The Woodstock Film Festival has announced a special pre-festival event featuring the work of Ernest C. Withers, renowned chronicler of the African-American experience in the segregated South and subject of the documentary film The image takerwhose world premiere will take place at the next Festival, from September 28 to October 2 in Woodstock, Kingston, Saugerties and Rosendale.
The opening of the photo exhibition, in collaboration with the Woodstock Photography Center, will take place on Saturday, September 3 at 5 p.m., at the Rezny Gallery at 76 Prince Street in Kingston. The film’s director, Phil Bertelsen, a Woodstock Film Festival alumnus and Emmy and Peabody Award-winning producer and director, will be on hand to discuss Withers’ work and complex life. The exhibition runs from now until October 23.
For more than 60 years, Ernest C. Withers (1922-2007) recorded the daily lives of black citizens in Memphis, Tennessee. He was on the front lines of the civil rights movement, covering major flashpoints from the trial of Emmett Till to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. But he was also secretly an FBI informant. “The Picture Taker carefully explores this troubling contradiction that straddles the line between art and the emotionally charged emotional politics of race,” says Peter Wortman.
For more information on the organization’s year-round calendar of events, visit woodstockfilmfestival.org.