11TH ANNUAL WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL presents...
EXPOSURE: FILMS OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY:
(Woodstock, NY) September 9, 2010: Politics, environment, religion, war and peace: the 'fiercely independent' political spirit of the Woodstock Film Festival flourishes in the 11th annual indie fest, Sept. 29-Oct. 3. Since its inception WFF has been committed to its Exposure program, a showcase of thought-provoking 'films of social responsibility'. This year's selection is striking in the diversity of its offerings, the immediacy & newsworthiness of its subjects, and the talent of its filmmakers. Exposure presents an outstanding collection of narratives and docs exploring and illuminating front page issues that affect our lives, our world, and the future of civilization as we know it.
CLIENT 9: THE RISE AND FALL OF ELLIOT SPITZER - Directed, written and produced by Academy-Award winning documentarian Alex Gibney. This timely doc explores one of the most shocking scandals in modern American politics- the shocking decline of crusading NYS Governor Eliot Spitzer. As NYS's Attorney General Eliot Spitzer prosecuted crimes comitted by America's largest financial institutions and some of the most powerful executives in the country. After his election as Governor, bolstered by the largest margin in the state's history, many believed Spitzer was on his way to becoming the nation's first Jewish President. Then the New York Times revealed that Spitzer had been caught patronizing prostitutes. Gibney provides unique access to the escort world as well as in depth interviews with friends, colleagues and enemies of the ex-Governor (many of whom have come forward for the first time) to explore this important story of hubris, sex, and power.
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MCKINLEY NOLAN (New York Premiere) - Directed by Henry Corra, executive produced by actor Danny Glover. Touching and painful documentary showing the lengths family will go to in order to find the ones they love. At the height of the Vietnam War, Pvt. McKinley Nolan mysteriously disappeared on the Cambodian boarder, assumed to be killed, captured or even defected. Forty years later, a Vietnam veteran, returning from a visit to Vietnam, claims to have seen the missing McKinley Nolan. An investigation begins that will unearth more than just the secrets behind one missing soldier. Director Corra and Executive Producer Glover will attend the Q & A.
THE IMPERIALISTS ARE STILL ALIVE (East Coast Premiere) - Directed by Zeina Durra. Insightful and topical, this intelligent narrative examines how in a post 9/11 America, with the "War on Terror" in full swing, life for Arabic Americans has become dictated by fear and unrest. Set against a backdrop of the underground art and fashion world, we follow conceptual artist Asya from the night she learns that her close friend Faisal has been abducted, supposedly by the CIA. With the conflict in Israel constantly in the minds of the characters and with clever reminders that post-9/11 life has changed for many Americans, this intelligent film will force the viewer to reconsider how they perceive their own 21st Century psyche. Director Zeina Durra will participate in a Q&A after the screening.
GERRYMANDERING - Directed by Jeff Reicher. An incisive, fast-paced and thoroughly entertaining documentary exposing a national political issue as old as America itself, and still at the heart of American politics. Gerrymandering exposes the most effective form of manipulating elections short of outright fraud. Right now, across the country, our two major political parties are gearing up for a once-a-decade war - the redrawing of election district lines. Democrats and Republicans collude to keep these skirmishes private so that they can maintain total control over the ultimate political weapon: the ability to directly determine the outcome of elections. Director Jeff Reichert will be in attendance for the Q & A
INUK (US Premiere, World Cinema) - Directed by Mike Magidson. Featuring an all Inuit cast (several of whom will be in attendance including adult lead actor Ole Jorgen Hammeken) and part of WFF's environmental programming, Inuk tells the story of a sixteen-year-old boy placed in a home for troubled youth located in a small village in freezing north Greenland. Given the opportunity to go out and hunt seal with one of the local hunters, Inuk embarks on a dangerous journey into the wilderness and in doing so, confronts his troubled past. Breathtakingly beautiful. Director Magidson and cast members will attend the Q & A.
JOURNEY FROM ZANSKAR (East Coast Premiere) - Directed by Fredrick Marx. Faced with a culture on the brink of extinction, two Buddhist monks, as part of a pledge made to the Dalai Lama, lead a group of seventeen children from their small village of Zanskar, northwest India, across the Himalayas. In this beautifully shot documentary, director Marx depicts the cultural significance of this journey, revealing that thirty years ago, these same caretaking monks walked the same path. Director Marx will participate in a Q&A after the screening.
MADE IN INDIA (US Premiere) - Directed by Rebecca Haimowitz and Vaishali Sinha. Unable to have children of their own and with surrogacy in America costing upwards of $70,000, Lisa and Brian Switzer journey to the Indian sub-continent in order to have a surrogate birth. Told between the points of view of The Switzers and Aasia Khan, the chosen Indian surrogate mother, directors Rebecca Haimowitz and Vaishali Sinha guide the viewer through the process of surrogate motherhood across borders and in the process expose all the political and personal complications of a practice internationally gaining momentum. Directors Haimowitz and Sinha will participate in a Q&A after the screening.
MY LIFE WITH CARLOS (World Cinema) - Directed by German Berger-Hertz. A beautiful and haunting look into a political tragedy of the past through a very personal lens: this important narrative explores the repercussions of the murder of the director's father under orders from General Augusto Pinochet. The murder of his father tore his family apart, and was one of the many savage acts committed in Chile under the dictatorship of Pinochet. Not satisfied with living in anger and hatred for past injustices, the film presents a new and hopeful generation, unafraid to confront the tragedies of the past with the objective that they never be repeated. Through investigation of the past, Berger-Hertz attempts to rediscover and reconnect with the father he knew only as a boy. My Life With Carlos reaches across decades, reverberating with the universal as well as the personal. Director Berger-Hertz will attend the Q & A.
MY SO-CALLED ENEMY (New York Premiere) - Directed by Lisa Gossels, in Arabic, Hebrew with subtitles and English. Determined to break through the stereotypes and blind hatred embedded in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in 2002 the Building Bridges for Peace program brought together two groups of girls, one Palestinian, one Israeli, to overcome their differences. If all your life you've been told THEY are the enemy, THEY are the ones you should fear, what happens when that very notion is challenged? Director Gossels will attend the Q & A.
SOLA: THE LOUISIANA WATER STORIES (East Coast Premiere) - Directed by Jon Bowermaster. Presented as part of WFF's environmental programming, when author/filmmaker and National Geographic explorer Bowermaster arrived in Louisiana in July 2008 to make a film about the relationship between man and water, he never expected that the reportage would end with the planet's biggest ecologic disaster - the BP oil spill polluting the Gulf of Mexico. This thought-provoking enviro-doc explores the rivers, bayous, swamps, the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico, examining the close knit relationship between people and the bodies of water that surround them. This beautiful and important film illustrates how our obsession with oil and gas are increasingly becoming a serious threat to the entire country. Director Bowermaster will attend the Q & A.
WINDFALL (New York Premiere) - Directed by Laura Israel. Wind power. Clean, efficient, renewable, perfect...or so you thought. This probing doc of a community torn asunder by the not-so-gently blowing breeze, discovers a wholly surprising and troubling trend in the wind turbine farms springing up across the Northeast. Battles surge among friends, neighbors and family members over the giant turbines erected on their properties; there is concern about threatening health risks, dwindling property values and the controversial environmental value of the farms. In a world struggling to come to terms with its growing energy needs and dependence on foreign oil, wind power seems a viable alternative. But the answers are not always so simple. Director Israel will attend the Q & A.
For detailed information on the full WFF2010 line-up, visit www.woodstockfilmfestival.com.
TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE WOODSTOCK BOX OFFICE AND ON-LINE!
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 is also a limited number of special Full Festival Passes. For more information contact the Box Office at (845) 810-0131.
About the Woodstock Film Festival:
Created in 2000 by Meira Blaustein and Laurent Rejto, WFF is located in the Hudson Valley Catskills, surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, just two hours from NYC. The historic 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.
Hailed by Indiewire as "A true American Maverick Among Fests," and one of the TOP 50 film festival in the world, the Woodstock Film Festival has been praised by actor Ethan Hawke as "among the finest of a dying breed: a festival that isn't trying to sell you anything, but simply and beautifully celebrating the art & craft of filmmaking."