(Woodstock, NY) September 5, 2007— The Woodstock Film Festival today announced the opening, closing and centerpiece films for its 8th annual film extravaganza in the historic arts colony, October 10-14th. More than 150 stellar films will be screened, selected by features and documentaries programmers - Ryan Werner, Tom Quinn, Michael Lerman and Meira Blaustein.
Todd Haynes’ highly anticipated narrative I’M NOT THERE, which closes the festival, is an experimental biopic about the life and times of cultural icon Bob Dylan, who lived and worked in Woodstock in his early years. To represent the many incarnations of Dylan over time, Haynes cast several actors as the legendary musician, each embodying a different aspect of his life. Cate Blanchett, who plays Dylan circa-1966, is joined by Richard Gere, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Ben Whishaw and a young Marcus Carl Franklin. The film also features Charlotte Gainsbourg, David Cross, and Michelle Williams, among others.
“After the successful U.S. Premiere of FAR FROM HEAVEN at the Woodstock Film Festival in 2002, I am so happy to welcome Todd Haynes back to the festival with his new masterpiece”, says WFF Executive Director and Co-founder Meira Blaustein, adding “It’s so appropriate to screen this film in Woodstock, as this is the place Dylan called home for several years.”
The festival’s official opening film on Thursday evening Oct. 11, is THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY (LE SCAPHANDRE ET LE PAPILLON), directed by Julian Schnabel (BASQUIAT, BEFORE NIGHT FALLS). The film is based on the moving memoir of French Elle editor-in-chief Jean-Dominique Bauby, who at the age of 43 suffered a massive stroke leaving him the victim of a rare condition called locked-in syndrome. Fully cognizant, Bauby was left permanently unable to move or speak, able to communicate only by blinking his left eyelid. Schnabel received the coveted Cannes Film Festival’s Best Director award for the film.
Of Schnabel’s life-affirming film, Blaustein says, “So much of Julian Schnabel’s work is steeped in the arts. To bookend the festival with music and art, is to so honor what the Woodstock Film Festival is all about.”
In addition, the festival is pleased to announce this year’s Centerpiece films,
MARRIED LIFE by award-winning director Ira Sachs (screening in Woodstock), and UNDER THE SAME MOON (LA MISMA LUNA) directed by Patricia Riggen (screening in Rhinebeck).
MARRIED LIFE, starring Academy-Award winning actor Chris Cooper, Academy Award nominee Patricia Clarkson, Pierce Brosnan and Rachel McAdams, is Sachs’ third narrative feature. The film is a sultry look at sex, betrayal, murder and marriage among the tangled lives of four friends in the 1940’s.
UNDER THE SAME MOON (LA MISMA LUNA), is the touching story of a Mexican boy who embarks on a dangerous journey alone to find his mother, who is working illegally in the United States. The film follows their desperate attempt to reunite, offering a subtle commentary on the much-debated issue of immigration.
Art and music are synonymous with Woodstock. From Byrdcliffe, the historic artist’s colony founded in 1902, to the legendary music festival that bore its name in 1969, Woodstock has long been host and home to musicians and artists, a symbol of progressive thinking and independence. Since its founding in 2000, the Woodstock Film Festival has sought to uphold the values of its hometown, and to elevate, inspire and encourage artists, musicians and appreciators alike.
The Festival kicks off Wednesday evening, Oct. 10, with a special event, and will present a full slate of screenings throughout the day on Thursday, preceding the official Opening Night film.
Full programming for the 8th Annual Woodstock Film Festival, which takes place this year from October 10-14, will be announced SEPTEMBER 18 at a Gala Launch event in NYC (see below).
ABOUT THE WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL
The eighth ’fiercely independent’ Woodstock Film Festival includes more than 150 films, panels, concerts, and special events featured at venues in Woodstock and the neighboring towns of Rhinebeck, Hunter and Rosendale. The Festival has established itself as one of the best independent film events in the country by premiering exceptional films, hosting the most talented emerging and established film professionals, presenting A-list concerts, parties and panels, and creating innovative and stimulating programming year-round.
The presenting sponsor of the Woodstock Film Festival is Markertek.com, the #1 internet source for video professionals.
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 promotes artists, culture, inspired learning, and diversity. The Hudson Valley Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video, and media production. Visit www.woodstockfilmfestival.com. For more information contact the WFF Press Office at (845) 679-4265.