g The Film Panel Notetaker: 2008 Woodstock Film Festival Panels Announced

Thursday, September 18, 2008

2008 Woodstock Film Festival Panels Announced

Tuesday night, I attended the launch party for the 2008 Woodstock Film Festival at Libation on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. I saw a lot of familiar faces of people I met last year at Woodstock, and I met a bunch of new people going this year. It was a really great party. I can't wait to go to Woodstock in a few weeks. Below is the festival's announcement about their line up of panel discussions, which of course, I'll be attending.

Woodstock, NY – September 16, 2008 – The Woodstock Film Festival – now in its ninth year – today announced the panel line-up for the 2008 festival. Panels include a cadre of award-winning journalists, Oscar nominees and winners, industry executives and indie stalwarts from different walks of the film industry. The panels will take place at Utopia Studios in Woodstock throughout the duration of the festival scheduled for October 1-5.

Highlights from this year’s panel series include a lively discussion between legendary folk-rock-pop troubadour Donovan and BMI’s Doreen Ringer-Ross; a conversation with WFF Trailblazer Award recipient and CEO of Focus Features James Schamus, moderated by Karen Durbin, and the popular Actor’s Dialogue with Mary Stuart Masterson moderated by Martha Frankel.

“We are thrilled that a group of such influencers have come out to support the 2008 Woodstock Film Festival,” said WFF director and co-founder Meira Blaustein, “Our panels continue to be an important part of the festival as they offer the opportunity for attendees to engage in discussions about key issues affecting the indie community. Additionally, the panels allow audiences an in-depth, unique look at the industry from all perspectives.”

2008 PANELS:AMAZING WOMEN IN FILM Saturday Oct. 4th at 10AMWomen in the film industry continue to carve a strong and meaningful path in a world that used to be traditionally dominated by men. With more women sitting in the Director's Chair and holding top positions as executives, producers and administrators, has the balance finally shifted to a point of equality? A diverse group of powerful women discuss their work and the state of the film industry, from the woman's perspective. Moderator: Thelma Adams, Film & DVD critic-US Weekly , The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, The Christian Science Monitor)Panelists: Maggie Renzi (producer, City of Hope, Passion Fish), Rita Taggart (actress, Northern Exposure, Weeds); Barbara Kopple (Academy Award winner, Harlan County, USA and American Dream).

MOVIES THAT MATTER: DO THEY COUNT? Sunday Oct. 5th at 10AMMovies have an enormous social impact, whether they are pure entertainment or take on a socially relevant issue. In helping to define the fabric of our culture, do filmmakers have a responsibility to address social issues? Moderator: David D'Arcy, well-known film writer/critic- Screen International, BBC and other international film publications.Panelists: John Sayles (Award-winning writer/director Secret of Roan Inish, Matewan, Eight Men Out); Haskell Wexler (Legendary cinematographer, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Secret of Roan Inish,; Morgan Spurlock (Academy Award¬nominated film Super Size Me); Pamela Yates (co-founder, Skylight Pictures, Inc.)

CONVERSATION WITH HONORARY TRAILBLAZER RECIPIENT JAMES SCHAMUS Saturday Oct. 4th at NoonJames Schamus, the 2008 WFF Trailblazer Award recipient, CEO of Focus Features, Professor at Columbia University's School of the Arts, screenwriter, producer and film executive. He has been an integral contributor to the American independent film business for over two decades,

Moderator: Karen Durbin, film critic - Elle magazine, New York Times Sunday Arts & Leisure; former editor-in- chief, Village Voice.

CONTEMPORARY TRENDS IN INDEPENDENT FILMMAKING Sat. Oct. 4th at 4PMEvery decade or so the winds of change blow the independent filmmaking world in a new direction. The last few years are no exception. Today's independent filmmakers have carved new trends, taking the low budget platform and using it to their advantage and to the advancement of their stories. Moderator: Robert Seigel, Prominent entertainment attorney, partner, Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP.Panelists: Larry Fessenden (director, Wendigo, The Last Winter); Chiemi Karasawa (founder Isotope Films); Matt Dentler (Cinetic Rights Management); Ross Partrtidge (actor/producer, Baghead); Josh Braun (Submarine).

ACTORS DIALOGUE With MARY STUART MASTERSON Sunday Oct. 5th at NoonMary Stuart Masterson made her film debut at the age of seven in The Stepford Wives and has starred in more than 25 films including At Close Range, Some Kind of Wonderful, Friend Green Tomatoes and Benny and Joon, plus the Tony Award¬ nominated Broadway musical Nine. Masterson made her narrative feature directorial debut with The Cake Eaters.

Moderator: Martha Frankel has been writing about film for over two decades. She has contributed to Details, The New Yorker, Redbook, Cosmopolitan and The New York Times. She is the author of Hats & Eyeglasses: A Family Love Affair with Gambling.

IS IT SAFE? Saturday Oct. 4th at 2PMWith the closure of many of the studio specialty divisions and the reported financial troubles of many of the independents, has "indie film distribution" come to an end, or is this just the end of the world as we know it? Moderator: Dade Hayes , assistant managing editor of Variety, NY;has covered a wide range of film stories Los Angeles and New York; Co-wrote the book, OPEN WIDE: How Hollywood Box Office Became a National Obsession, with Jonathan Bing,- featured in The New Yorker and on NPR's Fresh Air.Panelists: John Sloss (Cinetic Media); Liesl Copland (Red Envelope Entertainment); Ted Hope (This is That); Tom Quinn (Magnolia Pictures & Magnet Releasing); Mark Duplass (Writer/Director).

CAREER DAY YOUTH INITIATIVE Friday, Oct. 2nd at 5PMThe "Career Roundtable" offers students a unique opportunity to meet with A-list film industry professionals in small groups, ask questions, and learn about careers in film and new media.

Participants include some of the foremost film professionals from a myriad of areas including directing, producing, entertainment law, casting and screenwriting,

MUSIC IN FILM- CONVERSATION WITH DONOVAN Friday Oct. 3rd at 2PMAn extraordinary one-on-one conversation with ‘60’s folk-rock-pop poet Donovan, subject of the doc Sunshine Superman: The Journey of Donovan; transformed the’60’s pop landscape with a series of enigmatic pop masterpieces. In the past five years he has released a new box set, Try for the Sun: The Journey of Donovan; and a book, The Autobiography of Donovan: The Hurdy Gurdy Man. In 2008, Donovan celebrates the 40th anniversary of his trip to India with the Beatles, where they studied transcendental mediation and bought it back to the West. Donovan returns to the stage for a world tour in 2009. Moderator: Doreen Ringer-Ross is Vice-President of Film/TV Relations at BMI.

SHOW ME THE MONEY FROM DREAM TO REALITY: HOW TO FINANCE YOUR INDEPENDENT FILM Friday Oct. 3rd at 4PMPanel features some of the best financial resources and those in the know from the independent film world, who will explore some of the more creative and traditional roads towards financing your film. Moderator: Brian Newman, President & CEO of the Tribeca Film Institute (TFI), dedicated to innovation in film and media, the enrichment of audiences and the promotion of education, understanding and creativity through the media arts.Panelists: Steven Beer (R&B, LLC); Ryan Harrington (IndiePix Studios); Jonathan Gray (Attorney, Gray Krauss); Stephen Hays (120db Films); Celine Ray (Plum Pictures).

THE DOCUMENTARY STORY TODAY: HOW IS IT DOING? Sunday Oct. 5th at 2PMMore and more filmmakers are attracted to the documentary realm, telling challenging political and social stories that the general media has left behind. Are these films commercially viable? And do these films make the kind of impact the filmmakers are hoping for? Moderator: Heidi Ewing (Loki Films), has taken on a wide range of subjects including the inner workings of Scientology and the criminal justice system in the Bronx.

Panelists: Morgan Spurlock (Academy Award¬-nominated film Super Size Me, Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden); Ellen Kuras (cinematographer/director, Swoon, Personal Velocity Blow, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind); Michael Tucker (director, Bulletproof Salesman,); Kief Davidson (director, Kassim: The Dream); Ron Mann (director, Go Further, Grass); Brett Morgan (Academy-Award nominated director/producer Chicago 10, The Kid Stays in the Picture).

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