On July 8, the Woodstock Film Festival will present a very special screening of the new Joe Cocker documentary JOE COCKER: MAD DOG WITH SOUL at Upstate Films in Woodstock. Joe Cocker's soulful voice turned him into a phenomenon and earned him a spot in the legendary 1969 Woodstock Festival. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director John Edginton, as well as Michael Lang, the co-creator of the 1969 Woodstock Festival and Joe Cocker's manager, and other surprise guests. Click here for tickets.

“John Edginton’s film… does create a marvelous tribute to a singer who, like James Brown, left it all onstage every night– hundreds of stages, thousands and thousands of nights." Movie Nation

 “An uplifting story that focuses on redemption and reinvention. Three years gone, the film reminds us that Joe should be up where he belongs in the pantheon of great vocalists and performers." Record Collector magazine

John Edginton is a documentary film producer, director and writer. He has worked on other musician's documentaries including Robyn Hitchcock: I Often Dream of Trains. A Concert FilmPink Floyd: The Story of Wish You Were Here and Genesis: Together and Apart.

Michael Lang co-founded and promoted the original Woodstock music festival and had never managed an artist before managing Joe Cocker. He appears in the documentary offering another perspective on Joe Cocker's life and career. Michael Lang is the 2011 recipient of the Spirit of Woodstock award given by the Woodstock Film Festival.

Trophy for Woodstock Film Festival award winners, handcrafted by  Steve Heller of Fabulous Furniture

Trophy for Woodstock Film Festival award winners, handcrafted by Steve Heller of Fabulous Furniture

The 18th Annual Woodstock Film Festival is now open for submissions. Film categories include narrative & documentary features, shorts, animation, music videos, and teen films. The early bird deadline has recently passed, however, there is still time to submit our next fast approaching deadline on June 11. CLICK HERE to submit your film. 

Be a part of the unique community of filmmakers, actors, writers and directors who participate in the Woodstock Film Festival. In addition to screenings, panels, talks and workshops, Festival Filmmakers can hang out at the hospitality lounge for breakfast and lunch and enjoy casual conversations as well as formal pitch sessions with industry reps, press and other emerging and established filmmakers. Refreshingly far from the hustle and bustle of the Hollywood scene, WFF regularly draws celebrity guests and seamlessly integrates them with film fans.

“The Woodstock Film Festival is always a pleasure to attend, and the talent that is showcased always amazes me. It's a wonderful and important showcase for any independent filmmaker.” -Steve Buscemi

Ted Hope and Richard Linklater

Ted Hope and Richard Linklater

Cash prizes are awarded for Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Short Narrative and Best Short Doc. Jury members comprise of distributors, producers, actors and directors who 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 Jonathan Demme, Darren Aronofsky (presented by Natalie Portman and Jennifer Connelly), and Participant Media’s CEO David Linde (presented by Alejandro G. Iñárritu).

Melissa Leo, America Ferrera & Heather Rae

Melissa Leo, America Ferrera & Heather Rae

Award sponsors include Gigantic PicturesFilms We Like.

Other awards include Best Animated Short, the Ultra Indie Award sponsored by Gray Krauss Statford Sandler Des Rochers LLP and Black Magic Design, Carpe Diem Andretta Award, The James Lyons Editing Awards, and the Haskell Weller Cinematography Award sponsored by Panavision NY. Award winners also receive a beautiful hand crafted trophy and in-kind prizes.

Submit your film via Woodstock Film Festival.com, Without a Box or FilmFreeway.

The Woodstock Film Festival recently presented two community events.
On Wednesday, May 24 the 5th Annual Taste of Woodstock celebrated the culinary diversity and delicacies that the region has to offer. Over 20 restaurants and hosts participated including  A&P BarBistro-To-GoBread AloneCalmbucha, Catskill Mountain PizzaColonyCucinaThe Green PalateLandau GrillLenny Bee ProductionsLittle AppleMaria's BazarMountain Gate Indian RestaurantNancy's of Woodstock Artisanal CreameryNew World Home CookingOriole 9Peace Love & CupcakesThe Reservoir InnThe T SalonSanta Fe WoodstockSunflower CaféWoodstock Wine & LiquorsWoodstock Meats, and Yum Yum Noodle Bar

"What a fun night!" said Bistro-To-Go's Mary Anne Erickson. "Thanks to Marsha Fleisher and Loominus Handwovens for hosting us!"  

"Once again the diverse eateries of the Woodstock area outdid each other with their generous array of exquisite delicacies. All the restaurants and the many guests who enjoyed their fare were winners in our book. Thank you all!" - Meira Blaustein

“It was a great night. Lots of world-class food and friendly faces. I’m very happy for the winners, but every single restaurant was incredible in their own way! Congratulations to all!” -Evan Thomas

Guests arriving at 13 Rock City Road received a walking map of restaurants, and a voting card to pick their favorite dishes.

Everyone who participated was a winner in the eyes of the attendees, but the following favorites were chosen in very close voting.

Colony - Pulled Pork Sliders, Umami Veggie Sliders, Colony Salad, Colony Crunchers, Corn Chowder, Hand-cut Fries, and Ruizcake.
Woodstock Meats - Rock City Dry-Aged Burgers, Made With Hudson Valley Pastrami Beef.
Bread Alone - Bulgogi Korean BBQ (Pork & Vegetarian Options).
A&P Bar - Watermelon, Tuna (raw), Heirloom Tomato.
Nancy's Woodstock Artisanal Creamery - Nancy's Banana Split-Banana Bread base with Tahitian Vanilla, Fruition Chocolate, Strawberry Balsamic IceCream, Oatmeal Streusel.
Landau Grill - Rosé Sangria with Peaches, Citrus Fruits and Grapes.


On Saturday, June 3rd the Woodstock Film Festival hosted the 5th Annual Spirit of Woodstock Celebration to honor two individuals who embody the fiercely independent spirit that has made Woodstock and the Hudson Valley so iconic for more than a century.

Chair of the Advisory Committee at Byrdcliffe, Henry T Ford, spoke about the first honoree, Alf Evers, and introduced Karlyn Elia, former Ulster County/Town of Saugerties Historian, who presented the award. Chris Evers accepted on behalf of his father, who was honored posthumously for his work as a historian, author and photographer.  New York Assemblyman Kevin A. Cahill presented the second Spirit of Woodstock award to John Hall for his work as a performer, singer/songwriter, environmentalist and United States Congressman.

"Thank you to the Woodstock Film Festival for giving me their "Spirit of Woodstock" award... I am honored to receive this award in the same ceremony with the late legendary Alf Evers. I was lucky to live in Woodstock and Saugerties and to be a part of many memorable musical and civic moments. I thank Assemblyman Kevin Cahill for presenting the award to me, and the many friends and supporters of the festival who attended, especially Ilene Marder and Meira Blaustein." -John Hall

"Thank you to all who made the Spirit of Woodstock such a wonderful success. In particular, thanks to the beautiful home owners for the gracious hospitality, Neil Howard and Alexia Burland Howard, to our event committee members Lauri Salvo Andretta, Joan Quigley and Laurie Ylvisaker, to the musicians, Joel Bluestein, Peter Buettner and Timothy Hill, to our DJ, Ilene Marder, and of course, to our honorees and their presenters, including John Hall, Kevin A. Cahill, Chris Evers, Henry Ford and Kalyn Elia, and to the awards craftsman, Steve Heller. And to all of our volunteers who helped make it such a beautiful event that was run so smoothly, and to all of our guests and friends who attended, thanks again! I hope you all had a good evening." said Woodstock Film Festival Executive Director Meira Blaustein.

The Spirit of Woodstock celebrates the roots of the Hudson Valley: its natural beauty, rich art and culture and the independent spirit of the people who live there. Previous honorees include Michael Lang (one of the founders of the 1969 Woodstock Festival), Congressman Maurice Hinchey, Mark Braunstein, Levon Helm, Ron Nyswaner and Philippe Petit.


On Tuesday, June 6, the Woodstock Film Festival was honored to receive the Ulster County Executive Arts Mid Hudson award for "Art Organization." Other honorees included Katharine L McKenna, Norm Magnusson and the Center for Creative Education. For a full list of honorees visit www.artsmidhudson.org.

The Woodstock Film Festival is honored to support the arts in Ulster and other Mid-Hudson Valley Counties.


Honorees at the Arts Mid-Hudson awards.

Honorees at the Arts Mid-Hudson awards.

Pamela Yates at the 2006 Woodstock Film Festival.

Pamela Yates at the 2006 Woodstock Film Festival.

Pamela Yates

Our good friend and alum, Pamela Yates, will celebrate the U.S. Premiere of her critically acclaimed film, 500 YEARS on July 12, 2017 at New York's IFC center. The film will then be released in select cities and on Amazon Prime for streaming later this year. 500 YEARS, which was a highlight of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, is the final installment of Pamela's trilogy, The Resistance Saga.

"500 YEARS tells the epic story that led Guatemala to a tipping point in their history, from the genocide trial of General Rios Montt to the popular movement that toppled President Otto Perez Molina. While indigenous peoples of Guatemala are no stranger to oppression, the recent events that took place over a tumultuous three-year span, change finally seems possible when their movement is met with popular society’s outcry to end corruption." More info here.

Pamela Yates is a long time friend of the Woodstock Film Festival. In 2016, she attended with her film Rebel Citizen, about legendary filmmaker Haskell Wexler. Her films have been nominated for awards at the Sundance Film Festival and The Human Rights Watch Film Festival.

BOB Dylan

To commemorative the two upcoming local performances by the ultimate Woodstock alumnus, Bob Dylan, the Woodstock Film Festival is auctioning an iconic photo taken at Dylan's Byrdcliffe home in Woodstock in 1968. The photo was used for Dylan's Nashville Skyline album cover. The image measures 13"x20" on 18"x22" Fuji Crystal Archive print and is signed by photographer Elliott Landy who donated the treasured photo, valued at $1400. For details or TO BID, CLICK HERE.

Photographer Elliot Landy, born in 1942, began photographing the anti-Vietnam war movement and the underground music culture in New York City in 1967. He photographed many of the underground rock and roll superstars, both backstage and onstage, from 1967 to 69. His images documented the music scene during that classic rock and roll period which culminated with the 1969 Woodstock Festival, of which he was the official photographer. His photographs have been published worldwide for many years in all print mediums including covers of Rolling Stone, Life, etc. and album covers, photographic book collections, etc.

The following 2016 Woodstock Film Festival selections, have upcoming release dates that are creating a lot of buzz.


If you missed 11:55 by Ari Issler & Ben Snyder at the 17th annual Woodstock Film Festival, you can check out this incredible film in one of these theaters on June 9:

NYC Cinema Village
Los Angeles Laemmle NoHo
Chicago AMC Loews Woodridge 18
Orlando AMC Universal Cineplex 20
Philly AMC Voorhees 16
Dallas AMC Stonebriar 24
Denver AMC Highlands Ranch 24
SF AMC Classic Deer Valley 16
Phoenix AMC Classic Arizona Center 24
Boston Apple Cinemas
Toronto Kingsway Theatre

The film will additionally be released on demand and on other services the very same day (June 9).

"Nelson Sanchez is an Afghan War veteran returning to the economically depressed town that left him few options but to enlist after accidentally killing a dealer from a rival gang. But Nelson's happy homecoming turns bitter when, immediately confronted by his past, he must decide if he will flee or stay and face what's coming.
Victor Almanzar as Sanchez is both authoritative and tragic, and you care about what he's endured and where he's heading. A tremendous supporting cast, including such notables as John Leguizamo and Julia Stiles, underpins this gripping story of love, loyalty and revenge. Newburgh, NY, declared one of the state's most stressed cities in 2004 owing to single mother households, abandoned buildings, unemployment, residents under the poverty line, and adults without a high school diploma, sustains the film's authenticity.

At its core, 11:55 represents people's daily battle to live safely, securely and in peace in today's impoverished, under-employed, racially divided environment. --Ben F. Fischer"


REAL BOY will air on PBS’ landmark series Independent Lens on Monday, June 19th, 10p ET. REAL BOY screened at the 17th annual Woodstock Film Festival where it won the James Lyons Editing Award for DOCUMENTARY FEATURE and received an honorable mention for BEST DOCUMENTARY.

"REAL BOY, depicting the coming-of-age of transgender teenager Bennett Wallace, is also about family, both biological and chosen. As we join him in person, Bennett is working to gain the support of his dubious mother, handling past addictions, transitioning alongside his friend Dylan, and forging a friendship with idol Joe Stevens, a celebrated transgender musician dealing with his own demons.
At once humorous, graphic, entertaining, frustrating, and brutally honest, the film struggles with what it's like to want love from the people you're closest to, how powerful that feeling is, and how painful it is when something gets in the way. Coming at a time when transgender issues have broken into mainstream culture, "Real Boy's" underlying theme of acceptance makes it much more than the story of one transgender teen. --Ben F. Fischer

Be sure to check it out: http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/films/real-boy/


The Woodstock Film Festival showcases some of the best contemporary filmmaking from around the world, featuring passionate, creative, captivating and affirming work by some of today's most promising and accomplished independent filmmakers. Events generate large, enthusiastic audiences, news headlines, social media exposure and a gamut of other promotional opportunities.

Woodstock Film Festival Sponsorships come in a variety of shapes and sizes. We will work with you to custom fit a partnership that benefits your business marketing goals! If you are interested in learning more, give us a call at 845.679.4265 or email sponsor@woodstockfilmfestival.com

Or, Please consider a tax deductible contribution to help us continue our mission to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music, and art-related activities that promotes artists, culture, inspired learning, and diversity. Individual contributions or foundation grants will support our ongoing efforts.


We would like to also extend a thank you to advertisers who support our monthly Newsletters including: 
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Coldwell Banker, and Sunflower Cafe.