The Festival So Far

We’re halfway through the festival already. Can you believe it? Wednesday, we kicked off the festival with Ron Chapman’s documentary THE POET OF HAVANA, followed by a Q&A w/ the director as well as Carlos Varela and Jackson Brown. The whole event ended with a moving performance by Carlos Varela and his band.

Thursday saw the arrival of many of our filmmakers. They came, they saw, they signed our poster, and we photographed it all!

And though THE POET OF HAVANA kicked off the event, yesterday Woodstock Film Festival screened the US Premiere of our Opening Night Film REMEMBER (Starring Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau). Meira Blaustein was there to introduce the film along with director Atom Egoyan, who had a Q&A after the film. If you’re following Woodstock Film Festival on Twitter or Periscope, you might have seen it pop up in your notifications.

Last night, food and fun times were had as filmmakers mingled and sang karaoke. We welcomed everyone to the Festival with a party at New World Home Cooking! 

But wait, there’s more! Today, we have even more screenings and Q&A’s happening all over the catskill area all the way until Sunday. Here’s a brief look at today’s screenings.

some of the above photos provided by Woodstock Film Festival's Flickr account [Link]

Plenty more in store too with two more days left of the Sweet Sixteen celebration of the Woodstock Film Festival! To follow along and stay up-to-date on screenings, Q&A's, and panels to come follow us on our social media platforms.

Buried Above Ground: Pre-Screening Reception and Post-Screening Discussion to Bookend Sunday's Screening at Bearsville

3-5 PM 10/4 @ THE BEAR CAFE

Sunday's screening of BURIED ABOVE GROUND (5:15PM @ Bearsville Theater) will be preceded by a special reception at the Bear Cafe.


In observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, BURIED ABOVE GROUND has partnered with National Alliace for Mental Health(NAMI) Mid-Hudson and the Washbourne House to present a thoughtful and informative post-screening discussion and Q&A about PTSD, domestic violence, and mental health. Participants include:

  • Director Ben Selkow
  • Cast member Erundina Lopez
  • Tina Lee, Director of Public Relations for NAMI (Mid-Hudson)
  • Karen Storch, Program Director, The Washbourne House 
  • Mike Iapoce, Chairman, Ulster County Interagency Council on Domestic Violence

Buried Above Ground brings to light the global health condition we now recognize as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by sharing the courageous journeys of three Americans wrestling with the aftermath of devastating events. The film broadens the scope of PTSD beyond combat veterans to include other forms of debilitating trauma that currently impact 450 million people worldwide. Struggle along with U.S. Army captain Luis Montalvan, back from the Iraq War, as he learns to cope with his inner war wounds and resurface via the bond he forms with his service dog, Tuesday. Relive Hurricane Katrina with evacuee Ashley as she pledges to rebuild her home while she rebuilds herself. Empathize with Erundina, fighting to stay sober and go back to school after surviving child abuse and domestic violence. Filmed over six years, with intimate access to these survivors as they unburden themselves of the past, Buried Above Ground pays tribute to the human spirit and the skill of the filmmaker.

All press and interested parties invited to reception and post-screening discussion. 

Tickets are still available for the screening.
10/4 5:15PM @ Bearsville Theater 

Waffle Street to Receive Inaugural Carpe Diem Andretta Award at 2015 Woodstock Film Festival

The Woodstock Film Festival is honored to present the inaugural Carpe Diem Andretta Award at this year's festival. The Carpe Diem Andretta Award will honor longtime area resident Vincent “Jay” Andretta III, who passed away in December 2014. The Glenford resident will be remembered as a successful businessman, a driven, avid athlete and a loving, dedicated husband, father, son, and great friend to many, including the Woodstock Film Festival. Jay’s favorite quote was “Carpe Diem” (Seize The Day). His life was a testament to the phrase. The Carpe Diem Andretta Award will be presented to a film that best exemplifies living life to the fullest through character and story development in a full length narrative or documentary film.

Jay's wife, Lauri Andretta, and son, Jim Andretta, will present the inaugural Carpe Diem Andretta Award to Waffle Street on October 3 during the annual Maverick Awards Gala at BSP Kingston, NY. Woodstock Film Festival alums Eshom and Ian Nelms (Lost On Purpose, 2013) return to Woodstock with Waffle Street, their third feature, based on the memoir of James Adams, former VP of a $30 billion hedge fund, who loses his job and unexpectedly winds up in the world of the unemployed. In this genuine riches-to-rags story, Jimmy, played by a charming James Lafferty (One Tree Hill, Oculus), finally finds work waiting tables at a chicken & waffles chain, where the hectic pace and general mayhem become both comedic and endearing. Under the tutelage of master grill man Edward (Danny Glover in a stunningly earnest performance), Jimmy learns some hard lessons about life, finance and making grits. But the foremost thing he discovers is carpe diem, as he begins to enjoy the pleasures of the moment and realize that the measure of a man is far more than luxury homes and expensive cars. Fundamentally, Waffle Street is an authentic account of what it means to rediscover yourself.

"We're incredibly honored to be the first recipients of the Carpe Diem Andretta Award.  It's a great privilege for our film, Waffle Street, to represent such a revered and inspirational person. The best stories often come from true life experiences, so thank you to the Andretta Family, and we're grateful to the Woodstock Film Festival for continuing to champion these stories on behalf of such an incredible man.” 

Directors Eshom and Ian Nelms, who wrote and directed the film, will receive the award October 3rd during the annual Maverick Awards Gala at BSP Kingston, NY. Waffle Street was produced by John Kelly, Brad Johnson and Autumn McAlpin, who was also co-writer on the film.

Waffle Street is screening at the ROSENDALE Theatre 10/2/2015 at 6:30PM and the WOODSTOCK Playhouse 10/4/2015 at 12:30PM

9/29 Staff Picks

The 2015 Woodstock Film Festival starts TOMORROW! In addition to our collection of feature films we also have an superb lineup of must-see shorts. Learn about three of our can't-miss shorts programs below. See you this weekend! 

Shorts Program: No Trespassing

WOODSTOCK Community Center
10/3/2015 4:15 PM   $10
Orpheum Theater SAUGERTIES
0/4/2015 5:30 PM   $10

WOODSTOCK Community Center
10/2/2015 4:30 PM   $10
pstate Films I RHINEBECK
10/3/2015 8:30 PM   $10

WOODSTOCK Community Center
10/2/2015 6:30 PM   $10
10/4/2015 4:00 PM   $10

9/28 Staff Picks

Look At Us Now, Mother! 

"Mother knows best" hardly applies to Mildred Abramowitz Kirschernbaum, the ascerbic, hypercritical and sometimes downright nasty mother of Gayle Kirschernbaum, documentarian and director of today's Staff Documentary Pick, LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER! With wit, humor and compassion, Gayle, a bulldog of a daughter, is determined to understand, forgive and cherish her mother before it's too late. But how? Forgiveness is easy to roll off the lips, but what if you'd been criticized and made to feel deficient all your life by the one person who means the most? What if the only safe love is the four-legged kind? Gayle and Mildred travel the road to forgiveness with alternately hilarious and poignant stops along the way. Gayle's journals, starting at age eight, reveal an acutely sensitive child who can't understand what she's done wrong. Was she born into the wrong family? Should she have been a boy? Gerald, Gayle's downtrodden father, seems to think so. So does her therapist. You won't want to miss this delightful, searingly honest and intimate mother-daughter story.

Bearsville Theater WOODSTOCK
10/1/2015, 3:00PM $10

Upstate Films II RHINEBECK
10/3/2015, 9:00PM $10


Today's Narrative Feature Staff Pick, THE GRACE OF JAKE, follows recently released from prison drifter/musician, Jake, as he steals a car and hits the road for small town Arkansas, intent on exacting revenge against the father he never knew. Although he never met the man, Jake blames him for all of life's troubles, starting with his mother's death. Arriving in this dustbowl town with only a guitar to sustain him, Jake discovers nothing is as he imagined. THE GRACE OF JAKE is, at its core, the story of a man who finds redemption through friendship, faith and his deep-rooted love of gospel music, which bonds him with the locals and sets him on a righteous path. Religion, however, is backdrop to the music. Grammy-nominated director Chris Hicky proves his musical aptitude by wisely casting Jake La Botz, who learned his trade from old Mississippi bluesmen, as lead man. The soul-filled music is extraordinary, the acting genuine, and the tempo in perfect harmony with the surroundings. From crop dusters to gospel churches, this compassionate film captures the essence of the Arkansas delta.

Bearsville Theater WOODSTOCK
Sat. 10/3/2015, 5:00PM $10
Upstate Films I RHINEBECK
Sun. 10/4/2015, 12:30PM 

Animation Panel:What Makes Animation So... Animated?

What is it about an animated story that can make us laugh, or shiver with fear, or well up with tears in a uniquely profound way? From hand drawn animation by independent filmmaker, Academy Award-nominee Bill Plympton, to computer animation and studio production by two-time Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Mark Osborne, this panel will delve into the thought process behind the artistry and the intense labor that goes into creating the final pieces. The audience will be treated to special clips from the panelists' works, including clips from Osborne's upcoming, highly anticipated animated film The Little Prince.

Kleinert James Art Center WOODSTOCK
10/4/2015, 2:00PM $15

9/27 Staff Picks

WFF 2015 starts in THREE days. Check out some of the WFF Staff Picks below and get your tickets for these excellent films! See you next week! 

Today's Narrative Staff Pick Moscow Never Sleeps  is a multi-narrative drama that dives headlong into the volatile intersections of Moscow itself and the intimate lives of five Muscovites from diverse backgrounds. Starring Aleksey Serebryakov (Leviathan), the film tracks an oligarch forced to leave Russia, a young man conflicted about sending his grandmother to a nursing home, a famous comedian on his death bed, a woman powerless in her marriage, and an aspiring singer. The characters are connected by past relations, as well as chance, and while they don’t always physically cross paths, all experience a certain element of Moscow at the same time. The city, in fact, is one of the main characters. Opening with stunning panoramas of Moscow at dawn, the calm gives way to the hustle and bustle of Moscow City Day, an annual festival celebrating the biggest metropolis in Europe, which is the backdrop for the 24-hour rollercoaster encounter.

Sat. 10/3/2015, 11:00AM $10

Orpheum Theater SAUGERTIES
Sun. 10/4/2015, 3:00PM $10


Today's Documentary Staff Pick, Reconquest of the Useless, follows the travails of three young men as they journey nearly 5,000 miles through the Peruvian Amazon searching for inspiration, adventure and the legacy of Werner Herzog's classic film Fitzcarraldo thirty years after it was made. LikeFitzcarraldo, who dreamed of building an opera house in the jungle, and Herzog himself, with his transcendent vision of cinema, the creators of Reconquest Of The Useless also pursue quixotic dreams: to travel without being tourists and to have transformative experiences by exploring what is rarely sought after. Imbued with the spirit of Fitzcarraldo, the ultimate film for impossible dreamers, Reconquest Of The Useless is about the quest for the ineffable and unknown, and where that path can take you. A true journey for the audience to embark upon.

Bearsville Theater WOODSTOCK
10/1/2015, 12:30PM $10
10/3/2015, 8:00PM $10


Be sure to check out the four excellent shorts that make up our Shorts Program: Let's Talk:

WOODSTOCK Community Center

10/2/2015 4:30 PM   $10
Upstate Films I RHINEBECK
10/3/2015 8:30 PM   $10

9/26 Staff Picks

Only FOUR more days until WFF 2015! Today are we featuring a few of our favorite films at this year's festival. Check them out below. 

Today's Narrative Staff Pick is Rendez-VousSimone needs a change. Together with her husband Eric and their two children, she buys a decrepit mansion in the south of France, to turn it into a home and B&B. While the chaos of the renovation grows, Simone flees into a thrilling affair with one of the French construction workers, the gorgeous twenty-year-old Michel. She slowly loses control of her life and the French dream turns into her worst nightmare.

Bearsville Theater WOODSTOCK
10/2/2015, 7:15PM $10
pstate Films II RHINEBECK
10/4/2015, 1:00PM $10 

Today's Documentary Staff  Pick, I Will Not Be Silencedfollows Charlotte Campbell, who left her home in Australia to volunteer in Kenya and became the victim of a violent daytime rape by a gang of young thugs. Assuming the police and the court system would mete out justice, Charlotte reported the attack and landed at the intersection of law and culture. While rape has become a pandemic in Kenya, especially in the slums, women are afraid to report it out of embarrassment and fear of reprisal from the police. Is justice delayed, justice denied? Certainly in this case, but Charlotte, determined to find justice, set out to empower other rape victims, many of whom were sexualized at a young age through poverty, poor living conditions and gender bias. Mobilizing women to stand up to the rapists, Charlotte's journey is a story of courage in the face of enormous obstacles. An inspirational and unforgettable film.

earsville Theater WOODSTOCK
10/2/2015, 2:00PM $10
Upstate Films II RHINEBECK
10/4/2015, 3:30PM $10

Check out the three excellent shorts that comprise our Shorts Program: Fever Dream:

WOODSTOCK Community Center

10/2/2015 6:30 PM   $10
10/4/2015 4:00 PM   $10

Staff Picks 9/25

WFF 2015 starts NEXT WEDNESDAY! We are so excited and we hope you are too! Check out some of our staff picks below. See you next week! 

In today's Documentary Staff Pick The Student Body, tenth grade filmmaker Bailey Webber is on a mission. The investigation begins when her school district implements a controversial mandate forcing schools to perform Body Mass Index tests in a misguided attempt to address childhood obesity. After a sixth grader voices her protest against the "fat letters," Webber recognizes the injustice of telling children they are fat if they don't fall within a narrowly accepted range. Believing they are being unfairly profiled and bullied, her keen inquiry includes a relentless chase after the bureaucrat who sponsored the law. Whether she is staging a vigil at the state house, or interviewing health experts for their input, Bailey never loses her cool. Her dogged pursuit is always done with poise and immense charm. Despite the filmmaker's youth, The Student Body is a sophisticated, smart, steadfast, sensitive, and often humorous chronicle of two brave girls who expose the hypocrisy of grownups who think they are safeguarding the nation's young.

Upstate Films II RHINEBECK
10/3/2015, 1:00PM $10
Bearsville Theater WOODSTOCK
10/4/2015, 2:30PM $10


Summer (Zomer), today's Narrative Feature Staff Pick and one of the films featured in our Spotlight on Dutch Cinema, centers on 16-year-old Anne, who longs to escape the confines of her small town until she meets Lena, the new girl in town who rides a motorbike, wears leather, and is different from everybody else. Capturing the awkward tenderness of youth and innocence as the two girls quickly form a bond and fall in love, director Colette Bothof crafts a beautiful story of sexual awakening and a girl daring to be different. 

Bearsville Theater WOODSTOCK
Sat. 10/3/2015, 10:00PM

Sun. 10/4/2015, 5:00PM


Shorts: No Trespassing

In the four excellent shorts comprising our Shorts Program: No Trespassing characters enter unknown domains, sometimes finding danger and sometimes finding themselves.  

WOODSTOCK Community Center
10/3/2015 4:15 PM   $10
Orpheum Theater SAUGERTIES
10/4/2015 5:30 PM   $10

Staff Picks 9/24

Only SIX DAYS until WFF 2015! Our line-up is chock-full of EXCELLENT films (both short + feature) and panels! Check out a few of the WFF Staff's suggestions below! See you there! 

Deep family secrets and heartfelt attempts to heal broken relationships are the crux of today's Documentary Staff PickFamily Matters, about the little known world of the extreme orthodox Jewish population. Directed by Noa Roth, Family Matters is her unflinching journey of self discovery as she tells the story of how, 30 years ago, the divorce of her parents shook the religious Israeli city of Bney Barak and affected the lives of their seven children. Her father was an esteemed rabbi; after she left with the children, her mother became a renowned author. The film follows a family divided between the conflicting worlds of the ultra-orthodox and the secular. Roth bravely travels among the ghosts of her childhood in an attempt to reunite her fractured family and, finally, start one of her own. Told with respect and love for both worlds, Family Matters is a testament to self-empowerment and the deep-seated force of religious life.

Upstate Films II RHINEBECK
10/1/2015, 7:30PM $10
Upstate Films WOODSTOCK
10/2/2015, 2:30PM $10





We read so many memoirs in print, but what about memoirs in film format? Our FILM AS MEMOIR PANEL will investigate what it is that differentiates a film as a memoir, and what it is in its craftsmanship, thought process and production that turns it into a unique work of art. The Film as Memoir panel is comprised of some of the most influential and talented filmmakers who specialize in films in the first person and have taken the concept to its highest level. Find out what motivates them, what it takes to make an impactful and successful memoir film, and how their cohorts feel about being on screen and exposed.

Kleinert James Art Center WOODSTOCK
10/4/2015, 12:00PM $15

he four short films comprising our shorts program, Growing Up explore the universal, yet personal experience of "growing up" through a variety of contexts and points of view: 

WOODSTOCK Community Center
10/2/2015 12:00 PM $10
10/3/2015 6:30 PM  

WOODSTOCK Community Center 10/2/2015 12:00 PM 10/3/2015 6:30 PM   $10



Staff Picks for 9/23

Today's staff picks are preceded by this very important announcement: THERE'S ONLY ONE MORE WEEK UNTIL THE FILM FESTIVAL!!

The Documentary Staff Pick of the day tells the tale of three American human rights activists and educators (Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal) who went hiking in Northern Iraqi Kurdistan in July 2009, and were captured and held as political hostages by the Iranian Government for more than two years. With limited access to diplomatic intervention -- the Swiss Ambassador, the Sultan of Oman, and behind-the scenes American efforts played a role -- the plight of the three, through family and friends, sparked a grassroots movement that eventually caught the attention of Desmond Tutu, Sean Penn and Cesar Chavez. Far more than a story of wrongful imprisonment, The Three Hikers is a testament to courage, endurance and the power of love. Electrifying filmmaking.

Upstate Films I RHINEBECK
10/3/2015, 3:00PM

Bearsville Theater WOODSTOCK
10/4/2015, 12:00PM

Our collection of shorts includes revelational shorts in our Let's Talk Category. Featured Shorts include:

Greco Roman, directed by Theo Sena
Two old friends take an awkward walk into their past.

Pick Up, directed by Joshua Alan Rogers
Jesse Ritter has been living with a secret.

Spit, directed by Mtume Gant
Always honor your gifts

The Way of Tea (Les Fremissements du the), directed by Marc Fouchard
A small town in Northern France, Alex, a young skinhead, enters Malik's grocery store.

WOODSTOCK Community Center

10/2/2015 4:30 PM

Upstate Films I RHINEBECK
10/3/2015 8:30

A Conversation with Atom Egoyan & Guy Maddin

Kleinert James Art Center WOODSTOCK
10/3/2015, 4:00PM

Come and check out this year's conversation panel with this year's Honorary Award Recipients Atom Egoyan and Guy Maddin.

With fifteen feature films and related projects, Atom Egoyan has won numerous prizes at international film festivals, including the Grand Prix and International Critics Awards from the Cannes Film Festival, two Academy Award nominations, and numerous other honors. His body of work - which includes theatre, music, and art installations - delves into issues of memory, displacement, and the impact of technology and media in modern life. Among his films are the groundbreaking Exotica, the multi award-winning The Sweet Hereafter, Felicia's Journey (starring Bob Hoskins), Where the Truth Lies (with Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth), Devil's Knot (with Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth), and the forthcoming Remember (starring Christopher Plummer), which makes its U.S Premiere as the Opening Night Film at the 2015 Woodstock Film Festival.

Guy Maddin is one of Canada's most celebrated filmmakers.

He has directed numerous shorts and eleven feature-length movies, including The Saddest Music in the World, My Winnipeg, and recently, The Forbidden Room (Closing Night at the Woodstock Film Festival). His most distinctive quality is his penchant for recreating the look and style of silent or early-sound-era films.

Maddin drew inspiration from the films of John Paizs, experimental shorts by Stephen Snyder, Luis Bunuel's L'Age d'or, and David Lynch's Eraserhead. He has stated in numerous interviews that these "were movies that were primitive in many respects. They were low budget, they used non-actors or non-stars, they used atmospheres and ideas, and were unbelievably honest, frank, and, therefore, exciting to me. They made moviemaking seem possible to me." He has held to these ideals ever since.