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Professional Seminars Bring Industry Pros to Woodstock

Saturday, October 14----Aside from all the films, the parties, the music concerts and other special events, the Woodstock Film Festival offers local filmmakers and visiting film talents an intensive education on all aspects of the filmmaking and distribution process through an exhaustive series of professional seminars. Drawing mainly on film executives, film critics and film mavens from Manhattan (only 100 miles to the south), the Festival offers a rare opportunity to get the lowdown on the state-of-the-art in independent filmmaking, without having to go to film school.

Friday's panels kicked things off with a session on Entertainment Law, which featured respected attornies Andrew Hurwitz, Ira Schrek, Steven Beer and Robert Seigel. IndieWire editor-in-chief Eugene Hernandez then led a lively discussion on the art of producing, with a host of prolific producers, including Jason Kliot (CHUCK AND BUCK, BUBBLE), Peter Saraf (AFFLICTION, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE) and Scott McCauley (RAISING VICTOR VARGAS, SAVING FACE).

Today's panel series includes a BMI-sponsored look at the legal and creative uses of music in film and a high powered panel of women executives who examine the changing opportunities for women both behind and in front of the camera. Leading the discussion is film critic Thelma Adams,who welcomed fellow film critic Karen Durbin, producer Diane Weyerman and talent agent Arianna Bocco.

Film editors are often the behind the scenes miracle workers who can turn a promising project into an accomplished piece of work. Their role and the art of film editing is explored with a panel that includes such accomplished cutters as Craig McKay (REDS, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS), Susan Litttenberg (13 GOING ON 30), Brian Kates (SHORTBUS, LACKAWANNA BLUES), James Lyons (FAR FROM HEAVEN, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES), Suzy Elmiger (BIG NIGHT, SHORT CUTS) and Sabine Hoffman (PERSONAL VELOCITY, THE BALLAD OF JACK AND ROSE).

A discussion on the current state of distribution and the challenges of releasing independent films is the focus of a pnael this afternoon led by film critic John Anderson. Panelists include industry executive Bingham Ray, entertainment attorney John Sloss, producer Lemore Syvan (SHERRY BABY) and director Allen Coulter (HOLLYWOODLAND).

An intimate look at the fine art of acting will be held on Sunday morning, with Academy Award winner Timothy Hutton (ORDINARY PEOPLE) and Oscar nominee David Strathairn (GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK) leading the discussion.

In the small town atmosphere of Woodstock, one never knows if the person you are standing next to on a movie or capuccino line may be the one who can turn your film dream into a film reality. Such is the alchemy of film festivals......


Sandy Mandelberger
Festivals Director

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 Woodstock Film Festival Online Dailies of the Woodstock Film Festival

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