Screening Under the Stars Powered by Solar Energy

Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution

Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution

Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution

Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution

Join us for an screening under the stars and workshop powered by solar energy in collaboration with Oscillation Transia Film Festival at the Congressman Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Visitor Center at (5096 NY-28, Mt Tremper, NY 12457) on June 14 at 7:30pm.

A screening of HAPPENING: A CLEAN ENERGY REVOLUTION, directed by James Redford, founder of the Redford Center, will headline the evening, preceded by the short film GROWING WITH THE GRAIN directed by Jon Bowermaster of Ocean 8 Films.

Prior to the screening there will be a Solar Energy Workshop Lead by Festival Engineer Austin Krause. Learn the basics of solar energy, how Oscillation Transia runs on solar, and how you can implement solar into your life today!


Watch the trailer here: GROWING WITH THE GRAIN

Suggested donation $10. RSVP is required.

Seating will be provided but feel free to bring your own chairs and blankets.

Click here for more information and to RSVP

FEEDING MRS. MOSKOWITZ Electrifies Sold Out Audience

Photo: Naomi Schmidt

Photo: Naomi Schmidt

On May 11, a sold out audience enjoyed a laugh out loud, electrifying performance.of FEEDING MRS. MOSKOWITZ at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts. The screenplay reading was co-presented by the Woodstock Film Festival, and Actors & Writers. The screenplay was written by Barbara Pokras and Fran Pokras Yariv, based on the novella by Pokras.

The show featured cast from Actors & Writers, including stage and screen actors Lori Wilner, Dannah Chaifetz, Mikhail Horowitz, Sarah Chodoff, Shelley Wyant, Joe White, Mark St Germain, Katherine Burger, Davis Hall, Mary Gallagher, Nina Shengold and Brian Macready. Shelley Wyant directed, and described the evening as follows: “We stirred up some creative juices and the results were magical! What a delight for us and for our community.”

Thank to all who attended.

Upcoming Events:
May 30BAD BLACK from Wakaliwood in Uganda

Click here for upcoming events featuring ACTORS & WRITERS

Coming Up May 11: Staged Screenplay Reading of Feeding Mrs. Moskowitz


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Join us at the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts (34 Tinker Street Woodstock, NY) on May 11 at 7PM.

Suggested Donation $15.00

Screenplay by Barbara Pokras and Fran Pokras Yariv 
Based on the novella by Barbara Pokras

Featuring cast from Actors & Writers, including stage and screen actors Lori Wilner, Dannah Chaifetz, Mikhail Horowitz, Joe White, Mark St Germain, Katherine Burger, Davis Hall, Mary Gallagher, Nina Shengold and Brian Macready.

Directed by Actors & Writers member Shelley Wyant.

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 two women at different stages of their lives with deft humor and heart-warming detail.

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Barbara Pokras is an Emmy award-winning film editor and a member of American Cinema Editors, Inc., Motion Picture Editors Guild and New York Women in Film and Television. She was an adjunct professor in the Cinema Department of the University of Southern California (1995-1997) and is a graduate of that university. Barbara and husband Bob Malkin of the iconic Soho gallery, ThinkBig! and ThinkBig! A Tiny House Resort, live in Upstate New York, with their rescue dogs, Noodle and O’Henry.

Fran Pokras Yariv grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut, received her B.A. in creative writing and M.A. in education at Syracuse University. She is the author of the novels Leaving, The Hallowing, Last Exit, and Safe Haven and was awarded a Writers Guild of America, East, Foundation Fellowship in screenwriting. She and her husband, Dr. Amnon Yariv, professor of applied physics and electrical engineering at Caltech, live in Pasadena, California.

The writers wish to acknowledge James Hardy, producer, Bob Hope Enterprises and Alhambra Pictures, who believed in the book, commissioned the screenplay and thoughtfully guided them through numerous revisions. Thank you, Jim!

Actors & 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.

You are Invited: 7th Annual Taste of Woodstock

On Wednesday, May 22, from 6-9pm, the 7th Annual Taste of Woodstock will celebrate the culinary diversity and delicacies that the region has to offer. 21 restaurants and hosts are set to participate including A&P Bar, Bike & Brew Co, Bread Alone, CalmbuchaColony, Catskill Mountain Pizza, Early Terrible, Fruition Chocolate Works, Joshua's, Little AppleLenny Bee Productions, Mountain Gate Indian RestaurantNancy's Artisanal Creamery, Oriole 9, Reservoir Inn, Sharkie’s MeatballsShindig, Silvia, Station Bar & Curio, T SalonWoodstock Meats, Woodstock Pizza Theater, Woodstock Wine & Liquors, and Yum Yum Noodle Bar.

*New participants will be added as they join. Participants subject to change.

Good food. Good company. Good cause. Join your friends and neighbors for a fun filled Woodstock evening!

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Woodstock Film Festival and Hudson Valley Film Commission.

For tickets, visit

Special Screening: AMAZING GRACE


April 28th

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

A co-presentation with Upstate Films

Location: Upstate Films Woodstock
2 pm

“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

AMAZING GRACE is 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.

Courtesy of Neon

Buy tickets here

In Memoriam: Alan Siegel


Alan Siegel, director of The Thompson Family Foundation, a charitable foundation with a goal to give back to America - through arts, culture, education and science, and in particular, cancer research, passed away March 18th. Alan was one of those truly remarkable individuals who thrived on supporting scientific and humanitarian innovations as well as artistic endeavors. He traveled the world many times over and created powerful partnerships like the one between Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the Weizmann Institute which resulted in successful clinical trials for an early-stage of prostate cancer therapy. Among some of the charitable entities close to his heart were also those that were Woodstock based, including the Maverick Concerts, Woodstock School of Art and the Woodstock Film Festival, where his support went specifically towards the festival’s Youth Initiative.

Together with his childhood sweetheart, his wife Sandy, Alan experienced life to the fullest. No one enjoyed and appreciated culture, art, scientific discoveries and helping humanity more than he did. An accomplished artist in his own right, Alan was a man with many stories to tell, many adventures to have lived, and has accumulated countless grateful individuals and organizations along the way.

We send our deepest condolences to Alan’s family and friends as we mourn the passing of a truly remarkable man. Rest in peace.

Woodstock Film Festival Youth Film Lab Returns This Summer

The Woodstock Film Festival Summer Youth Film Lab returns this summer for the 2nd year!

Under the leadership of Meira Blaustein, Woodstock Film Festival Co-Founder / Executive Director, the film lab will run July 8 - 26, 2019, at the Center for Creative Education in mid-town Kingston, NY.

Megan Sperry, Professor of Digital Media Production at SUNY New Paltz, returns as the Woodstock Film Festival Summer Youth Film Lab Program Director.


The Youth Film Lab is an opportunity for Hudson Valley teenage students to learn about the filmmaking process from film industry professionals. Over the span of the three-week program, students will learn about each phase of the production process; conceptualizing, writing, filming and editing original projects. Students will work in small groups with a dedicated instructor. Field trips and presentations by mentors working in the field will increase students understanding of the film industry and culture. Films produced at the Lab will be shown this fall at the 20th annual Woodstock Film Festival. Open for students 14-18 years old with an interest in filmmaking. This program is absolutely FREE for students.

The 2nd Annual Woodstock Film Festival Summer Youth Film Lab was made possible with support from an anonymous donor.

Click HERE to sign up. Space is limited.

LOOK BACK: Women in Film & Television Event

Photo by: Rob Belli

Photo by: Rob Belli

This past Saturday saw an inspirational event spotlighting and celebrating powerful and talented women working in different fields within the film and television industries. Hundreds attended and filled the overflowing room, and the talk ran far longer than anticipated, with a meet & greet session afterwards.

Our dynamic panelists included Janet Grillo, Ellen Kuras, Blair Breard, Lacey Schwartz-Delgado, Wendy Ettinger, Wendy Lidell, and Lisa Myers.

Each woman ended the panel with a word of advice for aspiring filmmakers:

Janet Grillo told us, “The DNA genetic code of a society caries forth who we are, what we value, what matters, and it’s so important to tell them, so keep telling your story.”

Ellen Kuras reminded us, “You don’t have to be a jerk to be good. Trust your inner voice, it will tell you the truth.”

Blair Breard left the imparting words, “You have to really love what you do and kind of give yourself over to that. And if it’s your thing it’s absolutely worth it.”

Lacey Schwartz-Delgado rules for working hard, “…having good people and being dedicated to it and doing that consistency is really the most important thing.”

Wendy Ettinger reminds us to know our worth, “Whether you're a filmmaker or a funder or you work at the hardware store don’t underestimate the value of your worth to other people whether they be an artist your neighbor or anyone else….they are unbelievably interesting we just have to listen harder to each other right now.”

Wendy Lidell advice to the future distributor, “My credo has always been I find an audience for a film and not a film for an audience.”

Lisa Myers encouraged young females, “…Specifically to female filmmakers, stop saying you're sorry, stop apologizing all the time….appreciate that you deserve the same opportunities and you deserve to be in the room.”

Barbara Pokras addresses the panel. Photo by: Rob Belli

Barbara Pokras addresses the panel. Photo by: Rob Belli

Audiences members were encouraged to ask questions and share their own experience as women working in the industry.

Phyllis shared with us about her involvement in the New York Film Festival in 1963. She had decided to rent a 16mm camera when she discovered no shoulder braces could accommodate a women’s body, the shoulder brace went across her chest in a large X. She had to make her own brace to try and wear this camera during the festival. No one had seen a woman with a camera at that time.

The full panel discussion can be streamed here.

The Women in Film & Television Panel could not have been made possible without our partnership with Radio Kingston. Our thanks go out also to Hillary Harvey for creating the Women’s History Month Kingston events, and to Aaron Rezny for his beautiful space and hospitality.

Refreshments were provided by the T-Salon and Bread Alone.

Next special event in collaboration with Radio Kingston: Voices of Diversity in Film & Media, June 1st.

Photo by: Rob Belli

Photo by: Rob Belli

Four Session Seminar - Mapping the Movie in Your Mind

Woodstock Film Festival Presents
Spring 2019 Screenwriting Seminar

Mapping the Movie in Your Mind 

Taught by Screenwriter/Director Alex Smith 

Four 3-hour sessions over five weeks:
Tuesdays, April 30 - June 4 from 6:00PM-9:00PM
The Film Center, 13 Rock City Road, Woodstock, NY
Tuition: $260  - Click Here to Register

Are you haunted by a story?
One that won't let you go-- yet remains stuck in your head?
This intensive writing workshop will help you move the movie (or television show, limited series, webisode, etc.,) in your mind onto the page. A series of four distinct workshop sessions will help draw forth your idea– moving it from a FROZEN CONCEPT to a FLOWING STORY, inducing it, Athena-like, into a full-blown narrative.

By seminar’s end, each student will have generated a multi-dimensional map of the movie in their mind and will have fully ‘broken’ their idea from start-to-finish– and be primed to begin writing.


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

The Smith's also wrote, directed and produced WINTER IN THE BLOOD, a feature film based on the landmark James Welch novel. The film won numerous awards and was screened at the Woodstock Film Festival. Previously, they wrote and directed THE SLAUGHTER RULE, starring Ryan Gosling, David Morse and Amy Adams, which also premiered in Main Competition at Sundance.

Alex has, with his brother, written over 15 professional feature film scripts and television pilots, for companies including Amazon, HBO, Warner Brothers, Disney, Sony, & FX. They adapted the graphic novel, SON OF THE GUN by legendary cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky for Fox Searchlight. They also adapted the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Wallace Stegner novel REMEMBERING LAUGHTER for filmmaker Rodrigo Garcia. Alex has worked with Robert Redford, Jodie Foster, Lars Von Trier, Brian De Palma, David O. Russell and adapted Anton Chekhov’s THE DUEL for Terrence Malick. He is the recipient of many grants, fellowships and residencies and is a published writer of fiction.

Alex taught Screenwriting & Filmmaking at Columbia University and NYU/Tisch, as well as at the University of Texas, Austin, where he was the Creative Director of the University of Texas Film Institute. He has taught multiple Nicholl Fellowship and Black List screenwriters. He is a current mentor for the brand new Sundance Co//ab online program. He is a Michener Fellow, a Sundance Fellow, and a Rauschenberg Fellow. He is based in Woodstock, New York, where he is a resident at the Byrdcliffe Artist Colony.

The Woodstock Film Festival is a non-profit, 501c3 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.

Click Here to Register

Women in Film & Television Talk & Reception

In honor of Women's History Month, the Woodstock Film Festival, together with Radio Kingston and Women History Month Kingston is hosting Women in Film & Television Talk Saturday, March 16, 6pm at the Aaron Rezny Studio, 76 Prince Street, Kingston, NY. The event, featuring a diverse and accomplished array of women working in the industry, will focus on the career trajectories and opportunities of the speakers and will explore some of their challenges and accomplishments, covering different areas and disciplines. Members of the audience will be invited to participate and tell their own stories. Curated and moderated by Meira Blaustein, Co-Founder/Executive Director, Woodstock Film Festival.

The event will be streamed live courtesy of Radio Kingston.

Refreshments will be provided by T-Salon and Bread Alone.

This event is SOLD OUT!

Panelists include:

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

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


Refreshments will be provided by T-Salon and Bread Alone.

Catherine Hardwicke’s Miss Bala hitting theaters Friday February 1st

Production designer turned director Catherine Hardwicke, with mega hits like Twilight and Sundance hits like Thirteen under her belt, has recently completed the remake of Miss Bala, coming out theatrically Friday February 1st, courtesy of Sony.


Hardwicke is one of the top commercially and artistically successful female directors working in Hollywood today. Miss Bala, which was shot in Tijuana, employed cast and crew which was 95% latino. 

Hardwicke, a friend of the Woodstock Film Festival, attended the festival in 2016 where she gave a master class in filmmaking, participated in a panel, and served on the World Cinema jury.


“As a woman, I do want to pave the way for more women and inspire more women. So, the more female directors that take these jobs, accomplish the task and do something amazing with it, is gonna be great for the future. Just recently, I had the opportunity to meet a young girl from a small town in Peru. She said she was looking at a DVD for Twilight, and once she saw that a woman directed it, it blew her mind. Then, for the first time, she told her parents, “I’m going to be a director.” Ten years later, she’s showing a short film at the Academy in L.A. It was amazing. So, if we keep paving the way, more and more women can kick ass. Yes, we gotta do it.“ - The Hollywood Reporter

Read more about Catherine Hardwicke and her upcoming film, Miss Bala.

Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

Lifetime Achievement Award to The Silence of the Lambs Editor


Film festival friend and alum, and Hudson Valley part time resident, Craig McKay, a 40 years veteran editor with Oscar nominations for The Silence of the Lambs and Reds, is receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Eddie Awards, the American Cinema Editors Awards Gala, on Friday February 1st. Congratulations Craig on lifetime of amazing work!


“We call editing the invisible art. But that attitude doesn't recognize the contribution that an editor makes to a film. You can see camera work, acting, sets — but editing, most people aren't really aware of what's happening and how cumulatively that adds up. Our contribution is major, and it needs to be recognized more than it is.” - The Hollywood Reporter

Read more about Craig McKay being awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award here

Woodstock At Sundance

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.

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

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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.

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“‘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.


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.

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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.

Remembering An American Avant-Garde Icon; Jonas Mekas


In 2001, the second annual Woodstock Film Festival, we were honored to have the legendary co-founder & chairman of Anthology Film Archives, Jonas Mekas, who curated for the festival a special three-day program of American Avant-Garde cinema. Mr. Mekas programmed the three days by periods, chronicling the history of American Avant-Garde throughout the years. Enormously influential, particularly in New York’s early underground cinema, the pioneering filmmaker and curator hosted the three-day program, titled A Taste of the Avant-Garde, himself, presenting films in all formats, primarily 8mm and 16mm. Among the seminal Avant-Garde films selected by Mekas were Harry Smith’s The Films of Harry Smith (1939-46), Maya Deren’s A Study in Choreography for Camera (1945), Kenneth Anger’s Eaux D’Artifice (1953), Andy Warhol’s Haircut (1964), Stan Brakhage’s Mothlight (1963), Jonas Mekas’ Notes on the Circus (1966), Bruce Conner’s Valse Triste (1979), and Peter Hutton’s Study of a River, A Seasonal Study of the Hudson River (1996), to name a few.

That year the late pioneer digital filmmaker Gary Winick, founder of InDigEnt, attended the Woodstock Film Festival as well with his own film, Sam the Man. The two participated in a panel exploring the wide and diverse span of filmmaking.


Mr. Mekas got his start curating experimental films in New York City in the 1950s. In 1954, Mekas and his brother Adolfas, co-founded the American Film Magazine Film Culture. He started directing his own features in the 1960s including, “Guns of the Trees” and “The Brig”. He worked with Andy Warhol, John Lennon, Allen Ginsberg, and Salvador Dali, among many other prominent cultural artists. In 1970 Mekas, along with colleagues Jerome Hill, P. Adams Sitney, Peter Kubelka and Stan Brakhage, opened the Anthology Film Archives, an international center for the preservation, study, and exhibition of film and video, with a particular focus on independent, experimental, and avant-garde cinema. In the decades since its founding, Anthology has grown far beyond its original concept to encompass film and video preservation; the formation of a reference library containing the world’s largest collection of books, periodicals, stills, and other paper materials related to avant-garde cinema; and a remarkably innovative and eclectic film exhibition program.

Mr. Mekas passed away quietly at his home on Wednesday January 23. He was 96 years old. He will be greatly missed, and never forgotten. Rest in peace.

Woodstock Film Festival Alumni Secure Oscar Nominations


The Woodstock Film Festival would like to congratulate this year’s Woodstock Film Festival film selections and past alumni on their well deserved nominations.

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 the festival this year and has just been nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject.


Our alumni deserve a round of applause as well!

We look forward to hopefully seeing Tim Blake Nelson a longtime friend and attendee of the festival on that stage singing "When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings" from THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS.

Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, 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 with her new film FREE SOLO.

Marshall Curry, who attended the festival in 2009 for RACING DREAMS is nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN.

Congratulations to all the nominees!

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

Tune in to the Academy Awards on Sunday, February 24th.

WHAT IS DEMOCRACY? Opens in Manhattan This Week

WHAT IS DEMOCRACY? is opening this week 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. Woodstock Film Festival’s Barbara Pokras elaborates on her take on the film below:

"Everywhere you look democracy is in trouble," observes director Astra Taylor as she travels the world to document the wave of authoritarianism sweeping the planet. Drawing on the ancient Greek philosophers and intercutting footage of the remnants of ancient Greece, Taylor seeks to tackle the question of "How shall we live?" With cameos by some of the most brilliant minds of our time, Taylor interviews Cornel West, Angela Davis and Wendy Brown, among others, and ferrets out the dark side of what we think of as democracy, with its institutionalized racism, poverty and greed. Plato observed the simple truth that the rich strive for more wealth to the detriment of the poor, and he thus believed that rulers should be impoverished. In a stark and revelatory interview, former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou dispels the notion of democracy — when loans from neighboring countries and the IMF result in austerity and riots. This is a fascinating account with parallels as true today as in Plato’s time. —Barbara Pokras, ACE

Joining filmmaker Astra Taylor during the week of the screenings will be special guests including: Silvia Federici, Cornel West, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor.

WHAT IS DEMOCRACY? opens Wednesday, January 16th. Showtimes, appearances, and tickets can be found at:

For more information on the film please visit:

Maverick Award Winning Film, LIFEBOAT Picked Up By New Yorker Magazine


If you missed LIFEBOAT at the 2018 Woodstock Film Festival, where it was honored with the Maverick Award for Best Short Doc, you can now view the film thanks to The New Yorker Magazine. To watch the video, visit

Directed by Skye Fitzgerald, 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.

"Woodstock was an incredible venue for our film,” said Fitzgerald. “It's filled with audiences with a real appetite for rigorous, unvarnished storytelling and robust dialogue surrounding issues in the films.”

In January, LIFEBOAT was shortlisted for the 2019 Academy Awards. It joins a long list of short documentaries that have screened at Woodstock prior to being honored with Oscar recognition. Other honorees include KNIFE SKILLS by Thomas Lennon, OUR CURSE by Tomasz Sliwinski, KINGS POINT by Sari Gilman, MONDAYS AT RACINE by Cynthia Wade, SALIM BABA by Tim Sternberg, LA CORONA by Amanda Micheli, FREEHELD by Cynthia Wade, WHY CAN’T WE BE A FAMILY AGAIN by Roger Weisberg and Murray Nossel, TWIN TOWERS by Bill Guttentag, and FERRY TALES by Katja Esson.

Skye Fitzgerald has been producing projects focused on human rights and social justice issues since 1998. Along the way he has collaborated and received support from the Sundance Institute, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the State Department and the Paul Robeson Fund, including being named a Fulbright Research Scholar to produce the film Bombhunters. For more info, visit

And the Golden Globe goes to...


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.

Patricia Clarkson at the 2007 Woodstock Film Festival

Patricia Clarkson at the 2007 Woodstock Film Festival

Rachel Brosnahan on her win for THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy. 


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.

Melissa Leo, Meira Blaustein and Rachel Brosnahan at 2011 Woodstock Film Festival

Melissa Leo, Meira Blaustein and Rachel Brosnahan at 2011 Woodstock Film Festival

Congratulations to all nominees and winners!


Director Jeff Malmberg and Mark Hogancamp during the making of MARWENCOL

Director Jeff Malmberg and Mark Hogancamp during the making of MARWENCOL

In 2006, director Jeff Malmberg began what would become the Award Winning documentary MARWENCOL, about outsider artist Mark Hogancamp. The documentary later inspired a radio story for THIS AMERICAN LIFE. The documentary was released theatrically by the Cinema Guild and aired on PBS. It won over 25 awards, including the Best Documentary award at the 2010 Woodstock Film Festival – the first public screening that Hocancamp attended.

“Mark is a beautiful and fascinating person, so to be able to tell his story over that amount of time was a real joy,” says Malmberg looking back. “At that time, the Kingston area was sort of a second home for me. I still feel really close to that area and love coming back.”


The feature film version, WELCOME TO MARWEN, which is based on MARWENCOL, will play from 1/4 through 1/7/2019 at the Rosendale Theatre Collective. When a devastating attack shatters Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell) and wipes away all his memories, no one expects recovery. Putting together pieces from his old and new life, Mark meticulously creates a wondrous town where he can heal and be heroic. As he builds an astonishing art installation—a testament to the most powerful women he knows—through his fantasy world, he draws strength to triumph in the real one. In a bold, wondrous and timely film, WELCOME TO MARWEN shows that when your only weapon is your imagination…you’ll find courage in the most unexpected place.

WELCOME TO MARWEN is the second feature directed by the legendary director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Castaway, Forrest Gump) that features an Ulster County Resident. The film stars Steve Carell.


THE WALK, which screened at the 2015 Woodstock Film Festival, is based on the Academy Award winning documentary MAN ON WIRE about high wire artist Philippe Petit. Before production, in 2014, actor Joseph Gordon Leavitt visited the region and practiced tightrope walking under the tutelage of Philippe Petit at Tech City in the Town of Ulster.

Zemeckis is also executive producer of NBC’s MANIFEST, which filmed its pilot episode at Stewart Airport in New Windsor.

For upcoming exhibitions featuring work by Mark Hogancamp, visit

OSCAR Short Lists include 2018 Woodstock Film Festival picks


The Oscars are right around the corner. On December 17, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released shortlists for nine Oscar categories including Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Short, Best Foreign-Language Film, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Best Animated Short, Best Live-Action Short, Best Visual Effects

The Woodstock Film Festival is proud to have screened three films that have been short listed including:

Hale County This Morning, This Evening, directed by RaMell Ross was nominated for Best Documentary Feature. Described as “The most significant piece of nonfiction filmmaking of the year” by Indiewire, the film recently received the Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Documentary and has been nominated for the Independent Spirit Awards, to be held February 23rd 2019.

LifeBoat, directed by Skye Fitzgerald, has been nominated for Best Documentary Short. The heart wrenching short doc was awarded the Best Short Documentary Award at the 2018 Woodstock Film Festival,

One Small Step, directed by Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas, received a nomination for Best Animated Short.

For a complete list of nominations, visit Hollywood Reporter.

Congrats to these filmmakers and to all the nominees, and stay tuned for the final Oscar nominations, which will be revealed January 22.