Join us October 13-16, 2016



Ticket sales for the 17th Annual Woodstock Film Festival are LIVE at www.woodstockfilmfestival.com
The WFF Box Office (13 Rock City Rd. Woodstock, NY) will be open:
Sept 21-Oct 9: Weds. through Sun., noon-6pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)
Oct 10-Oct 15: 9am-7pm
Oct 16: 9am-6pm

For purchase and ticket pickup details, please visit http://www.woodstockfilmfestival.com/ticketinfo.php

Top independent films from around the world will compete in a dozen categories at the 17th annual Woodstock Film Festival, weighed by a jury of industry professionals to analyze and present awards to the outstanding narratives, documentaries and shorts submissions.

The festival also highlights this year’s World, North American and U.S. Premieres to give American audiences a first glimpse at provocative documentaries and insightful narratives that have chosen Woodstock as their place to debut.

This year’s World Premieres are BlindHalfway to ZenMagnificent BurdenThey Played for Their Lives andWomen of Maidan.  

North American Premieres are Clean HandsThe DrowningThe FuryStray BulletsFreedom Runners and Monster in the Mind.

Films making their US Premieres are Shepherds and ButchersThe Confession and Stronger Than Bullets.

Join us at the Maverick Awards Gala on Saturday, Oct. 15 at Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston, NY, where the jurors will announce the winners before an audience of 500+ filmmakers, industry professionals and guests in attendance.

Listed below are the Official Selections competing in various categories and each competition's jurors.

Official Jury 2016 include:

Gigantic Pictures Feature Narrative: William Horberg, Mary Stuart Masterson, Jonathan Gray

Feature Documentary: Roger Ross Williams, Julie Goldman, Nancy Abraham

Gigantic Pictures Short Narratives: Lucas Joaquin, Logan Hill, Isil Bagdadi

Films We Like Short Documentary: Cynthia Kane, Diana Holtzberg, Gene Fischer

Ultra Indie: Alicia Van Couverings, Joe Amodei, Janet Grillo

The James Lyons Award for Editing Narrative: Sabine Hoffman, Barbara Pokras, ACE, Gary Levy, ACE

The James Lyons Award for Editing Documentary: Sabine Hoffman, Carla Gutierrez, Mako Kamitsuna

Animation: Joy Buran, Noelle Melody, Peter Ahern

World Cinema: Wendy Lidell, Claude dal Farra, Lori Singer

The Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography: Ellen Kuras

Tangerine Juice Award for Best Female Director: Amy Hobby, Anne Hubbell


Films in competition are:  

Carpe Diem Andretta Award: Year by the Sea

Documentary featuresCircus KidKivalinaMagnificent BurdenMonster in the MindThe Promised BandReal BoyStronger than BulletsWomen of Maidan

Gigantic Pictures Feature Narrative Award: Chronically MetropolitanMy Feral HeartPaint it BlackThe DrowningShepherds and ButchersTo Keep The Light

James Lyons Editing Award for Narrative: Chronically MetropolitanMy Feral HeartPaint it Black; The DrowningShepherds and Butchers

James Lyons Editing Award for Documentary: Circus KidKivalinaMagnificent BurdenMonster in the Mind;The Promised BandReal BoyStronger than BulletsWomen of Maidan

Tangerine Juice Award for Best Female Director: Girl FluOperatorTo Keep The LightSensitivity Training;Play the Devil

Ultra Indie Award: Green /is/ GoldHalfway to ZenMy First Kiss And The People InvolvedSensitivity TrainingHalfway

World Cinema: Clean HandsThe Fury (De Helleveeg)Junction 48NerudaThe SurprisePlay the Devil

Haskell Wexler Cinematography Award: Shepherds and ButchersTo Keep The LightMy First Kiss And The People InvolvedPlay the Devil

Animation: Filthy But FineLook-SeeMakeshift SatellitePatti Smith - Blank on BlankPerfect HouseguestSlow Wave

Films We Like Short Documentaries: PickleStriking a ChordSuffering is the Easy PartLa Laguna

Gigantic Pictures Short Narratives: Black CanariesThe Quantified SelfA Nearly Perfect Blue SkyRatedGraffitiShame

Alec Baldwin  &  Demi Moore  in the Opening Night film,   Blind  . Directed by Michael Mailer.

Alec Baldwin & Demi Moore in the Opening Night film, Blind. Directed by Michael Mailer.

Steven Coogan  in the US premiere of the feature narrative film,   Shepherds and Butcher  s. Directed by Oliver Schmitz

Steven Coogan in the US premiere of the feature narrative film, Shepherds and Butchers. Directed by Oliver Schmitz

Claude dal Farra , World Cinema Juror

Claude dal Farra, World Cinema Juror

Sabine Hoffman ,  Editing Documentary Juror

Sabine HoffmanEditing Documentary Juror

New York Premiere,   Year by the Sea.   Directed by Alexander Janko

New York Premiere, Year by the Sea. Directed by Alexander Janko

Petrice Jones  in the feature narrative film,   Play the Devil  . Directed by Maria Govan 

Petrice Jones in the feature narrative film, Play the Devil. Directed by Maria Govan 

Christie Lynn Smith  and  John Fortson  in the Short Narrative,   Rated  . Directed by John Forton

Christie Lynn Smith and John Fortson in the Short Narrative, Rated. Directed by John Forton

Jeremy Sisto  and  Katee Sackhoff  in the Tangerine Juice Award nominated film,   Girl Flu.

Jeremy Sisto and Katee Sackhoff in the Tangerine Juice Award nominated film, Girl Flu.

Animation nominated short film,   Perfect Houseguest  . Directed by Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter

Animation nominated short film, Perfect Houseguest. Directed by Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter

2016 is a breakthrough year for women. The first female presidential candidate for a major party is before voters this fall and, in film, two women will be directing high-budget pictures (Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman and Ava DuVernay, A Wrinkle in Time). With more women gaining a foothold in a film industry traditionally dominated by men, what does the future hold? Is gender equality in the entertainment and film world the new norm or is the male-centric status quo taking a breath before reasserting power?  

Women filmmakers bring a dynamic range of topics and points of view to the 17th Annual Woodstock Film Festival this year. Forty full-length narratives, documentaries and short films directed by women will be featured, making up a third of this year’s offerings. In addition there are three female focused panels, as well 2 female actors featured in the Actors Dialogue.

Bette Gordon, director of   The Drowning   and panelist in Women in Film and Media panel

Bette Gordon, director of The Drowning and panelist in Women in Film and Media panel

The North American premiere of Bette Gordon’s The Drowning, comes to the festival with an all-star cast, several of whom will attend the screening. A successful filmmaker since the 1970s, Gordon has remained a driving force in an industry dominated by men, making her own mark exploring themes of sexuality, violence and power. She teaches filmmaking at Columbia University.

Paint it Black, directed by first-time director Amber Tamblyn, is a study in grief from the points of view of youth and age, handled with the subtle finesse of a poet, which Amblyn also rightfully claims as the author of three books of poetry. This is the East Coast Premiere for the film. Tamblyn is well known as an award-winning actress for her television and film work, including leads in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Joan of Arcadia. Her most recent best seller "Dark Sparkler" (Harper Perennial), explores the lives and deaths of child star actresses and features artwork from such luminaries as Marilyn Manson and David Lynch.

The World Premiere of Women of Maidan, directed by Olha Onyshko, bears witness to how ordinary women in the Ukraine became the sustaining heart of the fight against a corrupt regime to win a better future for their children.The struggle, now known as the Revolution of Dignity 2013-2014, is a stirring meld of generations, striving toward a free Ukraine. On the last Saturday of November 2013, documentary filmmaker Olha Onyshko received a tearful phone call from her mother in Ukraine, saying “the girls on the square were beaten so badly." Onyshko left home and family in Bethesda, MD, and returned to the Ukraine to capture the historic moment and stayed for much of the political backlash, forming the core of "The Women of Maidan". Onyshko captured the nonviolent resistance against brutal government forces, the musical pleas for peace, and Ukrainian people's unconditional ability to bond and endure.

MARATHON: The Patriots Day Bombing, directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg tackles the personal aftermath of the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon, following the lives of innocent victims recovering physically and psychically. The directors walked purposefully into the darkest moments of torn lives and compassionately captured the heroic journeys of ordinary Americans in extraordinary circumstances.

This is just a sample of the high-impact topics addressed by women filmmakers showing their work this year at Woodstock.

The festival has a long reputation of nurturing both accomplished and emerging women directors. Whether filming from the heart of the Ukrainian uprising or exploring the history of recorded music in America, the work of  these women defy any gender categorization other than “fiercely independent.”

More than a dozen women directors will be on hand to introduce their work, discuss current trends in the industry and compete for awards, including the fourth annual Tangerine Entertainment Juice Award for Best Female Feature Director.

As an aside, of all of the films screening this year, 90 percent of the filmmakers will attend in person and present their work.

Catherine Hardwicke , presents this year's Master Class: Fix It Up

Catherine Hardwicke, presents this year's Master Class: Fix It Up

Catherine Hardwicke will present this year’s master class Fix it in Prep at 10 a.m. Oct. 15 at the Kleinert James Arts Center in Woodstock. Hardwicke won the director’s award at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and went on to award-winning success at numerous additional  international film festivals in the ensuing years. She is best known as the director of the blockbuster film Twilight.

Directors coming to Woodstock will take part in two outstanding panels.

*Women in Film and Media takes place at 2 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Kleinert James Arts Center in Woodstock. The panelist discuss how women are gaining ground this year in an industry traditionally dominated by men. The panelists, who are accomplished in their field, will illuminate what has changed and what remains the same for women entering the field. Moderated by Thelma Adams with Bette Gordon, Mary Stuart Masterson, Catherine Hardwicke, and Amber Tamblyn.

*Insiders and Outsiders: Feminism in the Middle East, slated for 2 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Kleinert James Arts Center, brings together a panel of female artists, academics and activists from, or working in, the Middle East to discuss the rising tide of feminism that’s changing the conversation in the region. Feminists have made progress but face opposition, sometimes violent. The panel will have a frank conversation about how things have been, and where, with continued accessibility, they may be going. Moderated by Dr. Holly Shaw with Martina Radwan, Olga M. Davidson, Lina Qadri, Viki Ausender, and Jen Heck.

Woodstock Film Festival’s 2016 films made by women are:

The ABC of Travel, directed by Signe Baumane- WORLD PREMIERE

Adam, directed by Evelyn Jane Ross

Baby Teeth, directed by Stephanie Ellis-NEW YORK PREMIERE

Cacophony, directed by Melody Aihsuan Shih

Cookies, directed by Leah Shore

The Drowning, directed by Bette Gordon-NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE

Get in the Way: The Journey of John Lewis, directed by Kathleen Dowdey-NEW YORK PREMIERE

Girl Flu., directed by Dorie Barton-EAST COAST PREMIERE

Halfway to Zen, directed by John Adams and Toby Poser-WORLD PREMIERE

He, She, directed by Maia Liebeskind

How You Look At It, directed by Wendy Seyb

Kivalina, directed by Gina Abatemarco-EAST COAST PREMIERE

MARATHON: The Patriots Day Bombing, directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg

Marquis, directed by Maya Suchak

Monster in the Mind, directed by Jean Carper-NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE

My Feral Heart, directed by Jane Gull-EAST COAST PREMIERE

Nasty, directed by Prano Bailey-Bond

One Day on Carver Street, directed by Azure Allen-NEW YORK PREMIERE

Operator, directed by Logan Kibens-EAST COAST PREMIERE

Paint It Black, directed by Amber Tamblyn-EAST COAST PREMIERE

Perfect Houseguest, directed by Ru Kuwahata-NEW YORK PREMIERE

Pickle, directed by Amy Nicholson

Play the Devil, directed by Maria Govan-NEW YORK PREMIERE

Potatoes for Pado, directed by Joy Buran and Noelle Melody-WORLD PREMIERE

The Promised Band, directed by Jen Heck-NEW YORK PREMIERE

The Rain Collector, directed by Isabella Wing-Davey

Real Boy, directed by Shaleece Haas-NEW YORK PREMIERE

Rebel Citizen, directed by Pamela Yates

Sensitivity Training, directed by Melissa Finell-EAST COAST PREMIERE

Serendipity: The Genius Behind Electric Lady, directed by Alyssa DeRosa, Catherine Kaczor, and Meagan Sullivan

Spiral, directed by Tatum Lenberg-EAST COAST PREMIERE

The Story, directed by Carolyn Pender and Cameron Dingwall-EAST COAST PREMIERE

Striking a Chord: Instruments of Healing, directed by Susan Rockefeller-NEW YORK PREMIERE

Suffering is the Easy Part, directed by Jaime Ekkens

They Played for Their Lives, directed by Nurit Jugend-WORLD PREMIERE

Thirsty, directed by Margo Pelletier

To Keep the Light, directed by Erica Fae-NEW YORK PREMIERE

Wake O Wake, directed by Hilary Brougher-NEW YORK PREMIERE

WATER!, directed by Yi Zhong-NEW YORK PREMIERE

Women of Maidan, directed by Olha Onyshko-WORLD PREMIERE

The Woodstock Film Festival continues its international film tradition with a wide range of feature films from Chile, Israel, Libya, the Netherlands, South Africa,Trinidad, Tobago, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. The variety of topics and points of view from around the globe educate, inform, and entertain.

My Feral Heart, directed by Jane Gull, is a UK narrative feature that subtly explores the drives of the heart in a group home setting. Film representatives will come to Woodstock to introduce the film in person. Of the documentaries, The Confession, directed by Ashish Ghadiali, examines the definition of  terrorism by reviewing the life of a long-term Guantanamo Bay detainee. The Islands and the Whalesdirected by Mike Day, looks at the cultural significance of whaling to the people of the Faroe Islands. Stronger than Bullets, (USA-UK-Libya), directed by Matthew Milan (who will be in attendance), shows music’s triumph over violence in war-torn Benghazi. Narrative and documentary features from Israel also dig into the impact of music and friendship in a community: Palestinian hip-hop in Junction 48, directed by Udi Aloni and written by this year’s Fiercely Independent Award Winner Oren Moverman, and The Promised Band,directed by Jen Heck, in a reality show designed to unite Palestinian and Israeli musicians. Heck and the subjects of her film will be at Woodstock to talk about the film and also participate in the Feminism in the Middle East Panel Discussion on Oct. 16.

The documentary film, Freedom Runnersdirected by David Wachsmann, shows how an inspiring teacher returned dignity and self-identity to young African refugees in Israel through track competitions. Wachsmann will attend the screening and Q&A with the audience.

The international flavor is rounded out by a Chilean film, Neruda, directed by Pablo Larrain, South African death row trials in Apartheid in Shepherds and Butchers, directed by Oliver Schmitz, and the confrontation with the inner self in Maria Govan’s Play the Devil, from Trinidad and Tobago. By contrast, the chill winters of Eastern Europe are the backdrop for Women of Maidan, directed by Ukrainian journalist Olha Onyshko, showing the role of women during the 2013-14 Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine. Both Govan and Onyshko will be at Woodstock for their screenings, with Onyshko also participating in the documentary film panel.

The focus on films of the Netherlands first begun in 2015 and this year offers three of the most outstanding dramas of recent Dutch cinema.

A representative of Oscar-winner Mike van Diem (The Surprise),  along with Golden Calf Award recipient André van Duren (The Furyand Tjebbo Penning (Clean Hands) plan to be on hand to introduce their work, along with representatives from the  Netherlands Consulate General of New York City. New York-based producer Bruce Weiss of Ironworks Productions helped organize and curate the selection.

“This year’s focus on Dutch film is a collaboration to promote creative, cultural and educational exchange between Dutch and American filmmakers," said Jan Kennis, Cultural Attache for the Netherlands consulate. ”Dutch Culture USA, the cultural department of the Netherlands Embassy tasked with the promotion of Dutch arts and culture the United States, is delighted to announce our collaboration with the Woodstock Film Festival.”  

“Woodstock will enable a select group of influential Dutch filmmakers to share their ideas, skills and talent with a diverse public and professional audience, which might lead to a more sustainable program in the following years, whilst putting both talent and film (co)production opportunities in the Netherlands on the map.” added Kennis.

"We are thrilled to once again be working with the Dutch Consulate," stated WFF co-founder and executive director Meira Blaustein. "Bringing outstanding films from around the world is an important part of our mission. Having these great Dutch films and their filmmakers here with us this fall is a wonderful addition to what is already a diverse and exciting program”.


11:55, directed by Ari Issler and Ben Snyder

11:55, directed by Ari Issler and Ben Snyder

The Woodstock Film Festival is pleased to present the following films that were shot in the Hudson Valley. From Newburgh to Roxbury, production teams set their projects in the beauty of the Catskills, only two hours outside of New York City. The region’s diverse landscape and available talent has served as muse for film moods from romance to horror and documentary to fantasy. The Woodstock Film Festival welcomes the best work of established and emerging filmmakers, some of whom stayed on after completing their projects and now call the Hudson Valley their home. The Woodstock Film Festival’s sister organization, the Hudson Valley Film Commission, aided a good number of this year’s films during production to identify locations, talent and experienced crew.

Liner Notes, directed by Gregg Bray

Liner Notes, directed by Gregg Bray


11:55, directed by Ari Issler and Ben Snyder, filmed in Newburgh

Halfway to Zen, directed by Toby Poser and John Adams, filmed in Delaware county

Liner Notes, directed by Gregg Bray, filmed in New Paltz

Little Boxes, directed by Rob Meyer

Little Boxes, directed by Rob Meyer

Little Boxes, directed by Rob Meyer, filmed in Newburgh

My First Kiss and The People Involved, directed by Luigi Campi, filmed in Roxbury and Margaretville

Nuts, directed by Theo Sena, filmed in Kingston

Serendipity: The Genius Behind Electric Lady, directed by Alyssa DeRosa, Catherine Kaczor, Alec Cafaro, and Meagan Sullivan, filmed in Highland and Bearsville

Stray Bullets, directed by Jack Fessenden, filmed in Woodstock and Stone Ridge

Thirsty, directed by Margo Pelletier, filmed in Saugerties, Kingston and Hudson

The Ticket, directed by Ido Fluk, filmed in Accord and Kingston

This year’s festival will also feature two films that star locally-based actors: Academy Award winner Melissa Leo of Ulster county stars in Burn Country, directed by Ian Olds. Woodstock’s own Michael Christofer stars opposite Karen Allen in Year by the Sea, selected for this year’s Andretta Carpe Diem Award.

Jack Fessenden , director of the film   Stray Bullets

Jack Fessenden, director of the film Stray Bullets

WOODSTOCK (Oct. 3, 2016) -- The next generation of filmmakers take the 17th Annual Woodstock Film Festival by storm, learning the process of filmmaking, submitting shorts for group screenings and finally, expanding short films into full-length feature films in a way that would have been financially impossible just a few short years ago.

16-year-old Jack Fessenden came to the festival last year with a short in youth films, which he expanded into a feature narrative called Stray Bullets that justly takes its place among the features without mention of his age. His parents, Larry Fessenden and Beck Underwood of Glass Eye Pix, have been making films for decades and now nurture their son’s burgeoning talent as a film professional.

Benny Rendell , director of the short films   Listen   and   Cracked

Benny Rendell, director of the short films Listen and Cracked


This year, 13-year-old Benny Rendell has two films in the youth initiative screening: Listen and Cracked.  His website mirroruptonaturefilms.com, shows these and other shorts that the teen developed and completed that are currently making their way around the regional film festival circuit.

Since its inception as an educational not-for-profit arts organization, the Woodstock Film Festival has been committed to youth and education as a means to positive development, conflict resolution and growth opportunity. The festival proudly presents its Teen Film Program each year as an event that encourages young filmmakers and showcases some of the best young talent from the local region and across the world.

Filmmakers, actors, producers, writers, animators and others from the film industry will give area students a first-hand look at the film business at Woodstock Film Festival's annual CAREER DAYon Friday Oct. 14 at Onteora High School in Boiceville.


Cracked, directed by Benny Rendell

Day By Day, directed by Nihal Dantluri

Domar: To Tame, directed by Benjamin Ades

He, She, directed by Maia Liebeskind

The Last Night of the World, directed by Harrison O’Clair

Listen, directed by Benny Randell

Marquis, directed by Maya Suchak

One Day on Carver Street, directed by Azure Allen

Spiral, directed by Tatum Lenberg

Click Here for this year’s Youth Initiative film lineup!


We would like to also extend a thank you to advertisers who support our monthly Newsletters including: 
Bethel Woods Center for the ArtsKeller Williams RealtyMid Hudson LimousineSunflower CafeWoodstock Yoga