The Greyzone


America So Beautiful

The Woodstock Film Festival schedule was announced Monday night at the Knitting Factory in New York City.  The lineup includes more than one hundred and twenty-five outstanding feature films, documentaries, and shorts and other events including seminars, workshops, and concerts  to be presented at its 3rd annual gathering Wednesday Sept. 18 through Sunday Sept. 22 in Woodstock, NY.
Key festival participants include Tim Robbins, Steve Buscemi, Tim Blake Nelson, Parker Posey, Todd Haynes, Elmer Bernstein, Ismail Merchant, Haskell Wexler, Fisher Stevens, Mary Harron, Zachary Sklar, Bill Plympton, John Sloss, Ira Deutchman, Arlo Guthrie, Warren Haynes, Mike Gordon, Harold Leventhal, and other stellar industry professionals.
The opening film is Rebecca Miller’s Personal Velocity, the Grand Jury Prize winner at 2002 Sundance, which screens Thursday night. Starring Kyra Sedgwick, Parker Posey and Fairuza Balk, this widely acclaimed film was shot just outside of Woodstock, and tells the poignant tales of three women who have reached a critical turning point in their lives. Cast and crew conducted a workshop on digital filmmaking during last year’s WFF using Personal Velocity as their “template”. 
The closing film is the U.S. Premiere of Far From Heaven, written and directed by Todd Haynes, screening Sunday evening. Starring Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid with original music by Woodstock’s very own legendary Elmer Bernstein. The film is set in suburban 1950’s America, where ideally perfect surfaces hide a repressed world of great proportions. Against this background, a family is turned upside down when both husband and wife are faced with choices that not only create a gossip mill for the entire community but also change their lives forever. Director Todd Haynes and composer Elmer Bernstein will be present for the screening.
The lineup was introduced with film clips and a special trailer directed by Academy-Award nominated animator extraordinaire Bill Plympton. Click here to check out the trailer or check out the poster, which was also created by Bill.
Click for the full festival lineup or for the press release.

Bose® Headphones
The press conference/launch party was sponsored by Bose  and Knit Media. Italian mineral water was provided by SangeminiUSA. The 78 page full color pre-festival program, designed and printed by Catskill Mountain Region Guide was distributed to the press and attending filmmakers. Other sponsors present for the event included Markertek, Esquire, Hummer and Harvest Moon Media.
Industry representatives included Magnolia Pictures prez Eammon Bowles, Ira Deutchman of Emerging Pictures, Donna Dickman from Focus, Wendy Lidell from Wellspring, and cineBLAST’s Gill Holland, Peter Saraf of Magnetic and many more.
Press on hand included noted critic Amy Taubin contributing editor for "Film Comment" and "Sight and Sound", and people from Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly, Indiewire and all the New York dailies.
Walter Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, and 1997 W.C. Handy Comeback of the Year Nominee Little Sammy Davis, who is featured in the bio-pic of the same name by Arlen Tarlofsky (screening 9/21 at the Woodstock Film Festival) entertained the enthusiastic crowd with his masterful Mississipi Blues delta harp playing. Little Sammy with Fred Scribner on guitar and the rest of the band had the joint jumping. To purchase their latest CD, click here
The acclaimed New York rock 'n roll York group Johnny Society took up where Little Sammy left off with their innovative, eclectic instrumentation and epic songwriting. Of the band Entertainment Weekly wrote, “Johnny Society front man Kenny Siegal is a madman on guitar, piano and harpsichord, plowing through wild arrangements on the new Clairvoyance that hearken back to ambitiously orchestrated 70s arena rock, as well as some oldies.” Check out their CD Clairvoyance on Messenger records.
On the homefront 
Tune in to HBO Sunday, August 25th at 9pm to catch Woodstock’s very own Jolie Peters as Amber Autumn in Hysterical Blindness starring Uma Thurman , Juliette Lewis, Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzara . The film, about two New Jersey girls searching for love and meaning in Bayonne, NJ, was directed by Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Salaam Bombay). Rebroadcast are scheduled for August 28, 12 & 8 PM, and Saturday August 31, 9:30 AM and 6:15 PM
For Love of Julian, an inspired and personal documentary by Woodstock Film Festival executive director Meira Blaustein with narration by Susan Sarandon, was recently released by Wellspring. Featuring the director's son, For Love of Julian, puts the focus on multiply handicapped, medically fragile children and helps dispel the fears and mysteries surrounding these children. At once impassioned and unsentimental, For Love of Julian is a recognition of the humanity in these children, and a plea for the rest of us to honor and nurture humanity in all its myriad forms. For more information and to purchase a copy, visit  For Love of Julian .
  Joan Knight and Bill Stitt of Catskill Mountain Pictures report that last week, on one of the hottest days of the year, winter came to Wittenberg Road and, with it, fur-lined parkas, gaily-colored wool scarves and mittens, toasty cashmere sweaters with matching  hats and futuristic silver après-ski boots by designers from Benetton to Ralph Lauren for ELLE Girl’s “Apres Ski” photo spread for the November issue.  Click here for the full story.
Key Festival sponsor sent a wonderful crew to town this past week to produce an ad featuring Woodstock and the Woodstock Film Festival. Several venues were featured including the KTD monastery, pictured left.

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