g The Film Panel Notetaker: Woodstock Film Festival 2008 Award Winners

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Woodstock Film Festival 2008 Award Winners

I just returned home from the Woodstock Film Festival, where I had a really great time. I will be posting more of my notes from the panel discussions and Q&As I attended in the days to come. In the mean time, below is the announcement of the winners of the festival that were presented in a ceremony last night that I attended along with Blind Spot director Adolfo Doring and producer Amanda Zackem. (I posted notes from their Q&A earlier). The highlights of the evening had to be Ang Lee’s presenting the Honorary Trailblazer Award to James Schamus (see brief video clip below) and Kevin Smith’s hilarious acceptance speech (parental guidance suggested) for his Honorary Maverick Award.


video

Ang Lee presents James Schamus with Honorary Trailblazer Award. Video by Brian Geldin.

(Woodstock, NY)—October 4th, 2007—The 2008 Woodstock Film Festival's Maverick Awards ceremony was held Saturday night, Oct. 4th, with director Sean Baker’s PRINCE OF BROADWAY taking Best Feature Narrative and director Jeremiah Zagar’s IN A DREAM winning for Best Feature Documentary. More than 300 indie film movers and shakers attended the gala event, held at Backstage Productions in Kingston, NY just outside the Woodstock arts colony.

Best Feature Narrative PRINCE OF BROADWAY is the story of Lucky and Levon, two men whose lives converge in the underbelly of New York’s wholesale fashion district. Set in the shadow of the Flatiron building and soaked in the colorful bustle of Broadway, the film is as much a brutal drama as it is a tender comedy. Shot in a fast-paced guerilla style that is akin to the hustler lifestyle, the film reveals the lives of immigrants in America seeking the ideals of family of love, while creating their own knock-off of the American Dream. (WFF East Coast Premiere).

Best Feature Documentary, IN A DREAM, quickly turns from a character study to an incredible personal, powerful and stirring drama. It is an unparalleled visceral and emotional experience. Shot over the course of several years, Zagar’s film is the kind of brutally honest and often beautiful look at the tumultuous time in his parent’s marriage that only a son could have captured.

The Diane Seligman Award for BEST SHORT NARRATIVE went to GLORY AT SEA, directed by Benh Zeitlin.

The Diane Seligman Award for BEST STUDENT SHORT FILM went to SIKUMI (On the Ice), directed by Andrew Okpeaha Maclean.

The Diane Seligman Award for BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY went to PICKIN’ AND TRIMMIN’, directed by Matt Morris.

The Maverick Award for BEST ANIMATED FILM went to BERNI’S DOLL, directed by Yann J (Jouette).

The Haskell Wexler Award for BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY went to AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, directed by Dan Stone and shot by Daniel Fernandez, Tim Gorski, Simeon Houtman, James Joyner, Jonathan Kane, Mathieu Mauvernay, and John “Rip” Odebralski.

The James Lyons Award for BEST EDITING of a FEATURE DOCUMENTARY went to IN A DREAM, Keiko Deguchi and Jeremiah Zagar, Editors.
The James Lyons Award for BEST EDITING of a FEATURE NARRATIVE went to WERE THE WORLD MINE, Jennifer Lilly, Editor.

THE HONORARY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD was presented to cinematographer Haskell Wexler, by writer/director/actor John Sayles, producer Maggie Renzi, and actor David Strathairn (award previously announced).

THE HONORARY MAVERICK AWARD was presented to director/screenwriter/actor/editor/comic book writer, Kevin Smith, by producer John Sloss (award previously announced).

THE HONORARY TRAILBLAZER AWARD was presented to James Shamus, CEO of Focus Features and award winning writer/producer, by director Ang Lee and actor Melissa Lee (award previously announced).

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1 Comments:

At 10:50 PM , Blogger dan said...

http://www.rushprnews.com/2008/10/05/taking-stock-of-taking-woodstock-ang-lees-new-movie-looks-at-the-60s

and this

"I don't choose my movies, my movies choose me."

ANG LEE, Reuters story the other day by Ralph Jennings, google it

and this:

TAKING WOODSTOCK movie how came to ANG LEE, feel free to quote from this article

this is NEWS scoop, never reproted before anywhere in world!


DANNY BLOOM
Tufts 1971 in Taiwan forever

==============================

Ang Lee's new movie "Taking Woodstock" has backstory of pure serendipity




cooment from Danny Bloom
comment person in Taiwan, SMILE!
email me for details:
danbloom AT gmail




Taiwan-born Hollywood director Ang Lee, 53, is tackling a new movie
project, a comedy this time, about America's

famous Woodstock hippie music festival in 1969. Titled Taking
Woodstock, the film's screenplay was written by

longtime Lee collaborator James Schamus, 49, from a book by Elliot
Tiber with the same title.




Tiber's memoir was quietly published with little fanfare in 2007 by a
small publisher in New York, but now the book,
subtitled "A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life," has become
Lee's entree into the world of film comedy. It's

tentatively set for a premiere in New York on June 26, 2009 --
according to sources and several movie websites on the Internet --
around the time of the 40th anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock
festival. The three-day concert took place in the middle of August of
that year, beginning on August 15.





Rudy Shur is the president of Square One Publishers, a book company in
New York, which bought the book and

released it in 2007 without really knowing if there was a Hollywood movie in
it. But ten months after publication, a
movie deal was signed with Focus Features in New York. Focus Features
is owned by NBC Universal, with James

Schamus serving as the independent studio's CEO. Tongues are already
wagging on blogs and websites about what Lee's

take on the Woodstock era will be like. The principal location
shooting in upstate New York is set to be completed
by the end of this month, according to Variety magazine, a film
industry publication.





In a recent email interview about how the book and movie sale came
about, publisher Shur, 62, explained the book's
curious backstory.




"Two friends of mine told me about a man they knew who had a very
interesting and unique 'story' to tell, and they
asked me to call him and see for myself if the memoir project -- still
unwritten -- would make a good book. After

talking to Elliot Tiber and listening to his story about Woodstock in
the Sixties, I told him that it would make a terrific
book, but that our book company usually didn't publish those types of
memoirs and that he would be better off with a
larger publishing house that had more experience and marketing clout."




Despite Shur's advice to take his book project to a bigger publishing
company, Tiber kept coming back to him and
Shur finally said that he would take on the book, but with the same
earlier reservations he had expressed before.


















"I decided that maybe it was time to take a chance with this kind of
book, and since it was my company, well, I
would do as good a job as I could," Shur added. "So I called Elliot up
and said 'Lets go for it'."





The book's genesis was complicated. "The story he wanted to tell was
basically all Elliot, but to tell it in a manner

that presented a balanced story in the way that I was looking for
meant calling in a co-writer, Tom Monte," Shur said.

"Elliot's normal writing style was very creative and
stream-of-consciousness, but I wanted more of a traditional story
narrative. I had worked with Monte before, so I signed him to put
Elliot's material into the style I was looking for.

Joanne Abrams, my senior editor, worked with Elliot to get his memoir
into a more finalized form, and Monte did his
magic with the book, too. When it was done, Elliot approved, and we
had our book."




The title of the book, and the movie, also has an interesting
backstory. Shur explained that the title was the brainchild
of Square One's marketing director, Anthony Pomes.




"We had lots of titles in mind, but 'Taking Woodstock' seemed to fit
best based on the story," Shur noted. "We felt
the title meant two things: Taking stock of your life and, in a sense,
control of your destiny -- and also taking the
experience of Woodstock, and what that cultural event meant, with you
for the rest of your life."



"Woodstock was a moment of freedom as well as a coming of age for a
new generation in America," Shur added.

"So we used that title for the book, and Lee and Schamus are using it
for the movie as well. We are delighted."




"
The book's narrative reflects a young Elliot Tiber in his 20s who was
on the brink of financial ruin at the time but
who was also in a position to help pull off one of our generation's
greatest rock concerts," Shur said. "I wanted to
include some of the most important, yet overlooked, facts of the
coming together of the concert, and Monte (Eliot's

co-writer), having also lived through the period, was able to do just that."




When the book was first released, there were only a few reviews since
Square One was not a large publisher and
did not have the same kind of marketing clout as the larger book
companies in New York. But the reviews were
nevertheless positive, and slowly, word of mouth began to spread on
the Internet at book websites and blogs.



"We could see a real 'grass-roots' interest starting to build around
the book," Pomes, the marketing director said.

"The audience was growing week by week, and we felt we held a sleeper
title that had what it took to turn into a

winner."


How the book became a Hollywood movie to be directed by Academy Award
winner Ang Lee is also a story that

Shur tells with relish.




"It will sound like a Hollywood myth, but it really happened this
way," he said. "Tibe
r was scheduled to appear on
a West Coast television show to promote the book, and while he was
waiting in the green room to go on the show, who

should sit down next to him, by pure chance, but Ang Lee."




It turns out that Lee was also scheduled to appear on that same
interview show to promote his latest film, "Lust, Caution".

"Elliot," continues Shur, "introduced himself and spent the next hour
chatting with him about his book."




"Well, when Lee went on the show, the host finished the interview by
asking Lee where he usually got his ideas

from for his movies, and Lee said that he really doesn't go looking
for stories, that they seem to come to him. And

with that he turned to Elliot, who was sitting across from him, and
gave him a sly wink."




"Nothing really happened until about five months later, when Lee had
finally read the book," Shur said. "Lee

and Schamus felt there was a movie here, and together they went to
upstate New York to visit the Yasgur's Farm

site where the Woodstock festival took place. Elliot joined them there
at the site, and the project was in the can. The agents

finalized the deal, everything was signed, and here we are. It looks
like Lee was right: in this case, the next movie

project really did just seem to come to him."




When asked if he knew there was a movie in the book from the very
beginning, Shur said: "I'll be honest with you.
As we worked on the book, I knew that Elliot's story had the potential
to make a great independent movie. It was

like no other Woodstock story ever published. I believed that we could
find a small independent producer who could
turn the book into a film. However, in my wildest dreams I would have
never thought it to be the likes of Ang Lee and
James Schamus, two Academy Award winners who would take on the
project. So far, it's been an amazing ride."





So get ready for Ang Lee's new movie set for release in the summer of
2009, although the release date is not set

in concrete and may change according to the whims of Hollywood's
scheduling mavens. In the meantime,
readers who want to get straight to the heart of this unique American
memoir can grab hold of Tiber's
book, available in bookstores and on Internet ordering sites
worldwide. No doubt, however, Lee will have plenty to say himself
about how Tiber's book

came to him, and how he and Schamus collaborated on it as a film
comedy. For now, though, Rudy Shur has

told the story his way.

 

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