The 7 Films You Should Catch During the Woodstock Film Festival

The upstate movie celebration spotlights upcoming and talented filmmakers in the Hudson Valley and beyond.


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You love films. That’s why you clicked on this article here. We get it; we love them, too. That’s why we’re letting you know about this week’s Woodstock Film Festival. It’s a good time with a vast offering of enlightening, fun, and emotionally moving films from today’s up-and-coming filmmakers.

Still, with screenings spread thoughout Woodstock, Rhinebeck, Kingston, Saugerties, and Rosendale between October 10 to 14, it can be a challenge to navigate the festival’s top offerings. That’s why we put together this here list to set you in the right direction.

 

Lessons from a School Shooting: Notes from Dunblane

Where: Woodstock Playhouse, October 13, 1:30 p.m.

What: On the morning of February 14, 2018, Samantha Fuentes sat in her Holocaust history class expecting to learn about historical tragedy, never once thinking she'd experience it firsthand. Fuentes was shot in her classroom at Stoneman Douglas High School and forced to helplessly watch her friends die. After dedicating her life to making sure no child endures the tragedy she went through, Samantha Fuentes is now an activist for gun control. This is the powerful video of Samantha’s speech at March for Our Lives.

Extras: Samantha Fuentes will join a panel discussion after the screening. Moderated by Mark Barden, the father of 7-year-old Daniel Barden who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, the discussion will include: director Kim A. Synder; Natalie Barden, the sister of Daniel Barden; Reagan Schwepp, Rhinebeck's student body president and local March for Our Lives activist; and Saira Sukthankar, another local March for Our Lives activist.

 

Up to Snuff

Where: Upstate Rhinebeck, October 13, 4 p.m.; Woodstock Playhouse, October 14, 1:30 p.m.

What: W.G. 'Snuffy' Walden may be one of the most influential (but least well-known) contributors to the soundtrack of your life. If you watched thirtysomething, The Wonder Years, Friday Night Lights, or The West Wing, the guitarist Snuffy Walden possibly had more impact on you than Eric Clapton or Jimi Hendrix. Snuffy started out like many talented musicians in the '60s and '70s, embracing the Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll lifestyle while trying to make it in a rock band. Unlike his music peers, Snuffy quietly transitioned into one of the most successful, well-liked, and impactful television composers of our time.

Extras: Sunday's screening at The Playhouse is followed by a special panel discussing Snuffy's legendary career in music and film with director Mark Maxey and W.G. Snuffy Walden.

 

Beyond the Night

Where: Upstate Films Woodstock, October 12, 7 p.m.; Orpheum Saugerties, October 14, 2:45 p.m.

What: In a town with shocking secrets and long-standing crimes, could there be such a thing as redemption? After a tragic car accident where only his young son survives, U.S. soldier Raymond Marrow returns home to his forgotten coal-mining town. Instead of serving as a consoling retreat, returning home becomes dangerous when Raymond’s son shows signs of having information about the local gangster’s missing daughter. With dark, gritty cinematography and a touch of the supernatural, Beyond the Night demonstrates the kind of bonds that form between family and what happens when people turn a blind eye towards tragedy.

 

ReRUN

Where: Woodstock Playhouse, October 14, 8:15 p.m.

What: George (Christopher Lloyd, the eccentric Dr. Emmett Doc Brown in Back to the Future) is a man living with the physical pains of old age and the lingering sadness of youthful regrets. He is haunted by his inability to save Violet, his beautifully flawed love interest from nearly six decades ago. One Christmas, surrounded by his solicitous family, opportunity comes knocking via a time portal in his grandson’s closet, giving George a chance to travel back to his twenties and face the ghosts of his past in the flesh. With an older, wiser mind inside a now younger body, can he save Violet from her inevitable fate before the laws of the universe catch up to him? Can he right the wrongs he made toward the woman who was the real love of his life? Situated in a vortex of past sorrows and present joys, ReRun illustrates the faultiness of memory and how even the gravest of old mistakes aren’t as daunting in retrospect.

Extras: There will be a post-screening Q&A with Christopher Lloyd of Back to the Future.

 

Ask for Jane

Where: Woodstock Playhouse, October 13, 10:45 a.m.; Orpheum Saugerties, October 14, 12 p.m.

What: What does it take to launch a movement? Just ask Jane — or rather, “the Janes,” a group of courageous young women dedicated to providing abortion services pre-Roe vs. Wade. Based on a true story and spanning from 1969 to 1973, the informative and inspiring film, led by director Rachel Carey, is as poignant as it is powerful. Willing to risk jail and put in jeopardy their personal safety, education, futures, and perhaps even their lives, "the Janes" spark a movement as one woman recruits another, who recruits another, and so on, to form an underground network willing to defy the authorities and ultimately help more than 11,000 Chicagoans secure safe, albeit illegal abortions. Ask For Jane reminds us that activism can bring about change and that sisterhood is a powerful thing to hold onto at a time when Roe vs. Wade could be on the chopping block.

 

Lez Bomb

Where: Upstate Films Woodstock, October 11, 8:45 p.m.; Rosendale Theatre, October 12, 8:30 p.m.

What: Lauren, a closeted young woman, decides to bring her girlfriend home for Thanksgiving, planning to come out of the closet while her entire family is together. When her long-time straight male roommate arrives unexpectedly, it sets off a chain of comical events that thwart her efforts. Starring Academy Award-winner Cloris Leachman, Academy Award-nominated Bruce Dern, and an ensemble cast that includes the likes of Steve Guttenberg and Emmy Award-winner Kevin Kane, Lez Bomb is a multi-generational comedy of errors about an eccentric collection of characters with their own string of surprises. The result is a hilarious turn of events that forces the family to come together in a ceremonious series of coincidences. In a big, crazy family, there is no good time to drop the Lez Bomb. Jenna Laurenzo’s feature directorial debut, executive-produced by Bobby Farrelly (There’s Something about Mary and Dumb and Dumber), is assured in its delivery and poignant and humorous in its message.

 

 

Then Came You

Where: Woodstock Playhouse, October 12, 9:45 p.m.; Upstate Films, Rhinebeck ,October 13, 9:15 p.m.

What: Calvin (Asa Butterfield) is a hypochondriac who dropped out of college and is working as an airport baggage handler with his dad (David Koechner) and brother (Tyler Hoechlin). When his doctor sends him to a cancer support group to gain some real perspective, he meets Skye (Maisie Williams), a British teenager with a terminal illness. She enlists him to help her carry out her eccentric bucket list, and in return she helps him talk to his crush, a flight attendant named Izzy (Nina Dobrev). Ken Jeong, Sonya Walger, Peyton List, and Tituss Burgess also star.


Related: A Woodstock Musician Talks Bob's Burgers and Celebrity Songwriting

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