October 31, 2020

The Rivertown Film Blog

This is a page of nearby events, local film and filmmaker news, and comments on film culture that is found regularly at the end of the Rivertown Film Enews. To stay up to date on the schedule of Rivertown Film please subscribe to the Enews here. If you have a screening or event for filmmakers to add to this page, write to film@rivertownfilm.org at least two weeks before your event.

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September 11, 2020

Drive-In Movies in the parking lot at Palisades Center? On selected Thursday, Friday, and Sunday evenings at 8:30 through October 2. $35 per car. Advance sales only. Films include Grease, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Men in Black, Jurassic Park, and more. All the information can be found at www.palisadesmovies.com.

There are Drive-In Movies in Pearl River too. The Stars and Cars Cinema is in the Pfizer parking lot on Middletown Road in Pearl River, every night through September, with a different film every night. See for yourself: here.

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August 12, 2020

In John Lewis: Good Trouble, the congressman and civil rights activist reminds us that freedom, democracy, and civil rights are always being threatened and must always be defended. Local filmmaker Brooklyn Demme brings this home in his one minute film, Fly Away Falco.

Writer and filmmaker Greg Mitchell, who brought the Ode to Joy flashmob to Rivertown Film after a screening of Following the Ninth, just published The Beginning or the End: How Hollywood–and America–Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. It’s a fascinating Hollywood story and sadly true American history.

Garner Arts Center presents its 4th annual Outdoor Shorts program, THIS IS NOW, curated by Wayne Cobham, Susanna Styron, and Kristi Zea, on Friday, August 14th, and Saturday, August 15th. In the past this program has taken place in multiple locations at the Garner facility, but this year it will be held in one spot in order to best control social distancing. Doors open at 7pm, screening at 8pm.Food by Hudson’s Mill, beverages by Industrial Arts Brewing.

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July 18, 2020

Writer and filmmaker Greg Mitchell, who brought the Ode to Joy flashmob to Rivertown Film after a screening of Following the Ninth, just published The Beginning or the End: How Hollywood–and America–Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. It’s a fascinating Hollywood story and sadly true American history.

Garner Arts Center presents its 4th annual Outdoor Shorts program, THIS IS NOW, curated by Wayne Cobham, Susanna Styron, and Kristi Zea, on Friday, August 14th, and Saturday, August 15th. In the past this program has taken place in multiple locations at the Garner facility, but this year it will be held in one spot in order to best control social distancing. Doors open at 7pm, screening at 8pm. Food by Hudson’s Mill, beverages by Industrial Arts Brewing.

The Rockland Jewish Film Festival, online in 2020, continues through July 29. Streaming today (Saturday) is The Crossing, the story of two children in Norway during WWII whose parents are in the resistance.

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June 25, 2020

We were sad to hear that Rockland comic book icon Denny O’Neil has passed away. He took Batman from a silly 60s character back to his roots and to how he’s known today (and the Joker too), developed complex characters and introduced social issues, and scripted stories for Iron Man, Spider-Man, and dozens of others. He belongs in the Rockland County Hall of Fame.

Sam Waymon, another shoe-in for the Rockland Hall of Fame (he already had a day named in his honor by the County Legislature), sings his new composition, Freedom is My Name, in a new video, to acknowledge Black Lives Matter.

The Rockland Jewish Film Festival is going virtual, from June 27 to July 29. Check out the 14 titles, including Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles (on Wednesday, July 1) at https://jccrockland.org/film-festival/

Ever have a migraine? 12% of Americans get this mysterious neurological disease. Learn all about it in Rockland filmmaker Susanna Styron’s documentary, Out of My Head, available to rent or buy online from Kino Now.

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April 30, 2020

ArtsRock’s Elliott Forrest is making short films of and for the local community. In the first, he interviews Rockland expat actor and clown Bill Irwin about his play, Old Hats. Filmed by PBS, Old Hats is now available to stream for free! Other short films produced in this series so far include profiles on the Nyack Mask Makers, Nyack Nourishes, and the recent work that has been going on at the home of Rivertown Film, Nyack Center. As they point out, without rentals to groups like ours, they have lost an important part of their income just as the community needs them the most. Visit nyackcenter.org and donate!

Filmmaker/choreographer Marta Renzi and writer/poet Daniel Wolff collaborated on The House That Doesn’t House, a five minute film set to a poem by, and interview with, poet William Bronk.

Frank Vitale’s new feature film, Erotic Fire of the Unattainable, “a late-in-life coming of age story,” just had its premier at the Sarasota Film Festival, with more festival dates on the horizon. Congratulations, Frank!

Congratulations to Rivertown Film advisory board member Ellen Kuras, who just received an Emmy Award for cinematography on JANE, the story of Jane Goodall. Ellen remains one of very few women working in cinematography, and she said Jane Goodall was one of her role models.

Sam Waymon would have a place in our hearts if all he had ever done was write and perform music for, and appear in, the seminal independent film Ganja & Hess, but that’s a small part of his life’s work. Here he is performing a thank you for healthcare workers, first responders, and essential service workers. As always, he nails it.

Watch One Good Story, interviews with nine Nyack Creatives conducted by Bill Batson for Rockland Center for the Arts. “These pre-COVID-19 vignettes include a kitchen table chat with Malcolm X, a couple of brushes with death, an international pen-pal romance, and some local African American history.” Then tell your own story and post it on RoCA’s Facebook or Instagram pages

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4/16/20

We note with sadness the passing of arts lover, longtime member and community activist, Toni Fallon

Watch One Good Story, interviews with nine Nyack Creatives conducted by Bill Batson for Rockland Center for the Arts. “These pre-COVID-19 vignettes include a kitchen table chat with Malcolm X, a couple of brushes with death, an international pen-pal romance, and some local African American history.” Then tell your own story and post it on RoCA’s Facebook or Instagram pages.

4/4/20

Rockland County director Deborah Kampmeier’s TAPE premiered at the Female Eye Film Festival on March 8th, where it was the Closing Night Gala screening, and where three more of her films were presented in a retrospective. TAPE had been set to open in NY March 27 and LA on April 3, but instead is having a virtual run that is still going on. You can purchase tickets to see it, here. Every evening there is a new discussion. Deborah’s other recent work includes directing episodes of Queen Sugar and Cherish the Day for Ava DuVernay.

People to People is making great use of the internet at a crucial time. Join them on Facebook and YouTube next Saturday, April 11 for a free concert with great local musicians such as Grace VanderWaal, Tom Chapin, Neal Berg, Rita Harvey, Joe D’Urso, and many others. Then make a donation to People to People, Rockland County’s largest hunger relief organization.

3/21/20

Rockland County director Deborah Kampmeier’s TAPE premiered at the Female Eye Film Festival on March 8th (the Closing Night Gala) where three more of her films played in a retrospective. TAPE had been set to open in NY March 27 and LA on April 3, but will now have a virtual premier that you can purchase tickets to, here. Deborah’s recent work includes directing episodes of Queen Sugar and Cherish the Day for Ava DuVernay.

This week’s episode of NBC’s New Amsterdam, directed by Kristi Zea (Everybody Knows… Elizabeth Murray), is now streaming on NBC. Watch episode #217, The Liftoff, here: https://www.nbc.com/new-amsterdam

3/11/20

Coronavirus Update: Varda by Agnes is Canceled Tonight

Yesterday we sent you a heartfelt email about what Rivertown Film is doing, what Nyack Center is doing, and what our audiences can do to attend our films and stay healthy. Sadly, today we came to the conclusion that we should cancel Varda by Agnes. Tickets that were purchased in advance are being refunded now.

The information that we are all receiving has been changing quickly. Soon we hope there are better guidelines for us all, as well as a better understanding of our risks and how to evaluate and mitigate them. As this happens we will be reconsidering this decision. Right now, we are only canceling tonight’s film.

The audience for independent and foreign films includes many senior citizens, a demographic that is particularly hard hit by the coronavirus, and that is an important factor in this decision. Facilitating transmission is the last thing we want to do.

As we wrote just yesterday in a much different message, stay healthy and safe, and be mindful of the health and safety of others. We look forward to seeing you soon. Thank you for your support of Rivertown Film.

3/10/20

Coronavirus: A Message to Our Audience and Volunteers

By now, you are well aware of the concern over the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). So far, arts organizations like Rivertown Film have no more guidance than you do. We read the media and study best practices as they evolve. Someday soon it may be necessary to suspend our screenings, even tomorrow evening, but right now we are continuing – with a few precautions. Should that change, we will respond accordingly and communicate our plans to you.

What Rivertown Film is Doing Now:

  • Hand sanitizer will be available at ticketing. Please use them when entering and leaving.
  • The Nyack Center has hand sanitizer at the back door, and they are requesting that everyone use it who enters during the day.
  • Gloves will be available for volunteers handling money at the door.
  • We will hold off on selling refreshments for now.
  • Good ventilation is important in places where people gather, and the Nyack Center has plenty of room, so we will put extra space between chairs.
  • We love seeing you, but let’s all stop shaking hands and hugging when we say hello.

What You Can Do:

  • If you don’t feel well or have been with someone who is ill, avoid others.
  • Keep washing your hands.
  • Keep tissues to sneeze or cough into, or sneeze in your elbow crease.
  • Stay informed by visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website: coronavirus.gov
  • Be aware that older people and people with chronic illnesses are especially vulnerable to this disease.

If you have purchased a ticket to Varda by Agnes but cannot attend, we will happily supply a refund. In the meantime, we feel a responsibility to continue to present culture to meet our human needs; albeit, in the most healthy and sanitary way possible.

Stay healthy and safe, and be mindful of the health and safety of others. We look forward to seeing you soon. Thank you for your support of Rivertown Film.

3/5/20

This year we are joining the celebration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment, and in March, Women’s History Month. Nonetheless, we recognize continuing issues of gender discrimination in the film culture we are part of, just as elsewhere. Movies are a powerful inspiration, and the lack of women in front of and behind the cameras has become a focal point of criticism. In 2019, only 12% of top film directors and 34% of speaking characters were women. In contrast, on our March/April calendar listed above, 75% of the programs are by and about women. Many of the short films in the Wild & Scenic Film Festival are made by women as well.

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There is no filmmaker more fitting to acknowledge during Women’s History Month or the centennial of the 19th Amendment than Agnes Varda. In her own words, “I did all that—my photos, my craft, my film, my life—on my terms, my own terms, and not to do it like a man.” View her films, often focused on women’s issues and never crafted to be conventional, and you will see something unique. Known as the mother of the French New Wave (her own films predate that movement), she is the recipient of an honorary Academy Award, an honorary Palm d’Or from Cannes, and a Golden Lion from the Venice Film Festival. In a poll of 368 film critics from 84 countries naming the 100 most important films by women, Agnes Varda had six films on the list, more than anyone else. The second most frequently cited film on the list was hers, Cleo From 5 to 7. Her other films on that list are The Beaches of Agnes, One Sings, the Other Doesn’t, The Gleaners and I, Le Bonheur, and Vagabond. See Varda By Agnes at Rivertown Film on March 11.

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Rockland County director Deborah Kampmeier’s TAPE will be premiering at the Female Eye Film Festival on March 8th (the Closing Night Gala) where three more of her films are playing in a retrospective. TAPE opens in NY March 27 and LA on April 3. Deborah’s recent work includes directing episodes of Queen Sugar and Cherish the Day for Ava DuVernay. She will be discussing Varda By Agnes at Rivertown Film on March 11, with Susanna Styron.

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Submissions are open to these two new Rockland County film festivals:

*Piermont Film Festival, running June 12 to 14.

*Northwest of NYC Film Festival, running October 9 to 11.

We welcome them to film culture in Rockland County.

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2/20/20

To the record number of you who responded to our year-end fundraising appeal, and to all who are new and renewing members or members of our expanded business sponsorship program, thank you. Your support gave Rivertown Film a great start in 2020.

This year we are joining the celebration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment. Nonetheless, we recognize continuing issues of gender discrimination in the film culture we are part of, just as elsewhere. Movies are a powerful inspiration, and the lack of women in front of and behind the cameras has become a focal point of criticism. In 2019, only 12% of top film directors and 34% of speaking characters were women. In contrast, on our March/April calendar, 75% of the programs are by and about women. More will follow.

2/6/20

Submissions are open to these two new Rockland County film festivals:
*Piermont Film Festival, running June 12 to 14.
*Northwest of NYC Film Festival, running October 9 to 11.

We welcome them to film culture in Rockland County!

What we’re reading…

Amy

Maybe we don’t see those things as

important because people don’t

write about them.

Jo

No, writing doesn’t confer

importance, it reflects it.

 Amy

I’m not sure. Perhaps writing will

make them more important

These lines from Greta Gerwig’s recent film Little Women, are some of the few in the film not written by Luisa May Alcott. In a recent Vanity Fair article written by Greta Gerwig, she said, “I’m saying, it matters what we write. It matters what we make films about. I can because Louisa May Alcott did.” That’s an evolution of culture that can be frustratingly slow. Little Women was nominated this year for Best Picture, but not Best Director. No women were nominated in that category.

1/30/20

An article in Lohud on January 16 explains why the historic single screen Lafayette Theater has reduced its days of operation to Thursday through Sunday. In 2005 the Lafayette Theater was honored by USA Today as one of the “10 Great Places to Revel in Cinematic Grandeur.” It is 96 years old in February, and is an important Rockland County historical landmark, attracting movie palace devotees from all over the region, country, and world. We hope they resolve their problems and can expand their offerings again quickly.

Speaking of the difficulties of keeping theaters alive for movies and everything else, last week the Journal News published a front page story by Peter Kramer about the theater on Main Street that was once known as “Riverspace,” a performing arts center where Rivertown Film presented films on 35mm every week. It’s a pretty sad story, and it needs a happy ending. In case you missed it, here is a link.

12/5/19

On December 14 take the whole family to the annual Holiday Show at Suffern’s Lafayette Theater for the Hand Bell Choir, Holiday Sing-A-Long, Laurel and Hardy in Big Business, and of course It’s A Wonderful Life.

11/14/19

Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman comes to the Lafayette Theater this Friday, 11/15. That’s great news for local audiences, but even better is that on Saturday, 11/16, Executive Producer Richard Baratta will take part in a Q&A before the film, at 6:30. Some of the film was shot on Lafayette Avenue, with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, two years ago. Information on this special event, here.

10/31/19

On October 20, Maria Luisa Boutique in Nyack recognizes Fair Trade Month with a screening of The True Cost, about our clothes, the people who make them, and the impact of this industry is on our world. Clothing prices can be very inexpensive, but there are human and environmental costs that must be paid. The true cost of this screening is FREE.

Read the profile of Rockland filmmaker Joe Allen in the Nyack Sketch Log. Joe’s films include Two Schools in Hillburn, about a local civil rights case that helped launch the career of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, 20 Million Minutes, about the struggle to commemorate the massacre of 11 Jewish athletes at the 1972 Olympics, and an upcoming sequel to 20 Million Minutes as well as a film about hunger in America. Good reading about local filmmaking.

10/10/19

Local singer and Broadway star Rita Harvey (The Phantom of the Opera and Fiddler on the Roof) will be performing Linda Ronstadt: Heart Like a Wheel, her tribute to one of the most versatile and beloved singers of the last five decades, at The Turning Point in Piermont, on October 12. Tonight is your last chance to catch the documentary film Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice, at New City Cinemas. Watch the Rivertown Film Enews for further information on local screenings.

On October 20, Maria Luisa Boutique in Nyack recognizes Fair Trade Month with a screening of The True Cost, about our clothes, the people who make them, and the impact of this industry is on our world. Clothing prices can be very inexpensive, but there are human and environmental costs that must be paid. The true cost of this screeing is FREE.

Rockland documentarian Joe Allen was the subject of an interesting profile in the Nyack Sketch Log. Joe’s films include Two Schools in Hillburn, about a local civil rights case that launched the career of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, 20 Million Minutes, about the struggle to commemorate the massacre of 11 Jewish athletes at the 1972 Olympics, and an upcoming sequel to 20 Million Minutes as well as a film about hunger in America. Good reading about local filmmaking.

The Fall Classics at Suffern’s Lafayette Theater are in full swing. Fitting for the season are the upcoming Beetlejuice (Oct. 12), Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Oct. 19), and The Addams Family (Oct. 26).

9/19/19

This Saturday at the Carson McCullers House, 131 S. Broadway in Nyack, A Short Evening of Short Animation, at 8:00 PM.

The timely short film Riding with Sunshine by Kristian Comer is currently streaming on amazon in the US, UK and Germany. Congratulations to Kristian!

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The Village of Nyack and Rivertown Film are proud to be sponsors of the 8th Annual OCADA Community Party and Big Screen Movie in Memorial Park, Nyack, on Saturday, September 7. Presenting COCO (rained out last year) at dusk. BYO blanket and lawn chairs.

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A fine cut of Brooklyn Demme’s film about the Ramapaugh-Lenape Nation, Akuy Eenda Maawehlaang: The Place Where People Gather, will be shown at the Stony Point Center on Thursday, September 5, at 7:00. Akuy Eenda Maawehlaang was inspired by Brooklyn’s father Jonathan, and the Standing Rock occupation in North Dakota.

There Was No Silence, by Joe Allen (Two Schools in Hillburn), documenting JCC Rockland’s efforts to get a minute of silence for the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the Munich Olympics in 1972, has its premier at the Lafayette Theater in Suffern on September 5.

The timely short film Riding with Sunshi by Kristian Comer is currently streaming on amazon in the US, UK and Germany. Congratulations to Kristian!

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Hudson Valley Shorts Fest, presented by Hudson Valley Film: An evening of short films in diverse genres and styles created by rising indy filmmakers, Saturday, July 27 at 8 pm at the Carson McCuller House. Information here.

Garner Arts Film Under the Stars presents the Outdoor Shorts – Short Film Festival (indoors if it rains) at the Garner Arts Center on July 26 and July 27. The same films will screen each night. Information and tickets here.

The 8th annual Nyack Film Festival is presented by Modern Metro Studios from August 15 to 18. Information here.

Arts Alive grants are available for Rockland County art (and media) projects, individual artists, and arts education. The grant application deadline is Oct. 2, and participation in a pre-application workshop is encouraged. The next workshops in Rockland County are tonight (July 18) at New City Library, Thursday, July 25 at Arts Council of Rockland, and Wednesday, August 14, at Rockland Music Conservatory. Information here.

New York Foundation for the Arts is accepting applications for their Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program: Performing & Literary Arts, for artists in the metropolitan NY area.

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Hudson Valley Shorts Fest, presented by Hudson Valley Film: An evening of short films in diverse genres and styles created by rising indy filmmakers, Saturday, July 27 at 8 pm – Carson McCuller House, 131 South Broadway. Nyack Suggested donation $5.00. Information here.

The deadline for submissions to the 8th annual Nyack Film Festival presented by Modern Metro Studios was July 4, but maybe check to see if there is an extension. All lengths and genres are accepted to this 4 day festival, August 15 to 18. Information here.

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Congratulations to local filmmaker Deborah Kampmeier, making her TV directing debut on Ava DuVernay’s Queen Sugar, on OWN. We are proud to say that Rivertown Film screened Ava’s first feature, Middle of Nowhere, and Deborah’s first feature, Virgin (staring then unknown Elizabeth Moss). Ava has gone on to make many more, including Selma and A Wrinkle in Time, while Deborah’s other films include Hounddog (with Dakota Fanning) and the upcoming film, Tape.

The Rockland County Business Journal covers Megamall and Backpack Full of Cash, both by the same team of Rockland County filmmakers, here. Backpack Full of Cash, their latest film, has been playing widely and is having an impact on the “education reform” conversation. Rivertown Film shows Megamall on July 10.

Rockland resident, award winning cinematographer, director, and Rivertown Film Advisory Board member Ellen Kuras has directed episodes of Catch 22, coming to Hulu on May 17. George Clooney stars (and produces). Check out Ellen’s brief appearance in the “making of” featurette, (and her documentary cinematography in Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story).

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Saturday, June 8, 2 PM to 3 PM: Nyack Library and Rivertown Film present the American Creed Film Festival, short films by Hudson Valley filmmakers. What is an American? What ideals unite us as a nation? What does being an American mean to you? How we can make a difference in our immediate community? Prizes will be awarded at the screening.

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June 1 is the deadline to enter Nyack Library’s American Creed Film Festival, presented with Rivertown Film. Submit your 2 to 8 minute film that addresses: What is an American? What ideals unite us as a nation? What does being an American mean to you? How we can make a difference in our immediate community? Get creative! Prizes will be awarded at a screening on 6/8. Guidlines and submission forms at here.

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Currently at the Edward Hopper House – an exhibit by multimedia artist Holly Zausner that includes her short film, Unsettled Matter, a dream-like refection on the loneliness of modern life, or of being an artist. Running continuously.

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Rockland resident, award winning cinematographer, director, and Rivertown Film Advisory Board member Ellen Kuras has directed episodes of Catch 22, coming to Hulu on May 17. George Clooney stars (and produces). Check out Ellen’s brief appearance in the “making of” featurette.

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Rockland Youth Film Festival returns to the Spring Valley Cultural Center on June 1. Presented by the youth from Spring Valley Commons, the EELEF Center, and associated sponsors, RYFF is a yearly international film festival showcasing movies made by filmmakers 21 years old and younger from the Rockland County area and around the world. Free!

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Considering Matthew Shepard, a screening of the PBS Special directed Elliott Forrest, will be shown by ArtsRock on Saturday, May 4th, at 7:00 PM at the Nyack Center. It will be followed with a discussion about the production and Matthew’s story 20 years later. Congratulations to Elliott!

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SHAMAN vs HAYNO, THE JUDGE OF BLOOD
Created by Ivan Szendro
“The Movie That Was a Legend Before it Was Made.”

In Transylvania there is a legend told about a tyrannical monster called Hayno, the Judge of Blood. A film-ritual to triumph over darkness, demons and dictators, told with stunning graphics.

A spring celebration with an Early Birds jam session beginning at 5:00, followed by screenings at 8:00 and 10:00, on April 26 at the Nyack Center.

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A JCC Rockland Jewish Film Festival Screening
sponsored by Rivertown Film
Tuesday, April 16 – 7:30 PM at Regal Cinemas, Nanuet

WALDHEIM WALTZ
Directed by Ruth Beckermann
Austria’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film in the 2018 Oscars, this timely documentary revisits the chilling case of Kurt Waldheim, the former United Nations Secretary-General who faced serious allegations surrounding his military exploits for Germany during WWII.

For Women’s History Month, IndieWire chose the “100 All Time Greatest Films Directed by Women.” Among the 100 is Losing Ground  by Kathleen Collins. When it was made in 1982 it was the first feature film by a black woman made since the 1920s. It was one of two films the director made while she was living in Piermont.

Unfortunately missing from that IndieWire list of “100 All Time Greatest Films Directed by Women” (above) are any films by Rockland ex-pat and a founder of Rivertown Film Society, Nancy Savoca. “True Love (1989) won the Sundance Grand Prize, was listed by Entertainment Weekly as one of the 50 best indie films of all time, and made the year’s 10 best list of NY Times critics Vincent Canby and Janet Maslin. And what about Household Saints, Dogfight, and 24 Hour Woman – all great films, all of them about women.

Support Rockland raised filmmaker Juliana Roth’s Seed & Spark fundraising campaign for What We Know, a film about an assault on a college campus, the role the school plays in protecting abusers from facing the impact of their actions, the import of advocacy, and the individual effects of trauma. See for yourself and contribute, here.

Currently at the Edward Hopper House – an exhibit by multimedia artist Holly Zausner that includes her short film, Unsettled Matter, a dream-like refection on the loneliness of modern life, or of being an artist. Running continuously.

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On March 9, the Arts Council of Rockland hosts “The Mechanics and Business of the Film Industry,” presented by J.D. Zeik., a stage and screen veteran and currently Assistant Professor of Playwriting and Screenwriting at SUNY Purchase College (who often leads discussions at Rivertown Film). $10 or free for ACOR members. Register in advance.

On February 28, The Nyack Library presents The Furious Force of Rhymes, a documentary about the international spread of Hip-Hop, by Rockland Filmmaker Joshua Atesh Litle, at 7:00 pm. This film played in film festivals all over the world, won numerous accolades, and was a New York Times Critics’ Pick. Discussion with the filmmaker after the film. Register for this event here.

Congratulations to Rockland filmmakers John Gray (director) and Melissa Jo Peltier (producer) for Best Picture and Best Director wins at the Grave Plot Film Festival. Their short horror film, The Desecrated, has now been in over 40 film festivals. Next is the L.A. Short Scares Film Festival.

Support Rockland raised filmmaker Juliana Roth’s Seed & Spark fundraising campaign for What We Know, a film about an assault on a college campus, the role the school plays in protecting abusers from facing the impact of their actions, the import of advocacy, and the individual effects of trauma. See for yourself, here.

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Riverkeeper presents: Hope on the Hudson Film Screening and Discussion, on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 6:30 at Nyack Center. Join Riverkeeper for three short films: Restoring the Clearwater, Seeds of Hope, and Source to Sea, and a panel discussion with:
Maija Niemisto – Education Director, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater
Brooke Pickering-Cole – Director, Hudson Valley Farm Hub
Dan Shapley – Director of Water Quality Program, Riverkeeper
Moderated by Jon Bowermaster, filmmaker, Oceans 8

This is a free event, but your rsvp is requested ! For more information and to rsvp: Click  HERE

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Save the Date to see Studio 54, playing only once at the Lafayette Theatre in Suffern: January 17. Doors at 6:30, film at 7:30. This documentary features never before seen footage of the club shot by Rockland County filmmaker and Rivertown Film Board Member, attorney Susan Shapiro, who along with her producing partner, Glenn Albin, received remarkable access to the club during its heyday in the late ’70s. The screening is a benefit for L.E.A.F. (Legal Environmental Advocacy Fund), which Susan recently founded. More details coming soon.

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The 6th Annual YoFiFest in Yonkers continues through November. Congratulations to the Rockland County filmmakers who are participating.

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Last May at Rivertown Film’s “Unseen Demme” program, Brooklyn Demme showed a brief clip from the last film his father was working on, about the Ramapo Lenape Nation of Bergen and Rockland Counties, inspired by a short film he made about the Dakota Access Pipeline protests (Protection Not Protest, The People of Standing Rock). Brooklyn is finishing that film now, and you can help him make it by contributing to his crowdfunding campaign. With 17 days before the fundraising campaign ends, he has raised over $35,000 and has set a new goal of $45,000. Help make this film happen by donating here.

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Tuesday, October 16 – 8:00 PM at Nyack Center

THE BLIND DATE World Premier!
Written and Directed by Peter Danish
A.D./Creative Director, Anthony Geathers; Cinematography, Roger Grange; Sound Mixer, Tom Fleishman; Costume Design, Liz Prince; Music, Jordan Rudess; Still Photography, Lynn Cosci

Nyack’s own Peter Danish has adapted his award-wining short play into a powerful new film. The Blind Date is a story about the effects of voter apathy in the not-to-distant future, as a young woman is forced, by changes in the law, to make a harrowing decision.

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Everybody Knows… Elizabeth Murray, by two-time Oscar nominated Rockland filmmaker Kristi Zea is now streaming on the American Masters / PBS website, here. And their interview with Kristi about the making of the film is posted here.

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For Filmmakers: Rivertown Film director Matthew Seig produced a series of video interviews between Film Society of Lincoln Center deputy director Eugene Hernandez and three early-career filmmakers on the subject of audience building. Produced for New York Foundation for the Arts with funding by the National Endowment for the Arts. Featured on IndieWire.

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TONIGHT, Thursday, September 6 at 8:00PM: NYC-ARTS (PBS/Wnet/Channel 13, will feature a profile of filmmaker Kristi Zea, the director and producer of the upcoming American Masters documentary, Everybody Knows… Elizabeth Murray.

TOMORROW, Friday, September 7: Everybody Knows… Elizabeth Murray, by two-time Oscar nominated Rockland filmmaker Kristi Zea (profiled last month in Nyack News & Views), plays on the PBS series American Masters, at 9:00 PM.

Did you know that only one in five Americans actually cast a vote for this president? Rockland playwright Peter Danish wrote The Blind Date as a cautionary tale for young people about the consequences of not voting. Now there is a crowdfunding campaign to turn it into a short film in time for the next election. Donate!

For Filmmakers: Rivertown Film director Matthew Seig produced a series of video interviews between Film Society of Lincoln Center deputy director Eugene Hernandez and three early-career filmmakers on the subject of audience building. Produced for New York Foundation for the Arts, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, and featured on IndieWire.

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The Nyack Film Festival at the Nyack Village Theater begins tonight, August 16, and runs through Sunday. Check out the schedule and purchase tickets here.

Film in the Garden at the Edward Hopper House presents Harold and Maude on Friday, August 17 (August 18 if it rains). Preceded by live music by Amy Bezunartea of Main Street Beat Record Store. $5 donation.

Artists – including filmmakers – learn about Arts Alive 2019 Grants for Westchester and Rockland: August 29 at Garner Art Center, 5:30 PM. Learn more at artsw.org/artsalive

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The Nyack Film Festival at the Nyack Village Theater returns for another year on August 16, 17, 18, and 19. Check out the schedule and purchase tickets here.

Film in the Garden at the Edward Hopper House presents Harold and Maude on Friday, August 17 (August 18 if it rains). Preceeded by live music by Amy Bezunartea of Main Street Beat Record Store. $5 donation.

Artists – including filmmakers – learn about Arts Alive 2019 Grants for Westchester and Rockland: August 2 at Nyack Library, 10:30 AM; August 29 at Garner Art Center, 5:30 PM. Learn more at artsw.org/artsalive

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Marta Renzi’s Her Magnum Opus receives it’s Manhattan premier at Lincoln Center this Saturday, July 21 at 3:00 PM, in the Dance on Camera Festival. There’s no better theater to watch a film in than the Walter Reade.

Film in the Garden at the Edward Hopper House presents Joel and Ethen Coen’s Blood Simple, on Friday, July 27 (July 28 if it rains). Introduced by guest curator Bill Batson. $5 donation.

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Submissions are still being accepted for Nyack Village Theatre’s 7th Annual Nyack Film Festival, which will be held August 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th. The submission deadline has been extended to July 11. All movie entries must have been completed within the last 48 months.