2015 HONORARY MAVERICK AWARD RECIPIENT
With fifteen feature films and related projects, Atom Egoyan has won numerous prizes at international film festivals, including the Grand Prix and International Critics Awards from the Cannes Film Festival, two Academy Award® nominations, and numerous other honors. His films have won twenty-five Genies - including three Best Film Awards – and a prize for Best International Film Adaptation from The Frankfurt Book Fair. Egoyan’s films have been presented in numerous retrospectives across the world, including a complete career overview at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, followed by similar events at the Filmoteca Espagnol in Madrid, the Museum of The Moving Image in New York, and the Royal CINEMATEK in Brussels. He was recently presented with the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award and the 2015 Governor General’s Performing Arts Award.
His body of work – which includes theatre, music, and art installations – delves into issues of memory, displacement, and the impact of technology and media in modern life. Among his films are the groundbreaking Exotica, the multi award winning The Sweet Hereafter, Felicia’s Journey (starring Bob Hoskins), Where the Truth Lies (with Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth), Devil’s Knot (with Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth), and the opening night film for the 2015 Woodstock Film Festival, Remember, starring Christopher Plummer.
2015 FIERCELY INDEPENDENT AWARD
Guy Maddin is an installation and internet artist, lecturer at Harvard, writer and filmmaker, the director of eleven feature-length movies, including innumerable shorts, My Winnipeg (2007), The Saddest Music in the World (2003), and the closing night film for the 2015 Woodstock Film Festival, The Forbidden Room (2015). He has also mounted around the world over seventy performances of his films featuring live elements - orchestra, sound effects, singing and narration.
Twice, Maddin has won America's National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Experimental Film, with Archangel (1991) and The Heart of the World (2001). He has been bestowed many other awards, including the Telluride Silver Medal in 1995, the San Francisco International Film Festival's Persistence of Vision Award in 2006, and an Emmy for his ballet film Dracula - Pages from a Virgin's Diary (2002). Maddin is a print journalist and author of three books. He is also a member of The Order of Canada & The Order of Manitoba.
GIGANTIC PICTURES FEATURE NARRATIVE AWARD
Mary Stuart Masterson
MAVERICK DOCUMENTARY AWARD
HASKELL WEXLER AWARD FOR BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Prize: $15,000 in rental services from Panavision, NY
"The excellence of quality makes judging Woodstock’s Cinematography more and more difficult every year. Professional cinema image taking should integrate, serve, interest, and enhance the story. I judge Cinematography not just for a story well told, but for what the story is. Two Cinematographers, Chris Teague and David Vecchione, are my enthusiastic choice for their work on the film “Bob and the Trees”.
"I hope this award will encourage you to keep up the good work".
ULTRA INDIE AWARD
Gray Krauss Stratford Sandler Des Rochers LLP
The Ultra Indie award is presented to an outstanding film with a budget of less than $200K. The films nominated raise the art of low budget filmmaking to a higher level and we are proud to partner with Gray, Krauss, Stratford, Sandler, Des Rochers LLP to reward the best of these ultra low budget selections from the 15th Annual Woodstock Film Festival.
CARPE DIEM ANDRETTA AWARD
The Carpe Diem Andretta Award will honor longtime area resident Vincent “Jay” Andretta III, who passed away in December 2014. The Glenford resident will be remembered as a successful businessman, a driven, avid athlete and a loving, dedicated husband, father, son and great friend to many including the Woodstock Film Festival. Jay’s favorite quote was Carpe Diem (Seize the Day). His life was a testament to the phrase. The Carpe Diem Andretta Award will be presented to a film that best exemplifies living life to the fullest through character and story development in a full length narrative or documentary film.
Winner received a $500 cash prize from the Vincent Jay Andretta Memorial Fund set up by the Woodstock Film Festival.
James Lyons Editing Award for NARRATIVE FEATURE
James Lyons Editing Award for DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
TANGERINE ENTERTAINMENT JUICE AWARD FOR BEST FEMALE FEATURE DIRECTOR
The Tangerine Entertainment Juice Fund is a donation-based initiative focused on changing the landscape for women filmmakers. In keeping with Tangerine's commitment to outreach, the Juice Fund provides an opportunity for community involvement in directly supporting women directors and outlets for their films.
The Juice Fund is created and sustained entirely by individuals and companies wishing to help increase the number of women feature film directors and the frequency with which they work. The Juice Fund will be used to instigate concrete change in three ways; rewarding, mentoring, and building community.
Marketek.com Award for BEST SHORT NARRATIVE
Marketek.com Award for BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY
Marketek.com Award for BEST STUDENT SHORT
Audience Award for NARRATIVE FEATURE
The year is 1979, when life was simpler but families were still complex, and an Indian family moves to America hoping to live the American Dream. Reminiscent of The Wonder Years,Good Ol' Boy is an endearing coming-of-age story, where 10-year-old Smith falls for the girl next door and is caught between his family's Hindu traditions and his desire to become a "good old boy." While the children and their stories take the lead, Good Ol' Boy challenges the stereotypical notion of both traditional Indian and predictable redneck families as the patriarchs help tell a compelling tale of the struggles of parenthood and married life for anyone of any race or background. By initially treating the characters as caricatures of themselves, we're given the chance to laugh with them as we watch how the depth of their characters and love for their families evolve.
When director Justin Schein set out to film the life story of Mayer Vishner, an aging hippy and former political activist living alone in NYC in a tiny, overly crowded apartment, it is unlikely he anticipated the turn the story would take. Loneliness is one of the hardest maladies to live with, and Mayer, after years of coping with solitude, and six months into filming, announces that his last political act will be the taking of his own life. An ethical struggle ensues as the filmmaker can't help but put himself inside the story, trying to help his subject create a different ending. As Schein's own young child becomes a part of the film in a tender moment that restores hope that Vishner's life can be preserved, the viewer is inadvertently pulled into the unfolding tragic drama in a rare and deeply affective experience of self-questioning. Left on Purpose is a cinematic journey that poses ethical questions not easily answered, yet oh so important to be asked.
Oscar-nominated writer/producer Ron Nywaner's first documentary feature is an examination of the actor's craft and the sacrifices demanded by a lifelong career. Watch the feisty and and at times hilarious veteran character actor and Tony Award winner, Mary Louise Wilson, age 79, teach her first acting class to skeptical members of the YouTube generation, smashing their red carpet illusions and challenging them to bring emotional honesty into their acting. Featuring interviews with Frances McDormand, Melissa Leo, Tyne Daly, Estelle Parsons, Valerie Harper, and playwright Doug Wright, She's The Best Thing in It discusses what it means to be a character actor, whether acting can be taught, what constitutes 'talent,' and whether the profession is harder for women. Nyswaner, known for such features as Philadelphia, The Painted Veil and the popular TV series Ray Donovan, handles this film and its real life subject with the same sympatico and style that he brings to his perceptively portrayed fictional characters.