Woodstock Film Commission News
Recent films shot in the Hudson Valley/Catskill area include...

Personal Velocity (winner Dramatic Grand Jury Prize - Sundance Film Festival)
Wendigo (opening February 15 at the Film Forum, New York City)
You Can Count on Me (2001 Oscar Nominee for best actress & best screenplay)
Digging For Dutch (recently featured in New Yorker & the Examiner)

Shoot your next film in the Hudson Valley/Catskill region. Contact the Woodstock Film Commission at 845-679-4265.

In order to bolster local production, the Woodstock Film Commission is soliciting production companies interested in relocating to the Hudson Valley/Catskill area. An attractive, affordable 30,000 production office/future soundstage awaits you. For more info, call 845-679-4265.

Ethan Hawke following the U.S Premiere of Chelsea Wall in Woodstock

WFF advisory board member, Ethan Hawke, follows up a bravura 2001 (Training Day, Tape,Waking Life) with his role in Frank Whaley's The Jimmy Show, which will screen at Sundance and the March release of his directorial debut Chelsea Walls, which U.S premiered in Woodstock.

Jolie Peters

Equally busy was Uma Thurman who executive produced and starred in Hysterical Blindness, with Juliette Lewis. The picture, directed by Mira Nair will world premiere in Sundance. Hudson Valley resident Declan Quinn lensed the pix which features Woodstock's very own rising star Jolie Peters.

Update: As if that wasn't a busy enough schedule, Uma Thurman and husband Ethan Hawke had their second child January  18, 2002. The baby boy weighed in at 7 pounds, 15 ounces.


from left to right - Ellen Kuras, Rebecca Miller,
Gary Winick and Parker Posey discuss  Personal Velocity
and digital filmmaking at
the 2001 Woodstock Film Festival
Rebecca Miller's Personal Velocity featuring Kyra Sedgwick, Parker Posey, Fairuza Balk, Ron Leibman will also unveil at Sundance. The film was produced by Gary Winick, Alexis Alexanian and WFF advisory board member Lemore Syvan. Sabine Hoffman, another WFF advisory board member, edited the film. Cast and crew discussed the pix and digital filmmaking as part of a sold out seminar at the 2001 WFF. The pix was shot in the Hudson Valley area with crew and cast help from WFF's Woodstock Film Commission. Woodstock Film Festival's own Elias Moor was fortunate to land an onscreen makeout scene and will be at the preem in Utah. Also making an onscreen debut, as Kyra Sedwick's daughter Claire, is Rosendale native Sarah Morf.

Update: The  Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at Sundance was awarded to PERSONAL VELOCITY, directed by Rebecca Miller and produced by Gary Winick, Lemore Syvan & Alexis Alexanian.  Velocity also piked up the award for Best Cinematography by Ellen Kuras, pictured left.


Jonas Mekas with Gary Winick at the 2001 WFF

Personal Velocity producer Gary Winick will do double duty in Sundance with Tadpole (Sigourney Weaver, Bebe Neuwirth, John Ritter), which he helmed.

Update: The Directing Award at Sundance has been awarded to Gary Winick for TADPOLE. In addition to the award, the film was picked for distribution by Miramax films. For a review, visit


WFF Advisory board member David Strathairn stars in Karen Moncrieff's Blue Car, which is also set to premiere in Sundance.

Update: Blue Car has been acquired by Miramax Films.

Saundi Wilson

Woodstock resident, Saundi Wilson, composed the original music for Manito which is in Dramatic Competition at Sundance 2002. Using contemporary cinema vérité style and fresh original writing, Manito captures the heartbeat of a neighborhood in transition the Washington Heights section of Manhattanas it presents this story of two brothers, Junior and Manny. The film is written and directed by Eric Eason and produced by Jesse Scolaro.

Larry accepts the trophy for best pix in Woodstock

2002 will mark the theatrical premieres of several films from the 2001 WFF including the locally shot Wendigo. Larry Fessenden's pix premiered at Slamdance and went on to take co-honors for best pix at the 2001 WFF. The film was picked up by newly formed Magnolia Pictures which is headed up by WFF advisory board member Eamonn Bowles and Ryan Werner. The film will open at New York City's Film Forum on February 15.. See it!

Jarek accepts the trophy for best pix in Woodstock

Jarek Kupsc's Recoil (which shared the WFF honors for best pix with Wendigo) will premiere in Jarek's native Poland this January while Jarek appears as the lead in Simon Blake's Minotaur which will preem as part of the SONY HD Showcase at Sundance. Minotaur and other shorts will be introduced by director, Ridley Scott.


Gabriella accepts the trophy for best doc in Woodstock

Gabriella Bohm's 2001 WFF winning doc Passages will screen at 7pm on January 6 at the New Paltz Jewish congregation. In this personal documentary, a filmmaker sets off on an odyssey through Eastern Europe, South America and the United States to uncover long-harbored family mysteries, myths and secrets.  In the end, she derives strength from the connections between the lives of her parents and her own – a legacy she plans to pass on to her child.


Laura Levine (left) at WFF press conference
From a classy "Talk of the Town" profile in THE NEW YORKER to a trashy two-page tabloid feature in this week's NATIONAL EXAMINER, Digging For Dutch: The Search For The Lost Treasure of Dutch Schultz is a small independent film which is attracting some big publicity.

With its gripping and entertaining story of people obsessively searching for a gangster's buried treasure in a tiny rural upstate NY village  - based on a local Catskill mountain legend -  and its charming portrait of small town American life, Dutch may be the only unreleased independent documentary film to attract such a wide range of media coverage......with only one festival
screening under its belt.

Fresh from its award-winning premiere at the Woodstock Film Festival, and hot on the heels of director Laura Levine's 2001 Sundance-selected short doc, Peekabo Sunday, Digging For Dutch is currently making the film festival rounds, and picking up accolades along the way.  Dutch has also been profiled in the NEW YORK TIMES, HARVARD MAGAZINE, BBC RADIO, and the LONDON SUNDAY TELEGRAPH, among others.

To read the New Yorker article by Stephen J. Dubner, please look here:

To see this week's National Examiner feature, pick up a copy at your local supermarket.

Declaring it one of the "highlights" of the Woodstock Film Festival, here's what indieWIRE had to say about Digging For Dutch:

"New York City Film Project's Torchlight Award for Best Feature was Laura Levine's doc Digging for Dutch, a fun trip following eccentric characters as they search the hills of a quirky mountain town for the lost treasure of gangster Dutch Schultz. Aside from the general excitement spurred by the possibility of finding valuable loot, Levine taps into the human need to believe in something and the immeasurable value of the simple pleasures found in one's own backyard."

For further information about Digging For Dutch, please contact Laura Levine at (845) 688-7535 or

King Midas in Woodstock
Life imitates art...
Cast and crew members of the indie film King Midas were recently rounded up
in a sting orchestrated by the FBI and the CT Statewide Narcotics Task Force
for a wide variety of drug and weapons charges, including one actor who was
running what prosecutors call "one of the biggest cocaine rings in recent

The film, which recently premiered at the Woodstock Film Festival, is a
modern-day fairy tale, in which a cocaine dealer uses his illegal money to
produce hip-hop music. For more about King Midas, go to King Midas.
Deep Water: Building The Catskill Water System, which was co-produced and co-directed by Tobe Carey, Artie Traum and Robbie Dupree is a 45-minute doc chronicling the history of the Catskill Water System recently premiered. With rare archival film footage and historic photographs. Deep Water tells the story of the building of the Ashokan Reservoir, Shandaken Tunnel, Schoharie Reservoir, and the Catskill Aqueduct.  Narrated by Robb Webb (the voice of "60 Minutes II") Deep Water documents how several Catskill Mountain towns were destroyed and flooded, how immigrant workers built the dams and tunnels, and how brilliant engineering and political maneuvering allowed the system to be built.

Video copies can be ordered online at and at 1-888-731-4237.
For more information contact Willow Mixed Media at PO Box 194, Glenford, NY  12433,
(845) 657-2914, or visit us at

For more info, click here.

Ed Gersh

Marilyn & the Maori

The Shuar

Burrill with the Shuar in Ecuador


Documentary filmmaker Burrill Crohn is currently wrapping several projects including a documentary about 81 year old Woodstock resident and former (1943) Golden Gloves Heavyweight Champion Ed Gersh; a documentary about the music and dance of the indigenous Shuar in the Amazonian rainforest of Ecuador; and Marilyn and the Maori (working title), a documentary about Woodstock pianist Marilyn Crispell's trip to New Zealand to play music based on the Maori creation myth.   With a long time interest in shamanism, Burrill has videotaped shamans in Mexico, Ecuador and the United States, edited footage of other shamans and is at work developing a pilot for a series on shamanism and healing.

Burrill Crohn was making documentaries about jazz long before Ken Burns even had the idea.  His seven part Women in Jazz series, narrated by Carmen McRae and Marian McPartland aired on the Arts & Entertainment Network, and his five part History of Jazz series (Cable ACE award winner) with narration by Branford Marsalis, Chick Corea and Wynton Marsalis and interviews with many other jazz luminaries has been seen on BRAVO  in the United States and Canada, the BBC and CHANNEL 4 in England and on network and cable television stations in over 35 other countries (and is distributed worldwide in various home video formats). Other broadcast documentaries include Joe Williams: A Portrait in Song, which is being considered for PBS's American Master's series, and The Spirit Travels, a documentary on ethnic music narrated by Linda Rondstadt.  He also was a consultant on two Oscar nominated documentaries, A Great Day in Harlem and Genghis Blues.

Burrill shoots in digital video and edits at home in Woodstock and Mexico (as well as other locations) on a tempermental Apple G3 Powerbook running Final Cut Pro.  

He can be contacted by phone at (845) 679-9761, or email at:

On the heels of feedback from screening Sean; Now & Then as a work in progress,  director Ralph Arlyck is putting the finishing touches (using 16mm and a steenbeck) on his follow up to his 1969 short, Sean,  which chronicled a kid growing up in San Francisco’s legendary Haight Ashbury. In Now & Then, "Arlyck sees what has become of Sean and his free-floating, extended family. In a blend of interviews with 30-something Sean, flashbacks to the original film, home movies, and rare footage of Bob Dylan and Tim Leary, it’s clear that Arlyck has mixed feelings about the ‘60s."

"At the Woodstock Festival, Arlyck ignored the usual director’s question and answer session and came out asking for criticism. “What’s wrong with it?” he asked the crowd. Soon Arlyck was moderating a lively debate about the film and the director’s presence in it. The audience’s generous input re-inspired him all over again, he said.

“I really liked showing it in Woodstock, partly because that is a community that feels a certain affinity with the sixties,” said Arlyck. But the audience was more than a Woodstock crowd.
Response to the film was a favorable, encouraging experience, Pullinger said, adding “Wait until it’s finished and pristine.”" For the complete article by Kate Schultz, visit Chronogram.

The Artists Strike Back - Filmmaking POST 911
Chronicling the creation of local art since September 11 is the objective of Jennifer Lucene and Heather Denton, who have already filmed 25 Woodstock-area painters, musicians, poets and actors for the doc Creative Retaliation. For the full article by Jay Blotcher, visit Chronogram.


Women are no longer alone in their mission to end incidences
of domestic violence and sexual abuse

In More Than Our Share, a stimulating, thought-provoking and sometimes shocking documentary to be released this spring by Canus Major Productions, prominent Women's Issues Advocate Anthony Porter brings together a group of men to hammer out bold and creative techniques that men can use to help to make the world a safer place for women.  More Than Our Share is poised to become this decade's most influential--and perhaps controversial--tool for understanding and improving relationships between the sexes.  Producer/Director Jeff Kantor is a 25-year commercial-, industrial- and documentary-production veteran. Content Coordinator/Facilitator Tony Porter lectures on domestic abuse throughout the country (and is also Director of Addictions for Nyack Hospital in NY and Advocate/Advisory Board Member for the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault). Executive Producer Joan Schweighardt is a public relations specialist and the president of GreyCore Press. For additional info, contact  (845) 744-5081.

Prey Created the Old Fashioned Way
Larry Revene is bucking the DV world by posting locally shot black and white 35mm pix Prey on an upright Moviola (see photo). The film, about two men who make a living picking up roadkill, should premiere some time this spring.


WFF Presenting sponsor unveils DVora:
Laird's Pre-configured and tested machines are available from Markertek pre-loaded with AVID XpressDV, AIST, Canopus, Matrox or Pinnacle software and hardware. Unpack the DVora turnkey system. Hook up your monitor & speakers. Edit !

The Dvora broadcast media engine PC based non-linear edit system features the best in PC platforms organized around the LAIRD state-of the-art DV-ANALOG-DV media conversion technology. The system is designed to operate Smoothly and efficiently with a simplified architecture.Call 800-522-2025 or email to configure your DVora System today ! Check out Dvora.


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