WFF BLOGS: August 13, 2013 • Hudson Valley Catskills
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The 14th Annual WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL Provides Sneak Peek at 2013 Lineup,
starting with its SHORT FILMS selections as it leads up to 125+ events beginning October 2-6 festival

Leading up to the official reveal of the full festival lineup, WFF is bringing you a bi-weekly sneak peek at the ten unique short film programs that have made the cut for 2013. Check out these special previews to gear up for the full reveal later this season. Past reveals include the programs Conversations, Dystopia and Family.

Separately, coming announcements will provide special highlights of some of the premieres of the full-length documentaries and narratives from across the country and the globe, as well as special honorary awards, expected appearances and exciting events. The full lineup of over 125 films, panels, concerts and events will be announced at the beginning of September. If you are interested in a full festival pass, they are very limited and online at FULL PASS.

She Won
Featuring Above the Sea, Close Your Eyes, Made In Chinatown, Mobile Homes and The River.

"She Won," the fourth of our featured shorts programs, delves into the nuanced relationships of women across the years. Each short film addresses a different aspect of womanship, from the challenges of maturity to the fight for empowerment in a patriarchal landscape.


ABOVE THE SEA • World Premiere
Jean-Luc Godard said, "All you need for a movie is a gun and a girl."
In Above the Sea, A young woman is forced to take extraordinary risks to survive when her life is threatened by a murderous policeman. Set in the dangerous underworld of 1930's Shanghai, this is film at its most noir.

Director Keola Racela studied film and digital media at the University of California Santa Cruz before entering the MFA Film Program at Columbia University. Above the Sea is Racela's thesis film.


Imani Cortes is a gifted photographer who is slowly losing her sight to a progressive disease. She wants to express her talent and experience love for the first time. Close Your Eyes is a sweet and nostalgic film about taking the challenging and transformative steps from adolescence to young adulthood.

Director and screenwriter Sonia Malfa is a native of Buffalo, NY, and is a self-taught filmmaker who is lives in New York City.


Los Angeles, 1967. A frog, a seamstress, and a factory king all collide in this tragic love story. Stylized but very human at its core, this film examines the conflicts that arise from class differences and social conventions.

A former theatrical film distributor and film festival programmer, director Kevin Lau left California in 2009 to pursue his artistic ambitions full-time at Columbia University. His thesis film, Made In Chinatown, explores marginalized characters as they navigate social and economic strata against a visually arresting backdrop.


Constantly moving from city to city, a young mother trapped in human trafficking looks for a way out. Her 7-year old son explores an unlikely escape for them both.

Directed by Vladimir de Fontenay, this suspenseful, moving narrative was shot locally in the Hudson Valley.

On a sweltering hot day, a very pregnant Maria (Lauren Ambrose), desperate for a cooling swim, encounters obstacles on her path to the river. Mechanical failures, human relationships and work schedules all test her resourcefulness and her practice of loving kindness in this comedic journey.
Ambrose is joined alongside actor Adam Driver (Lincoln, Girls) in this short comedy, directed by Sam Handel.

WFF’s NARRATIVE SHORTS programming has featured an amazing array of emerging filmmakers who have gone on to make feature films. Some of the many filmmakers who have gone on to make inroads in the industry include Benh Zeitlin (Glory at Sea – Beasts of the Southern Wild), Cary Fukunaga (Victoria Para Chino – Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre), Jonas Carpignano, Andrew Okpeaha Maclean (Sikumi – On the Ice), Rob Meyer (Aquarium – A Birders Guide to Everything) and Luke Matheny (God of Love – Lovesick).

Many of these same filmmakers have also received honors at the Woodstock Film Festival (Zeitlin, Fukunaga, Maclean, Meyer, Matheny) with several going on to get Academy Award nods. Luke Matheny won best student film at the 2010 WFF for God of Love prior to winning the 2011 Oscar. Andrew Bowler’s Time Freak was an award finalist at the 2011 WFF prior to receiving a nomination at the 2012 Oscars. Shawn Christensen won best short film at WFF for Curfew prior to winning the 2013 Oscar. Christensen recently wrapped the feature version of the short.

Director Laurel Parmet (Dandelion), director Cary Fukunaga (VIctoria Para Chino,
Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre), and director Andrew MaClean (Sikumi, On the Ice)
at 2011 Woodstock FIlm Festival kickoff
PHOTO: John Mazlish (

The 2013 selections will also include SHORT DOCS and an ANIMATION PROGRAM curated by Bill Plympton and Signe Baumane, and sponsored by Blue Sky Studios.
Stay tuned for more information about the 2013 Woodstock Film Festival shorts program. We already have our favorites for Oscar, let's see if you agree!

About the Woodstock Film Festival:
Hailed by Indiewire as "A true American Maverick Among Fests" and 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", the Woodstock Film Festival premiers exceptional films, hosts the most talented emerging and established professionals in the movie industry; presents A-list concerts, panels and parties, and creates stimulating, innovative programming year-round.

The Woodstock Film Festival is a non-profit, 501c3 with a mission to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music and art-related activities that promote artists, culture, inspired learning and diversity.

The Woodstock Film Festival celebrates 14th year, October 2-6, 2013, with an extraordinary line-up of fiercely independent films, panels, concerts and special events in Woodstock, Rhinebeck, Kingston, Rosendale and Saugerties.