electric space/funk style rocked the opening night gala film party crowd with tunes from their new album “Summercamp Nightmare.”

Tony Award winner Lillias White (who can be seen in Peter Hedges film “Pieces of April”) mesmerized a sold out Friday night Colony Café crowd with her dynamic performance. She was accompanied by internationally recognized pianist/composer Joshua Pearl.

Luna members Dean Wareham (who can be seen in Alison Bagnal’s “Piggie”) and Britta Phillips played the Saturday night filmmaker party at the Colony Cafe. In the tradition of Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood, Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin, Britta & Dean gave the overflow crowd a taste of their sly, silky and romantic new album "L'Avventura."

Folk, ska, blues, and trip-hop artist Tamar Haviv followed Britta and Dean with a funky set featuring tunes from her latest album “Insatiable.”


cineric, sony, cmf party

PARTIES

Between the daily festival parties and the various private film and industry parties, there was plenty to choose from when it came time to unwind and socialize.

Opening night kicked off with a party in honor of local filmmakers and the Woodstock Film Commission thrown by Catskill Corners, the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce and Keegan Ales.

Planet Noise Records with Nerve.com and New World Home Cooking hosted the opening night film gala with special musical guests Joey Eppard and 3. Libations were offered by Skyy Vodka, Rheingold beer and Bordeaux wine. Celebrity peeks included Lili Taylor, Live Schrieber, Olympia Dukakis, Peter Hedges, and others.

Key festival sponsor Cineric, Inc threw a special bash at the Catskill Mountain Foundation headquarters to honor SONY and their film restoration work after a special screening of Nicholas Ray’s “In a Lonely Place” featuring Humphrey Bogart.

The Kodak Party held at the Woodstock Golf Course drew luminaries Annabella Sciorra and Liev Schreiber.

Private film parties included “Particles of Truth” at Marion’s (sponsored by Skyy Vodka) “Assisted Living” (hosted by GenArt , Cowboy Pictures and Heineken at Legends) “Shelter Dogs” at the Center for Photography of Woodstock and “Milwaukee, Minnesota’s” party at Legends.

Platinum sponsor Organic Style honored Woody Harrelson and the screening of “Go Further” with a special afternoon bash at the Woodstock Arts Association, which drew raves from filmmakers and guests for ambience and ‘style’.

“We had everybody who was everybody, and some other people too who showed up,” beamed Organic Style marketing director Natalie Kaye. “The food was wonderful, the music was great, the place is beautiful, people had a wonderful time.  It was a spectacular day… it was a total success.”

Not to be outdone, presenting sponsor Markertek.com’s closing night party at the Bearsville Theater attracted a full house. Filmmakers and company, including Woody Harrelson and friends danced and regaled into the wee hours of Monday morning as if they wanted the festival to never end.


 

 

 

MAVERICK AWARDS

The Maverick Award’s preceded the closing night party. Awards were sponsored respectively by Cineric, Docurama , Kodak, and Markertek.com. The handcrafted trophies were created by Woodstock artist Steve Heller of Fabulous Furniture.

The Elmer Bernstein Award for Best Film Score was presented by the maestro himself to “Love Object” composer Nicholas Pike. The Woodstock Film Festival is extremely honored by Mr. Bernstein’s participation over the fourth years, since the festival inception.

Cinematographer Peter Robertson won the Haskell Wexler Award for his work on "Song For A Raggy Boy." Jefferson Miller did the honors for Mr. Wexler who is busy shooting John Sayles latest feature film in Colorado.

Elliot Greenebaum's debut feature, “Assisted Living”  (co presented by GenArt) won the festival's best feature prize. The film chronicles a day in the life of a twenty something stoner (Michael Bonsignore) who recovers his humanity while interacting with the residents of the assisted living facility where he works as a janitor. Shot in a real nursing home with actual residents, the film is the first feature for Louisville native and NYU graduate Greenebaum. The film was recently acquired by Cowboy Pictures.

A special mention was given to Emile Hirsch for his performance in Michael Burke's "The Mudge Boy."

Rory Kennedy's "A Boy's Life" which examines poverty through the lives of a rural family living in Mississippi, won the best documentary prize. A Woodstock audience fave “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” was awarded honorary mention.

The decision was apparently not uncontested as David D’arcy of NPR recounted from the podium, which he shared with fellow juror Robert Downey Sr.

Leon Gast, the third jury member recalls the decision making process which took place at an OTB (Off Track Betting) location in Manhattan. “I’d like to say that this year working on the jury of the documentaries and seeing six documentaries that I would think would qualify for the top rung of any documentaries of any festival anywhere in the world, it’s just remarkable how the form has been elevated. The standard, it’s just incredible -- one right after the other.  I met with my fellow jurors in NYC to try to make a determination which one of these six films was the best film.  I had hoped it would be a ten minute meeting, and it became a two and a half hour meeting, and I actually had to leave and go to another meeting and run back, and we still argued for another hour until we made a decision, but there was a lot of kicking and screaming and stomping.”

Emily and Sarah Kuntsler, who it turns out spent much of their youth, summering in Woodstock, were awarded the best short documentary kudos for their riveting "Tulia, Texas: Scenes from the Drug War” with honorary mention going to the very enjoyable and much beloved “Ferry Tales.”

Mark Waites was honored for his very original and sardonic debut short "Seventy Two Faced Liar,” about a man who had lost his identity. The best student film prize went to the "The Show," a spellbinding portrait of a lynching by NYU’s Cruz Angeles. Special mention went to Columbia University’s Sergio Umansky for the superb "Aqui Iba El Himino" (Here was the Anthem). Other standout student films came from Florida State University, Emerson College, SVA, and Chapman University.

In accepting the festival’s Honorary Maverick Award celebrating independence in art and social issues, actor/activist Woody 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.

“Let me suggest I’m not a maverick at all.
I’m just really one of y’all
I’m an old fashioned guy
Just trying to get by
Every once in a while maybe getting just a little high
An American through and through just like you and - just like you
Proud to be a citizen of humanity
Not to be confused with inhumanity
Of the best government money can buy
And that’s is why I have to say that everybody is a maverick in their own way
Stand up for what you care about and lead with your heart today...”

The complete acceptance speech is available online at http://www.woodstockfilmfestival.com/woody_harrelson.htm

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).


SOUVENIRS

If you’re interested in festival souvenirs including the beautiful 2003 poster featuring the ‘amphicar,’ items are available online.

The Woodstock Film Festival looks forward to celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2004.
Year round events including screenings and workshops will be announced shortly.
Hope to see you then!


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-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.

Major Sponsors
Markertek.com - Organic Style - Amtrak - Catskill Mtn Region Guide - Ruder Finn - Planet Noise - MGM/UA - WDST

 

This event is made possible with public funds from the
New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency



The Woodstock Film Festival newsletter is compiled and written by Laurent Rejto. If you would like to contribute a story idea, email Laurent@woodstockfilmfestival.com.
 

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