Woodstock Film Festival illuminates the fine art


The 17th annual Woodstock Film Festival (WFF) projects its presence on the region from October 13 to 16, with more than 130 films, panels and other events in town as well as in Saugerties, Rhinebeck and Rosendale.

The Festival opens Thursday, October 13, at 6 p.m. at the Woodstock Playhouse, with the world premiere of Michael Mailer’s Blind, starring Alec Baldwin and Demi Moore. Baldwin and Mailer will both be on hand for a discussion following the screening.

WFF 2016 includes five world premieres, six North American premieres, three US premieres, 11 East Coast premieres and 14 New York premieres. There are programs of shorts, both animated and live-action. This year’s panel discussions will cover such topics as “Producers on Producing,” “Music for Film,” “Women in Film and Media” and “Feminism in the Middle East.” One third of this year’s selected films — 44 in all — were made by women; three Dutch films will be spotlighted among the 2016 roster of 32 international entries. Ten films were made in the Hudson Valley…


Then there are the Maverick Awards, handed out at the Saturday night Gala at BSP on Wall Street in Kingston on Saturday, October 15. This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to a Woodstocker, the inimitable Leon Gast — best-known for the Oscar winning documentary When We Were Kings, about Muhammed Ali and his 1974 heavyweight championship fight in Zaire with George Foreman. His fellow Oscar-winning documentarian Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA) will be presenting Gast with the award. And it was just announced that the Closing Night Film will be the World Premiere of Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Leon Gast’s new film Woodstock: A Love Poem, at 8 p.m. Sunday October 16 at the Woodstock Playhouse.

Two-time Best Director Academy Award-winner Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, The Revenant) will be on hand to give the Trailblazer Award to Participant Media CEO David Linde, honoring that company’s commitment to producing hard-hitting topical films like Spotlight. Actor Ben Foster will give the Fiercely Independent Award to screenwriter/ director/producer Oren Moverman (Rampart, Time out of Mind, Love and Mercy, I’m Not There). Recipients in additional award categories will be announced at the ceremony.

Ticket prices for WFF screenings and events range from $10 on up. See www. woodstockfilmfestival.com/ticketinfo.php to view the full schedule and order tickets.