Woodstock, NY (June 2017) - Celebrating its 18th year in existence, the Woodstock Film Festival returns this fall, taking place October 11th-15th, 2017 in Woodstock, Saugerties, Rhinebeck, Kingston and Rosendale. In addition to its mission to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music, and art-related activities, the festival has become one of the premiere independent film events in the country by screening exceptional films, hosting emerging and established professionals, and presenting exciting panels, workshops and concerts.

"Honoring the young and the old, endorsing community, advocating inspiration and lauding humanitarian gestures — all sentiments that sum up Woodstock and it’s ‘FIERCELY INDEPENDENT’ film festival, quite well.” -Hollywood Reporter

The Woodstock Film Festival motto is “Fiercely Independent,” and has helped to launch more than twenty filmmakers who premiered their short films at the festival and went on to become established filmmakers with feature films. These include many New York-affiliated filmmakers such as Jim Mickle, Ben Zeitlin, Alexis Gambis, Cary Fukunaga, Alexis Spraic, Leah Meyerhoff, Luke Matheny, Rob Meyer, Phil Dorling, Jonas Carpignano, and Pamela Romanowsky.

"It's a great festival... It's what a film festival should be, which is really independent films showcasing the work of filmmakers you might not know about… I love that, and Woodstock is a town that goes hand in hand with that. I can't think of another place that seems better suited to have an independent film festival than Woodstock." -Paul Rudd

Iconic actor and producer Susan Sarandon will receive the festival’s highest honor this year, the honorary Maverick Award. In addition to celebrating Sarandon's esteemed film career during the October award ceremony, the Woodstock Film Festival will also be screening BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY— a 2017 film that Sarandon executive produced.

In July, the festival also announced that legendary music manager, film producer and culinary arts visionary Shep Gordon will be receiving the 2017 Trailblazer Award. Other 2017 honorary Award recipients to be announced soon.

The Woodstock Film Festival draws industry insiders, journalists and actors to the area from the tri-state region, across the country and abroad. The five-day festival is held in the Hudson Valley during the season when leaf-changing is at its peak, and since it’s inception in 2000, has seen attendance grow yearly, from 1,000 to over 12,000 in 2016.

"I've covered and participated in many festivals, and Woodstock is unique in its combination of cinematic sophistication, user-friendly scale and down-home hospitality. It's arguably the closest thing the East Coast has to the Telluride Film Festival.” -Godfrey Chesire, Moving Midway in The New York Times

After the festival kick-off on Wednesday, October 11th, this year’s screenings, panels and events will take place all Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The festival celebrates honorees and attending filmmakers at it’s Maverick Award Ceremony on Saturday evening, October 14, at Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston, NY.

The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for- profit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2000 by filmmakers Meira Blaustein and Laurent Rejto. The Hudson Valley Film Commission (HVFC) is the economic development arm of the Woodstock Film Festival, creating sustainable economic development to the area by attracting, supporting and promoting local film, video and media production.