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WFF AND HUDSON VALLEY FILM COMMISSION,
(Woodstock, NY) September 6, 2010: Dedicated to regional filmmakers and film production since its inception, the 11th annual Woodstock Film Festival features a record number of Hudson Valley films with strong links to the region, either shot on location, produced/directed by, or featuring regional residents. From high caliber, full-length narratives and documentaries to intriguing shorts, 15 films are being showcased, including three World Premieres.
Working in conjunction with the Hudson Valley Film Commission (WFF's sister organization), WFF has strived year-round to unite and strengthen the Hudson Valley film community, making the creation of many of these screen gems possible. It's no wonder this year's program features a record number of local films and filmmakers of the highest caliber. As with all of WFF's screenings, there will be Q&A's with the directors, key cast and/or film's subjects, following each film.
- BITTER FEAST (East Coast Premiere) - Directed by Joe Maggio. Celebrity Chef gets bad reviews and winds up fired and ruined. He uses his culinary skills to take revenge against his critic in a most macabre way. Horror genius Larry Fessenden produced and co-stars in this deliciously wicked tale, which was shot in Olive and NYC. The October 1 screening will have a pre-screening gourmet banquet dinner with a menu by Mario Batali who appears in the film. The dinner will be catered by noted Mary Giuliani Catering & Events. Part of Fright Night and the Emerson Resort and Spa.
- DON'T GO IN THE WOODS - Directed by Vincent D'Onofrio. Described as Glee meets Blair Witch Project, this 'slasher/musical' follows an indie rock band seeking a creative jam session in the woods, but people keep disappearing. This offbeat horror film was filmed in the backwoods of Kingston, marking the directoral debut of actor and Kingston resident D'Onofrio (Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Full Metal Jacket, Men In Black). Part of Fright Night and the Emerson Resort and Spa.
- MARWENCOL (NY Premiere) - Directed by Jeff Malmberg. This extraordinary documentary explores the poignant story of Kingston resident Mark Hogancamp, who suffered traumatic brain injury as a result of being attacked by five men outside a Kingston bar. Hogancamp retreats to his backyard following his physical recovery, and begins his mental and emotional recovery by constructing Marwencol, a unique 1/6 scale WWII town complete with lifelike doll characters based on his friends, neighbors and co-workers, in addition to Nazi soldiers. Creating scenes and storylines within the town reflecting his life, Hogancamp discovers that his memory prior to the attack almost completely gone and is forced to start over, resurrecting what he can from photos and old friends. Marwencol is an astounding story of one man's triumph in rebuilding a life on the brink of disaster.
- PHIL OCHS: THERE BUT FOR FORTUNE (World Premiere) - Directed by Kenneth Bowser. Music bio-documentary delves deep into the exceptional life of musical icon Phil Ochs. Civil rights, Freedom of Speech. The Vietnam War. Watergate. He wrote a song about them all, in large part creating the musical protest culture of the 60's and 70's. Through interviews with family and many well-known musicians who were close with the singer/songwriter - many from and still living in and around Woodstock - comes a vivid and compelling portrait of a controversial musical figure whose protest marked a generation. Michael Ochs, Phil's brother, will attend along with director Kenneth Bowser. The film features interviews with sam Hood, Lola Cohen, Ed Sanders and local cameraman Jefferson Miller worked on the documentary.
- ROCKSTEADY (World Premiere) - Directed by Mustapha Khan. The story of BC, a talented, young, aspiring race-car driver faced with mounting financial concerns threatening to ruin this dream. However, hope arrives in the shape of an old friend, Faith. Her belief in him gives BC the confidence to follow his heart. This coming of age narrative was shot on location at Accord Speedway in Accord, NY and many other Hudson Valley locations. The film includes music by Steel Pulse, who are prominently featured in the film.
- SOLA: LOUISIANA WATER STORIES (East Coast Premiere) - Directed by Jon Bowermaster. Another of WFF's environmental films, this timely doc follows Stone Ridge resident, author/director/National Geographic 'explorer' Bowermaster as he explores the waterways of Louisiana leading up to the BP oil spill. Everywhere you look in Southern Louisiana there's water: bayous, swamps, the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico. These bodies of water are vital not just to the local fishermen who rely on them to make a living, but to the country as a whole and to the enormous array of wildlife that make Louisiana their home. Beautifully filmed and thoughtfully handled, filmmaker Jon Bowermaster intended to make a point about the important relationship between man and water, but the BP ecological disaster made it for him. Local cameraman Jefferson Miller worked on SOLA.
- STAKE LAND (East Coast Premiere) - Directed by Jim Mickle. In a fierce, alternative vision of America’s bleak future, a young boy is about to learn how cruel the world can be. Martin was a normal teenage boy before the country collapsed in an empty pit of economic and political disaster. And from the ashes rose a new breed of terror. A vampire epidemic has swept across what is left of the nation’s abandoned towns and cities, and it’s up to Mister, a death dealing, rogue vampire hunter, to get Martin safely north to Canada, the continent’s New Eden. This Glass Eye Pix production was filmed primarily in Ulster and Delaware counties and features hundreds of local extras and vampires.
- WINDFALL (NY Premiere) - Directed by Laura Israel. One of WFF's featured environmental films, this important documentary examines the impact of turbine wind power farms on communities in nearby Delaware County, NY. In a country 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. Threatening health risks, dwindling property values and the controversial environmental benefit of turbine farms, cause battles among friends, neighbors and family members over the giant turbines erected on their properties. Windfall reveals the complex reality of wind power in America.
- WELCOME TO THE RILEYS (East Coast Premiere) Directed by Jake Scott. Co-starring Hudson Valley's own Academy-Award nominee Melissa Leo, this highly anticipated feature film presents an emotional family journey that takes us through grief, self-reinvention and healing. Besides Leo, stars James Gandolfini (The Sopranos) and Kristen Stewart (The Cake Eaters , Twilight).
SHORT LOCAL FILMS with Local Connections Include:
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."