Don’t wait until the movies that you most wanted to see at the 2014 Woodstock Film Festival are already sold out. Tickets are on sale right now, and can be ordered online at ulsterpub.staging.wpenginefilmfestival.com.
This year’s festival runs from Wednesday through Sunday, October 15 to 19, at a variety of venues in Woodstock, Rhinebeck, Kingston, Saugerties and Rosendale. New to the roster this year are the Regal Cinemas in Kingston, which should broaden the festival’s audience considerably.
As of presstime, the opening and closing night offerings – which typically involve big-name stars or directors and tend to sell out quickly – had not yet been announced. But excitement is already building over a visit to Woodstock by South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela, who’s still touring like a fiend at age 75. His music is featured in Michael Lessac’s feature documentary A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake, which is making its US premiere at this year’s festival. It will screen on Friday at the Woodstock Playhouse and on Sunday at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck. Both Masekela and Lessac will also participate in a panel discussion on Friday at the Kleinert/James Art Center titled “Music as the Unifying Force.”
Another music-related documentary sure to sell out is the Wednesday world premiere of Erez Miller and Henrique Cymerman’s East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem, which will be followed by a live performance by Steve Earle and the movie’s star, Israeli singer/songwriter/activist David Broza. Woodstock filmmaker and jazz historian Burrill Crohn’s Playing with Parkinson’s, about Sangeeta Michael Berardi’s struggle to go on playing in spite of debilitating illness, is also a world premiere with a musical theme.
Films that are produced in the Hudson Valley are another area where the festival concentrates much of its energies. Caryn Waechter’s The Sisterhood of Night, a story of friendship and loyalty set against the backdrop of a modern-day Salem witch trial that was shot on location in Kingston, is billed as the festival’s “Centerpiece Film.”
Two biopics, Chuck Workman’s Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles, and Emmy-winner Ric Burns’s Enquiring Minds: The Untold Story of the Man behind the National Enquirer, seem likely to generate a lot of interest, along with Jon Bowermaster’s environmental travelogue Antarctica 3D: On the Edge. Actor Mark Duplass, who will receive the festival’s first-ever Fiercely Independent Award, stars in Patrick Brice’s narrative feature Creep, which is getting its East Coast premiere here. The 2014 Maverick Award is going to director Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Black Swan, Noah).
For the full festival lineup, visit ulsterpub.staging.wpenginefilmfestival.com/press/releases/2014_09_lineupfinal.htm.