Whether we’re ready or not -- the holiday season is upon us. Time for family visits, parties with friends and co-workers, and attempts at general merriment. These are also the weeks and months when the best films of the year start showing up on movie theater screens.

Tim Federle’s newest mixology book combines those two interests: cocktails and movies. Gone with the Gin: Cocktails with a Hollywood Twist follows Federle’s Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist and Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Cocktails with a Nursery Rhyme Twist.

Federle is also the author of the best-selling Better Nate Than Ever and Five Six Seven Nate. His kids book is called Tommy Can’t Stop. Before he was an author he was a dancer, performing on Broadway in Gypsy, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Little Mermaid, and Billy Elliot: The Musical.

  A long weekend of films, receptions, Q&A with filmmakers, hikes, and more are planned for Glimmerglass Film Days, November 5-9 in Cooperstown, NY. “Sacred Places” is the theme of the third annual festival, curated by central New York native Margaret Parsons, founder and director of the film program at the National Gallery of Art.

The selected films explore places of natural and cultural significance, around the world and close to home. Filmmakers and experts in their field will be on hand throughout the event to introduce films and answer questions, enriching the audience’s experience. The Festival also will feature shorts from the Black Maria Film Festival, and receptions with local foods and locally crafted brews and spirits.

  TvFILM is an independent film showcase from WMHT that celebrates the talents of independent filmmakers from upstate New York with a special focus on the Capital District.

This week, TvFILM presents a “Night of Frights" featuring numerous short horror and thriller films, from chilling to comedic. The program first airs October 29th at 10:00pm on WMHT and then will screen at The Linda on Friday, October 30th.

Here to tell us more are Daniel Swinton, the executive producer of the series and Zeke Kubish, TvFilms co-producer and editor.

  Experimental performance artist, composer and musician, Laurie Anderson’s new film, Heart of a Dog, will screen twice as part of FilmColumbia this weekend and will begin a run at Time and Space Limited in Hudson on November 6th.

The film is a meditation on life, perception, and stories. It talks about the loss of a much beloved pet and a less beloved parent. 

  The St. Lawrence International Film Festival will go beyond all borders from Ottawa and Brockville, Canada into Canton and Potsdam, New York. They are celebrating cinema with over 25 films, 7 panels, and 8 special screenings over four days from October 22nd to October 25th.

The schedule includes an opening gala featuring a 35th Anniversary Screening of The Blues Brothers, a panel about Digital Shorts and the new media of laughter, a panel about James Bond, short film programs, narrative features, and much more.

Adam Paul is the Executive Director and Founder of The St. Lawrence International Film Festival and he joins us.

FilmColumbia is a weeklong festival dedicated to showing world-class independent and international films. Hosted by Chatham Film Club, the festival consistently offers their audience early looks at films that go on to win critical approval and awards.

This year’s festival kicks-off on Monday, October 19th and runs through October 25th with films screening in Chatham and Hudson, NY.  Peter Biskind is the Executive Director and Co-programmer of FilmColumbia, he joins us now along with festival Director, Calliope Nicholas.

  Stewart Copeland, former drummer for the rock band The Police, will be in Woodstock this weekend to participate in the Woodstock Film Festival.

Copeland will take part in a question-and-answer session following the film, 1 Giant Leap II: What About Me? The film is co-directed by Duncan Bridgeman and Jamie Catto. Copeland and Bridgeman will take part in the q-and-a session after a screening of the film at the Woodstock Playhouse. He will also participate in the BMI Music for Film panel discussion Oct. 3.

Copeland, bass player and vocalist Sting and guitarist Andy Summers sold millions of records while in The Police.

  Detective Lieutenant Laurel Hester spent 25 years investigating tough cases in Ocean County, New Jersey, protecting the rights of victims and putting her life on the line. She had no reason to expect that in the last year of her life, after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, that her final battle for justice would be for the woman she loved – as she struggles to transfer her earned pension to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree.

Laurel Hester’s story was shared in Cynthia Wade’s documentary, Freeheld, which won an Academy Award in 2008 for Best Documentary Short Subject. The doc has been adapted into a narrative feature film directed by Peter Sollett and starring Julianne Moore and Ellen Page.

The Berkshire International Film Festival will present a screening of the new film on October 4th at The Triplex in Great Barrington. Berkshire resident, Cynthia Wade, will be in attendance to introduce the film and participate in a Q&A afterward. Laurel Hester’s sister, Lynda, will also be in attendance.

  Joe Albany was a critically acclaimed but little known jazz pianist - one of the few white musicians to play bebop with Charlie Parker. His story is told in the film, Low Down - based on a memoir by Amy-Jo Albany, his daughter.

The film tells the story of a man torn between his musical ambition, his devotion to his teenage daughter, and his suffocating heroin addiction.

On Monday, September 28th at 7pm Amherst Cinema will present a screening of the film as part of their Jazz a la Mode film series.

  Celebrating 15-years of innovative filmmakers & filmmaking, the Woodstock Film Festival has unveiled its line-up of nearly 150 films, panels, and events, screening Wednesday, September 30th through Sunday, October 4th, in Woodstock NY, and neighboring towns of Rhinebeck, Saugerties, Kingston and Rosendale.

The festival which is featuring 17 world premieres, 5 North American Premieres, 4 US Premieres, 33 East Coast Premieres and 26 New York Premieres. Here are just a few of the headliners: Mary Stuart Masterson, Rose McGowan, Griffin Dunne and Stewart Copeland – just to name a few.

WFF's Co-Founder and Executive Director Meira Blaustein joins us for a preview.