WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL AUDIENCE AWARDS ANNOUNCED


– Audience Award for Narrative Feature: WHITE IRISH DRINKERS directed by John Gray
( RUNNER UP – INUK  directed by Mike Magidson)
– Audience Award for Documentary Feature : GRACE PALEY: COLLECTED SHORTS directed by Lilly Rivlin
(RUNNER UP – MARWENCOL directed by Jeff Malmberg)

(Woodstock, NY) – October 3, 2010 — The Audience Award winners for the 2010 Woodstock Film festival are:

-Audience Award for Narrative Feature:
WHITE IRISH DRINKERS directed by John Gray

None would envy the lives of Danny and Brian Leary, brothers trapped in blue collar Brooklyn, circa 1975, in a family where brutality is the norm. Petty criminal Danny (Geoff Wigdor) takes the brunt of the punishment doled out by Patrick (Steven Lang), their tyrannical, alcoholic father, as long-suffering wife and mother Margaret (Karen Allen), stands by helplessly. Brian (Nick Thurston), afraid to reveal his talents, works for the hapless Whitey (Peter Riegert) at the nearly defunct Layfeyette movie theater. Shauna (Leslie Murphy), Brian’s love interest, strikes the perfect note of rough-edged authenticity as she, too, struggles to escape. Alternately tender and violent and peppered with humor, this is smart and suspenseful storytelling where the ties that bind can also break a family, and childhood memories haunt and deceive. Writer-director John Gray skillfully turns tragedy to triumph with an ending bound to shock and surprise. Powerful, well-crafted and thoroughly engaging. (Barbara Pokras, A.C.E.)

RUNNER UP:
INUK Directed by Mike Magidson

– Audience Award for Feature Documentary:
GRACE PALEY: COLLECTED SHORTS directed by Lilly Rivlin

In the opening moments of “Grace Paley: Collected Shorts,” Paley rhetorically asks an audience, “What is the responsibility of a poet?” We soon learn that Gracy Paley answered that question emphatically throughout her entire life.

Lilly Rivlin’s inspiring film brings to life the momentous times in which this author and activist lived and worked as she reads from her short stories, poems and essays. Paley was a firebrand on the front line of protest. She opposed war and nuclear proliferation, and fought for the rights of women, which often landed her in jail. As a teacher she influences generations of writers. Grace Paley is a New York icon whose life attests to the possibility that one person can combine public responsibility with individual creativity. Paley not only broke the mold, she created a new approach to her life’s work that combined equal parts writer, activist, woman and mother.

In “Grace Paley: Collected Shorts” we learn the story of this child of Russian-Jewish immigrants, raised in New York City in the 1930s. We hear from her daughter, granddaughter and a wide range of fellow writers and activists. We also hear many of Grace Paley’s own words, the greatest joy of Rivlin’s revealing film. (David Becker)

RUNNER UP:
MARWENCOL directed by Jeff Malmberg

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