"I’m still high from the weekend. Such an incredible time, incredible people and a special place. I’ll never forget it!” - Paul Starkman, director, Wheels (2018)

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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.


Academy Award and independent spirit award winners

What a whirlwind of a weekend, the Academy Awards and Independent Spirit Awards have come and gone, congratulations to all the winners.

Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Evan Hayes and Shannon Dillon winning Best Documentary at the 2019 Academy Awards

Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Evan Hayes and Shannon Dillon winning Best Documentary at the 2019 Academy Awards

A very special congratulations to Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi who attended the festival in 2003 for A NORMAL LIFE and 2015 for INCORRUPTIBLE (which won Best Documentary at the festival). Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and her husband and co-director Jimmy Chin won Best Documentary for their film FREE SOLO.


Woodstock Film Festival alumni dominated the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 23, what a fun night filled with the true spirit of independent film!

Barry Jenkins, Brian Tyree Henry, Kiki Layne, and Regina Hall, winners of Best Feature for 'If Beale Street Could Talk,' at the 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards

Barry Jenkins, Brian Tyree Henry, Kiki Layne, and Regina Hall, winners of Best Feature for 'If Beale Street Could Talk,' at the 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards

Alex Moratto winning the Ultra Indie Award at the Woodstock Film Festival.

Alex Moratto winning the Ultra Indie Award at the Woodstock Film Festival.

Barry Jenkins won Best Picture and Best Director with 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.

Ethan Hawke won Best Male Lead for his groundbreaking performance in FIRST REFORMED, Hawke is a long time friend of the festival and a member of the Advisory Board.

Morgan Neville won Best Documentary for WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?, Neville attended the Woodstock Film Festival in 2007 and won the award for Feature Documentary with THE COOL SCHOOL.

Debra Granik received the Bonnie Award which is given to recognize a mid-career female director. Granik is a long-time friend and attendee of the festival, where we have shown DOWN TO THE BONE and last year’s hit LEAVE NO TRACE.

Alex Moratto, the director of SOCRATES, was presented the Someone to Watch Award, for filmmakers who have "not yet received appropriate recognition." Alex Moratto attended the 19th Annual Woodstock Film Festival with SOCRATES and won the Ultra Indie Award.

Location: Aaron Rezny Inc, Kingston, NY
Date: Saturday March 16, 2019
Time: 6pm

In honor of Women's History Month the Woodstock Film Festival is presenting Women in Film & Television Talk, featuring some of today’s most accomplished and diverse women working in the industry. The event will focus on career trajectories and opportunities and will explore some of the challenges and accomplishments of today’s working women in the industry, covering different areas and disciplines. Audience participation will be encouraged. Curated and moderated by Meira Blaustein, Co-Founder/Executive Director, Woodstock Film Festival.

The event, presented by the Woodstock Film Festival is co-sponsored by Radio Kingston and Women History Month Kingston.

Libations provided by Town & Country Liquor.


  • Ellen Kuras - Oscar nominated Cinematographer & Director (Summer of Sam, Analyze That, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Wormwood, Ozark, The Betrayal - Nerakhoon)

  • Lisa Myers - Production Designer (Luce, Lost Girls, Ode to Joy, Concussion, Putzel, Manhattan Night)

  • Wendy Lidell - Sr. VP Theatrical / Theatrical Distribution & Acquisition, Kino Lorber INC

  • Wendy Ettinger - Co-Founder, Gamechanger, Co-Founder, Chicken & Egg Pictures; Producer of documentary and narrative features (The War Room, The Strange Ones, The Tale, Nancy)

  • Janet Grillo - Filmmaker (Fly Away, Jack of the Red Hearts), former executive at New Line Cinema, and a full time Arts Professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts

  • Blair Breard - Emmy-nominated Producer for film and television (One Mississippi, Louie, Wanted, Pootie Tang)



Special screening of AMAZING GRACE, with live musical introduction by Simi Stone


A co-presentation with Upstate Films

A special screening of AMAZING GRACE, a documentary presenting Aretha Franklin with choir at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles in January 1972. Aretha Franklin recorded her live album “Amazing Grace” over two nights in 1972. The footage in the concert documentary of the same name shows the transcendent process.

“It doesn’t matter how much time you’ve spent with “Amazing Grace” the album. No suitable preparation exists for the experience of witnessing its recording...Everybody deserves to have the revelation it offers — and the emotional exercise. Everybody deserves to have Aretha Franklin take them to the moon.” - The New York Times

Courtesy of Neon

May 11

Staged Screenplay Reading of FEEDING MRS. MOSKOWITZ
A co-presentation with Actors and Writers and the Woodstock Film Festival

FEEDING MRS. MOSKOWITZ tells the story of the remarkable Golde Moskowitz, an elderly Russian widow living alone with her memories. In Golde’s world, “signs” are everywhere, the dead converse with the living, and dreams are real. Natalie Holtzman, a thirty-six-year-old graphic artist longing for connection, fills her world with work and her commitment-wary boyfriend, Artie. One sweltering summer morning, Golde decides to do some grocery shopping. Natalie, on her way to work, quite literally “runs into” her, and the lives of both women are forever changed. Gracefully poignant, FEEDING MRS. MOSKOWITZ explores the world of the elderly with deft humor and heart-wrenching detail.

FEEDING MRS. MOSKOWITZ was written by Barbara Pokras and Fran Pokras Yariv, based on the novel by the same title.

Featuring cast from Actors & Writers, including stage and screen actors Lori Wilner and Dannah Chaifetz.

Actors and Writers is a professional theater ensemble that performs old and new plays in the Hudson Valley area including Odd Fellows in Olivebridge, Maverick Concert Hall in Woodstock, Unison Arts in New Paltz, and ASK in Kingston Rondout.


MAY 22


7th Annual Taste of Woodstock
The Woodstock Film Festival is holding the 7th Annual Taste of Woodstock on May 22nd, 2019 at 6pm. Join us and celebrate the culinary diversity and delicacies that the region has to offer.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Woodstock Film Festival and Hudson Valley Film Commission. TheWoodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501c3 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. The Hudson Valley Film Commission creates sustainable economic development year round by attracting and supporting film, video, and media production.

MAY 30


Upstate Films in Woodstock, 9:15 pm a screening of the film BAD BLACK.

Welcome to Wakaliwood, Uganda: home of “DA BEST OF DA BEST MOVIES!” and the vanguards of DIY commando cinema. Under the guidance of writer/producer/director Nabwana Isaac Godfrey Geoffrey (IGG) and with producer/star Alan Ssali Hofmanis, this crack crew of self-taught filmmakers and martial arts aficionados produce dozens of gonzo action films in the Kampala ghetto with budgets that rarely exceed $200 USD. Utilizing scrap parts to build computers, machine guns and a full-sized Huey helicopter, these real-life superheroes inspire more heart, imagination and soul than a thousand Hollywood blockbusters. Guaranteed to thrill midnight-movie geeks and well worth the attention of cineastes and film scholars, BAD BLACK is enjoying a highly successful festival run. Variety reviewed the film in 2017 from the BiFan Film Festival saying, “Performed with infectious zeal by a cast of hundreds, ‘Bad Black’ proves that under the right circumstances, enthusiastic amateurs can carry the day just as well as highly trained professionals”.

Producer / Star Alan Ssali Hofmanis will be in attendance.

Courtesy of AGFA (American Genre Film Archive)


Outdoor Screening Powered by Solar Energy
Co-Presentation with Oscillation Transia.

Oscillation Transia Film Festival is a non-profit traveling event, exploring the intersection of solar energy application and environmental awareness through the art of film. Oscillation Transia is screening works in outdoor and rural areas around the U.S. Films will be exploring both fictional and non-fictional themes of movement, nomadic living, adventure and the natural world. Take the family to an outdoor screening, powered by solar energy.

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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