2003 WRAP UP

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 NEW YEAR.

Meira Blaustein
Executive Director
PO Box 1406 / 86 Mill Hill Road
Woodstock, NY 12498
(845) 679-4265

Life Without Death
"Life Without Death"

Goodbye Hungaria
"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 information, visit 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, click here.

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 Bruckner.

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 Productions.

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


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 Columbia University.

Check out the website——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"

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 12:35 am.

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 or call Matter Productions 212.321.2726.

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

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 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 trooper.

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 available through 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:, Organic Style, Catskill Mountain Region Guide, Ruder Finn, Amtrak, United Artists, Planet Noise, Cineric, WDST - 100.1 FM