Outdoor Screenings

Outdoor Screenings

Dear Filmgoers,

As we enter the hottest days of summer, we continue to look forward to our eventual reopening while closely monitoring events both local and national. As of now, movie theaters will no longer be included in phase 4 of New York’s reopening schedule, so we remain in standby mode. We’ve all had the opportunity to watch movies at home, including some of Upstate’s excellent virtual cinema offerings, but we truly miss the experience of sharing movies together on the big screen.

While the theaters in Rhinebeck and Woodstock remain closed, we’re preparing to take the show on the road with outdoor screenings. We’ve got a new 16-foot screen, a pair of thumping loudspeakers, and a high-powered portable projector, so we’re well-equipped to liven up these summer evenings with socially distant cinema under the stars – both public and private events included. We’re still getting the pieces in place, but stay tuned for news about upcoming LIVE screenings! In the meantime, if you are interested in hiring Upstate to run a high-quality, high-resolution movie screening for your private event, please reach out to us.

Virtual Cinema continues this week, with a new documentary about U.S. Congressman and American civil-rights icon, John Lewis. We know you have plenty of options for home streaming, but we appreciate every bit of support you offer as we continue to work on the confounding puzzle that is running an independent movie theater in 2020.

– The Upstate Crew

Soundtracks, Selfies, Souls, and Spheres: A Workshop with Safaa Fathy

Soundtracks, Selfies, Souls, and Spheres: A Workshop with Safaa Fathy

Brought to you by Opus 40, and in partnership with The Human Rights Project at Bard, we at Upstate Films are proud to co-present …

Soundtracks, Selfies, Souls, and Spheres

A Five Week Workshop and Exploration of the Films of Safaa Fathy


Saturdays, June 27 – July 25, Noon to 2 PM

$50 or Sliding Scale
Four weeks and one translation seminar/reading
Sign up or ask questions HERE


A short description from Safaa:

“How does the self, its image and depth become visible and audible through the other? How do the others in their infinite differences rally to become a signature?

Over three weeks, we will explore together the dimensions of subjectivity in relation to the other portrayed in both my documentaries and feature films.  How do we create art with documentary material, and how does the treatment of documented reality entail fiction? How do the boundaries between fiction and documentary overlap?  The participants should produce a filmed piece that reflects their own understanding of what these boundaries are.”

The virtual workshop will include four classes, access to Fathy’s remarkable films and selected events from the Tamaas Translation Seminar, in which Fathy is a participant.

*  *  *

Safaa Fathy is an Egyptian/French poet, documentary filmmaker, playwright, and essayist. Born in Egypt, she moved to France in 1981 and obtained her PhD from the Sorbonne in Paris in 1993. She was Program Director at the International College of Philosophy from 2010-2016. Fathy is the author of the plays Aquarius, in Sillas en la frontera, and Ordalie/Terreur (with an introduction by Jacques Derrida), and co-author with Jacques Derrida of Tourner les mots: au bord d’un film. Her books of poetry include Revolution Goes Through Walls (SplitLevel) and A Name to the Sea (Dar Al Nahda). Her films include Mohammad Saved from the WatersDerrida’s Elsewhere and a film poem Nom à la mer. Her most recent essays are Au nom de la Murale (Europe N. 1053-1053) and De mur en mur (rue Descartes N.92). Other than Egypt and France, she has lived and worked in Germany, Mexico, and the United States.

This is a virtual workshop, and all tech/logistics will be handled by Opus 40. Please find more information here. Other inquires may be directed to [email protected].

Happy Juneteenth

Happy Juneteenth

Dear Filmgoers,
 
Happy Juneteenth! Change is blowin’ in the wind – let’s hope this time it lands mightily.
 
Apart from deep-cleaning our facilities and making aesthetic improvements, we’ve been actively discussing our eventual reopening and which procedures will be most effective in keeping us all protected. Observing and communicating with theaters in other states as they turn on the lights has been invaluable. We’re learning what strategies are proving effective, and brainstorming how we can implement them at our locations.
 
Limited capacity and socially distanced seating will play an important role initially, and every effort will be made to make the moviegoing experience as touchless as possible (but still fun). There will be several hand sanitizer stations, transparent barriers at the counter, staff will be required to wear both a mask and gloves, and finally, we’re making the monumental leap to accepting credit cards! At first, all shows will be online presale-only, but eventually you’ll be able to swipe your card at the counter to buy a ticket. 
 
Although we don’t have a firm date as of yet, it will likely be a month at the very least until we reopen. We’ve said this before, but it remains true – your safety and that of our staff is our top priority; we will not open our doors until we see evidence that it is sensible to do so. 
 
That’s all for now. Check out the new film, RUNNER (more info below), available in our Virtual Cinema, and stay tuned for updates. There are some very exciting special events in the works. Thanks for reading, and for sticking with us.
 
– The Upstate Crew
We're closed for now

We’re closed for now

Upstate Films remains closed for the foreseeable future in compliance with Governor Cuomo’s executive order. Although we regret not being able to show you the many films we’d planned and missing our special events, we know we’re doing the right thing for all of our sakes.

Before Gov. Cuomo’s order to shut down tight, we did get to do some repainting, refurbishing, and cleaning. When we reopen, we hope you’ll enjoy the fresh look.

During this uncertain-unprecedented-challenging period, we have received donations from filmgoers & members who have chosen to show their support. Perhaps you too would consider buying yourself or a friend a gift card, updating your membership, or making a donation, no matter the amount? We thank you in advance. And soon, we hope to be able to welcome you back.

— from the gang @ Upstate — DeDe, Joel, Steve, Jake, Matt, Fiona, George, Laura, Alex, Nate, E-Liz

Welcome to the Upstate Films Virtual Cinema

Upstate Films is closed for the foreseeable future, but we still want to bring you some of the programming that we were planning on screening this spring. In partnership with select distributors, we are happy to bring you Virtual Screening Rooms. Purchase a ticket through one of the links offered on our website, and watch the movie in the comfort and safety of your own home.

Just as with a real ticket, the proceeds will be split between Upstate Films and the distributors. Your ticket allows you to watch the film for a specified period of time, and you'll be able to stream it on compatible streaming devices, your mobile device or your computer browser. Please see our Virtual Screening Room FAQ for more information.

 
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    John Lewis: Good Trouble
    Chronicles John Lewis’ 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform and immigration.
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    Runner
    RUNNER depicts Guor Mading Maker’s difficult and triumphant journey from refugee to world-renowned athlete, told in intimate interviews with gorgeously animated flashbacks of Guor’s upbringing and culminating in a heart-wrenching reunion with his parents after a 20-year separation. His story is a distinctly inspirational one in which the indomitable human spirit emerges against all odds.
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    Shirley
    “As willfully unconventional as a literary portrait could possibly be,  director Josephine (Madeline’s Madeline) Decker’s take on Shirley Jackson is a thrillingly perverse example of what happens when the shackles of biopic formula are cast aside.” —The Guardian
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    La Casa Lobo (The Wolf House)
    Combing stop-motion techniques, painting and photography, this exquisitely handcrafted animation feature tells the story of a girl who escapes a cult colony of religious fanatics during Chile’s darkest years under Pinochet.
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    Capital in the Twenty-First Century
    Based on the international bestseller by rock-star economist Thomas Piketty (which sold over three million copies worldwide and landed Piketty on Time's list of most influential people), this captivating documentary is an eye-opening journey through wealth and power...
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    Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint
    A dazzling, course correcting documentary that describes not only the life and craft of af Klint, but also the history of her rejection and rediscovery by the art world.
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    The Booksellers
    A beguiling new documentary offering a tour of New York City through the lens of the passionate and often eccentric individuals who love, collect and sell vintage and antique books.
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    A White, White Day
    In a remote Icelandic town, an off-duty police chief (a chilling Ingvar Sigurdsson, who received Cannes’ Critics’ Week award for Best Actor for his performance) begins to suspect a local man of having had an affair with his late wife, who died in a tragic accident two years earlier. Gradually his obsession for finding out the truth takes over his life and inevitably begins to endanger himself and his loved ones.
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    Saint Frances
    Flailing thirty-four-year-old Bridget (Kelly O’Sullivan) finally catches a break when she meets a nice guy and lands a much-needed job nannying six-year-old Frances (played by a scene-stealing Ramona Edith-Williams). But an unwanted pregnancy introduces an unexpected complication. To make matters worse, she clashes with the obstinate Frances and struggles to navigate a growing tension between Frances’s moms. Amidst her tempestuous personal relationships, a reluctant friendship with Frances emerges, and Bridget contends with the inevitable joys and shit-shows of becoming a part of someone else’s family.
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Coming Soon

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This is from Steve Leiber, one of the founders of Upstate Films…

“Once again it’s time to look in the mirror and then look out the window where I see my country founded on genocide of the native peoples and slavery and its aftermath (including prison labor allowed through the 13th amendment to the constitution). This continues to stomp on my fellow citizens… Decades since MLKing – since the Panthers – since Malcolm X – and still many, mostly people of color, are systematically swept aside as the rich get richer, the privileged get special treatment, and the many are left to grab for the scraps from the table. Race and class are inextricably connected. How to unravel this double discrimination and create a way more just society?”

It’s time to pass the reels! We’re looking for a new executive director!

In 2022 Upstate Films will celebrate its 50th anniversary.  After nearly five decades of running Upstate, its co-founders and Executive Directors, Steve Leiber and DeDe Leiber, will soon be retiring. Upstate is now seeking a new Executive Director to whom they can “pass the reels” (actually, Upstate went digital in 2013).

The Executive Director is responsible for programming Upstate’s theaters in Rhinebeck and Woodstock, fundraising, grant writing, arranging guest speaker events, and organizing special programs, as well as helping to lead the organization’s staff.  The Executive Director should be committed to maintaining the hands-on presence our audiences value and to Upstate’s mission of presenting the best in international and independent cinema.  Please check out the full job listing here.

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