film

Dan Callister

Acclaimed filmmaker and activist Mira Nair is this year's honorary recipient of the Woodstock Film Festival’s 3rd annual Meera Gandhi Giving Back Award. The award honors a director, producer or actor who best delivers a message of social change and exhibits a strong compassion for philanthropy.

In addition to accepting the award, Nair will participate in the annual BMI-sponsored Music For Film chat at the festival along with Mychael Danna, the Academy-Award winning film composer who recently won Best Original Score for his work on Life of Pi.

After several years of making documentary films, Mira Nair made a stunning entry on the world stage with her first feature, Salaam Bombay! in 1988, the first Indian film to win the Camera D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Nair used the profits from the film's debut to create the Salaam Baalak Trust for India's street children. Her other films include Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair, The Namesake, and most recently The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

Director, actor, producer, film historian, writer and Kingston native Peter Bogdanovich will receive the honorary Maverick Lifetime Achievement Award at the 14th annual Woodstock Film Festival. The festival takes place October 2-6. We speak with him about the award and his latest film, Cold Turkey.

    Celebrating 14-years of innovative filmmakers and filmmaking, the Woodstock Film Festival has unveiled its line-up of nearly 150 films, panels, and events, screening Wednesday, October 2nd through Sunday, October 6th, in Woodstock NY, and neighboring towns of Rhinebeck, Saugerties, Kingston and Rosendale.

The festival which is featuring 25 world premieres, includes such special events such as the Kick-Off Screening with Dick Fontaine's Sonny Rollins Beyond the Notes with Sonny Rollins as the special guest and a performance by The JD Allen Trio. In addition, the inaugural keynote speech will be delivered by Slava Rubin, the CEO of Indiegogo.

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

    GHOST The Musical kicks off its National Tour on the mainstage at Proctors in Schenectady, NY on Saturday, September 14th. The musical features an original pop score from multiple Grammy Award-winners Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard.

Adapted from the hit film by its Academy Award-winning screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin, GHOST The Musical follows Sam and Molly, a young couple whose connection takes a shocking turn after Sam's untimely death. Trapped between two worlds, Sam refuses to leave Molly when he learns she is in grave danger. Desperate to communicate with her, he turns to a storefront psychic who helps him protect Molly and avenge his death.

Bruce Joel Rubin joins us to talk about his film and his work adapting it for the stage.

  The first Beacon Independent Film Festival will be held at University Settlement Camp in Beacon, NY September 13 ̶15. Founded by Beacon resident Terry Nelson, the Beacon Independent Film Festival celebrates filmmaking and the act of watching films with others in your community.

The festival will showcase an array of emerging filmmakers both local and international and offerings will consist of short and feature length independent films that audiences might not otherwise have the opportunity to see.

The festival will open with a screening of “Ain’t In It for My Health: A Film about Levon Helm,” and a music video and performance by Stephen Clair Trio. Afore mentioned festival founder, Terry Nelson, joins us to tell us more.

    John Badham has directed more than 39 feature-length productions and many television shows over a career that has earned him Academy Award nominations and helped launch John Travolta as a major star.

He has directed everything from action films (Point of No Return, Blue Thunder) to comedies (Short Circuit, WarGames) and dramas (Whose Life Is It Anyway?, American Flyers)—and of course, Saturday Night Fever.

    The film, Beasts of the Southern Wild, released last year, stars Quvenzhané Wallis as Hushpuppy, a young girl living in a southern Louisiana bayou with her father and with the weight of the universe on her small determined shoulders. The film was directed by Benh Zeitlin and adapted by Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar from Alibar's one-act play Juicy and Delicious. The score is by Zeitlin and Dan Romer.

This gorgeous and fantastical film was distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures and was nominated for 4 Academy Awards. The film’s aforementioned star, Quvenzhané Wallis, is the youngest person ever to be nominated for Best Actress in a motion picture. Zeitlin was nominated for Best Director - for this, his first full-length feature film; and he and Alibar were nominated for best adapted screenplay. The film was also nominated for Best Picture.

This Saturday, August 10th, MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA will present a screening of Beasts of the Southern Wild with live score performed by Dan Romer, Benh Zeitlin, and the Wordless Music Orchestra. This is one of only two scheduled live-score presentations of the film - the first occurring on the 8th at Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park.

  Over the past decade, producer Lynda Obst gradually realized she was working in a Hollywood that was undergoing a drastic transformation. The industry where everything had once been familiar to her was suddenly disturbingly strange.

Combining her own industry experience and interviews with the brightest minds in the business, Obst explains what has stalled the vast moviemaking machine.

    Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, MA is home to America's longest-running dance festival, is a National Historic Landmark, and is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts. Their 81st Season continues in Becket, MA through August 25th.

On July 26, the documentary film about Dancing at Jacob's Pillow: Never Stand Still, will air nationally on PBS Great Performances. Director of the film, Ron Honsa filmed interviews and performances at The Pillow over the course of several seasons.

BIFF - "Girl Rising"

May 31, 2013

    This Saturday night the documentary Girl Rising will screen at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA as part of The Berkshire International Film Festival. The screening and the following panel discussion is presented in cooperation with the Interdependence Movement and 10×10.

The thesis of Girl Rising is simple: educating girls in the developing world will bring about transformational change. Every day, millions of girls wake to a world that does not see them. But dollar for dollar, they are the best investment in the developing world. 

Girl Rising tells the stories of nine real girls from around the world - girls in Cambodia, India, Nepal, Egypt, Peru, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Haiti, and Sierra Leone. A female writer from each country has written the girl’s story and in the film, each vignette is narrated by an esteemed actress - including Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Kerry Washington. That’s 9 countries, 9 girls, 9 writers, and 9 actresses. In between each girl’s story, the filmmakers share statistical information in an engaging manner and those presentations are narrated by Liam Neeson. 

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