WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL
JULY NEWSLETTER

"The Woodstock Film Festival is a delight for the creative spirit. It has all the energy of the big time show biz spectacles while remaining full of true integrity." - Steve Guttenberg 



August 16: this changes everything

Told first-hand by some of the industry’s leading voices — including Executive Producer Geena Davis, living legends like Meryl Streep, and younger talent such as Yara Shahidi and Chloe Grace Moretz — THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING uncovers what is behind one of the most confounding dilemmas in the entertainment industry… the under-representation and misrepresentation of women.

Don't miss the special co-presentation by the Woodstock Film Festival and Upstate Films at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, with director Tom Donahue in attendance.

Click HERE to purchase tickets


special screening the great hack

From left: Woodstock Film Festival co-founder and executive director Meira Blaustein, filmmakers Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, and film subject Brittany Kaiser.  Photo by: Jason Vasquez

From left: Woodstock Film Festival co-founder and executive director Meira Blaustein, filmmakers Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, and film subject Brittany Kaiser.
Photo by: Jason Vasquez

The Woodstock Film Festival hosted a special sold-out screening of the Netflix documentary THE GREAT HACK at Upstate Films Woodstock, with in-person appearances from Academy Award-nominated directors Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, executive producer Sarah E Johnson, and surprise guest Brittany Kaiser, the former Cambridge Analytica executive and whistleblower. Kaiser is one of the main subjects in this captivating, illuminating documentary about the company behind the data hacking scandal that influenced the 2016 US presidential elections, Brexit, and political campaigns world-wide.

From left: Brittany Kaiser, Meira Blaustein, Hudson Valley-based producer Sarah E Johnson, Karim Amer, and Jehane Noujaim.  Photo by: Jason Vasquez

From left: Brittany Kaiser, Meira Blaustein, Hudson Valley-based producer Sarah E Johnson, Karim Amer, and Jehane Noujaim.
Photo by: Jason Vasquez

The audience praised the film for provoking them to think about the way we use social media in an age when privacy no longer exists and Facebook feeds are populated by images of dogs and babies next to Russian-sponsored campaign ads. “How do I know what is true and what isn’t?” asked one viewer. Kaiser and the filmmakers spoke about the various organizations now developing fact-checking platforms, and the many steps developers, campaigners, and ordinary people are taking in anticipation of the 2020 elections.

THE GREAT HACK is available now on Netflix.

youth film lab

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That’s a wrap! This past month high school students learned about the pre-production, production, and post-production process and created their own remarkable narrative films. Fourteen Hudson Valley teenage students had the opportunity to learn about the filmmaking process from teachers, teaching assistants, and visiting film industry professionals. The three student-produced films, which premiered to family and friends at the conclusion of the lab, will screen this fall at the 20th annual Woodstock Film Festival.

The 2nd Annual Woodstock Film Festival Summer Youth Film Lab was made possible with support from an anonymous donor.

Read our blog post here.


Adam Blaustein Rejto and Beck Underwood

Adam Blaustein Rejto and Beck Underwood

Our 2019 poster has been announced! This year’s poster features art by local artists Beck Underwood and Adam Blaustein Rejto.

Their whimsical design wonderfully depicts what it means to be “fiercely independent,” drawing on the native backdrop of the Catskills.

To purchase this year’s poster and/or other available merchandise click here.


The Woodstock Film Festival helps to nurture and launch many award-winning filmmakers. Along with it’s year-round programming and special events, the festival continually works to expand awareness of the power of film and storytelling tools with up-and-coming filmmakers, helping them develop and produce their own innovative work. Here we are fortunate enough to highlight some of our alumni in their next big steps.

Kevin Wilson Jr., Maverick award winner for best student short: MY NEPHEW EMMETT.

Kevin Wilson Jr., Maverick award winner for best student short: MY NEPHEW EMMETT.

Matthew Heineman receives the Filmmaker Award of Distinction at 2018 Woodstock Film Festival. Photo by: John Mazlish

Matthew Heineman receives the Filmmaker Award of Distinction at 2018 Woodstock Film Festival. Photo by: John Mazlish

Together with several distinguished alumni Kevin H. Wilson, Jr. - who won the Best Student Short competition for his 2017 film MY NEPHEW EMMETT, which was subsequently nominated for an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film - has been invited as a new member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Read our full blog post of new academy members here.

Congratulations to our friend Matthew Heineman, who received the Filmmaker Award of Distinction at our festival last year. He will be directing the new Focus Features film PARADISE, based on real events during the deadly 2018 Camp Fire, which destroyed the small town of Paradise, California.

SWIMMING WITH MEN, which took part in the 2018 Woodstock Film Festival, came out July 24 on VOD and DVD.

WHEELS, which won the Audience Award at the 2018 Woodstock Film festival, screened at the Roxbury International Film Festival on June 26th.


As part of our 20th anniversary celebration, and to continue our dedication to youth and education, we are offering high-school students a one-time opportunity to participate in the Festival in a new and exciting way.

Students may submit (free of charge) a short video, no longer than two (2) minutes long, which they would shoot and edit on their phones, for consideration for the Festival's Youtube channel. In keeping with the festival’s commitment to socially engaged filmmaking, we ask that the videos take on social issues that are either global, local or personal to the students. Themes may include climate change, LGBTQ+, poverty and homelessness, drug addiction, illegal immigration, racial bias, gun control, etc.

Selected short videos will be made available on the Festival's Youtube channel.

Films should be submitted as a Google Drive link and as an H.264 file (1920x1080P) to info@woodstockfilmfestival.org no later than September 13, 2019. Students must include their name and school in the email body. Woodstock Film Festival staff will notify students whose work has been selected by email.


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Cross Contemporary Art

Lily Prince is presenting her new work, There There, at Cross Contemporary Art at 11 Jane Street in Saugerties, NY. The exhibit runs through August 4, 2019. Prince's vibrant paintings respond to nature with distinctive gestural calligraphy and vivid, expressive color that explores the pulsating patterns and rhythmic harmony in nature."There There is a refutation of Gertrude Stein’s 'there is no there there'.

Woodstock Way
Situated right in the heart of Woodstock, this hotel is within walking distance of the main center of Woodstock. This 12-room hotel rests right along a quaint brook and waterfall, giving it a relaxingly earthy feel. And with deep roots in the Woodstock community, this hotel will provide you with a true, authentic feel.

Overlook Mountain Trailhead
The main Overlook Mountain Spur Trail takes you up 2.5 miles of trail to the historic fire tower. With easier trails if you’re not up for a lengthy trip and miles of other trails, Overlook Mountain Trailhead offers something for everyone looking for a fun, unique place to hike in the Hudson Valley.

Woodstock Way

Woodstock Way

Overlook Mountain

Overlook Mountain


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Help us reach and celebrate our 20TH ANNIVERSARY milestone in 2019 and beyond by making a tax deductible donation. Your contribution will make a tremendous positive impact on the programming that we bring year-round and during the film festival. The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501 (C)(3) organization with a mission to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music, and art-related activities that promote artists, culture, inspired learning, and diversity.

Please help us by making a tax deductible contribution to our Capital Campaign. Whether you donate $5 or $500, every little bit helps.

Thank you for your support. The film center is headquarters for both the Woodstock Film Festival and the Hudson Valley Film Commission. For more details, visit this link.

Full festival passes are available to purchase now.


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