The 2018 Woodstock Film Festival will showcase 9 World Premieres, 4 North American Premieres, 1 US Premiere, 10 East Coast Premieres and 8 New York Premieres.
OPENING NIGHT FILM: What They Had, directed by Elizabeth Chomko
CLOSING NIGHT FILM: A Private War, directed by Matthew Heineman
CENTERPIECE FILM: Wildlife, directed by Paul Dano
SPECIAL TRIBUTE SCREENING: Across The Universe, directed by Julie Taymor
MAVERICK AWARD recipient Julie Taymor
FILMMAKER AWARD OF DISTINCTION recipient Matthew Heineman
SPECIAL GUEST PROGRAMMER Roger Ross Williams
“The 2018 Woodstock Film Festival is poised to be one of the most fiercely independent and empowering”, said Meira Blaustein, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Woodstock Film Festival. “We are featuring more movies from female filmmakers than ever before and continuing with our mission of showcasing meaningful, high-quality independent films from A-listers to up-and-comers and everyone in between. As we set our eyes towards our 20th anniversary in 2019, we aim to not only continue but increase our unwavering support of the game-changing creatives whose unique and passionate vision always reshapes the cinematic landscape.”
This year the festival presents films selected from over 2,000 entries from around the globe. Countries represented include Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Kazakhstan, Latvia, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Jordan, Ukraine, and the United States. A majority of the films in the lineup will be screened with the filmmakers and cast/subjects in attendance.
The iconic Woodstock Film Festival was created in the year 2000. Since then, it has become one of the foremost regional independent film festivals. Establishing itself as a ground-breaking festival that offers a unique platform for filmmakers around the globe, the Woodstock Film Festival has been named among the top 50 film festivals worldwide.
TICKETS ARE CURRENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE AND BY PHONE AT 845.810.0131 ONLY
WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL BOX OFFICE (13 Rock City Road, Woodstock, NY) DATES ARE:
September 19 to October 7 • Wednesday through Sunday, from Noon-6PM (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays)
October 8-13 • Daily from 9AM to 7PM
October 14 • 9AM to 6PM
The Woodstock Film Festival is proud to announce nine films making their world premiere at this year's festival. These never-before-seen films are sure to captivate and move audiences, while also providing excellent exposure and a renowned platform for their works to be presented.
Directed by Jonny Boston
2030 is a film that defies easy categorization. FM 2030 (yes, this is his legal name) was an author, futurist and self-described transhuman who died in 2000. Or did he? His body was cryogenically frozen and stored in a facility in Arizona. This is his story. Or rather, it is the story of documentary filmmaker Johnny Boston’s attempt to make a film about 2030. Is it science or science fiction? Facts or fantasies? Plots or paranoia? While the film seems to relish its conundrum–within–a-riddle–wrapped–in–enigma posturing, 2030 makes for fun watching and provokes thinking on a mind-warping, deeply philosophical level.
directed by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen
“This is the story of the girl who saved me,” the opening line of Almost Home, is the prelude to a captivating story of homeless “gutter punk” kids living on the streets of LA. Based on the book of the same name by Jessica Blank (who also serves as director with Erik Jensen), the film follows 13-year-old Elly, who runs away from a seemingly pleasant middle class home to follow Tracy, a beguiling 18-year-old runaway she meets after being bullied at school. Thrust into the rough gutter punk subculture, the kids form an unlikely unit while trying to survive the harsh realities of living on the streets. Both jarring and endearing, the bond Elly makes with the wiser and worn Tracy challenges the definition of family and leaves us to revisit the opening line, asking who was saved and who was the savior? The film is paced by a beautiful soundtrack that moves us through this gripping story.
directed by Jason Noto
In a town with shocking secrets and long-standing crimes, could there be such a thing as redemption? After a tragic car accident where only his young son survives, U.S. soldier Raymond Marrow returns home to his forgotten coal-mining town. But rather than consoling, returning home becomes dangerous when Raymond’s son shows signs of having information about the local gangster’s missing daughter. The underlying problem: Raymond’s son has never before stepped foot in this town, and he’s too young to know anything about the case. How does he know? With dark, gritty cinematography, and a touch of the supernatural, Beyond the Night demonstrates the kind of bonds that form between family and what happens when people turn a blind eye towards tragedy. This family drama mixes multiple genres in an effortless way, leaving its audience with a feeling of unease, as well as reconcilable satisfaction.
directed by Michael Vincent
Only A Switch is an experimental fantasy about two star-crossed lovers who transcend identity, gender and the physical world as we know it in order to be together. After James saves Emily's life in a random mugging on the streets of New York, the two fall deeply in love. Their devotion to each other enrages Emily's abusive father who is determined to keep them apart. The conflict escalates into a violent confrontation, which forces James to flee and seek a drastic transformation through a mystic. Will love triumph in this unlikely romance? Drawing inspiration from distinct cinematic voices such as Georges Méliès, Stan Brakhage and Jonathan Caouette, it is a kaleidoscopic visual feast achieved through inventive digital manipulation, hand-painted film and old-school optical trickery. Tenderly romantic, delightfully weird and fiercely erotic, Only A Switch is not just a film — it is an experience.
directed by Jeff Vespa
Based on a true story, Paris Song tells the story of small-town singer Amre Kashaubayev’s journey from Kazakhstan to Paris to compete in an international singing competition at the 1925 Paris Expo. Unknown to most of the world, this shy performer with a remarkable talent steals the show every time he sets foot on the stage. Amre forms a beautiful and unlikely friendship with American songwriter George Gershwin and, surprisingly, is embraced by the high-culture Paris elite, who receive him with rapturous applause. In a strong directorial debut, Jeff Vespa’s story of this Kazakhstani folk hero, played magnificently by Sanjar Madi, illuminates what it means to be an outsider and to struggle against a repressive regime, and is proof that determination and talent can overcome adversity.
directed by Alyssa Rallo Bennett
George (Christopher Lloyd, the eccentric Dr. Emmett Doc Brown in Back to the Future) is a man living with the physical pains of old age and the lingering sadness of youthful regrets. He is haunted by his inability to save Violet, a beautifully flawed love interest from nearly six decades ago. One Christmas, surrounded by his solicitous family, opportunity comes knocking via a time portal in his grandson’s closet, giving George a chance to travel back to his twenties and face the ghosts of his past in the flesh. With an older, wiser mind inside a now younger body, can he save Violet from her inevitable fate before the laws of the universe catch up to him? Can he right the wrongs he made toward the woman who was the real love of his life? Situated in a vortex of past sorrows and present joys, ReRun illustrates the faultiness of memory and how even the gravest of old mistakes aren’t as daunting in retrospect.
directed by Ben Powell and Harry Lee
In a country emerging from the ashes of civil war, Abaarso School of Science and Technology offers Somali youth a stake in a better socioeconomic future by preparing them to attend college in the United States. Filmed with keen sensitivity by first-time directors Ben Powell and Harry Lee, Somaliland follows five hard-working, determined Abaarso students as they deal with the steep challenges ahead: learning English, navigating financial aid, enduring the heartbreak of rejection, and adjusting to an alien environment, all while grappling with young adulthood. Seeking to be the first from their impoverished nation to go to school in America, the financial stakes are high and the social pressures enormous, but luckily they're not alone. Staffed by a spirited team of American teachers, including co-director Lee, the Abaarso faculty offer practical guidance and emotional support, shaping them into independent thinkers with the intellectual ability and grit to make their dreams a reality.
directed by Peter Hutchings
Calvin (Asa Butterfield) is a hypochondriac who's dropped out of college and is working as an airport baggage handler with his dad (David Koechner) and brother (Tyler Hoechlin). When his doctor sends him to a cancer support group to gain some real perspective, he meets Skye (Maisie Williams), a British teenager with a terminal illness. She enlists him to help her carry out her eccentric bucket list, and in return she helps him talk to his crush, a flight attendant named Izzy (Nina Dobrev). Ken Jeong, Sonya Walger, Peyton List, and Tituss Burgess also star.
directed by Paul Starkman
19-year-old Max longs to be a DJ. But in order to provide for his sick grandmother, he has dropped out of high school and is working at a supermarket and DJing parties for Oscar, a neighborhood thug, as he struggles to make ends meet. Monty, a popular underground DJ, sees Max's potential and pushes him to take DJing more seriously. Holding on to his dream, Max stashes away every spare cent to buy his own turntables. When his brother, Terry, shows up after a three-year prison stint for stealing cars, Max finds himself at a crossroads between trust, obligation and pursuing his dream. Shot in gorgeous black and white, with exhilarating backbeats, Wheels is a powerful ride; an earnest story with a magnetic young lead. We all have a dream until life gets in the way, but this Rocky-style underdog story shows us the importance of staying true to yourself and your art, no matter the adversity.
Breathe fire, swim underwater, survive the Ice Age, and soar over volcanos as you evolve through different creatures and a billion years of evolution in this action packed, multi-person VR adventure! Experience new voices, bodies, and special abilities before joining a post-singularity intergalactic dance party set to original music by Pharrell Williams. Created by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin, with music by Pharrell Williams. A Within Original, produced by Chris Milk, Megan Ellison through her Annapurna Pictures, and Made with Unity.
Narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o and presented in stunning virtual reality, "My Africa" transports viewers to an elephant sanctuary in Kenya, where a community is reknitting the bonds that have long enabled people and wildlife to coexist. Africa is the last continent on Earth where significant numbers of the world's largest land mammals still roam free. But its lands are under threat, in large part due to rapid, unchecked development, land degradation and climate change. Smart, sustainable use of Africa's "natural capital" — its forests, fresh water, soil and wildlife — is crucial to both reverse the continent's trend of scarcity and provide economic growth for its people.
Virtual Reality (VR) is the next phase of storytelling for creators and artists. Have the chance to experience this exciting new medium live in the Woodstock Film Festival Virtual Reality Lounge at the Center for Photography on Saturday October 13. The Virtual Reality Lounge was underwritten in part by Arts Mid-Hudson and Jennifer Hicks. A virtual reality panel will precede at the Kleinart James Gallery across the street. Click here to buy your ticket now!
With this crazy unpredictable weather, make sure you plan something available rain or shine! Here are our top 4 favorite art museums near the Woodstock area.
CROSS CONTEMPORARY ARTS
Cross Contemporary Arts is an exciting, dynamic gallery that focuses on artists who live and work in New York City, Hudson Valley, and Catskill regions. New exhibitions are introduced each month as well as regular artist panels, artist talks, poetry readings and performances. Their current exhibitions include “Wild World: Ashley Garrett, Catherine Howe and Lily Prince” and “Millicent Young Installation”. It’s located at 99 Partition Street Saugerties, NY.
The Storm King Art Center is a 500-acre outdoor art museum that merges art, nature, and people. Known for their large-scale sculptures, curators have successfully created a space that is fully immersive for it patrons. The landscape Storm King is located could be considered art itself; massive farmed fields, natural woodlands, native grasses, wetlands, and mountain ranges make you feel like you’re in a fantasy.
DIA BEACON museum
The Dia Art Foundations main goal is to highlight artists with a unique vision. The museum presents Dia’s collection of art from the 1960s to the present as well as special exhibitions and public programs. Miscellaneous art installations and massive sculptures mesmerizes patrons through 240,000 square feet of gallery space.
ONE MILE GALLERY
One Mile Gallery provides patrons with local and international artists who encompass contemporary visions for their craft. Located in a 1970’s home on the Roundabout Creek, this space takes you back to the 18th century. Their current gallery "The World Comes To Us" by artists Tara Fracalossi and Thomas Lail opened September 1st and will go until September 29th.
The Woodstock Film Festival and WacBiz were honored to co-present the powerful documentary Finding Oscar at the Rosendale Theatre Collective, this past Saturday.
The screening was immediately followed by a panel featuring producer and attorney Scott Greathead, the film’s subject Óscar Ramirez Castañeda, and forensic anthropologist Fredy Peccerelli, moderated by Vice President for Programs at the American Jewish World Service, Shari Turitz.
After nearly an hour of conversation, the audience gave Oscar and the rest of the panelists a standing ovation. It was indeed a moving and powerful evening.
Thank you to all who helped make it happen, with special thanks to Juliette Bennett and to Suzanne Hilleary.
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