(CHATHAM, N.Y.) – Filmmakers David Chase, Alex Gibney, and James Schamus plan to attend screenings of their most recent works at the 13th annual FilmColumbia film festival, to be held Wednesday, October 17, 2012, through Sunday, October 21, 2012. The festival includes screenings of Dustin Hoffman’s first credited role as director (Quartet); Bill Murray portraying Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a movie filmed in the Hudson Valley (Hyde Park on the Hudson); David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook; the eagerly-awaited first feature by The Sopranos’ David Chase (Not Fade Away); Melissa Leo’s new film, shot in the Hudson Valley (Francine); and Cloud Atlas, a three-hour collaboration between co-directors Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) and Andy and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix), starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon and Jim Broadbent.
Documentary films slated to screen include Alex Gibney’s third film to play the festival, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God and Ken Burns’ latest, The Central Park Five. Isabelle Huppert stars in both Anne Fontaine’s latest feature, My Worst Nightmare, and Sang-Soo Hong’s In Another Country, nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes. FilmColumbia will also screen features and shorts from Argentina, Australia, Iran, Italy and Cuba (part of an exchange program with the Havana Film Festival).
“Our mission is to create an easygoing atmosphere where film lovers can connect with world-class movies, while exploring international or independent films that can be hard to find,” says Calliope Nicholas, festival director. “What’s different about FilmColumbia is that it takes place in a village, where film and event venues are connected by sidewalks.” Screenings begin Wednesday, October 17 at 3:30pm and continue through Sunday evening, October 21.
Filmmakers planning to accompany their films include David Chase (Not Fade Away), Alex Gibney (Mea Maxima Culpa), and James Schamus with writer Richard Nelson (Hyde Park on the Hudson); actress Kristanna Loken (Terminator) will be on hand to answer questions after the screening of Love Orchard, shot in the area. Film lovers and filmmakers mix at festivities such as Cinematic Sips: Cocktails on Film; the Friday night pub party at Peint O Gwrw on Main Street; and the Saturday Night Sneak Peak, which keeps audiences guessing ’til the red curtains part, followed by drinks and small bites at the neighboring Blue Plate Restaurant. This year’s Sneak, according to the program, is “a masterpiece by a world-class director, distinguished by two brilliant performances” that “leaves audiences stunned.”
FilmColumbia screens independent and notable films from prestigious international festivals, consistently starring films that go on to win major awards later in the film year. Programmed by festival executive director Peter Biskind (a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and past executive editor of Premiere Magazine), past Senior Curator for Film and Media at MoMA, Laurence Kardish, and festival Director Calliope Nicholas, FilmColumbia gives film patrons in the Hudson Valley the inside track on front-runners months before they are released to general audiences. Last year, films screened during FilmColumbia included The Artist, the year’s Best Picture. Most films are shown at the historic Crandell Theatre, a jewel of a 1920s single-screener owned and operated by the Chatham Film Club, which also runs the festival.