We spoke with Laura Israel the director of the movie Windfall.
We are also very excited that two Meredith residents featured in Windfall, Keitha Capouya and Ken Jaffe, MD, joined us.
Keitha currently serves as Meredith’s Town Supervisor and Ken runs Slope Farms which specializes in grass-fed, organic beef.
Our special co-host for this episode was Annette Smith, Executive Director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment.
Thanks also to Ron and Sue Bailey, Dan Birnbaum, Rachel Polens and Rick Beyer who all participated in the show.
WINDFALL director Laura Israel grew up in New Jersey and after earning a degree in film from NYU, she edited music videos for Lou Reed, Keith Richards, David Byrne, New Order, Patti Smith, Ziggy Marley, Sonic Youth and many others. Laura has worked as photographer/filmmaker Robert Frank’s editor for nearly two decades; the films have screened all over the world and won many awards. She also edited Stephanie Black’s feature documentary AFRICA UNITE, LIFE FOR A CHILD directed by Academy Award nominated DP Ed Lachman and MUSIC OF REGRET by photographer Laurie Simmons. Editing credits include advertising and television promo campaigns that have garnered AICP awards, International Film and TV awards, a GLAAD award, an Emmy award, and a Monitor award for editing. This is Laura Israel’s first film as director, and she was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film.
ABOUT THE FILM
Wind power… it’s sustainable … it burns no fossil fuels…it produces no air pollution. What’s more, it cuts down dependency on foreign oil. That’s what the people of Meredith, in upstate New York first thought when a wind developer looked to supplement the rural farm town’s failing economy with a farm of their own — that of 40 industrial wind turbines. WINDFALL, a beautifully photographed feature length film, documents how this proposal divides Meredith’s residents as they fight over the future of their community. Attracted at first to the financial incentives that would seemingly boost their dying economy, a group of townspeople grow increasingly alarmed as they discover the impacts that the 400-foot high windmills slated for Meredith could bring to their community as well as the potential for financial scams. With wind development in the United States growing annually at 39 percent, WINDFALL is an eye-opener that should be required viewing for anyone concerned about the environment and the future of renewable energy.
Keitha Capouya – Meredith Planning Board chairperson for 5 years. Although this is a volunteer position, Keitha diligently takes on the task of critically researching the Meredith wind proposal for over a year in order to write a wind facilities zoning ordinance for the town. Keitha reveals that she has owned a publishing company with her husband and in fact, has written and edited encyclopedias. Keitha currently serves as Meredith’s Town Supervisor.
Ken Jaffe, MD – Doctor from Brooklyn NY, moved to Meredith to raise grass fed beef. Also has a degree in public health, and explains the sound issues and potential health concerns with wind turbines. Ken is Frank Bachler’s closest neighbor, and is the first resident to find out about the proposal. Ken practiced family medicine for 25 years, after which he studied public health at Columbia University. This let to a strong interest in the relationship between human health and the way we raise livestock. He currently operates Slope Farms in Meredith, NY where he raised grass fed beef for restaurants, butcher shops, and individuals.
Praise for Laura Israel ‘s WINDFALL
“CRITIC’S PICK! Urgent, informative and artfully assembled. The film’s implications are clear: The quest for energy independence comes with caveats. Energy companies remain eager to plunder nature’s bounty in pursuit of profit.” – Andrew Webster, The New York Times
“I thought wind energy was something I could believe in. Windfall has taken the wind out of my sails.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
“A sublimely cinematic documentary, ‘Windfall’ is thoroughly engaging, educational and entertaining. It proves, once again, that the best nonfiction cinema possesses the same attributes as good fiction: Strong characters, conflict, story arc, visual style.”
- John Anderson, The Wall Street Journal
“Daring…intriguing…insightful. A thorough, close-up examination of how energy policy gets worked out on the ground – often at the expense of community harmony. Eco docs are rarely as attuned to the folly of human ingenuity as this one or as insightful on our knee-jerk demand for impossibly easy solutions.” – Mark Holcomb, Village Voice
“ Enlightening and visually striking.” – Tom Keogh, The Seattle Times
“Fascinating….Gripping. ‘Windfall’ is about much more than the hidden costs and unexpected side effects of wind-power generation, or about a citizens’ uprising in the tiny town of Meredith, N.Y. It’s about the American tendency – and very likely the human tendency – to look for magic-bullet solutions to complicated social and economic problems, where none are available. It’s a microcosmic version of the political divisions – between left and right, environmentalists and free-marketers, corporations and citizens – that have virtually paralyzed our republic. It’s a reminder that whenever a virtually unregulated industry (as in this case) offers capitalists a chance to defraud the little guy and make a bundle, they’ll do it. It’s a tantalizing case study that suggests ordinary people still have the power to steer a course between faceless bureaucracies and greedy capitalists, but only just – and only if they can find a way to overcome their differences and work together.” -Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com
“Never alarmist or patronizing…strung so tightly and effortlessly together that it’s hard to believe this is a first-time filmmaker at hand.” – Christopher Bell, IndieWire
“Fascinating, insightful, and fair… An intimate portrait of one New York community in heavy battle.” – Stewart Nusbaumer, Huffington Post
“Emotionally charged human conflict that results in a genuine cliffhanger.”
-Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
“Timely…a carefully researched and well-balanced study. See this film and consider what it reveals before steaming ahead with wind turbine development.”
- Jennifer Merin, About.com Documentaries
“Beautifully produced, elegantly structured, edited authoritatively, with unforgettable characters.” – Patricia Aufderheide, Center for Social Media
“The film isn’t agenda-driven advocacy, but an invitation to think critically about an alternative energy source often presented as a panacea.” -Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Provides a much-needed view of the growing backlash against the rapid expansion of the wind industry.” – Robert Bryce, Energy Tribune
“One of the most surprising eco docs I’ve seen in years. [Director Laura] Israel deserves credit.” – J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader
“The genre at its most revealing…category 5-level entertainment. A stunning debut, excellent and thrilling.” – Doris Toumarkine, Film Journal
“An excellent film. This is a documentary that needs to be seen.” – Gary Weiss, The Street
“Damningly traces a pattern of coercion and greed that extends from industry to federal and local governments. Wildfall’s community advocacy is heartening, the information valuable.” – Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out Chicago
HOW TO GET WINDFALL
UNITED STATES AND CANADA
For inquiries about booking a public screening of WINDFALL, please contact Paul Marchant, email@example.com
To buy the DVD for personal home use, please use this link:
WINDFALL links on Digital Platforms:
Non-Theatrical/Educational Sales in the US
For purchase by libraries, colleges, K-12 schools, media centers, and other non-profit educational organizations. Can be used for screenings of 50 or less, may not be open to the public, and no admission may be charged. For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
For distribution or broadcast interest outside of North America, please contact international sales agent Mercury Media HERE