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(Woodstock, NY) September 14, 2009:
A bevy of powerhouse music films, the exceptional BMI Music Panel, and extraordinary Friday/Saturday concerts will be presented at the 10th Anniversary Woodstock Film Festival, Wednesday, Sept. 30 through Sunday Oct. 4, 2009. WFF’s 2009 Focus on Music program highlights six stellar music-related features and three short gems by award-winning, established filmmakers, as well as young, emerging filmmakers from the Hudson Valley and beyond, in addition to the pair of weekend concerts:

CONCERTS (with related film screenings):

Friday, Oct. 2: The Mighty Uke …
this is not your grandfather’s Ukulele!
Featuring the “father of Ukulele hip hop”, rapper/songwriter Jon Braman, Jim & Liz Beloff, and special guests, this Friday night concert celebrates the WFF World Premiere of Tony Coleman’s feature documentary Mighty Uke, and honors 16 year old Killian Mansfield, the West Shokan ukulele prodigy who passed away August 20th 2009, from a rare cancer. Before rock and roll dominated radio sound waves, the ukulele was the most popular instrument in the American home.  Braman, the three-time regional finalist in the Mountain Stage New Song contest, has awed audiences with his one-of-a-kind blend of acoustic, melodic grooves on his baritone ukulele, coupled with the hardhitting, political rhymes of a conscious MC. Coleman’s Mighty Uke film, (produced by veteran director Ron Mann (Grass, Go Further, Comic Book Confidential), travels from Tokyo to London to the streets of New York, tellingthe story of ukers who are changing the music of their culture and connecting with the past.

The concert begins at 9p, at the Colony Café, 22 Rock City Road, Woodstock, and benefits The Killian Mansfield Foundation, a not for profit entity created to support and promote the use of integrative therapies for children with cancer and other life threatening illnesses. The film screens on Friday afternoon at the Bearsville Theater, and Sunday afternoon at the Rosendale Theater.

Saturday, Oct. 3rd: The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n Roll Blues Band!
In conjunction with WFF’s East Coast Premiere of The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n Roll, directed by Scott Rosenbaum,a quartet of veteran bluesmen who are featured in the film,will celebrate the roots of American blues and rock music at the film’s after-party!  
Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins, Sugar Blue, and Bob Stroger are all seasoned band members of the two "titans of the blues," Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. They will be joined on-stage by Bob Margolin, Muddy’s long time guitarist. The WFF concert reunites the band for the first time since their appearance in the film, which has also spawned a forthcoming national tour. Rosenbaum’s film, which follows two friends and a raucous crew of musicians on a cathartic journey down Route 66, screens Friday night at the Rosendale Theater and Saturday night at the Bearsville Theater.  The concert takes place at 10pm, at the Colony Café, following the Bearsville screening.


BMI Panel: Music in Film (made possible by Broadcast Music, Inc.,): BMI has been involved with WFF programs since the festival’s inception in 2001. The panel’s veteran moderator, Doreen Ringer Ross, BMI’s Vice-President of Film/ TV Relations, has consistently provided lively, fascinating and important discussion about the creative and aesthetic aspects of music in film, the composer/director relationship, and the unique concerns of music-oriented documentaries.  This year, panelists include the Academy- Award winning director Jonathan Demme (Neil Young Trunk Show, Silence of the Lambs), veteran independent filmmaker Tom DiCillo (When You’re Strange: A Film About the Doors), emerging filmmaker Tze Chun (Children of Invention), and film composer T. Griffin (Children of Invention). The BMI panel takes place Saturday, 2pm, Oct. 3rd, at Utopia Studios in the Bearsville Theater/WDST complex.

The 2009 Woodstock Film Festival Panel Series is made possible with a grant from The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences.


  1. In addition to The Mighty Uke and The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n Roll, WFF proudly presents the U.S. Premiere of the Neil Young Trunk Show, by Academy Award- winning director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Stop Making Sense). This is Demme’s second documentary about Neil Young  (2006 Neil Young: Heart of Gold); this special film showcases Young's soul in the musical and spiritual sense, catching lighter moments on-stage and backstage with band-members and family. It is an unmissable, intimate portrait of one of the world’s best living musician-songwriters by the unprecedented auteur of the concert documentary. Director Demme will be present for Q & A after the Saturday screening. The film screens Saturday afternoon at the Bearsville Theater and Sunday night at Upstate Films.
  2. When You’re Strange: A Film About The Doors, directed by Tom DiCillo (Living In Oblivion, The Real Blonde).  Narrated by Academy Award-nominated actor Johnny Depp, this doc is award-winning writer/director De Cillo’s first feature length documentary. It masterfully weaves a tapestry of historic never-before-seen footage chronicling the band from their formation in 1965 to the death of lead singer Jim Morrison in 1971. Rare cinèma vèritè footage offers an intimate glimpse into their musical collaboration - and their offstage lives. Tom DiCillo will be present for Q&A following the screening.  Screens Friday night at Bearsville Theater and Saturday night at the Rosendale Theater.
  3. The Perfect Age of Rock 'n' Roll (East Coast Premiere) (Dir. Scott Rosenbaum) featuring Lukas Haas, Peter Fonda and Ruby Dee, depicts a young musician, eager to avoid being a one hit wonder, returning home to unite with a former collaborator and childhood friend who has become a middle school music teacher. The reunion forces the two to recall their youthful ambitions and reexamine the choices they've made.
  4. Harlem Aria, directed by William Jennings, is an urban fairytale about Anton (Gabriel Casseus), a mentally challenged young man from Harlem, who dreams of becoming an opera singer, just like his idol, Fabiano Grazzi (Paul Sorvino).
  5. Woodstock: Now and Then, directed by Barbara Kopple (Harlan County, USA, American Dream): Special Wednesday Night Kick-off screening celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock Music & Arts Festival. Featuring never-before-seen footage, photographs and illustrations of the '69 concert, this documentary examines Woodstock and the extent of its influence through today's musicians, artists, and political figures. Following the film, there will be a Q & A and special kick-off reception attended by executive producer and '69 Woodstock promoter Michael Lang and two-time Academy Award-winning director Kopple, with special guests. The film screens Wednesday night at the Bearsville Theater, followed by special reception.
  6. No Good Reason, directed by Michael Mierendorf & Lawrence Marshall. This New York Premiere short documentary follows songstress Natalie Merchant who has less than three days to arrange and record a song featuring musicians and singers who are currently or recently homeless. The new song from the film is featured on "Give US Your Poor," a new CD featuring homeless artists collaborating with such big names as Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Jewel, Bonnie Raitt, John Sebastian, and many others. The film precedes the East Coast Premiere screening of Without A Home ( Dir. Rachel Fleisher), an inspiring documentary about the homeless in Los Angeles. Natalie Merchant and directors are expected to attend the Q & A following the screenings:  Friday evening at Upstate Films and Saturday afternoon at the Woodstock Town hall.
  7. Music We Are (World Premiere) A short, but potent documentary by Woodstock resident Mirav Ozeri, providing a rare look into the creative process of legendary jazz drummer/composer Jack DeJohnette (2008 Grammy winner), and musicians Danilo Perez and John Patitucci as they create their latest album. The film was shot entirely in Catskill, NY. Screens Saturday, Oct. 3 at the Woodstock Town Hall. Jack De Johnette will be present for a Q & A following the screening.
  8. Trimpin: The Sound of Invention, directed by Peter Esmonde. This New York Premiere explores the life of German musician and inventor Trimpin, to uncover the roots of this eccentric MacArthur Fellow’s genius. The film follows the amusing creator as he experiments with inventing new objects and concepts that constantly reinvent the musical world. Composer Trimpin and director Esmonde will attend the Q & A following the screenings Thursday night at the Bearsville Theater and Saturday night at Upstate Films.
  9. OOOM: Out of Our Minds (Dir. Tony Stone) A stunning, mythical and musical journey, occurring in three time periods. This exciting short was conceived by musician Melissa Auf der Maur (Hole/Smashing Pumpkins) and birthed by filmmaker Tony Stone (Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America) this mini epic is proudly self-produced and shot in the Hudson Valley on high definition video fueled entirely by solar power. Screens Friday night at Bard College and Saturday night at the Woodstock Community Center.

The Festival Box Office is located in the center of Woodstock, just off the Village Green, at 13 Rock City Rd. It will be open every weekend until the festival from 11am-5pm, and is  open weekdays, Mon.-Fri., from 10am-4pm. Advance single admission tickets are also available on-line: at

Reserve early. Shows tend to sell out quickly. Ticket prices for WFF events range from $8-$75. Panels range in price from $15-$20. There are also a limited number of special Full Festival Passes. For more information contact the Box Office at (845) 810-0131.


Founded in 1927 by 36 of the most influential men and women in the motion picture industry at the time, the Academy is an honorary membership organization whose ranks now include more than 6,000 artists and professionals.

Dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of motion pictures, the Academy’s corporate management and general policies are overseen by a Board of Governors, which includes representatives from each of the craft branches.


The 10th Anniversary Woodstock Film Festival will take place September 30th-October 4th, 2009.  The 'fiercely independent' festival includes films, panels, concerts and special events in Woodstock and the neighboring towns of Kingston, Rhinebeck and Rosendale. For more information visit

The Woodstock Film Festival is located in the Hudson Valley Catskills, surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, just two hours from the NYC metro area. The arts colony offers a relaxed, receptive atmosphere, which filmmakers consistently cite as perfect for the creative interaction necessary for a great film festival. WFF is a festival for and by filmmakers and was born through a passion for cinema that could only be the brainchild of active filmmakers and dedicated supporters of  ‘fiercely independent’ film.

WFF’s sister organization,The Hudson Valley Film Commission, promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production throughout the region.

The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501(c) (3) organization whose mission is to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music and art-related activities that promotes artists, culture, inspired learning, and diversity.

P.O Box 1406, Woodstock, NY 12498 - (845) 679-4265 -