Kaatskill Life Magazine

A Cinematic Celebration

By C. Swayne, M.D.

"As with most artistic triumphs, the film succeeds on several levels.  Panoramas of forests, mountains, waterfalls, sunsets, and starlit skies feature iconic photographic landmarks, including the Ashokan Reservoir, Kaaterskill Falls, Fawn's Leap, Platte Clove, Artist's Rock on the Escarpment Trail, the Hudson River, and the Thomas Cole House.  People, both young and old, work and play, dive swim, hike, paint, sing, ride trains and airplanes, and gaze at the universe..."

The Poughkeepsie Journal

Making movies: Film production grows in Hudson Valley

John W. Barry, Poughkeepsie Journal 3:09 p.m. EDT August 5, 2014

With it's beautiful scenery, strong creative spirit and closeness to New York City, the mid-Hudson Valley has long drawn artists to the region. In the last decade, the mid-Hudson Valley has been attracting more and more film and television crews, as well. From Academy Award-winning directors and actors to filmmakers looking to depict East Texas, the region has become a magnet for movies, television shows and documentaries.

In the coming weeks, many will see his recently-completed documentary, "To Be Forever Wild," when it is shown on WMHT in Albany and WNET in Manhattan. The movie's cinematographer, Kazio Sosnowski, graduated from Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson and several musicians whose work is featured in the film are Bard graduates.

Originally from Ohio and a graduate of the film school at New York University, Becker embodies many of the traits that have fueled the film industry in the Hudson Valley. His links to New York City, professional training in filmmaking, affection for the natural beauty of our region, on both personal and professional levels, and his use of local film talent all parallel factors that are driving the growth of the film industry in Dutchess and Ulster counties and beyond.

Underscoring a lot for Becker, and his fellow filmmakers, is the Hudson's Valley rich arts legacy, which includes the Hudson River school of art, Byrdcliffe Arts Colony and Woodstock Music and Art Fair. In recent years, that legacy has expanded to include Oscar-winners Lee, Fonda and Paul Newman have traveled to the Hudson Valley to make movies.

"I definitely feel inspired by all of that and just how strong of an artistic community it is," Becker said. "The arts and culture and music are such a part of the way of life up here. You can see so many other independent artists do their thing and learn from them, even if they're not filmmakers."

Read the entire article here.

The New York Green Advocate

Take a Hit of the Catskill Mountains: Must-See Doc Film, "To be Forever Wild", Gets You High on Nature

By Paul E McGinniss

It's easy to give heartfelt kudos to a documentary film that loves its subject so much, especially when the film causes the entire audience to get a contact high while also falling in love with the subject. Such is the case with the intoxicating, cinematic love story about the Castkill Mountains of New York, "To be Forever Wild",  which celebrates the astounding natural geography and the area's passionate, diverse populace.  It may come as a surprise that the region retains a rugged and remote edge despite being only 2.5 hours in an EV plug-in hybrid from NYC.

The director of "To be Forever Wild" is charismatic David Becker, a young filmmaker who is a modern day John Burroughs meets Jack Kerouac.  He is a creative adventurer who seems to have tapped into the beat - the pulse of the Catskills and the Hudson Valley of New York.  At the 2013 Woodstock Film Festival, where the film-in-progress was first screened publicly, its cheery director and film crew received rousing applause.  The celebratory energy of the room was palpable.

      Parts of the Catskill Park still seem like a movie from a lost world.

      Parts of the Catskill Park still seem like a movie from a lost world.

"To be Forever Wild" was shot guerrilla style utilizing a dozen plus crew of thoughtful, creative souls of all stripes (including filmmakers, musicians, artists, writers) who assembled at a storybook locale called Platte Cove in a remote cabin once occupied by Jack London.  From this base they explored and captured the wild Catskills terrain and the people living in the region on film.

Read the entire article here.

The Saugerties Times

What’s so beautiful about the Hudson Valley?

by Crispin Kott on Aug 29, 201112:54 pm

When filmmaker David Becker moved to Saugerties from Brooklyn three years ago, he rediscovered his childhood love of the Hudson Valley’s natural beauty. He was so moved he decided to make a film about our environment and the people who love it. It’s called “To Be Forever Wild,” and with the help of numerous local volunteers — including interns from Saugerties High School — Becker, a media teacher at Woodstock Day School, is now in post-production at an office off Partition Street.

“The heart of the film is really the people we meet in the film,” Becker said. “It took several months of research to come up with an initial list, and then one person kind of led us to another from there. And some people we met by chance. It was a whole combination of ways that we met and connected with the people in the film. It’s their stories and passion. They all share the love of nature and interact with it in their own way. The people who we profiled, they get so much out of this interaction with nature that it becomes their life.”

The film profiles a number of local residents who interact with the wildlife and landscape of the Catskills in different ways. Among those interviewed are geologist Bob Titus, Ellen Kalish of the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, natural historian Michael Kudish, and members of the Fertile Minds Collective. The film follows each of its subjects as they both talk about and experience the majesty of the local outdoors in the way they most enjoy it: a tantalizing trailer on the film’s official website opens on a group of children sitting along a stream talking about how much they like the sticks they find, shows aerial footage of a flight by astronomer Bob Berman as he takes the Castkills in from above, and visits drum circles and artists, community farmers and cliff divers. It visits with Kalish, who has set up her wildlife center in her own yard, and Mary Dette Clark, whose hand-tied fish flies are so popular that fishing enthusiasts travel from all around the world to visit her shop.

The film doesn’t just use locals on camera. Its production has also enlisted the aid of students from Saugerties High School, Ulster County BOCES and Bard College in a variety of capacities...

Read the entire article here.

The Watershed Post

A Catskills rhapsody: "To Be Forever Wild"

By Jenna Scherer
11/13/14 - 11:21 am

The Catskill Mountains are hundreds of millions of years old, formed by eons of sedimentary accumulation, continental collision, glacial erosion and deforestation. But for every new generation that claps eyes on the region, it’s something brand new...

The film covers 12 days in the lives of Becker his crew, a group of young artists, filmmakers and musicians—mostly from New York City—as they head north to do the mountain thing. Along the way, they rub elbows with knowledgeable locals versed in everything from geology to fly-fishing—and, of course, Sullivan County homeowner and movie star Mark Ruffalo.

As a director, Becker goes out of his way to capture a sense of motion and life, taking the camera on cliff jumps off the edge of waterfalls, on zip-line rides through the tree canopy, and careening down scenic sunlit highways.

The in-between moments in this movie are about the crew finding creative inspiration in their surroundings: folky jam sessions around a campfire, sketches at Artist Rock in Greene County, and antique-camera photos of swimmin’ holes...

Read the entire article here.

The Poughkeepsie Journal

WMHT to broadcast 'To Be Forever Wild

John W. Barry, Poughkeepsie Journal 12:04 p.m. EDT August 20, 2014

WMHT, a Troy-based public television station, will tonight broadcast the television premiere of "To Be Forever Wild," a documentary about the Catskill Mountains with strong local links.

The film, directed by Saugerties filmmaker David Becker, will be shown at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

The movie's cinematographer, Kazio Sosnowski, graduated from Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson and several musicians whose work is featured in the film are Bard graduates.

"To Be Forever Wild" offers an in-depth view of the Catskills, which can be seen from Route 9 in Poughkeepsie, northern Dutchess County and while crossing the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge. Becker looks at individuals who live and work in the Catskills and analyzes the region's history while offering contemporary views of many of the legendary region's landmarks.

According to WMHT, "To Be Forever Wild," is a "deceptively simple film, focusing not on the grand sweeping events that shaped our nation's history, but on the smaller everyday moments in the Hudson River Valley that have a remarkable ability to stir us on a deeply emotional level."

Read the original article here.