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2014 Woodstock Film Festival: Come Visit the Catskills For New York's Coolest Film Festival

Every year I look forward with great anticipation to the Woodstock Film Festival. It's one of those memorable annual events you look forward to like an anniversary, birthday or holiday, an event to mark the seasons by, reminding us how quickly time passes.

I have been fortunate to see some outstanding environmental films at the festival. The bounty has included "Chasing Ice" , a stunning film featuring National Geographic explorer James Balog's quest to document the world's melting glaciers before they completely disappear.

"Cape Spin: An American Power Struggle" is one of my all-time festival faves. The filmmakers capture the surreal fight for and against Cape Wind, America's first proposed offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound, Massachusetts.

Last year,2013, I caught the popular showing of "To Be Forever Wild" , an intoxicating film concerning the history of the Catskill Mountain Preserve. The director, David Becker, seemed to enjoy my article about the film for he quoted from it on the cover of the recently released DVD.

And, I must mention the very excellent anti-fracking concert/protest film, "Dear Governor Cuomo" ,by one of my favorite filmmakers, Jon Bowermaster, which premiered at the WFF in 2013.

Look forward to future posts from NYGA about the films I plan on viewing at the upcoming 2014 WFF. Ones I am excited to see include: “Antartica 3D”, the new film by National Geographic explorer and environmental advocate and filmmaker, Jon Bowermaster, “SlingShot”, the tale of brilliant inventor Dean Kamen and his work to solve the world’s safe water crisis, and "A Small Section of the World", an inspirational story directed by Lesley Chilcott about a group of women from a remote farming region in Costa Rica whose ideas sparked a revolution in the coffee growing world.

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The WFF also includes really great panels and events during the festival. This year I am psyched to attend the film panel, "Impact Filmmaking", which explores how and why some films transcend cinema, becoming iconic, effective tools for social change."Impact Filmmaking" is moderated by Robin Bronk who is CEO of The Creative Coalition which is the leading national, nonprofit, nonpartisan social and public advocacy organization in the Arts and Entertainment industry. Panelists include seven-time Emmy nominated and Peabody award winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger, Director of “Crude”, an expose on oil pollution in the Amazon Rainforest.

And, one more shout out to Jon Bowermaster who is also on the panel. Jon is a shining example of a writer and film artist who knows how to create beautiful visuals while infusing the medium with a social message that not only entertains but uplifts, informs and serves a purpose beyond the sometimes narrow confines of the entertainment and art world.

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