17TH ANNUAL WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL
HIDDEN GEMS, PANELS & POLITICS


FESTIVAL HIDDEN GEMS   

THESe films still have tickets available for select screenings. Don’t miss thEM!

 

Magnificent Burden, New York City socialite Taylor Stein went undercover to help the F.B.I. crack a black-market baby trafficking ring. She adopted baby Ren, only to find out that he's suffering from a rare and debilitating genetic condition known as Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Stein becomes an outspoken advocate, not only for her son, but for all of the children stricken with this heartbreaking disease. Q&A with Taylor Stein, producer Karin Hayes, director Rob Nelson

Marathon: The Patriot’s Day Bombing,  Directors Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg offer a patchwork of deeply moving portraits of the continuing journey of the victims of the 2013 Patriot’s Day Bombing in Boston as they move forward on prosthetic limbs and recreate their lives. How does one put a life back together when it has just been literally blown apart? As the remarkable people in this film and their loved ones rise to the challenge, each, in their own way, is a true testament to the human spirit. Q&A with directors Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg, with Boston Marathon bombing survivors Celeste and Sydney Corcoran

God Knows Where I Am, On a spring day in 2008, a woman's body is found in a rural New Hampshire farmhouse; Linda Bishop lay barefoot, shoes neatly set beside her, legs over a heating vent. Diagnosed with bipolar, schizophrenia and a mood disorder -- depending on the doctor -- Linda always denied she was ill and in the end trusted no one. Gaining freedom after institutionalization, her intended brief stay in the farmhouse turned into four frigid months living on apples and rainwater, reading, writing in notebooks, and waiting for God to save her. Filmmakers Todd and Jedd Wider examine the stigma of mental illness and how we as a society might find better ways of protecting those who ultimately cannot help themselves. Q&A with directors Todd Wider, Jedd Wider, and narrator Lori Singer

Stronger than Bullets, Filmmaker Matthew Millan goes to Benghazi to document the revolution and discovers a high octane, defiant music scene and an electrifying unity of human spirit. Hip-hop, heavy metal, rock, and blues take center stage while guitars and rifles stand side by side in the chaos. In freedom of expression, strings are stronger than bullets. Q&A with director Matthew Millan and producer Hal Millan.

Bad Vegan and the Teleportation Machine, Bad Vegan and the Teleportation Machine is as outlandish and creative as its title suggests, drawing you in with a well-acted, laugh-out-loud funny script. Featuring an idiosyncratic style and bizarre yet relatable characters, this quirky sci-fi rom-com is true escapism in every sense of the word! Q&A with Anton Goenechea, Brianne Berkson, Jacie Stewart 

My Feral HeartFor Luke, a charming young man with Down's syndrome, the death of his elderly mother brings devastating change when he’s placed in a residential facility and faces the daunting task of regaining his independence and dignity. Luke (played by Steven Brandon) reclaims his autonomy with the help of staff aid Eve  and groundskeeper Pete and tenderly cares for a mysterious young woman in need of his help. A beautiful film about living life to the fullest, regardless of limitations, Q&A with Duncan Paveling and Gareth Stanley

Paint It Black, A character-driven drama of two vastly different women who share the same unforeseen loss -- 21-year-old grunge Josie has lost her lover and elegant classical pianist Meredith has lost her son. In a story that mines the depth of grief, we witness an amazingly wide range of responses: anger, confrontation, deep mourning, anguish, dissipation, manipulation, neediness, played with finesse. Q&A with director Amber Tamblyn, and actors Alia Shawkat and Wren Arthur

Play the Devil, Trinidad's lush beauty, prevailing poverty and pulsating rhythms of Carnival are backdrop to a story where dreams and obsession collide.Gifted 18-year old Gregory is his family's lone hope for financial success. When he meets James, a powerful, affluent businessman offering friendship and guidance while subtly pursuing the naive young man, his world spins out of control. Q&A with Maria Govan.


A POLITICAL YEAR HIGHLIGHTED BY GLOBAL ISSUES

The dynamic political climate of the United States in an election year may overshadow American awareness of political issues in other parts of the world. This year, the Woodstock Film Festival offers a glimpse into the international politics and hot-button issues in Libya, Israel, Pakistan, Chile and the Ukraine.

“Filmmakers are often those bold voices who guide us into hard places and difficult situations, shedding light onto what was once in the shadows and opening a window into what was once hidden” said Woodstock Film Festival’s co-founder and executive director, Meira Blaustein. “We are fortunate to bring to this year’s film festival some of those world travelers and explorers who can take us from darkness into light and from despair into hope”.

This year, the Woodstock Film Festival offers eight documentary and narrative films with an international political focus, most of which will have the filmmakers, and in some cases also the subjects, present. A panel discussion inspired by one of the films rounds out the political focus.

Here are this year’s politically-themed films. Click on the title for full film descriptions.

The Promised Band, directed by Jen Heck

The Promised Band, directed by Jen Heck

The Promised Band (2016) NEW YORK PREMIERE

     *A panel discussion Insiders and Outsiders: Feminism in the Middle East inspired by The Promised Band will be held, with Martina Radwan, Olga M. Davidson, Lina Qadri, Viki Auslender, and Jen Heck in attendance, and moderated by Dr. Holly Shaw.

Stronger Than Bullets (2016) US PREMIERE- In attendance will be director  Matthew Millan

Neruda, directed by Pablo Larrain

Neruda, directed by Pablo Larrain

Freedom Runners (2016) NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE-  In attendance will be director David Waschmann

Women of Maidan (2016) WORLD PREMIERE-  In attendance will be director Olha Onyshko.

Disturbing the Peace (2016)- In attendance will be director Stephen Apkon, subject and Combatants for Peace Mohammed Owedah, and subject and Combatants for Peace, Assaf Yacobovitz.

Neruda (2016)- In attendance will be CEO of Participant Media, David Linde.

The Confession (2016) US PREMIERE

Junction 48 (2016)- In attendance will be producers Oren Moverman, Lawrence Inglee and Udi Aloni.


The Closing Night Film

Lifetime Achievement honoree Leon Gast's brand new documentary Woodstock: A Love Poem, has been chosen as the closing night film and will be screened at 8 p.m. Sunday Oct. 16 at the Woodstock Playhouse. The film, produced and directed by Gast and filmed and edited by Justin Martinez, features Ron Balsamo, Joyce Balsamo, Tad Wise, Ike Phillips, Tom Fletcher, Bruce Milner, Robbie Dupree, Michael Lang, Brian Hollander, Richard Segalman, Sam Magarelli, Cathy Magarelli, Mike Anello, Anthony Timpone, Barney Hoskins, Neil Howard, Kali Quinn, Jim Friskel, Jean Michel. 


Special APPEARANCES

Not every significant cast or crew member of a film can tell us they are attending until just before the festival. We are delighted to announce the special appearances of screenwriter John Buffalo Mailer and musician Amy Lee of Evanescence in support of the Thursday screening of Blind at the Woodstock Playhouse. 

Junction 48 director Udi Aloni will join Oren Moverman and Lawrence Inglee for the Sunday screening at Rosendale.

Director Xavier Manrique of Chronically Metropolitan announced he will be joined by mentor David Frankel (of Devil Wears Prada) along with the previously announced Q&A participants. 

 

 

 

2016 PANELS OFFER INSIGHTS FROM INDUSTRY INSIDERS

The Panel Discussions at the Woodstock Film Festival have long been a distillation of industry knowledge from top producers, directors, actors and composers in the film world. No serious student of film or the film business should miss this year’s panels, offering unprecedented access to the driving forces of today’s independent film industry. All panels are held at the Kleinart James Arts Center, 34 Tinker St., Woodstock.

PANELS INCLUDE:
Producers on Producing •  Moderated by Richard Abramowitz with William Horberg, John Sloss, Lucy Barzun Donnelly, Lawrence Inglee, and Wendy Ettinger 

Master Class with Catherine Hardwicke: Fix it in Prep

Music For Film •  Moderated by BMI’s Charlie Feldman with Jedd Wider, Todd Wider, Lori Singer, and Paul Cantelon

Women in Film and Media •  Moderated by Thelma Adams with Bette Gordon, Mary Stuart Masterson, Catherine Hardwicke, and Amber Tamblyn

Chat with Trailblazer David LindeA conversation between Logan Hill and Trailblazer Honoree David Linde

Actors Dialogue •  Moderated by Martha Frankel with Karen Allen and Alia Shawkat

Telling Their Stories • Moderated by Nancy Abraham with Roger Ross Williams, Sam Pollard, Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg, and Olha Onyshko

Insiders and Outsiders: Feminism in the Middle East • Moderated by Dr. Holly Shaw with Martina Radwan, Olga M. Davidson, Lina Qadri, Viki Ausender, and Jen Heck


 

MAVERICK AWARDS CEREMONY
7-11 p.m. Oct. 15
Backstage Studio Productions, 323 Wall St., Kingston, NY

The annual Maverick Awards Ceremony has become one of the most talked-about events attracting more than 500 filmmakers, industry professionals and community leaders and guests. The event is open to the public. Individual and full-table tickets are available at the Woodstock Film Festival Box Office or online.

The 2016 Maverick Awards Ceremony will present several honors including: 

  • TRAILBLAZER AWARD, to be presented by a four-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker and close colleague Alejandro González Iñárritu to honoree David Linde, CEO of Participant Media

  • FIERCELY INDEPENDENT AWARD, to be presented by actor Ben Foster to honoree Oren Moverman

  • LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD,  to be presented by Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple to honoree Leon Gast

  • Best Feature Narrative, Best Feature Documentary, Best Short Narrative, Best Short Documentary, Best Animated Short, the James Lyons Editing Award (Documentary and Narrative), the Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography, the Tangerine Entertainment Award for Best Female Director, the Ultra Indie Award, the Carpe Diem Andretta Award and the World Cinema Award.

Audience awards are announced to the media on Sunday.

 


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