"I can't begin to thank you for being so kind and supportive to the whole Cold Brook 'band of no goods! Whatever journey the movie takes from this day forward I'm so proud to say that it all began in Woodstock. To say that we had a great time would be a massive understatement. This will not be the last time that I attend the Woodstock Film Festival.” - William Fichtner, actor, Cold Brook (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 Nominations


Our congratulations goes out to these Woodstock Film Festival alumni who are nominated for this year’s Academy Awards.

Hale County This Morning, This Evening, directed by RaMell Ross is nominated for Best Documentary Feature.

One Small Step directed by Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas is nominated for Best Short Film (Animated).

Lifeboat directed by Skye Fitzgerald won Best Short Documentary at Woodstock this year is now nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject at the Oscars.

Elizabeth Chai who attended the festival in 2003 for A NORMAL LIFE and 2015 for INCORRUPTIBLE (which won Best Documentary at the festival), is nominated for Best Documentary Feature for her film FREE SOLO. Marshal Curry who attended the festival in 2009 for RACING DREAMS is nominated for Best Documentary Short for his film A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN.

NOTE: The new rules allow for up to 10 films to be nominated for Best Picture. Since only eight are nominated, here are two additional films that we feel would have made it a perfect 10:

LEAVE NO TRACE - directed by alumni Debra Granik
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK - directed by alumni Barry Jenkins

Congratulations to all the nominees! Tune in to the Academy Awards on Sunday, February 24th.

golden globe winners

Congratulations to Woodstock resident and Woodstock Film Festival alum Joe Weisberg, and the whole team of The Americans for their Golden Globe win in the Best Television Series - Drama category.

Our congratulations also go out to Woodstock Film Festival alums and two of everyone’s favorite actresses:

Patricia Clarkson, on her Golden Globe win for Sharp Objects in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.

Rachel Brosnahan on her win for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy. 


what is democracy?

What is Democracy? opened in Manhattan at the IFC Center, courtesy of Zeitgeist Films.

What is Democracy? had its NY premiere at the the 19th Annual Woodstock Film Festival in October 2018, with filmmaker Astra Taylor in attendance.

For more information on the film please visit their website.


Lifeboat, directed by Skye Fitzgerald was picked up by New Yorker Magazine. The documentary was honored with the Maverick Award at the 2018 Woodstock Film Festival. The 35 minute movie 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.

You can view the film on The New Yorker’s website.


Every winter, the Sundance Film Festival is the ultimate gathering of original storytellers and audiences. The festival has just begun and already we want to congratulate many Woodstock Film Festival alumni.


THE FAREWELL, starring Awkwafina produced by founding member of the advisory Peter Saraf, is rumored to have been acquired by A24 for 6 million dollars.


“‘Traveling While Black,’ a new virtual reality documentary from Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontier program Friday. The film, which draws a line from segregationist policies of the 1950s to modern-day police violence…” - Variety

Roger Ross Williams is a friend of the festival and was a guest programmer at the 19th Annual Woodstock Film festival.


Joe Berlinger, a member of our Advisory Board, had the world premiere of his latest film EXTREMELY WICKED SHOCKINGLY EVIL AND VILE at Sundance. You can read a review of Zac Efron playing Ted Bundy here.


THE BRINK, a documentary about Trump advisor Steven Bannon, is making an impact at Sundance. Festival friend and alum Marie Therese Guirgis produced the film which has just been acquired by Magnolia.


Festival alum and wife of NY District 19 Congressman Antonio Delgado, filmmaker Lacey Schwartz Delgado, is out at Sundance as a mentor for Sundance Ignite, which identifies and supports new voices and talent from the next generation of filmmakers and fosters fresh audiences for independent storytelling.


Festival alum and Honorary Trailblazer Award recipient James Schamus’ film THE TOMORROW MAN had its world premiere at Sundance and was acquired by Bleecker Street, planning on a May 17th release.

In announcing the acquisition, Bleecker Street CEO Andrew Karpen said, “Noble Jones has created a uniquely charming love story between master actors John Lithgow and Blythe Danner.  I’m thrilled to be working with my old colleague James Schamus and the team at Anonymous Content.


Ghost Fleet continues its great festival run, including the premiere of the companion ‘Ghost Fleet VR’ at the Sundance Film Festival.

The VR piece, directed by Shannon Service and Lucas Gath, will show five times between January 25 and February 2, as part of the New Frontiers Program.


The School of Visual Arts in NYC offers an MFA in Social Documentary Film.

Have a knack for storytelling? Fired up about social justice issues? Documentary film is your tool to activate. At SVA’s SocDoc program in New York City, develop the skills needed to tell compelling stories and sharpen your artistic voice. Receive mentorship and support from our faculty of successful working filmmakers to create your own body of work. Program alumni have received the Emmy Award, the Student Academy Award, had their films featured in major film festivals and broadcast around the world.

Invest in your career and immerse yourself within the wider documentary industry at film festivals and with exclusive master classes and guest lectures with acclaimed filmmakers and industry tastemakers.

Make an appointment to see if our community of award-winning filmmakers is the right place for you. Applications due Feb 1st for scholarship eligibility and priority consideration for the program.

Hosted by Women’s History Month Kingston, Woodstock Film Festival & Radio Kingston

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

Meira Blaustein, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Woodstock Film Festival curated and will moderate the panel.

Confirmed Panelists To Date:

  • 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


May 11th

Staged Screenplay Reading
A New Collaboration Between Actors and Writers and the Woodstock Film Festival
Actors and Writers is a professional theatre 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 22nd
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.

June 14th
Outdoor Screening Powered by Solar Energy
Join us for an outdoor screening in collaboration with Oscillation Transia. More details soon to come!


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