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."

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