The Hudson Valley’s diversity as a creative home, a redolent setting and a bastion for a diverse panoply of film styles will be on view when the Woodstock Film Festival starts its 18th outing in area towns, centered around Woodstock, next Wednesday, October 11, for a run through Sunday, October 15.
For those coming to the town and area from the wider world of film, the festival’s annual curation of locally-shot and produced works highlights the creative benefits of living and working in the Hudson Valley. For audiences who live here, it’s a nifty reminder of what’s special about the region.
What’s on the local list this time around?
The Organizer is by Woodstock native Joey Carey, son of Meg and Tobe, nephew of Alan and Marty. It’s the story of the community organizing agency killed off by a Republican Congress during the Obama administration, as told through the eyes of founder Wade Rathke, who’ll be here for the screening along with Carey and the film’s director, Nick Taylor.
The Crash Pad is an edgy romantic comedy produced by Bill Horberg, a veteran producer of first Hollywood and then independent films, now living in the Catskills full-time. It’s the first film directed by film editor Kevin Tent.
What Children Do, by Dean Peterson, and The Strange Ones, from Christopher Radcliff and Lauren Wolkstein, were both shot locally. The former follows estranged sisters as they return to the town where they grew up (Woodstock) for a comedic journey into sibling rivalry. The latter is an off-kilter atmospheric thriller about a young man and a boy reportedly full of surprises. Local settings are recognizable.
The Last Pig follows a Schoharie County farmer as he wrestles with his conscience and moves away from his profession, choosing to stick with the nurturing side of his relationship with pigs. The lyricism of the Northern Catskills setting echoes a similar meditative quality in his decision-making.
The Cycle (America Divided) was co-directed by Woodstock resident and Oscar-nominee (for 2013’s Dirty War) Richard Rowley, along with Solly Granatstein and Lucian Read. It examines the pervasive and longstanding structures of racial discrimination in America as reinforced by a political system that disenfranchises poor people and people of color. It began as a television series.
There are others. Hudson Valley resident Kurt Voelker brings with him the East-Coast premiere of his latest, The Bachelors, starring JK Simmons in a deep exploration of grief. The world premiere of My Name is Pedro, directed by Peabody Award winner Lillian LaSalle, looks into how a Bronx school teacher inspired generations; while Griffin Dunne’s Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold portrays the actor-director’s famous aunt as a family presence in addition to her place as a writer. Against All Odds: The Fight for a Black Middle Class with Bob Herbert was produced by Sally Roy, a Hudson Valley resident.
For more information, including screening times and necessary advance-ticket purchases, call 810-0131, visit www.woodstockfilmfestival.com, or stop by the box office at 13 Rock City Road in Woodstock.