WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL
"Our screening of Cold November at your festival was one of the most magical screenings for any film that I've ever had. There really is no other way to describe it other than magical. I cried in new places at my own movie that I have seen over 100 times. Thank you." -Karl Jacobs, Cold November (2017)
The 20th Annual Woodstock Film Festival is now open for film submissions. The regular deadline is May 9, and additional late deadlines to follow.
Across a range of juried competitive categories, the Woodstock Film Festival offers prizes including the Gigantic Pictures Feature Narrative Award ($5,000), Best Short Narrative ($2,000), Best Student Short Award ($1,000), the Films We Like Best Documentary Award ($1,000), the Carpe Diem Andretta Award ($1,000) and the Haskell Wexler Cinematography Award (sponsored by Panavision). Jury members comprised of distributors, producers, actors and directors present the awards in person at the Maverick Awards Gala. Annually, the festival also doles out honorary awards to some of the biggest names in the film business, including: Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land, A Private War) in 2018, presented by Alex Gibney and Molly Thompson, Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) in 2014, presented by Natalie Portman and Jennifer Connelly, and award-winning producer David Linde (Spotlight) in 2015, presented by two-time Academy Award winning writer/director Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant, Birdman).
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.
Tribeca film festival
The Tribeca Film Festival is just around the corner with the release of their lineup we want to congratulate all of our alumni that are joining the 12 days of celebration and art.
Alumni, guest programmer, and long time of the festival Roger Ross Williams will open the Tribeca Film Festival with his new documentary THE APOLLO.
SKIN, a locally shot film, featuring two festival alum Vera Farmiga and Mary Stuart Masterson will play at the festival. The film is produced by Oren Moverman who was the Fiercely Independent Award Recipient in 2016.
LEFTOVER WOMEN is co-directed by Hilla Medalia. Medalia’s documentary AFTER THE STORM won the audience award for best documentary feature at the 2009 Woodstock Film Festival.
Mark Webber’s new film he wrote and directed, THE PLACE OF NO WORDS will be showing at Tribeca. In 2009 Mark Webber came to the Woodstock Film Festival with his film EXPLICIT ILLS.
A 2008 and 2011 alum of the festival Darren Dean produced the new film THE SHORT HISTORY OF THE LONG ROAD.
Producer Mynette Louie accepted the award for Best Feature Narrative CALIFORNIA SOLO directed by Marshall Lewy at 2012 Woodstock Film Festival. Louie now heads to Tribeca with the film SWALLOW, directed by Carlo Mirabella-Davis also an alum.
Joe Berlinger, a member of our Advisory Board, will be showing his most recent film EXTREMELY WICKED SHOCKINGLY EVIL AND VILE at Tribeca Film Festival.
Julie Goldman, past jury member for Best Feature Documentary, produced ONE CHILD NATION.
DRIVEWAYS, filmed locally, and produced by James Schamus, a festival alum and 2008 Honorary Trailblazer Award recipient, will premiere at Tribeca this Spring.
This past Saturday saw an inspirational event spotlighting and celebrating powerful and talented women working in different fields within the film and television industries. Hundreds attended and filled the overflowing room, and the talk ran far longer than anticipated, with a meet & greet session afterwards.
Our dynamic panelists included Janet Grillo, Ellen Kuras, Blair Breard, Lacey Schwartz-Delgado, Wendy Ettinger, Wendy Lidell, and Lisa Myers.
Each women ended the panel with a word of advice for aspiring filmmakers:
Janet Grillo told us, “The DNA genetic code of a society caries forth who we are, what we value, what matters, and it’s so important to tell them, so keep telling your story.”
Ellen Kruas reminded us, “You don’t have to be a jerk to be good. Trust your inner voice, it will tell you the truth.”
Blair Breard left the imparting words, “You have to really love what you do and kind of give yourself over to that. And if it’s your thing it’s absolutely worth it.”
Lacey Schwartz-Delgado rules for working hard, “…having good people and being dedicated to it and doing that consistency is really the most important thing.”
Wendy Ettinger reminds us to know our worth, “Whether you're a filmmaker or a funder or you work at the hardware store don’t underestimate the value of your worth to other people whether they be an artist your neighbor or anyone else….they are unbelievably interesting we just have to listen harder to each other right now.”
Wendy Lidell advice to the future distributor, “My credo has always been I find an audience for a film and not a film for an audience.”
Lisa Myers encouraged young females, “…Specifically to female filmmakers, stop saying you're sorry, stop apologizing all the time….appreciate that you deserve the same opportunities and you deserve to be in the room.”
Audiences members were encouraged to ask questions and share their own experience as women working in the industry.
Phyllis shared with us about her involvement in the New York Film Festival in 1963. She had decided to rent a 16mm camera when she discovered no shoulder braces could accommodate a women’s body, the shoulder brace went across her chest in a large X. She had to make her own brace to try and wear this camera during the festival. No one had seen a woman with a camera at that time.
The full panel discussion can be streamed here.
The Women in Film & Television Panel could not have been made possible without our partnership with Radio Kingston. Our thanks go out also to Hillary Harvey for creating the Women’s History Month Kingston events, and to Aaron Rezny for his beautiful space and hospitality.
Refreshments were provided by the T-Salon and Bread Alone.
Next special event in collaboration with Radio Kingston: Diverse Voices in Film & Media, June 1st.
Mapping the Movie in Your Mind
TAUGHT BY SCREENWRITER/DIRECTOR ALEX SMITH
Four 3-hour sessions over five weeks:
Tuesdays, April 30 - June 4 from 6:00PM-9:00PM
The Film Center, 13 Rock City Road, Woodstock, NY
Tuition: $260 - Click Here to Register
Are you haunted by a story?
One that won't let you go-- yet remains stuck in your head?
This intensive writing workshop will help you move the movie (or television show, limited series, webisode, etc.,) in your mind onto the page. A series of four distinct workshop sessions will help draw forth your idea– moving it from a FROZEN CONCEPT to a FLOWING STORY, inducing it, Athena-like, into a full-blown narrative.
By seminar’s end, each student will have generated a multi-dimensional map of the movie in their mind and will have fully ‘broken’ their idea from start-to-finish– and be primed to begin writing.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:
Alex Smith is a screenwriter, filmmaker & educator. He and his twin brother Andrew, premiered their latest feature film at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. WALKING OUT stars Golden Globe winner Matt Bomer, Josh Wiggins, Bill Pullman, and Lily Gladstone. IFC Films distributed.
The Smith's also wrote, directed and produced WINTER IN THE BLOOD, a feature film based on the landmark James Welch novel. The film won numerous awards and was screened at the Woodstock Film Festival. Previously, they wrote and directed THE SLAUGHTER RULE, starring Ryan Gosling, David Morse and Amy Adams, which also premiered in Main Competition at Sundance.
Alex has, with his brother, written over 15 professional feature film scripts and television pilots, for companies including Amazon, HBO, Warner Brothers, Disney, Sony, & FX. They adapted the graphic novel, SON OF THE GUN by legendary cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky for Fox Searchlight. They also adapted the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Wallace Stegner novel REMEMBERING LAUGHTER for filmmaker Rodrigo Garcia. Alex has worked with Robert Redford, Jodie Foster, Lars Von Trier, Brian De Palma, David O. Russell and adapted Anton Chekhov’s THE DUEL for Terrence Malick. He is the recipient of many grants, fellowships and residencies and is a published writer of fiction.
Alex taught Screenwriting & Filmmaking at Columbia University and NYU/Tisch, as well as at the University of Texas, Austin, where he was the Creative Director of the University of Texas Film Institute. He has taught multiple Nicholl Fellowship and Black List screenwriters. He is a current mentor for the brand new Sundance Co//ab online program. He is a Michener Fellow, a Sundance Fellow, and a Rauschenberg Fellow. He is based in Woodstock, New York, where he is a resident at the Byrdcliffe Artist Colony.
Click Here to Register
The Woodstock Film Festival Summer Youth Film Lab returns this summer for the 2nd year!
Under the leadership of Meira Blaustein, Woodstock Film Festival Co-Founder / Executive Director, the film lab will run July 8 - 26, 2019, at the Center for Creative Education in mid-town Kingston, NY.
Megan Sperry, Professor of Digital Media Production at SUNY New Paltz, returns as the Woodstock Film Festival Summer Youth Film Lab Program Director.
The Youth Film Lab is an opportunity for Hudson Valley teenage students to learn about the filmmaking process from film industry professionals. Over the span of the three-week program, students will learn about each phase of the production process; conceptualizing, writing, filming and editing original projects. Students will work in small groups with a dedicated instructor. Field trips and presentations by mentors working in the field will increase students understanding of the film industry and culture. Films produced at the Lab will be shown this fall at the 20th annual Woodstock Film Festival. Open for students 14-18 years old with an interest in filmmaking. This program is absolutely FREE for students.
The 2nd Annual Woodstock Film Festival Summer Youth Film Lab was made possible with support from an anonymous donor.
Click HERE to sign up. Space is limited.
Click Here to Purchase Tickets
Special screening of AMAZING GRACE, with live musical introduction by Simi Stone
A co-presentation with Upstate Films
A special screening of AMAZING GRACE, a documentary presenting Aretha Franklin with choir at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles in January 1972. Aretha Franklin recorded her live album “Amazing Grace” over two nights in 1972. The footage in the concert documentary of the same name shows the transcendent process.
“It doesn’t matter how much time you’ve spent with “Amazing Grace” the album. No suitable preparation exists for the experience of witnessing its recording...Everybody deserves to have the revelation it offers — and the emotional exercise. Everybody deserves to have Aretha Franklin take them to the moon.” - The New York Times
Courtesy of Neon
Staged Screenplay Reading of FEEDING MRS. MOSKOWITZ performed at Kleinert James Center for the Arts
A co-presentation with Actors and Writers
FEEDING MRS. MOSKOWITZ tells the story of the remarkable Golde Moskowitz, an elderly Russian widow living alone with her memories. In Golde’s world, “signs” are everywhere, the dead converse with the living, and dreams are real. Natalie Holtzman, a thirty-six-year-old graphic artist longing for connection, fills her world with work and her commitment-wary boyfriend, Artie. One sweltering summer morning, Golde decides to do some grocery shopping. Natalie, on her way to work, quite literally “runs into” her, and the lives of both women are forever changed. Gracefully poignant, FEEDING MRS. MOSKOWITZ explores the world of the elderly with deft humor and heart-wrenching detail.
FEEDING MRS. MOSKOWITZ was written by Barbara Pokras and Fran Pokras Yariv, based on the novel by the same title.
Featuring cast from Actors & Writers, including stage and screen actors Lori Wilner and Dannah Chaifetz.
Actors and Writers is a professional theater ensemble that performs old and new plays in the Hudson Valley area including Odd Fellows in Olivebridge, Maverick Concert Hall in Woodstock, Unison Arts in New Paltz, and ASK in Kingston Rondout.
7th Annual Taste of Woodstock
The Woodstock Film Festival is holding the 7th Annual Taste of Woodstock on May 22nd, 2019 at 6pm. Join us and celebrate the culinary diversity and delicacies that the region has to offer.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Woodstock Film Festival and Hudson Valley Film Commission. TheWoodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501c3 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. The Hudson Valley Film Commission creates sustainable economic development year round by attracting and supporting film, video, and media production.
Upstate Films in Woodstock, 9:15 pm a screening of the film BAD BLACK.
Welcome to Wakaliwood, Uganda: home of “DA BEST OF DA BEST MOVIES!” and the vanguards of DIY commando cinema. Under the guidance of writer/producer/director Nabwana Isaac Godfrey Geoffrey (IGG) and with producer/star Alan Ssali Hofmanis, this crack crew of self-taught filmmakers and martial arts aficionados produce dozens of gonzo action films in the Kampala ghetto with budgets that rarely exceed $200 USD. Utilizing scrap parts to build computers, machine guns and a full-sized Huey helicopter, these real-life superheroes inspire more heart, imagination and soul than a thousand Hollywood blockbusters. Guaranteed to thrill midnight-movie geeks and well worth the attention of cineastes and film scholars, BAD BLACK is enjoying a highly successful festival run. Variety reviewed the film in 2017 from the BiFan Film Festival saying, “Performed with infectious zeal by a cast of hundreds, ‘Bad Black’ proves that under the right circumstances, enthusiastic amateurs can carry the day just as well as highly trained professionals”.
Producer / Star Alan Ssali Hofmanis will be in attendance.
Courtesy of AGFA (American Genre Film Archive)
Special Event in collaboration with Radio Kingston: Diverse Voices in Film & Media.
Outdoor Screening Powered by Solar Energy
Co-Presentation with Oscillation Transia.
Oscillation Transia Film Festival is a non-profit traveling event, exploring the intersection of solar energy application and environmental awareness through the art of film. Oscillation Transia is screening works in outdoor and rural areas around the U.S. Films will be exploring both fictional and non-fictional themes of movement, nomadic living, adventure and the natural world. Take the family to an outdoor screening, powered by solar energy.
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.
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