The Woodstock Film Festival has announced a special pre-festival event featuring the work of Ernest C. Withers, a renowned chronicler of the African American experience in the segregated South and subject of the documentary film The Picture Taker, which will have its world-premiere screening at the upcoming Festival, September 28 through October 2 in Woodstock, Kingston, Saugerties and Rosendale.
The opening of the photo exhibit, in collaboration with the Center of Photography at Woodstock, takes place on Saturday, September 3 at 5 p.m., at the Rezny Gallery at 76 Prince Street in Kingston. The film’s director, Phil Bertelsen, a Woodstock Film Festival alumnus and an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning producer and director, will be in attendance to discuss Withers’ work and complex life. The exhibit runs from now through October 23.
For more than 60 years, Ernest C. Withers (1922-2007) recorded the everyday lives of the Black citizens of Memphis, Tennessee. He was on the front lines of the civil rights movement, covering key flashpoints from the Emmett Till trial through the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. But he was also secretly an FBI informant. “The Picture Taker keenly explores this disturbing contradiction that straddles the borderline between art and the emotion-laden politics of race,” says Peter Wortman.
For more information about the organization’s year-round event calendar, visit woodstockfilmfestival.org.