Academy Invites Woodstock Alumns as New Members

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Yesterday the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences invited 842 artists and executives who have made exceptional contributions to motion pictures. The Woodstock Film Festival congratulates all of the new members and wants to extend a special congratulations to some of our friends and past alumni.

Nancy Abraham is the Co-Head of HBO Documentary and Family Programming. Abraham is a longtime friend of the festival and a former panelist and jury member.

Josh Fox is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker for his film GASLAND, which screened at the festival. In 2016 the festival organized a special screening of his film HOW TO LET GO OF THE WORLD AND LOVE ALL THE THINGS CLIMATE CAN’T CHANGE.

Lee Hirsch is an award-winning filmmaker who has served as a jury member in recent years. His social and politically themed documentary films have included AMANDLA (2002), which screened at the festival, about the role of music and the South African struggle against apartheid, and BULLY (2011).

Ryan Harrington is currently the VP of Documentary Films at National Geographic and is a long time friend of the festival and former jury member.

Nancy Abraham moderating the panel THROUGH THEIR LENS: THE AMERICAN CONDITION at the 2017 Woodstock Film Festival. Photo by Dion Ogust

Nancy Abraham moderating the panel THROUGH THEIR LENS: THE AMERICAN CONDITION at the 2017 Woodstock Film Festival. Photo by Dion Ogust

Chiemi Karasawa is a director and producer who has had several films -- A SEASON OF MADNESS, BILLY THE KID, and the Oscar nominated THE BETRAYAL-NERAKHOON -- screen at the Woodstock Film Festival. Karasawa participated in a panel about producing documentaries in 2008.

Sabine Krayenbühl is a prolific editor and has attended the festival in the past as an editing juror.

PJ Raval is a director and producer whose film TRINIDAD screened at the 2008 festival.

Scott Macaulay is the editor of Filmmaker Magazine. He has moderated panels for us in 2006 and 2009.

Karim Amer is a director and producer whose most recent film THE GREAT HACK will be playing at Upstate Films in Woodstock on July 21st. Click here for tickets and more information.

Skye Fitzgerald was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject for the film LIFEBOAT, which screened at the Woodstock Film Festival and won the Best Short Documentary award.

Beth Levison is a producer known for 32 PILLS: MY SISTER’S SUICIDE, which screened at the festival in 2017 and won the award for Best Editing of a Feature Documentary.

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.

Richard Abramowitz, a longtime friend of the festival, currently on the festivals advisory board, and head of Abramorama, a film distribution company whose recent Woostock titles have included GHOST FLEET and CARMINE STREET GUITARS.

Kevin H. Wilson, Jr. won the Best Student Short competition for his 2017 film MY NEPHEW EMMETT, a 20-minute short film based on the true story of the 1955 murder of Emmett Till, which was subsequently nominated for an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film.

Lauren Wolkstein’s short films SOCIAL BUTTERFLY (2013) and THE STRANGE ONES (2011) were both featured in the festival. THE STRANGE ONES was then made a feature length film that was shot in the Hudson Valley and screened at the festival.

Andrew Bujalski’s films MUTUAL APPRECIATION (2005) and FUNNY HA HA (2002) have both screened at Woodstock. His most recent film SUPPORT THE GIRLS (2018), which premiered at last year’s South by Southwest Film Festival, stars Regina Hall (GIRLS TRIP) as the committed manager of a grimy Texas sports bar staffed by scantily clad waitresses. 

Katherine Dieckmann’s film STRANGE WEATHER, a poignant, lyrical, Southern-set drama about loss, vengeance, overcoming, and the power of female friendship, stars Holly Hunter and was presented as a special screening in summer 2017. Her film MOTHERHOOD screened at the festival with Uma Thurman in attendance. Dieckmann is also a mentor at the Youth Film Lab this year.

To see a full list of new members of the Academy click here. Congratulations to everyone!