The 15th anniversary Woodstock Film Festival opens today, Wednesday, October 15, and wraps up this Sunday, October 19. The upstate New York event will present over 125 films over the course of its five-day run, of which just over 20 are documentary features. Here are some highlights:
Familiar film subjects are profiled in Pauly Shore’s stand-up self-portrait, PAULY SHORE STANDS ALONE; Chuck Workman’s look at the life and career of a Hollywood legend, MAGICIAN: THE ASTONISHING LIFE AND WORK OF ORSON WELLES; and Ric Burns’ investigation into tabloid history, ENQUIRING MINDS: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE MAN BEHIND THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER (pictured).
Stories about overcoming adversity through self-empowerment include: Lesley Chilcott’s A SMALL SECTION OF THE WORLD, about a pioneering Costa Rican women’s coffee-growing collective; Rachel Lears and Robin Blotnick’s THE HAND THAT FEEDS (pictured), chronicling food service workers attempt to organize for better working conditions; Nicole Boxer’s HOW I GOT OVER, on several women’s path from trauma to redemption through theatre; and Michael Lessac’s A SNAKE GIVES BIRTH TO A SNAKE, which follows South African actors as they try to create dialogue in divided communities.
Finally, filmmakers address topical issues in Thomas G. Miller’s intimate look at transnational gay marriage, LIMITED PARTNERSHIP; Alix Lambert’s poignant exploration of school bullying, MENTOR; and Lacey Schwartz’s exploration of family secrets, race, and religion, LITTLE WHITE LIE (pictured).