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19th Annual Woodstock Film Festival: Music & Movies

 

Fall ushers in the festival season, and that means the return of the Woodstock Film Festival. Running October 10 - 14 in scenic Woodstock, NY, the festival has a full slate of indie features, animation, documentaires, shorts and more. The festival also features a special segment for VR experiences, as well as panel discussions and awards.

The festival opens with Karl Berger - Music Mind, directed by Julian Benedikt, which follows the life of legendary jazz improvisational pioneer and longtime Woodstock resident Karl Berger. A concert featuring Karl Berger, Ingrid Sertso and Steven Bernstein, Billy Martin, Peter Apfelbaum, Ken Filiano, and special guest Marliyn Crispell will happen after the screening.

There is also a special slate of music video screenings from acts including Japanese Breakfast, Toulouse, Journey Blue Heaven, Boogrov, and more.

Special guests to the festival also include Steve Buscemi, William Fichtner, Julie Taymor, Rosamund Pike, Bill Plympton, Christopher Lloyd and Stanley Tucci.

To learn more, go to: http://woodstockfilmfestival.org/

19th Annual Woodstock Film Festival
October 10 - 14, 2018

Woodstock, NY

Impactful Shorts at the Ojai Short Film Fest

A slew of new compelling short stories are coming to the first ever Ojai Short Film Festival  (OSFF) in Ojai, California. Running October 6 to 7th at Greater Goods (145 West El Roblar Drive), the festival features 27 films from all over the world such as the award winning Night Shift, produced by Viola Davis’ production company JuVee. There’s additional star power behind the mother daughter story, Little Match Girl, starring two-time Academy Award winner Kim Magnusson and Golden Globe nominee Rebecca Ferguson.

The festival’s co-founders, Sunil Sadarangani and Aman Segal, believe in the power of short films because of the impact it can spawn on its creators for bigger business ventures. In other words, small content is a vehicle for a longer journey in the filmmaking and entertainment business—it helps creatives get their work in front of audiences.

"Digital tech has given filmmakers a freer hand to fully express their craft using superior production methods to communicate powerful narratives in a limited time span,” Sadaranganitold a Ventura Countylocal paper. “Creators from diverse cultures and communities, therefore, are more than ever seeking a common ground to reconnect, ideate and showcase their debut work for better business prospects and a short film festival is that perfect conduit.”

In addition to the artistic push it gives creators, it also helps that the festival’s prime location is a beautiful place. “Ojai is a destination town,” Sadarangani said. “Its unique geographic location nestled right at the foot of the Los Padres National Forest provides natural magnetic vibration of earth, rock, flora, and fauna.”

“It has attracted many people to hone their art, music, and creations, and is home to many such artists,” he added.

In the end, what matters most is how much short content will grow and evolve as a business venture in the future. Both the co-founders of Ojai see a bright outcome within the next few years because of establishments like OSFF.

“The Ojai Short Film Fest's vision is to provide Filmmakers and Artists, from around the globe, a platform that empowers them to share their stories and to bring the Ojai community closer to the world,” shared OSFF co-founders Sadarangani and Segal. “Moreover,short-form content will be a major revenue stream for filmmakers in a few years, and we want to stay ahead of this ever-evolving, digital universe curve. As filmmakers ourselves, we have faced it all. It’s time for us to take the reins and gallop ahead.”

To learn more, go to: https://filmfreeway.com/OjaiShortFest
 
Ojai Short Film Fest
October 6 - 7, 2018
 
Greater Goods
145 West El Roblar Drive
Ojai, California 93023

The Margaret Mead Film Festival: Stories of Resilience

Stolen Dighters

Featuring 55 films representing 39 countries, the Margaret Mead Film Festival runs October 18, through Sunday, October 21, at the American Museum of Natural History (Central Park West & 79th St.) . This year’s festival includes 14 U.S. premieres and four North American premieres focusing on the theme of “Resilience in Motion,” documenting strength and resilience overcoming the difficult of circumstances.

The festival honors anthropologist Margaret Mead and features shorts, documentaries, features, and animated films with a social focus. The festival opens with Stolen Daughters: Kidnapped by Boko Haram, written and produced by Karen Edwards and directed by Gemma Atwal. The film introduces the world to the young women whose kidnapping by Boko Haram, a militant terrorist organization based in northeastern Nigeria, drew global attention and inspired the social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls. Through exclusive interviews, we see how girls who managed to escape are adapting after their imprisonment and rebuilding their lives. There will be a discussion with the filmmakers after the screening.

There will also be non-film activities such as the Mixed Media Lounge in the Museum’s oldest gallery—the Northwest Coast Hall— showcasing storytelling through AR and virtual reality. On Saturday, October 20 at 2pm, the festival will presents a provocative panel discussion, “Whose Story Is It? Rethinking Cultural Representation” in the Museum’s Northwest Coast Hall, which examines how a New York museum can authentically present the voices and stories of First Nations communities across the continent.

To learn more, go to: https://www.amnh.org/explore/margaret-mead-film-festival

The Margaret Mead Film Festival
October 18 - 21, 2018

The American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West & 79th St.
New York, NY 10024

The Cinema of Northern Europe Comes to Life at the 2018 New York Baltic Film Festival

 

Featuring the cinema of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, the 2018 New York Baltic Film Festival will include 18 films and showcase 8 U.S. premiere screenings and 8 NYC premieres. Running October 18-21 at Scandinavia House (58 Park Avenue, NY, NY), the festival highlights the films of Northern Europe, and will include filmmakers Q&A’s after screenings and after-show networking events, along with the plethora of films, documentaries, shorts, and animation.

 

Films include:

  • The Devil’s Bride
    One of the most startling films to come out of the Baltics in the 1970s, Its Faust-like plot about a demon promising riches to a mill owner in exchange for the hand of his daughter is the most conventional aspect of the picture. Of much more significance is that it is the first Lithuanian musical, often compared to a northern European variation on the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. Its joint creators were director Arunas Zebriunas, composer Vyacheslav Ganelin, and scriptwriter Sigitas Geda.
  • 511 Best Photographs From Mars
    Estonian film makers had a delicious sense of humor even back in the occupation days, and exhibit number one is this droll look at the ladies and their gentlemen at tea in city cafeterias where the condiments included milk, lemon, and airs. Director Andres Soot’s sparkling music track includes the Beatles, Chuck Berry, Handel, and Strauss.
  • Mother, I Love You
    One of the most poignant films ever produced in Northern Europe, this Janis Nords directed feature follows the buffeted relationship between a single mother and her 13-year-old son, whose seemingly slight lie leads to increasing complications with school authorities and the police. Their emotional odyssey gains extra force from players who had never before acted for the cameras, one of the numerous details that have had critics compare the film to Francois Truffaut’s Four Hundred Blows.

  • Running Lights
    The animated short by Gediminas Siaulys is a model of color design in its naif science illustration of what happens to the corpse of a dead hare  after some children bury it in a sandbox. From death comes renewed life.
  • Merija's Journey
    When the Germans retreated from Latvia in 1944, they took with them 700 boxes of art works and ancient manuscripts from the nation’s museums. They also took with them Marija Grinberga, who volunteered to keep her eye on the treasures until they could be returned home. This would end up costing her one tension-filled confrontation after another first with the Nazis, then with Soviet occupation forces in Riga. After successfully shepherding the materials back to Latvia, her reward was to be fired from her museum job. But it has been thanks to Grinberga that many of Latvia’s museums aren’t empty today. Kristine Zelve’s remarkable documentary about a remarkable woman includes a first hearing of diaries Grinberga kept while fending off the bureaucracies of two occupying powers.
  • Rodeo
    If you thought the hardest part of establishing a nation was getting rid of an unwanted occupier, you haven’t seen this startling documentary by Raimo Jõerand and Kiur Aarma. With a humor as frantic as the often absurd situation it covers, the film makers show through period footage and exclusive interviews how Estonia put together a fledgling cabinet in the 1990s with infinitely more goodwill than money, how some of its closest neighbors refused to extend loans for diplomatic reasons, and how the government finally raised survival money through an unorthodox (and ironically vengeful) means.

To learn more, go to: https://www.balticfilmfestival.com/

2018 New York Baltic Film Festival
October 18 - 21, 2018

Scandinavia House
58 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10016

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