Woodstock Film Festival Announces Lineup!

Woodstock Film Festival Announces Lineup!

The Woodstock Film Festival, now in its 24th year, is pleased to present its main slate of distinguished films to screen from September 27 to October 1, 2023, at venues across the Hudson Valley towns of Woodstock, Rosendale and Saugerties. This year’s program features new titles from renowned auteurs and emerging directors including opening night film and critically-acclaimed Sundance hit “Fair Play” directed by Chloe Domont, Steve Buscemi’s “The Listener,” “The Kill Room directed by Nicol Paone and starring Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson. “The New Boy directed by Warwick Thornton and starring Cate Blanchett. Oscar-nominated filmmaker Pawo Choyning Dorji’s “The Monk and the Gun,” Oscar-nominee Bill Plympton’s “Slide,” and anticipated documentaries including Wim Wenders’ “Anselm,” Oscar-winner Roger Ross Williams’ “Stamped from the Beginning,” Karen O’Connor, Miri Navasky and Maeve O’Boyle’s “Joan Baez I Am Noise,” Oscar-nominated director Karim Amer’s “Defiant,” Madeleine Gavin’s “Beyond Utopia,”  Oliver English’s “Feeding Tomorrow” and a special 40th anniversary screening of “When The Mountains Tremble by Saugerties-based master documentarian Pamela Yates. The shorts programs includes works from auteurs Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson with “Black Girls Play,” Ramin Bahrani with “If Dreams Were Lightning,” Joan Churchill with “Who Tells the Story? and Yann Mounir Demange with “Dammi” starring Riz Ahmed.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be awarded to renowned filmmaker James Ivory. Ivory was the directing partner with the legendary producer Ismail Merchant, in their independent company Merchant Ivory Productions. In the forty eight years they worked together as a team, usually accompanied by the writer and novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, they created 28 feature films including the classics A Room With a View, Maurice, Howards End and The Remains of the Day. Ivory also wrote the screenplay for Call Me By Your Name, for which he received an Academy Award in 2018. A tribute screening of Ivory’s film The City of Your Final Destination, will take place on Saturday, September 30, followed by a conversation with Ivory and novelist Peter Cameron.

Filmmakers, talent and other luminaries expected to attend this year’s edition of the festival include James Ivory, Steve Buscemi, Michael Imperioli, Bill Plympton, Ramin Bahrani, Matthew Modine, Brittany Snow, Ted Hope, Vanessa Hope, Barbara Kopple, Sheila Nevins, Kiefer Sutherland, The Zombies, Ondi Timoner, Lori Singer, Tim Blake Nelson and more.

The Woodstock Film Festival is committed to supporting local film production in New York’s Hudson Valley, and to nurturing and supporting emerging and established filmmakers worldwide by sharing their creative voices to promote culture, diversity, community, educational opportunities and economic growth in its community. 12 of the films in this year’s robust program are produced or directed primarily in the region by filmmakers from the Hudson Valley creative community.

Meira Blaustein, Woodstock Film Festival Co-Founder and Executive Director, said, “We are thrilled to continue our tradition of bringing together world class talent from our own Hudson Valley community and extraordinary works of cinema from all over the world. We are  once again proud to amplify the work of a group of filmmakers whose ingenuity and innovative storytelling is exemplary. As the Hudson Valley establishes itself as an epicenter of artistry and industry for the creative film community in the United States, we are proud to be at the forefront of generating experiences, audiences and conversations that give directors, actors, writers and people practicing all forms of filmmaking a place to flourish.”

“Eileen” Photo: Courtesy of Jeong Park

The festival will feature stimulating panels with distinguished filmmakers and industry mavericks including:

— A conversation with prolific documentary producer Sheila Nevins moderated by two-time Oscar®-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple. The two pioneering women will discuss their impactful careers, the state of documentary filmmaking and their current and future projects.

Actors Who Direct with Brittany Snow, first-time director of Parachute; Steve Buscemi, director of The Listener; Matthew Modine, director of I Am What You Imagine, and moderated by Mary Stuart Masterson.

The Picket Line: A Road to Pay Equity and Sustainability,  presented by New York Women in Film & Television, with Neil Gaiman, author, writer and showrunner; Dana Weissman, Director of Programs at the Writers Guild of America East, Jo Miller, writer, The Daily Show, Full Frontal, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction and moderated by film critic Thelma Adams.

Creating Climate Stories to Rewrite Our Future, with Meredith Milton, Creative Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council and Lydia Dean Pilcher, leader of the PGA-WGA Climate Storytelling Initiative and moderated by producer Peter Saraf.

John Sloss, founder and CEO of Cinetic Media, together with Eugene Hernandez, Director of the Sundance Film Festival and head of public programming , and Bob Berney, CEO of Picturehouse, will discuss the current and future state of independent film.

Other festival highlights include the annual awards ceremony on September 30, where honors will be presented for accomplishments in multiple categories including Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Ultra Indie and Best Short Documentary.

The line up of narrative features and documentaries follows.

Narrative Features 

Alien Intervention, by Janet Grillo, U.S.

Asleep in My Palm, by Henry Nelson, U.S. — World Premiere

At the Gates, by Augustus Meleo Bernstein, U.S. — U.S. Premiere

Blackout, by Larry Fessenden, U.S. — U.S. Premiere

The City of Your Final Destination, by James Ivory, U.S. —Tribute Screening

Crumb Catcher, by Chris Skotchdople, U.S. — NY Premiere

Eileen, by William Oldroyd, U.S. — NY Premiere

Fair Play, by Chloe Domont, U.S. — Opening Night

Fairyland, by Andrew Durham, U.S.

Finestkind, by Brian Helgeland, U.S. — Closing Night

Goodbye Stranger, by Aaron Rookus, Netherlands — U.S. Premiere

I Used to be Funny, by Ally Pankiw, Canada — NY Premiere

Irena’s Vow, by Louise Archambault, Poland, Canada — U.S. Premiere

The Kill Room, by Nicol Paone, U.S. — World Premiere

The Listener, by Steve Buscemi, U.S.

Mascot, by Remy van Heugten, Netherlands — NY Premiere

The Monk and the Gun, by Pawo Choyning Dorji, Bhutan — NY Premiere

The New Boy, by Warwick Thornton, Australia — U.S. Premiere

No Right Way, by Chelsea Bo, U.S. — NY Premiere

Parachute, by Brittany Snow, U.S. — NY Premiere

Rachel Hendrix, by Victor Nunez, U.S.

Slide, by Bill Plympton, U.S — NY Premiere

Stockade, by Eric McGinty, U.S. — World Premiere

Summer Solstice, by Noah Schamus, U.S. — NY Premiere

Three Birthdays, by Jane Weinstock, U.S. — World Premiere

Tótem, by Lila Avilés, Mexico, Denmark, France

Which Brings Me to You, by Peter Hutchings, U.S. — World Premiere

Documentary Features

Another Body, by Sophie Compton and Reuben Hamlyn, U.S. — NY Premiere

Anselm, by Wim Wenders, Germany — NY Premiere

Beyond Utopia, by Madeleine Gavin, U.S. — NY Premiere

Defiant, by Karim Amer, Ukraine, U.K., U.S. — NY Premiere

Down By The Riverside, by Jodie Childers and Dan Messina, U.S. — World Premiere

Feeding Tomorrow, by Oliver English, U.S. — NY Premiere

Finding the Money, by Maren Poitras, U.S.  — World Premiere

Fioretta, by Matthew Mishory, U.S., Czechia — World Premiere

Food & Country, by Laura Gabbert, U.S. — NY Premiere

Gumbo Coalition, by Barbara Kopple, U.S.

Hollywoodgate, by Ibrahim Nash’at, U.S., Germany — NY Premiere

Hung Up On A Dream: The Zombies Documentary, by Robert Schwartzman,

In the Shadow of Beirut, by Stephen Gerard Kelly and Garry Keane, U.S. — U.S. Premiere

Invisible Nation, by Vanessa Hope, U.S. — U.S. Premiere

Joan Baez I Am A Noise, by Miri Navasky, Maeve O’Boyle and Karen O’Connor, U.S.

Mùsica!, by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, U.S. — NY Premiere

The New Americans: Gaming A Revolution, by Ondi Timoner, U.S. — NY Premiere

No Accident, by Kristi Jacobson, U.S. — World Premiere

Razing Liberty Square, by Katja Esson, U.S.

A Song Film by Kishi Bashi: Omoiyari, by Kishi Bashi and Justin Taylor Smith,

U.S. — NY Premiere

Stamped from the Beginning, by Roger Ross Williams, U.S. — NY Premiere

Texas Music Revolution, by Troy Paff, U.S. — NY Premiere

The Tuba Thieves, by Alison O’Daniel, U.S.

Unseen, by Set Hernandez Rongkilyo, U.S. — NY Premiere

When the Mountains Tremble, by Pamela Yates, Guatemala, 40th Anniversary Tribute

With Peter Bradley, by Alex Rappoport, U.S.

“Anselm” Photo: Courtesy of Sideshow and Janus Films

The Woodstock Film Festival is an Academy Awards® qualifying festival in the categories of Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film and Documentary Short Film.

This year’s festival features 23 films directed by women, including Jane Weinstock’s personal 1960s-set drama Three Birthdays; Brittany Snow’s directorial debut Parachute; I Used to Be Funny by Ally Pankiw and starring Rachel Sennot; and Irena’s Vow by Louise Archambault, adapted from the hit Broadway play of the same name. Highlights of the documentary section directed by women include the 40th anniversary screening of When The Mountains Tremble by Pamela Yates, Beyond Utopia by Madeleine Gavin, The New Americans: Gaming A Revolution by Ondi Timoner; Razing Liberty Square by Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Katja Esson; and Finding the Money by Maren Poitras.

Honoring its local and diverse musical legacy, the Woodstock Film Festival will screen documentaries featuring musicians including, Joan Baez I Am A Noise by Miri Navasky, Maeve O’Boyle and Karen O’Connor, The Tuba Thieves by Alison O’Daniel and With Peter Bradley by Alex Rappoport. Feature films A Song Film by Kishi Bashi: Omoiyari and Hung Up on a Dream: The Zombies Documentary by Robert Schwartzman will have adjacent concerts with their respective film participants at the newly-renovated Bearsville Theater. Additionally, the feature film Texas Music Revolution by Troy Paff will have an accompanying concert with Kiefer Sutherland at the Levon Helm Barn.

In continuation with Woodstock Film Festival’s commitment to sustainability and addressing the urgency of the climate crisis, the festival has programmed a number of films that reimagine solutions for current and future issues. Highlights include: Food & Country by Laura Gabbert; Feeding Tomorrow by Oliver English; Razing Liberty Square by Katja Esson and Finding the Money by Maren Poitras.

Additionally, Woodstock Film Festival has partnered with White Feather Farm, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organic farm dedicated to connecting community, culture and land, to host a community gathering following the screening of Feeding Tomorrow. The goal of the event, with local food and spirits, is to raise money for the Small Farm Resilience Fund in support of multiple small scale farmers in the Hudson Valley. The festival will also feature the panel Creating Climate Stories to Rewrite Our Future, with Meredith Milton, Creative Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council and Lydia Dean Pilcher, leader of the PGA-WGA Climate Storytelling Initiative and moderated by producer Peter Saraf.

This is the second year that short films that win at The Woodstock Film Festival in the categories of Best Short Narrative, Best Animated Short, and Best Short Documentary will automatically be eligible to be nominated for an Academy Award® in their respective categories.

This is the second year that short films that win at The Woodstock Film Festival in the categories of Best Short Narrative, Best Animated Short, and Best Short Documentary will automatically be eligible to be nominated for an Academy Award® in their respective categories.

The festival continues to feature a robust selection of short films in the program with this year’s selections including works from Matthew Modine, Ramin Barhani, Joan Churchill, Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson.

Highlights from the shorts program include:

American Santa, by Avi Weider, U.S. — NY Premiere

Black Girls Play: The Story of Hand Games, by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson, U.S.

Dammi, by Yann Mounir Demange, France

Funnyface, by Jude Harris, U.S.

I Am What You Imagine, by Matthew Modine, U.S. — NY Premiere

If Dreams Were Lightning, by Ramin Bahrani, U.S.

Maria Schneider, 1983, by Elisabeth Subrin, France

Peccadillo, by Sofia Garza-Barba, Mexico

Who Tells the Story?, by Joan Churchill, U.S. — World Premiere

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