Woodstock, NY (October, 2014) - The Woodstock Film Festival
is proud to highlight its wide selection of programming supporting women in the film industry. With an extraodinary array of films directed by women, a “Women in the Director’s Chair” panel featuring Emmy Award winner Courteney Cox and Academy Award nominated director Debra Granik, and a record high of eight engrossing narratives in competition for the Tangerine Entertainment Juice Award for Best Female Director, women in film are heading up to the Hudson Valley, eager to show they are fiercely independent.
“I am thrilled to expand our focus on women in film again this year,” said Meira Blaustein, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Woodstock Film Festival. “It is a great honor to know our festival provides a platform for these talented women to shine and an opportunity to even out gender divisions within the industry.”
The Women in the Director's Chair panel, hosted by Yahoo! Movies contributing editor Thelma Adams, will take place at 10am on Saturday, October 18 at the Kleinert James Art Center in Woodstock. In addition to first time feature director Courteney Cox and seasoned director Debra Granik, the panel will feature director and Film Fatales founder Leah Meyerhoff and Mira Nair Rising Female Filmmaker Award winner Jenna Ricker.
Panelist Leah Meyerhoff, whose debut feature-length narrative, I Believe In Unicorns, will screen this year, is proud to be at the forefront of this new wave. “One of the reasons that I initially became a filmmaker was to tell more stories about authentic female protagonists who I could relate to,” Meyerhoff explained, “I was tired of seeing female characters barely speak on screen, let alone have a fully developed interior world. Half of our society is women, half of the audiences are women, half of the creative content needs to be made by women.”
With these and other female filmmakers arriving in Woodstock to showcase their work, Meyerhoff provided insight into the mutual feeling of welcome from the indie film world and her prediction for the inevitable growth of a feminine presence. “I am encouraged by community building events such as this and excited to see the Woodstock Film Festival continue to support female talent both in front of and behind the camera. I look forward to a future where these discussions are commonplace and gender equity in film is a given."
NYWIFT, UPWIFT, and Tangerine Entertainment will also host a private reception following the panel celebrating all of this year's female filmmakers. Tickets for the panel are available ONLINE HERE or at the Box Office at 13 Rock City Road in Woodstock. Learn more about the talented women below.
The films in competition for the Tangerine Entertainment Juice Award for Best Female Director from the official 2014 selection range from a nail-biting thriller to a lighthearted rediscovery of youth. The award for Best Female Director will be presented at the annual Maverick Awards Ceremony on Saturday, October 18 at Backstage Studio Productons in Kingston, NY. Tickets to the Maverick Awards can be purchased ONLINE HERE.
Best Female Director nominated films include:
THE AMERICAN SIDE, directed by Jenna Ricker
There are three sides to every story... the truth, the lie, and the American Side. Thrust into a world populated by a whiskey-swilling raconteur (Robert Forster), strangely bonded siblings (Matthew Broderick and Camilla Belle), and a dubious government agent (Janeane Garofalo), detective Charlie Paczynski joins the quest for a long-lost design by enigmatic genius, Nikola Tesla. With a partner caught in a blackmail scheme gone bad and reeling from a suspect's cryptic warning, every door Paczynski forces open raises the stakes in this thrilling, jigsaw puzzle mystery.
Screening Thurs 10/16 Woodstock Playhouse 1:00pm and Sat 10/18 Rosendale Theatre 9:30pm
BREAD AND BUTTER, directed by Liz Manashil
Late bloomer Amelia has spent the first three decades of her life alone, reading books and working as a receptionist for an eccentric Life Coach. She starts to search for a soulmate at the urging of her boss, and Daniel (Bobby Moynihan), one of his clients, shares many of the same idiosyncrasies, fears, and overall naivety. A second prospect, Leonard (Micah Hauptman), soon appears and leads the quirky and endearing story into a humor-filled entanglement with a resolution that is both heartwarming and distinctly human.
Screening Sat 10/18 Upstate Films Rhinebeck 3:00pm and Sun. 10/19 Bearsville Theater 7:45pm
I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS, directed by Leah Meyerhoff
In a portrayal where imagination and reality become interchangeable, Davina seeks to escape her dire life taking care of her disabled mother by creating dreamy settings in her room and looking for romance and adventure away from home. She finds that in Sterling (Peter Vack), an older "bad boy," and the two set off on a wild adventure where playfulness and passion collide. A celebration of color, sound and whimsy make the film something you want to believe in. The film was locally shot in Dutchess County.
Screening Fri 10/17 Upstate Films Woodstock 2:30pm and Sun. 10/19 Upstate Films Rhinebeck 5:15pm
JUST BEFORE I GO, directed by Courteney Cox
Ted decides to end his mediocre life, but before doing so, he returns to his hometown to revisit the demons of his past: the cruel school teacher; the relentless bully; the girl who got away. While staying with his brother and his dysfunctional family, he makes an unexpected connection with a girl who decides to document his last few days. A motley cast of characters helps Ted realize that life is complicated for everyone and the memories of the past can be reinterpreted.
Screening Sat 10/18 Upstate Films Woodstock 2:00pm and Sun. 10/19 Rosendale Theatre 2:30pm
THE LAST TIME YOU HAD FUN, directed by Mo Perkins
Four struggling adults trying to let loose for one night in a lighthearted film about divorce, unhappiness, disloyalty and love. Trying to recreate the events that inspired the last time the friends can remember having fun, they meet their uninhibited selves and embark on a night long joy ride of self discovery.
Screening Sat 10/18 Orpheum Theater Saugerties 9:40pm and Sun. 10/19 Upstate Films Woodstock 4:45pm
LITTLE ACCIDENTS, directed by Sara Colangelo
After a mine collapses in a small Appalachian community, sole survivor Amos Jenkins (beautifully played by Boyd Holbrook), finds himself embroiled in a court case surrounding the disaster. Families of deceased co-workers expect him to testify that the accident was the coal company's fault while miners untouched by the tragedy want him to keep quiet.
Screening Fri 10/17 Upstate Films Woodstock 12:00pm and Sun. 10/19 Orpheum Theater Saugerties 3:00pm
RUNOFF, directed by Kimberly Levin
The beauty of the land cannot mask the brutality of a small farm town. As harvest draws near, Betty Freeman confronts a terrifying new reality. She goes to desperate lengths to save her family and must coldly decide whom to sacrifice. This skillfully written narrative flips the standard gender dynamic and brings unexpected insight and realism to an established genre.
Screening Sat 10/18 Bearsville Theater Woodstock 8:40pm and Sun 10/19 Upstate Films Rhinebeck 2:45pm
THE SISTERHOOD OF NIGHT, directed by Caryn Waechter
Based on the short story by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Steven Millhauser, The Sisterhood of Night is a story of friendship and loyalty set against the backdrop of a modern-day Salem witch trial. Shot on location in Kingston, NY, the film chronicles a group of girls who have slipped out of the world of social media into a mysterious world deep in the woods.
Screening Sat 10/18 Woodstock Playhouse 7:00pm and Sun. 10/19 Rosendale Theatre 5:00pm
The Tangerine Entertainment Juice Award for Best Female Director will be presented at the annual Maverick Awards Ceremony on Saturday, October 18 at Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston, NY. Other awards to be presented include the Honorary Maverick Award to Darren Aronofsky, the first annual Fiercely Independent Award to Mark Duplass, the Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography, and many more.
Female directers are also represented in this year's Documentary and Shorts selections.
Documantaries include: Arwad, directed by Dominique Chila along with Samer Najari, A Small Section of the World, directed by Lesley Chilcott, Angel Azul, directed by Marcelina Cravat, The Hand That Feeds, directed by Rachel Lears along with Robin Blotnick, How I Got Over, directed by Nicole Boxer Little White Lie, directed by Lacey Schwartz, Mentor, directed by Alix Lambert, Red Lines, directed by Andrea Kalin along with Oliver Lukacs, and Stray Dog directed by Academy Award nominee and panelist, Debra Granik.
Shorts include: 5 Ways 2 Die, directed by Daina Papadaki, Jewish Girls Are Easy, directed by Charlotte Glynn, So You've Grown Attached, directed by Kate Tsang, Captive Radio, directed by Lauren Rosenfeld, Catskill Park, directed by Nina Warren, The Game Changer, directed by Indrani Kopal, The Twelve-Foot-Tall Rabbits of Rokeby Farm, directed by Samuel Crow and Rubi Rose, The Lipstick Stain, directed by Dagny Looper, Points of Origin, directed by Anya Leta, Sunday"directed by Iva Gocheva, Monkey Rag, directed by Joanna Davidovich, My Kingdom, directed by Debra Solomon, Tarzan, directed by Signe Baumane, Why Do I Study Physics?, directed by Xiangjun Shi, Zhukya (The Gum), directed by Olga Makarchuk, Pale Little Ghost Girl, directed by Beck Underwood, Wait for It, directed by Juliet Lashinsky-Revene and Marc Fratello, Whiskey Pick, directed by Emily Carragher, Your Direction, directed by Lauren Rachel Brady, Suddenly, directed by Merav Elbaz Belschner, Untitled Film, directed by Emma Pittelman, Food Fight, directed by Ejaniia Clayton and Nyzeria Bush, Gifts, directed by Morgana McKenzie, and The Noise Eater, directed by Emma Pittelman and Casey Hall.