Roll ‘Em! It’s Time for FilmColumbia Festival


The FilmColumbia Festival presents a diverse mix of film events including screenings, Q&As, filmmaker appearances, celebrations and industry insider panel discussions scheduled throughout this year’s seven-day film festival. The fest kicks off today (Monday, October 19) and continues through Sunday (October 25) at various venues in Hudson and Chatham.

Here are a few of the upcoming special events of the fest:

Saturday, October 24, 10am @ the Tracy Memorial, Chatham
Festival Executive Director and Vanity Fair contributing editor Peter Biskind (author of seven books on film and culture, with an eighth, “The Eve of Destruction: Adventures in Extreme Culture” due next summer) moderates a panel discussion on film festivals with a group of industry experts. Bagels and coffee are included in the $15 ticket.

Saturday, October 24, 10am @ the Crandell Theatre, Chatham
Saturday, October 24, 3pm @ the Hudson Opera House, Hudson
Fun for the whole family, FilmColumbia’s unique “Children’s International Short Program” has two screening. Admission is free in Chatham; in Hudson admission is free for childrem; $5 for adults.

Sunday, October 25, 10am @ the Tracy Memorial, Chatham
Sunday, October 25, 2pm @ the Hudson Opera House, Hudson
Two Screenwriting Panels – hosted by actor Scott Cohen (“Kissing Jessica Stein,” “The Other Woman,” “Necessary Roughness” and NBC’s “Allegiance”) and joined by notable NYC and local actors including Mary Stuart Masterson and Ned Van Zandt – give audience members a rare opportunity to submit six copies of a scene (5-10 pages) from an original script. The actor panel will read through the scenes and discuss them. Tickets are $15.

And here are a few of screening highlights of the fest:

Today (Monday, October 19), 5:30pm
Crandell Theatre, Chatham
A shocking drama about the women’s rights movement in Britain in the early 1900s starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep and Anne-Marie Duff. Directed by Sarah Gavron.

“Mia Madre”
Today (Monday, October 19), 8pm
Crandell Theatre, Chatham
Director Nanni Moretti’s new dramedy starring John Turturro as a temperamental movie star driving director Margherita Buy crazy as she struggles to retain control of her movie.

“Very Semi-Serious: A Partially Thorough Portrait of New Yorker Cartoonists”
Wednesday (October 21), 2:30pm
Crandell Theatre, Chatham
A thoroughly entertaining look at the cartoonists who made The New Yorker a legend, including one who was rejected for 25 years before a cartoon was accepted. Executive Producer Deborah Shaffer will accompany the film.

“Bob and the Trees”
Thursday (October 22), 6:30pm
Crandell Theatre, Chatham
Sunday (October 25), 2pm
Hudson Lodge, Hudson
Shot in the Berkshires by a French director during the polar vortex of 2014, focuses on a
50-something farmer struggling to make ends meet. The film won first prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Filmmaker Diego Ongaro will introduce and answer questions after the film.

“Food for Thought, Food for Life”
Saturday (October 24), 11am
Hudson Lodge, Hudson
A new short film by Susan Rockefeller, partially filmed in Columbia County, about the downside of current agribusiness, as well as farmers, chefs, researchers, educators and advocates who have solutions. Followed by a live panel discussion.

Animation for Grownups
Saturday (October 24), 12:30pm
Morris Memorial, Chatham
For the eleventh year, animator Gary Leib (“American Splendor”) hosts an international array of cutting-edge animation. Featured animators will discuss their work after the screening.

“Jack of the Red Hearts”
Saturday (October 24), 12:30pm
Hudson Lodge, Hudson
A tough teenage runaway, impersonating a trained caregiver, bonds with an 11 year-old autistic girl and her desperate mother until the cops descend. Director Janet Grillo and actors Scott Cohen and Famke Janssen will accompany the film.

“I Saw the Light”
Saturday (October 24), 1:30pm
Crandell Theatre, Chatham
Tom Hiddleston (Loki in the Marvel movies) portrays the legendary (and legendarily self-destructive) country music icon Hank Williams in this powerful bio-pic that chronicles the ups and down of the singer-songwriter’s career, of which there were many.

Jane Aaron Retrospective
Saturday (October 24), 3pm
Hudson Lodge, Hudson
Animator, illustrator and Guggenheim winner Jane Aaron made shorts (some shot in Columbia County) that became mainstays of “Sesame Street” as well as MTV and museums around the world. Jane’s brother, well-known architectural photographer and longtime Hudson resident Peter Aaron and filmmaker Skip Blumberg (her husband) will present this sampling of Jane’s work, along with Oscar-winning animator and local resident Frank Mouris, who will discuss Aaron’s contribution to animation.

“Here Come the Videofreex”
Saturday (October 24), 4:30pm
Hudson Lodge, Hudson
Sunday (October 25), 8:45pm
Crandell Theatre, Chatham
In the late 1960’s, when video recording was a brand new technology, a group of hippies
and radicals with Sony Portapaks, courtesy of a free-thinking CBS executive, shot the legendary Woodstock Music Festival, then proceeded to chronicle the counterculture over the next decade. Among the Videofreex was Parry Teasdale, now editor of the Columbia Paper, and filmmaker Skip Blumberg. Both will accompany the film at its Hudson screening; Teasdale at the Chatham screening.

“Breaking a Monster”
Saturday (October 24), 7:30pm
Morris Memorial, Chatham
The three members of the metal band Unlocking the Truth are in seventh grade. In 2013, footage of these three kids from Brooklyn playing professional-caliber rock in Times Square went viral, and 18 months later they became the youngest band to sign with Sony. Filmmakers will accompany the film.

“Heart of a Dog”
Saturday (October 24), 8:30pm
Hudson Lodge, Hudson
Sunday (October 25), 7pm
Crandell Theatre, Chatham
Laurie Anderson’s first film in 30 years, this melange of interlocked meditations on childhood, 9/11, the surveillance state, Anderson’s late husband Lou Reed and storytelling itself – not to mention the filmmaker’s beloved rat terrier Lolabelle – who will be accompanied at the Chatham performance by Elisabeth Weiss, noted dog trainer and animal behaviorist who taught Lolabelle to play the keyboard.

“Beyond Glory”
Sunday (October 25), 12noon
Crandell Theatre, Chatham
Tony Award-winning actor Stephen Lang in a one-man performance that brings to life the courage of eight Medal of Honor winners from three dramatically different wars. Stephen Lang will accompany the film.

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