2004 DATES

The 5th Annual Woodstock Film Festival will be held October 13th through 17th in 2004, out of respect for the Jewish holidays, which fall around the festival’s usual weekend in September 2004.

“We scheduled our 2004 dates so as not to intrude on Jewish holiday celebrations and observations, and to avoid interfering with other festivals around that time,” said festival director Meira Blaustein, adding, “We look forward to an amazing 5th anniversary celebration in the midst of the fall foliage season.”

To commemorate its 5th anniversary milestone, the Woodstock Film Festival is already working hard to present the best new independent films of the coming year, and producing outstanding seminars, concerts, and special events. Limited 2004 Woodstock Film Festival sponsorships are available. Email for a package.

WFF is also embarking on a year-round series of programming leading up to next year’s festival, that will include workshops, continued film commission work, and special screenings. Visit year round events for up to date announcements.


The WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL in association with Inquiring Mind Bookstore and Alternative Videos of Woodstock presents WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL WEDNESDAYS beginning on December 3, 2003 at 7:30 p.m. in the Inquiring Mind Gallery at 64 Partition Street, Saugerties, NY. Admission is $10 at the door.

 The first presentation is of "HOLI-DAYS."  Shot entirely in the three mythic cities of Jerusalem, Florence and Las Vegas, award-winning filmmaker Randi Steinberger set out to document her observations and those of the contemporary traveler. Tourists, guides and experts reveal a subtle contradiction between the modern pilgrims’ anticipated expectations and their actual experiences. What we seek can be as profound as a religious epiphany, as superficial as a successful shopping spree, or as life changing as winning the big jackpot. Throughout this documentary we are subtly reminded that if we journey to seek change, we should remember to pack our sense of humor. Aslo watch for "Holi-days" on the Sundance Channel. See the trailer.

Great Composers: Elmer Bernstein (Film Score Compilation)
Film Score Compilation


Also new and just in time for the holidays is the WFF storefront with a souvenir section featuring artwork by Bill Plympton and our gift ideas featuring WFF alumni and sponsors. If you're looking for a film that played the Woodstock Film Festival, a book, audio/video products, CD's and more, visit the storefront for your holiday shopping.

Featured items include audio/video products from Markertek, a subscription to Organic Style Magazine, leather bags from Ameribag, CD's featuring Elmer Bernstein, Joey Eppard, Peter Rowan, Jay Ungar..., and DVD including "Personal Velocity," "Far from Heaven," "Wendigo," "Swimming," "Down and Out with the Dolls" and much more.


Steve Buscemi (l) and William Greaves (r)


Left to right: Anthony MacGowan, sound recordist, Bill Stitt, line producer


Left to right: (partially out of frame) Henry Adebonojo, John Murphy, (unidentified), Phil Parmet, Steve Buscemi, Justin Ervin, Arthur Brooks, John Oh, Terry Filgate.

Bill Stitt, Co-Commissioner of the Woodstock Film Commission writes:

"October 30 through November 3rd, the last five sunny days of fall, I was line producer on an avant-garde cinema-verite production called "Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take 2 1/2."  Here's my report from the front:

Directed and produced (and partly shot) by William Greaves, a well-known independent filmmaker, the entire shoot took place on location in Central Park.  According to Greaves, at its most basic level, the film is an exploration of the creative process of acting and directing for film.  But it's much more.  William is an unusually creative and vulnerable director who's not afraid to relinquish control in certain areas and just let things happen. 

The two main actors, Shannon Baker (New York) and Audrey Henningham, (Koln, Germany) worked from a 15 page script that had not been rehearsed.  By day three, Marcia Karp (a psychodramatist with the Hoewell International Psychodrama Centre in England) began to work with the actors to help them dig deeper into the characters they were playing and connect their inner lives with those of the characters.

On the second day of the shoot Steve Buscemi, a good friend of Greaves who's been following the Symbio project for some time, dropped by and discussed the shoot with Bill and the actors.  He then picked up a camera and started filming. Buscemi was so intrigued by what was going on that he spent another two days filming on location. 

Greaves wanted to capture the action surrounding the performances, as well as the performances themselves, so we had four cameras operating at all times, as well as a roving sound recordist who taped whatever he thought was interesting or relevant to what we were doing.  Greaves was especially interested in recording the interaction of the actors and crew with the environment.  While the two main cameras concentrated on the actors' performance, the other cameras were pretty much free to record whatever was happening simultaneously among the crew and behind the camera - events the other cameramen couldn't see.  For example, one day we happened to be shooting the scene on a bridge over the lake when a young man from Israel walked up to one of the cameramen and asked if we'd record him proposing marriage to his girlfriend.  So we filmed the real life event as the actors continued doing their scene in the background.  The whole idea is an in-front-of-the-scenes, behind-the-scenes, on-top-of and under-the-scenes look at the process of acting and directing for film. 

It was an incredible five days and I'm looking forward to seeing what Greaves will do with this crazy mix of reality and fiction that he calls "Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take 2 1/2." 

Aidan Quinn at Irish Film and Television Awards
Aidan Quinn at Irish Film
and Television Awards


Congratulations to Peter Robertson cinematographer of Aisling Walsh's "Song For a Raggy Boy," for being honored as best D.P. at the Irish Film and Television Awards on November 1. Robertson also received the Haskell Wexler nod for best cinematography at the 2003 WFF.

The story, based on a bio by Patrick Galvin, and set at a Catholic reformatory school in 1939, revolves around the sadistic behavior of one Brother and the arrival of the caring lay teacher. "It is a film of towering emotional impact, handled with great care by Walsh." (Irish Examiner)

Celeste Davis (center) Cindy Baer (right)


Also in the news is Cindy Baer’s "Purgatory House," which was prominently mentioned as part of a feature story by NPR's David D’arcy entitled  "Trio of Films Influenced by Columbine Shootings" . The story which aired on on "All Things Considered" also inclded Gus Van Sant's "Elephant" and and Ben Cocchio's "Zero-Day."

Baer was also the subject of an interview by Eric Campos from Film Threat. An excerpt follows.

Engaged in an acting career for most of her life, Cindy Baer would find herself becoming a filmmaker shortly after joining the Big Sisters of Los Angeles program. Her little sister, Celeste Davis, proved to be quite the talented writer and it was her story, titled Purgatory House, that grabbed Cindy's attention. She knew this gripping story about a girl dealing with her own suicide in the afterlife had to be turned into a film. The result is the incredible feature length debut from filmmaker Cindy Baer and writer Celeste Davis. It's an authentic story of teens in trouble, written by someone who knows better - a 14-year-old girl. For the full interview, click here

Ana Reeder in "Acts of Worship"



On November 21st catch Rosemary Rodriguez’s brilliant “Acts of Worship” (WFF 2001) at the Village East (12th street & 2nd Ave) in New York City. The self distributed film is scheduled for one week, which makes opening weekend crucial. Support this truly independent film by purchasing your tickets in advance at (zip code is 10003).

“Acts of Worship”  is a story of addiction, friendship, loss, contradiction and redemption involving Alix, a homeless addict, and Digna, a successful photographer, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a better movie about addiction than this debut from writer/director Rosemary Rodriquez… Gritty, dingy, very real and very, very good. (Planet Sick Boy)

Visit for more info.

Power Trip Poster


 “Power Trip” (WFF 2003)  Paul Devlin’s funny, moving film about an entire nation that won’t pay its electric bills opens theatrically on Wednesday, December 10 - Tuesday, December 23 at the film Forum in New York City. For more info about upcoming screenings, visit or contact Claire Missanelli.

On December 5th, "The Last Samurai" opens at a theater near you. Check the end credits for WFF 2000-2002 alumni Elias Jeremiah Moor. Since moving to LA in early 2003, Elias has worked on the show "Fame," Bill Mayer's HBO special "Victory Begins at Home," and as an editorial staff assistant on "The Last Samurai."

Next up, Elias will be producing a still untitled short film, which he promises to submit to the Woodstock FIlm Festival..

Washington Heights DVD Cover NEW ON DVD
"Washington Heights" (WFF 2002) Alfredo DeVilla's  story of  a young illustrator burning to escape his Latino neighborhood to make a splash in New York City’s downtown comic book scene is now available on DVD.

"Washington Heights teems with life, and its star, Mr. Perez, has charisma to burn."
(Stephen Holden, New York Times)

John Grant and Mary-Louise Parker in The Quality of Mercy


Stephen Marro’s “The Quality Of Mercy” (WFF 2002) is airing on HBO/Cinemax this November. Don’t miss this short film with deadly consequences about a chance meeting in a Greenwich Village espresso bar between a distinguished, solitary man (John Grant) and a beautiful, mysterious woman (Mary-Louise Parker).


Jason Downs and Sophia Raab (Come Lovely) and Karen Cooke will appear in Romeo/ Juliet on November 23 at Bard College’s Olin Hall. Call 914 706-2456 for additional info. The play was edited from Shakespeare’s text by Nina Shengold and is directed by Shelley Wyant.


In music news Chris Stein is back on the road promoting the latest Blondie album - The Curse of Blondie (still mysteriously only available as an import). Those of you who caught The Good Boys video at the WFF 2003 got a preview of how inch-perfect and sky-large the tunes are (see video at For a review check out the November issue of Uncut Magazine with the Michael Stipe cover for a review of Blondie

THE CURSE OF BLONDIE Epic  * * * * *  (5 out of possible 5 stars)
Pop perfectionists follow up 1999's comeback album, 'last Exit'

Seventeen years passed between Blondie's sixth and seventh albums, the eighth has taken a mere four. Even so, its protracted gestation involved record company calamities and lost tapes, hence the tongue-in-cheek title. Standard practice for the New York nonpareils, whose work with long-time cohort Craig Leon here is, despite everything, a pop master class from raunch-rock to reggae to boho jazz. The opener, "Shakedown", with Harry rapping of New Jersey roots and witches in ditches, is so powerful and beguiling-"signed: don't forget me, lots of love from Adrenalin"- that the tide's high the minute you dip your toe in. "Good Boys" and "Undone" are inch-perfect and sky-large. The whole thing tingles: you're in the presence of diamond -hard greatness. They make it sound easy.  (Chris Roberts, Uncut Magazine)


Another musician making the news is B-52 Kate Pierson.

Calling all campers... Head for the hills! Rocket through the wilderness!

Hi, this is Kate Pierson and I'd like to personally invite you to Kate's Lazy Meadow Motel, my cabin fever fantasy. I've done my best to create my dream getaway right here in the Catskill Mountains, near famous Woodstock, New York.

As a member of the rock band, The B-52s, believe me, I've stayed at them all - from the Four Seasons in LA to the Pink Flamingo Motel in Gatorville, Florida. I do know a motel from a hotel, or a no-tell!

Inside the cozy, rustic cabins, you'll find mind-blowing mid-century modern/space age/rocket-your-socks-off decor. The suites are filled with authentic 50s-style kitchens turned out with vintage cabinets, Frigidaires and stoves - all in dazzling colors! Wait 'till you get a load of my to-die-for tchotchkes from shopping sprees all around America (hey, a girl's got to do something while on tour!).

And oh...did I mention that Lazy Meadow is located on nine beautiful acres, and one big lazy meadow? Complete with stirring Catskill Mountain views, it's fronted by a private secluded section of the magnificent Esopus Creek (famous for tubing and trout-fishing).

For more info about Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel, check it out online at

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  combining inspired learning and the promotion of sustainable economic development by attracting film, video and media production to the Hudson Valley /Catskills region.



This event is made possible with public funds from the
New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency

The Woodstock Film Festival newsletter is compiled and written by Laurent Rejto. If you would like to contribute a story idea, email

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