After I missed the Woodstock Festival last year because of the birth of my son, Lucas, I was anxious to return to one of my favorite festivals. And this year, I was offering something special, something more than the usual "Bill and Signe Animation Show".
I wanted to test a rough cut of my new feature film, "Cheatin'". But if I had put it in the program as a finished film, that would have disqualified the film from screening in the larger festivals, like Sundance, Berlin and Tribeca.
So the film screened in Woodstock under the "Surprise Film" listing in the program. All we said in the catalog was "It's like a Disney film, but don't bring the kids."
We got a half-full audience of about 50 brave people willing to take a chance on a surprise screening. And after, the response was excellent. A lot of people couldn't stop talking about it, and one guy said it was the best film at the festival.
Because I was with my wife and son, I wasn't able to attend all of the screenings that I wanted to. But I did get to see "Running From Crazy", the wonderful documentary by Barbara Kopple about the tragic Hemingway family.
The highlight of the festival was the annual BMI dinner, where I got to talk with Stephen Dorff and Peter Bogdanovich, and his lovely companion Louise (the sister of Dorothy Stratten, whose tragic life was made into the feature film "Star 80").
Signe and I gave the animation prize to Daniel Sousa for his wonderful film "Feral".
I'd like to thank the Woodstock Inn at the Millstream for their terrific hospitality. It's the best hotel in Woodstock! Incidentally, I give the Woodstock Film Festival an "A-" and you should all enter your animated shorts to this great festival!