"It was an incredible experience - truly magical in so many ways! We are truly appreciative of the community you and your team create - and the amount of support and love that you share with all of the film teams who are lucky enough to participate.” - Juliane Dressner, director, Personal Statement (2018)

Happy New Year!.jpg

Happy New Year from the Woodstock Film Festival.

This year has been exceptional for art and film across the board. Of course the success of the Woodstock Film Festival is thanks to you. May your 2019 be filled with health and happiness.

Love, the Woodstock Film Festival.

2019_WFF_Logo .jpg

The 20th Annual Woodstock Film Festival is now open for film submissions. Our early bird / discounted submission deadline is March 7, the regular deadline is May 9, and additional late deadlines to follow.

Across a range of juried competitive categories, the Woodstock Film Festival offers prizes including the Gigantic Pictures Feature Narrative Award ($5,000), Best Short Narrative ($2,000), Best Student Short Award ($1,000), the Films We Like Best Documentary Award ($1,000), the Carpe Diem Andretta Award ($1,000) and the Haskell Wexler Cinematography Award (sponsored by Panavision). Jury members comprised of distributors, producers, actors and directors 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: Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land, A Private War) in 2018, presented by Alex Gibney and Molly Thompson, Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) in 2014, presented by Natalie Portman and Jennifer Connelly, and award-winning producer David Linde (Spotlight) in 2015, presented by two-time Academy Award winning writer/director Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant, Birdman).


The Woodstock Film Festival helps to nurture and launch many award-winning filmmakers. Along with it’s year-round programming and special events, the festival continually works to expand awareness of the power of film and storytelling tools with up-and-coming filmmakers, helping them develop and produce their own innovative work. Here we are fortunate enough to highlight some of our alumni in their next big steps.


what children do

What Children Do had its East Coast Premiere at the 18th Annual Woodstock Film Festival. The hilarious film was shot locally and was a huge success at the festival.


Personal Statement

Personal Statement had its New York Premiere at the festival this year. The film received an honorable mention for Best Documentary Feature. Personal Statement will have an encore PBS broadcast on January 8, 2019 at 8/7c.


if beale street could talk


Barry Jenkins' debut film Medicine For Melancholy screened at the 2008 Woodstock Film Festival, where it received Honorable Mention for the Lee Marvin Best Feature Narrative Award.

Jenkins’ newest film If Beale Street Could Talk, based on the novel by James Baldwin, is in selected theaters and nominated for multiple Golden Globes. Catch it if you can!

oscar nominations short list

As award season approaches the infamous Oscar short list has been released. Not to speak too soon but congratulations to three amazing films gaining momentum this award season. Huge congratulations and good luck to all!



Lifeboat, was a part of our short documentary series at the festival this year. The film showcases a group of volunteers off the coast of Libya who rescue refugees from around the world as they risk their lives in flimsy rubber boats pushing off from shore in search of a better life.


hale county this morning, this evening

Guest Programmer Roger Ross Williams brought Hale County This Morning, This Evening to the 19th Annual Woodstock Film Festival. This powerful documentary has made the short list for Best Documentary Feature, keep going RaMell Ross!

Screen Shot 2018-11-20 at 11.07.46 AM.png

one small step


One Small Step was part of our animated short series this year. The film depicts Luna, a young Chinese American girl, dreams of becoming an astronaut. Supported by her humble father, Luna endeavors to make her dreams come true.

golden globe nominations

Congratulations to Rosamund Pike on her Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama category! Annie Lennox’s song “Requiem For a Private War” was also nominated for Best Original Song - Motion Picture. If you haven't seen Matthew Heineman's A Private War yet, you should. The film closed this past Woodstock Film Festival, with Matthew in attendance for an in depth Q&A that moved, inspired and informed the sold out house. 

Congratulations team!

Molly Thompson, Matthew Heineman, and Alex Gibney

Molly Thompson, Matthew Heineman, and Alex Gibney

Roger Ross Willams and Matthew Heineman

Roger Ross Willams and Matthew Heineman


Experience the Woodstock Film Festival as you’ve never seen it before with a behind-the-scenes look at the independent film fest hailed as ‘a true American maverick among fests.’ Hear from directors and actors like Christopher Lloyd, William Fichtner, Matthew Heineman, Juliane Dressner, and more about the role independent films play in the movie industry.

Co-Sponsored by the Woodstock Film Festival

This intensive writing workshop will teach you how to mine the movie, television series, novel or novella in your mind. In four distinct sessions, we will collaboratively work to draw your idea forth– å la Zeus– inducing the full-grown Athena from your brain– moving it from concept to conception. Most class time will be spent in workshop mode– you can learn as much about your idea brainstorming someone else’s project as you can when being workshopped. One-on-one meetings will also have their place. Topics such as Three-Act Structure, Plot vs. Premise, Plant & Payoff, and Discovery & Reversal will be covered.


Alex Smith is a screenwriter, filmmaker and educator who hails from Montana. He and his twin brother Andrew premiered their latest feature film, WALKING OUT, at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. WALKING OUT stars Golden Globe winner Matt Bomer, Josh Wiggins, Bill Pullman, and Lily Gladstone. The film was distributed by IFC Films.


Please help us reach and celebrate our 20TH ANNIVERSARY milestone in 2019 and beyond by making a tax deductible donation.  Your contribution will make a tremendous positive impact on the programming that we bring year-round and during the film festival. The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501 (C)(3) organization with a mission to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music, and art-related activities that promote artists, culture, inspired learning, and diversity.


We would like to also extend a thank you to advertisers who support our monthly newsletters including Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Deborah Medenbach, Cabinet DesignersColdwell Banker, Euphoria Estates, Laurel Ridge, Sunflower Cafe, Ulster Savings Bank, Woodstock Film Studios, and The Villa at Saugerties