What do Bert & Ernie, whales, cats, and musicians have in common?
Find out as the 12th Annual Woodstock Vermont Film Series Returns to the Billings Farm & Museum Theater
Select Saturdays, January 1 – March 12, 2022
Tickets & Season Passes Now Available!
WOODSTOCK, VERMONT…The 12th Annual Woodstock Vermont Film Series returns to the Billings Farm Theater with 10 documentary films from around the world. These diverse films reflect Billings Farm & Museum’s vision to share place-based stories of people near and far, to engage our audiences, and to inspire conversations that increase connections with each other and our world.
The Woodstock Vermont Film Series is curated and directed by award-winning filmmaker Jay Craven, produced by the Billings Farm & Museum, with generous support from local sponsors. We gratefully acknowledge our lead sponsors: D. R. Horne & Company and the Woodstock Inn & Resort, as well as Ellaway Property Services, Inc.
Filmgoers will enjoy seeing these selections on the big screen in a theater featuring high-definition digital projection and Dolby™ surround-sound. In re-opening the theater to the Film Series, the health and safety of guests is a top priority. The theater has been upgraded with a MERV 13 filtration system. Film attendees are required to wear masks in the theater at all times and to show proof of vaccination to enter.
Tickets prices are $15 per film; Billings Farm members are $12. Season passes for all 10 films are $130 for non-members and $115 for Billings Farm members. For a complete list of screenings and ticket information: www.billingsfarm.org/filmseries or call 802-457-5303. Screenings take place at 3:00 & 5:30 p.m.
Woodstock Vermont Film Series Schedule
January 1: Kedi
The “Citizen Kane” of cat documentaries — this sophisticated, artful documentary from Turkish filmmaker Ceyda Torun isolates the profound relationship between man and cat by exploring it across several adorable cases in a city dense with examples. The result is at once hypnotic and charming.
January 8: Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street
Street Gang takes us inside the minds and hearts of the Sesame Street creators to help us understand not only how they produced this groundbreaking show, but also what it was like to be at the center of a cultural and social phenomenon. Street Gang concentrates on the most experimental and groundbreaking period of Sesame Street. The original surviving creators weave together personal narratives, and never seen behind-the-scenes footage to reveal how they collaborated to push every boundary that confronted them, changing television, and changing the world.
January 15: The Loneliest Whale
In this fascinating story about isolation and interconnection, the filmmaker and a team of intrepid scientists set out on a wild quest to find the 52 Hertz Whale. The Loneliest Whale is a nature mystery, an unanswered question that needs to be solved and a chronicle of director Joshua Zeman’s seemingly impossible journey to find his white whale. With a little data and a whole lot of hope, Zeman sets sail for the Channel Islands off California with a team of oceanographers and biologists in tow, using Navy sonar equipment, drone cameras and tracking tags to try to find Whale 52.
Scientists believe this whale has spent its entire life in solitude. As the film embarks on this engrossing journey, audiences will explore what this whale’s lonely plight can teach us — not just about our changing relationship to the oceans, but to each other.
January 22: Try Harder
With humor and heart, director Debbie Lum takes us to the reality of the American college application process and the intersection of class, race, and educational opportunity as experienced by high school seniors at San Francisco’s top public high school.
February 5: Storm Lake
Meet the Cullens — Iowa’s most impressive journalism family. For more than 30 years, the Cullen Family has published The Storm Lake Times, a small-town, twice-weekly newspaper that covers critically important local issues and serves as the glue that holds the community together. Twice a week, come hell or high water, they work as civic watchdogs to protect their beloved hometown and the legacy of credible local journalism at large.
But against the backdrop of a collapsing journalism ecosystem and a crushing pandemic, how can the paper avoid the fate of so many other newspapers? In Beth Levison and Jerry Risius’s charming yet cautionary documentary, we see the Cullens’ hard at work, occasionally sniping at each other, as they meet the moment, one deadline at a time. As Art says, “Without strong local journalism to tell a community’s story, the fabric of the place becomes frayed.”
February 12: The Ants and The Grasshopper
Anita Chitaya has a gift; she can help bring abundant food from dead soil, she can make men fight for gender equality, and she can end child hunger in her village. Now, to save her home from extreme weather, she faces her greatest challenge: persuading Americans that climate change is real.
Her journey takes her across all the divisions shaping the US, from the rural-urban divide, to schisms of race, class and gender, to the thinking that allows Americans to believe they live on a different planet from everyone else. It will take all her skill and experience to help Americans recognize, and free themselves from, a logic that is already destroying the Earth.
February 19: Jimmy Carter Rock n Roll President
This documentary charts the mostly forgotten story of how President Jimmy Carter, a lover of all types of music, forged a tight bond with musicians Willie Nelson, the Allman Brothers, Bob Dylan and others. Low on campaign funds and lacking in name recognition, Carter relied on support from these artists to give him a crucial boost in the Democratic primaries. If it hadn’t been for a bottle of scotch and a late-night visit from musician Gregg Allman, Jimmy Carter might never have been elected.
Once Carter was elected, the musicians became frequent guests in the White House. The surprisingly significant role that music played throughout Carter’s life and in his work becomes a thread in this engaging portrait of one of the most enigmatic Presidents in American history.
February 26: Summer of Soul
In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary—part music film, part historical record—created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion. Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just one hundred miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was largely forgotten–until now. Summer of Soul shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. The feature includes concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension and more.
March 5: The Rescue
The Rescue chronicles the enthralling, against-all-odds story that transfixed the world in 2018: the daring rescue of twelve boys and their coach from deep inside a flooded cave in Northern Thailand. Academy Award®-winning directors and producers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (Free Solo) keep viewers on the edge of their seats as they use a wealth of never-before-seen material and exclusive interviews to piece together the high stakes mission. The film highlights the efforts of the Royal Thai Navy SEALs and U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and details the expert cave divers’ audacious venture to dive the boys to safety. The Rescue brings alive one of the most perilous and extraordinary rescues in modern times, shining a light on the high-risk world of cave diving, the astounding courage and compassion of the rescuers, and the shared humanity of the international community that united to save the boys.
March 12: The Conductor
Marin Alsop is a woman of firsts. She was the first (and only) conductor to receive a MacArthur Award. Alsop became the first female to be appointed as music director of a major symphony and the first female music director of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra. Her journey to professional success was neither easy nor straightforward, at a time when, according to New York Times reporter Michael Cooper, “it was easier for a female to become a leader of a G5 nation or a Five Star General than to become a conductor of a major symphony.”
Set to a breathtaking soundtrack of her performances, The Conductor tells Alsop’s story through a combination of intimate interviews and shared professional and private moments, encounters with musicians and cognoscenti in the music world, unseen archival footage with her mentor Leonard Bernstein, and vérité scenes of Alsop conducting some of the world’s great orchestras and teaching the next wave of conductors who, like her, were being excluded from the classical music canon.
Billings Farm & Museum is owned and operated by The Woodstock Foundation Inc., a charitable non-profit institution. Billings Farm & Museum is committed to providing educational opportunities and experiences to our visitors, whether here in Woodstock, Vermont or at home wherever you are through our online resources at Billings Farm at Home. Visit us on billingsfarm.org, and find us on Facebook at facebook.com/BillingsFarmMuseum/ and Instagram at instagram.com/billingsfarm/.
Kedi – courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories
President Jimmy Carter & Willie Nelson from Carter Rock n Roll President – courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment
PR & Community Relations Coordinator
Billings Farm & Museum
PO Box 489 | Woodstock, VT 05091
802.457.5310 (direct) | 802.291.0416 (cell)
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