CONTACT: Deborah Medenbach, Press Director, or 845-679-4265 (o) or 845-706-7716 (c)



Best Narrative Feature:


Directed by: Oliver Schmitz

Best Documentary Feature:
Stronger Than bullets

Directed by: matthew millan  

Honorable Mention:
Real boy

Directed BY: Shaleece haas  

On Saturday, October 15, the 17th annual Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Awards Ceremony took place at the historic Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston, NY. More than 500 filmmakers, film industry members, community leaders and audience members attended the event held in the heart of Kingston’s Uptown Historic District.

Awards were presented to exceptional films and honorees. Academy Award® winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu attended specifically to honor David Linde, who executive produced Iñárritu's Oscar-winning film, Biutiful.  Linde was presented with the Trailblazer Award for his leadership as CEO of Participant Media, bringing films of social change before audiences everywhere. 

Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Oren Moverman received this year’s Fiercely Independent Award from presenter Ben Foster, who starred in Moverman's 2009 film The Messenger. The prolific writer, director and producer went on to direct Rampart, Time out of Mind and the upcoming film starring Richard Gere, The Dinner. 

Documentary filmmaker Leon Gast was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by filmmaker Barbara Kopple. Gast's award-winning documentaries span topics from bikers to Dead Heads and prizefighters to paparazzi. His newest film, Woodstock: A Love Poem, was the closing night film of the festival, enjoying its world premiere at the Woodstock Playhouse.   

Films from the 2016 Woodstock Film Festival were honored at the Maverick Awards Ceremony with presentations for Best Feature Narrative, Best Feature Documentary, Best Short Narrative, Best Short Documentary,  Best Animation Award, The James Lyons Editing Awards in Documentary and Narrative, The Tangerine Entertainment Juice Award for Best Female Director, the Ultra Indie Award, the World Cinema Award, the Carpe Diem Andretta Award, and the Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography.

Listed below are the Competition Finalists and jurors for the various categories.

Gigantic Pictures Feature Narrative Awardwent to Oliver Schmitz's riveting Shepherds and Butchers. Competition finalists included Chronically MetropolitanMy Feral HeartPaint it BlackThe Drowningand To Keep The Light.Jury members included William Horberg, Mary Stuart Masterson, Jonathan Gray.

Best Feature Documentary sponsored by The Bluestein Family Foundation was presented to director Matthew Millan for Stronger than Bullets. Competition finalists included Circus KidKivalinaMagnificent BurdenMonster in the Mind,  The Promised BandReal Boyand Women of MaidanJury members included Roger Ross Williams, Julie Goldman, and Nancy Abraham.

Best Short Narrative sponsored by Gigantic Pictures went to director Lluis Quilez for Graffiti. Competition finalists included Black CanariesThe Quantified SelfA Nearly Perfect Blue SkyRatedand ShameJury members included Lucas Joaquin, Logan Hill, and Isil Bagdadi

Best Short Documentary, sponsored by Films We Like, went to director Aaron Schock for La LagunaCompetition finalists included PickleStriking a Chordand Suffering is the Easy PartJury members included Cynthia Kane, Diana Holtzberg, and Gene Fischer

Best Animated Short was presented to Andy Kennedy for Slow WaveCompetition finalists included Filthy But FineLook-SeeMakeshift SatellitePatti Smith - Blank on Blankand Perfect HouseguestJury members included Joy Buran, Noelle Melody, and Peter Ahern.

The James Lyons Editing Award For Narrative Feature, sponsored by Technicolor Postworks NY was presented to editor Paul Frank Paint it BlackCompetition finalists also included Chronically MetropolitanMy Feral Heart,  The Drowningand Shepherds and ButchersJury members included Sabine Hoffman, Barbara Pokras, ACE, Gary Levy, ACE

The James Lyons Editing Award For Documentary Feature, sponsored by Technicolor Postworks NY, was presented to editor Andrew Gersh for Real BoyCompetition finalists included Circus KidKivalinaMagnificent BurdenMonster in the Mind,The Promised BandStronger than Bulletsand Women of Maidan. Jury members included Sabine Hoffman, Carla Gutierrez, and Mako Kamitsuna.

The Haskell Wexler Award For Best Cinematography, sponsored by Panavision NY, was presented by Mr. Wexler's widow Rita Haggart and cinematographer Ellen Kuras, to Leah Striker for lensing Shepherds and ButchersCompetition finalists also included To Keep The LightMy First Kiss And The People Involved, and Play the DevilThe Award winner, which was personally selected by Mr. Wexler from 2002-2015, was selected by Ellen Kuras.

The Ultra Indie Award, sponsored by Gray, Krauss, Stratford, Sandler, Des Rochers, LLP and Blackmagic Design. was presented to Ben Caird for HalfwayCompetition finalists included Green/is/GoldHalfway to ZenMy First Kiss and The People Involvedand Sensitivity TrainingJury members included Alicia Van Couverings, Joe Amodei, and Janet Grillo.

The World Cinema Award was presented to NerudaCompetition finalists included Clean HandsThe FuryJunction 48The Surpriseand Play the DevilJury members included Wendy Lidell, Claude dal Farra, and Lori Singer.

The Tangerine Juice Award for Best Female Director, sponsored by Tangerine Entertainment was presented by Catherine Hardwicke to Maria Govan for her film Play the DevilCompetition finalists included Girl FluOperatorTo Keep The Lightand Sensitivity TrainingJury members included Amy Hobby and Anne Hubbell

The Carpe Diem Andretta Award, which is presented to the film that best represents living life to the fullest, was presented to actors Karen Allen and Michael Cristofer on behalf of Year by the Sea.

 Junction 48 by Udi Aloni took Audience Award Honors for Best Narrative Feature with an average score of 4.84 out of 5.

Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg took Audience Award Honors for Best Documentary with an average score of 4.94 out of 5. The documentary premieres on HBO on November 21.

FIERCELY INDEPENDENT AWARD was presented by Ben Foster to Oren Moverman

Ben Foster, Meira Blaustein and Oren Moverman at 2016 Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Awards

Ben Foster, Meira Blaustein and Oren Moverman at 2016 Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Awards


Academy Award-nominated Oren Moverman, recipient of this year’s Fiercely Independent Award, is a prolific writer, director and producer. The Messenger, Moverman’s directorial debut, was the Woodstock Film Festival’s opening night feature in 2009 and was nominated for the 2010 Academy Award for Best Screenplay, as well as Best Screenplay and Best First Feature at the Independent Spirit Awards. As a director, his impressive lineup of films includes Rampart, Time out of Mind, and most recently, The Dinner, to be released in 2017, starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Steve Coogan, Adepero Oduye, Chloe Sevigny, and Rebecca Hall. Moverman’s writing credits include Woodstock Film Festival Audience Award winner Junction 48 by Udi Aloni, the Brian Wilson biopic Love and Mercy, Ira Sachs’ Married Life, and the Bob Dylan biopic I’m Not There. Moverman was a producer on Joseph Cedar’s upcoming Norman and Ido Fluk’s The Ticket, and executive produced Junction 48, Love and Mercy and She’s Lost Control.

Presenter Ben Foster, who co-starred in Oren Moverman’s The Messenger and Rampart (which he also produced), is a prolific screen, stage and TV actor. He is currently starring in David Mackenzie’s critical smash Hell or High Water. In the last year, Foster has appeared in The Finest Hours, and as Lance Armstrong in The Program. Other notable credits include his debut film Liberty Heights, Lone Survivor, Kill Your Darlings, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Alpha Dog, X-Men: The Last Stand, and 3:10 To Yuma. On television, he is known for Freaks & Geeks and Six Feet Under. He will be seen next opposite Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones in Ron Howard’s Inferno.


TRAILBLAZER AWARD was presented by Alejandro González Iñárritu to David Linde


Linde and Iñárritu at Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Awards Ceremony

Linde and Iñárritu at Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Awards Ceremony

The honorary Trailblazer Award was awarded to David Linde, CEO of Participant Media, a global company dedicated to media that inspires social change. Linde is a true visionary who has nurtured and furthered the highest quality of film and filmmakers, including such luminaries as Ang Lee, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Roman Polanski, Zhang Yimou, and Alfonso and Jonás Cuarón. His career spans production, global distribution and building companies from the ground up. He has played a part in such classics as Heavenly Creatures, Bullets Over Broadway, Pulp Fiction, Brokeback Mountain, The Constant Gardener, and The Pianist. Participants’ upcoming slate includes Peter Berg’s Deepwater Horizon; J.A. Bayona’s A Monster Calls; Pablo Larrain’s Neruda; Derek Cianfrance’s The Light Between Oceans; Denial (starring Rachel Weisz); Middle School, based on James Patterson’s best-sellers, and Alex Gibney’s Zero Days. Linde has been recognized for numerous awards, including The Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneer of the Year, General Electric’s Chairman’s Award for Performance Turnaround,the Anti-Defamation League’s Distinguished Entertainment Industry Award, the 21st Israel Film Festival – Visionary Award, New York Magazine: Best of the Industry Award, and the Gotham Award for Distinguished Achievement, among others.

Presenter Alejandro González Iñárritu is the director of the 2016 Oscar-winning The Revenant, and Birdman, which won of three Oscars in 2015. Other career highlights include Biutiful, 21 Grams, Amores Perros, and Babel. He has been nominated for seven Academy Awards and was honored as best director at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.


LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD was presented by Barbara Kopple to: Leon Gast


Barbara Kopple and Leon Gast at 2016 Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Awards

Barbara Kopple and Leon Gast at 2016 Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Awards

The Lifetime Achievement Award honoree was presented to director, producer, editor, and cinematographer Leon Gast. Gast is probably best known for his documentary When We Were Kings, about the epic heavyweight boxing match, “Rumble in the Jungle,” between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, which won the 1996 Academy Award for Documentary Feature. Prior to this he co-directed The Grateful Dead Movie with Jerry Garcia, and Hells Angels Forever. Other directing credits include Our Latin Thing (Nuestra Cosa), Celia Cruz and the Fania Allstars in Africa, B.B. King - Sweet 16, One Love, and Soul Power. In 2012 he won Best Director, Documentary at Sundance for Smash his Camera, about paparazzi Ron Galella, and directed a second film on boxing, Manny, in 2014, about the boxing career of Manny Pacquiao. Before he became a filmmaker, Gast was a photographer for Esquire, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

Presenter Barbara Kopple’s celebrated films include Academy Award winners Harlan County USA and American Dream; Woodstock: Now and Then; Shut Up and Sing; A Conversation with Gregory Peck; My Generation; Wild Man Blues; The Untold Story of Mike Tyson; Hot Type: 150 Years of the Nation; Running from Crazy, and most recently, Miss Sharon Jones!

The Maverick Award trophies are handcrafted by local artisan Steve Heller of Fabulous Furniture in Boiceville, NY.

We hope to see you at the 18th Annual Woodstock Film Festival, October 11-15 2017

The Woodstock Film Festival showcases some of the best contemporary filmmaking from around the world, featuring passionate, creative, captivating and affirming work by some of today's most promising and accomplished independent filmmakers. Events generate large, enthusiastic audiences, news headlines, social media exposure and a gamut of other promotional opportunities.

Woodstock Film Festival Sponsorships come in a variety of shapes and sizes. We will work with you to custom fit a partnership that benefits your business marketing goals! If you are interested in learning more, give us a call at 845.679.4265 or email

For more about out wonderful 2016 Sponsors, click below.

Our 2016 Sponsors