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vachon taste cobain happy
Christine Vachon Taste of Woodstock Montage of Heck Happyish











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On Friday, May 1, the Woodstock Film Festival will present a special screening of the KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK directed by Brett Morgan (The Kid Stays in the Picture). The film is the first authorized documentary on the late lead singer of Nirvana and is being screened courtesy of HBO. The film premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

Director Brett Morgen expertly blends Cobain's personal archive of art, music, and never-before-seen home movies with animation and revelatory interviews with his family and closest confidants. Following Kurt from his earliest years in Aberdeen, Washington, through the height of his fame, a visceral and detailed cinematic insight of an artist at odds with his surroundings emerges.

While Cobain craved the spotlight even as he rejected the trappings of fame, his epic arc depicts a man who stayed true to his earliest punk rock convictions, always identifying with the "outsider" and ensuring the music came first.

Fans and those of the Nirvana generation will learn things about Cobain they never knew while those who have recently discovered the man and his music will know what makes him the lasting icon that he is. —H.C. for Sundance Film Festival

"A fascinating mix of archival and new materials creates a virtual autobiography for legendary grunge trio Nirvana's late leader," wrote Dennis Harvey from Variety.



Justin Banks (resident pastry chef
and cook from CUCINA) at
2014 Taste of Woodstock

The 3rd Annual Taste of Woodstock is set for Wednesday, May 20, 2015!

Last year's event was a delicious success with over 150 people in attendance enjoying all the terrific food that Woodstock has to offer.

Come and delight your palate with the many different tastes that Woodstock has to offer. Start your tour in the heart of Woodstock at THE FILM CENTER @ 13 Rock City Road, across from the municipal parking lot. When you check in, you will be served a glass of wine (or another beverage), then handed your map of the participating eateries around town. At that point, you can stroll leisurely around town to take in as many of the food choices as your appetite will allow. All participating restaurants will be within walking distance.

Some great restaurants have already confirmed for this year's event: Blue Mountain Bistro-to Go Black Eyed Suzies, Bread Alone, Catskill Mountain Pizza, Cucina, Garden Cafe, The Green Palate, Landau Grill, Little Apple, Mountain Gate Restaurant, New Home World Cooking, Oriole 9, Provisions Woodstock, Shindig, Sunflower Café, The Tea Shop of Woodstock, Woodstock Wines and Liquor, Yum Yum and Peace, Love and Cupcakes.

Tickets are available for $50. Proceeds will benefit the Woodstock Film Festival and Hudson Valley Film Commission Capital Campaign. You can purchase tickets HERE.



The Woodstock Film Festival welcomes Christine Vachon ( @kvpi) to the festival's advisory board. Vachon is the prolific producer of critically acclaimed films such as Kids, I Shot Andy Warhol, Velvet Goldmine, Far From Heaven, Boys Don't Cry and the cult favorite Hedwig and the Angry Inch. She also produced the 2014 Woodstock Film Festival official selection Wildlike, and Still Alice, for which Julianne Moore won an Academy Award.

Vachon is a long time friend of the Woodstock Film Festival and the recipient of the 2007 Honorary Maverick Award.








A message about Nepal from Meira,

When I was in Bhutan working at the Bhutan International Film Festival I had the privilege of getting to know a few exceptionally talented and kind folks living and working in Nepal. Among them was Samir Jung Thapa, a filmmaker and explorer who narrowly escaped death during the earthquake while trekking in the Himalayas. "I was one of the few lucky trekkers who survived a narrow escape from the collapsing rocky mountain," said Samir. "It was mid day when I, along with my clients were having lunch by the stream and all of a sudden everything started to move. We heard the noise of landslide so we rushed to the other side of the stream and surrendered ourself under the tree. In a few seconds the mountains started to fall with loud explosion, we could see smoke and fire due to the collision of rocks, and in a few seconds we felt the shower of rocks flying from air breaking trees apart and it was just 10 - 15 meters away from where we were taking cover, there was a massive rock fall on both the sides and we could do nothing but surrender.” They were heli-lifted hours after the quake and brought to safety.

Others were Justin Wickman, one of the original directors of the Bhutan Festival, and Hauke Siessler, the Asian coordinator at the festival. Both Justin and Hauke work for the Learning Planet, a not for profit organization which helps remote communities create safe, stimulating, sustainable environments where both children and adults can learn and develop new schools. They design, co-finance and construct schools, equip them with clean energy and resources, retain or source new teachers where needed and supply schools with volunteers.

During the earthquake the Learning Planet and 90% of Dhawa, the village where it was headquartered, were completely destroyed as it stood only 12km from the epicenter of the earthquake. Thousands are now homeless. Most homes are now gone. All the old schools in the district are heaps of rubble. The new ones which the Learning Planet has built stayed up, but all are damaged. Bridges have fallen and roads were cut.

They need all the help they can get in order to rebuild. If you feel compelled to help this worthy organization in this time of need please donate through their website.

Thanks, Meira



The 17th Annual Doc Aviv Film Festival takes place May 7-16 in Tel Aviv. Woodstock Film Festival Executive Director Meira Blaustein will sit on the jury.

Included on the slate of films is 2014 Woodstock Film Festival official selection RED LINES. The film was the winner of the Maverick Documentary Award sponsored by Films We Like.




On June 6 at 7:30pm, Asbury Shorts, New York City's longest running, non-competitive short film exhibition and touring show, returns to the historic Rosendale Theatre in Rosendale, New York for a eclectic and highly entertaining program of award-winning short films, specially selected from the world's top film festivals. Fast-paced and fun, Asbury Shorts combines Oscar Nominees with "Best of Show" winners from US film festivals and international honorees including the best in comedy, drama and animation! Presented by Ulster County Tourism and The Rosendale Theatre. Recommended for ages 16 and way way above. Shorts from the United States, Iceland, Vancouver, Germany and of course: Brooklyn will be included in this terrific line up of short films for the June 6th show. Tickets Available HERE

May 16, 7:30pm

Directed by Sonthar Gyal

On his way back from a pilgrimage to Lhasa, a grieving and guilt-ridden Tibetan-speaking youth falls in with a wise old man in The Sun Beaten Path the helming debut of lenser-turned-director Sonthar Gyal. Handsomely photographed tale of this long walk home is predictably filled with mesmerizingly barren landscapes, long silent stretches and short moments of grace. -Courtesy Variety


May 8, Time TBD

Directed by Dave Boyle (@thedaveboyle)

In Person: co-writer Joel Clark times TBA

Nominated for the John Cassavetes Prize given by the 2015 Independent Spirit Awards to the best feature made for under $500,000 this is Dave Boyle’s fifth feature and it was co-written by a couple of former Upstate Films’ staffers, Joel Clark and Michael Lerman. 

This is a neo-noir mystery film set in California’s Bay Area that stars Pepe Serna (the veteran character actor featured in Scarface, The Black Dahlia, The Jerk) as a small-town sheriff of a town south of San Francisco and Ayako Fujitani as a Japanese crime novelist named Aki who bails out of her book tour and comes to San Francisco looking for refuge and peace. Soon, however, Aki finds herself mixed up in a real-life murder mystery involving ambiguous MacGuffins, amorphous identities, and exhilarating new takes on genre conventions. Ultimately it’s an alluring l’homme fatal who supplies Aki with the breadcrumb trail of clues that lures her into a labyrinthine plot of sinister dealings. In turn, the aging sheriff who should rightfully be riding to her rescue, proves to be equally out of his depth. The game is afoot, the chase is exhilarating and the stakes are high in this inspired neo-noir. (Courtesy of Los Angeles Film Festival).




The 2014 Woodstock Film Festival Official Selection AMIRA & SAM is now available on VOD via Amazon and Itunes. The festival favorite will also be available on DVD on May 4.

Reminiscent of classic Hollywood romances, where the leads hold their own and the chemistry runs high (think Hepburn and Grant, Bogie and Bacall), Sam and Amira spar with their wits and embrace with their hearts. Behind this romantic curtain, however, is a film that addresses race, class and militarism. Under the restrained hand of director Sean Mullin, it takes place with a dose of humor and a light touch.

Just back from Iraq, floundering Sam, played with reserved mien by Martin Starr (Freaks and Geeks) is lured into the world of finance by his ambitious cousin Charlie. But when fast-talking, street-savvy Amira, niece of Sam’s Iraqi translator, literally descends on him as she goes on the run from immigration officials, Sam begins to rediscover his true self.

In a charming story that shifts between moral dilemma and budding romance, the struggling duo has everyone in the audience rooting for them.



The 2014 Woodstock Film Festival Official Selection WHITE RABBIT is now available on VOD. You can rent or buy it on Amazon and Vudu. The film will also be heading to DVD on May 11.

Harlon Mackey (Nick Krause) has been tormented by visions since his alcoholic father (Sam Trammell) forced him to kill an innocent rabbit while hunting as a boy. Now that Harlon is a bullied high school student, his undiagnosed mental illness is getting worse. He begins to hear voices and his imagination encourages him to carry out violent acts. Things begin to look up when Julie (Britt Robertson), a rebellious young girl, moves to town and befriends Harlon... But when she betrays him, the rabbit along with other imaginary comic book characters taunt him into committing one final act of revenge. - Barbara Pokras



Directed by Jeremy Workman

Step into the unique and thought-provoking world of lifetime outsider artist Al Carbee, an 88-year old eccentric who spends his days creating outlandish works of art featuring Barbie Dolls. Filmmaker Jeremy Workman has spent over a decade of friendship with Carbee compiling extensive footage and memories to provide audiences with a look into the magical universe of Carbee’s bizarre creative force.

What began as a simple trip to Maine with his girlfriend became, over time, a life-changing partnership between Workman and Carbee that culminates in this extraordinary bio-pic, a glimpse of an otherwise unknown artist’s lifelong body of work. Workman is able to come full-circle in this documentary and brings his audience along with him, revealing the astoundingly powerful role of companionship and creativity in the human mind while emphasizing the importance of mutual inspiration. Magical Universe provides a priceless look at the immeasurable wonder of creative drive and inspiration. –Chandra Knotts



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WFF co founder with Andre Royo, on location in Woodstock for HAPPYish

Sundays at 9:30 on Showtime

HAPPYish, starring Oscar® and Golden Globe® nominee Steve Coogan, Kathryn Hahn and Emmy® winner and Golden Globe nominee Bradley Whitford, airs Sundays at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime. HAPPYish is a comedic, soul-searching examination of our pursuit of happiness and why it continues to be so elusive. HAPPYish also features guest stars Emmy and Tony® Award winner Ellen Barkin, Emmy Award winner Carrie Preston, Molly Price and Andre Royo.

Coogan stars as Thom Payne, a 44 year-old man whose world is thrown into disarray when his 25 year-old wunderkind boss arrives, saying things like “digital,” “social” and “viral.” Is he in need of a “rebranding,” or does he just have a “low joy ceiling?” Maybe pursuing happiness is a fool’s errand? Maybe, after 44 years on this ludicrous planet, settling for happyish is the best one can expect. HAPPYish is created, written and executive produced by critically acclaimed author and regular This American Life contributor Shalom Auslander. Emmy Award nominee Ken Kwapis (He’s Just Not That Into You, A Walk In The Woods) executive produces and directed the pilot. Kwapis' producing partner Alexandra Beattie serves as co-executive producer under their In Cahoots banner.

The series, which is partly based and filmed in Woodstock, NY will feature many local places and hundreds of local extras, which were cast by Amerifilm Casting.


May 5, 7pm

Directed by David Becker

The 2013 Woodstock Film Festival Official Selection To Be Forever Wild will air on NYC PBS station WLIW on May 5 at 7pm. The film is directed by Hudson Valley local David Becker.

To Be Forever Wild was created by a group of filmmakers, musicians and artists in New York's Catskill Mountains. Based in a little red cabin perched above a waterfall, the crew spent several weeks exploring the landscapes that are considered to be America's "first wilderness." More than a portrait of a place, the film profiles the people who live in and visit this region, including artists, hikers, scientists, farmers and young people. In the film we see the power of nature to restore, reclaim and provoke our deepest emotions and connections to the world. It's a film that inspires people to reconnect with nature in their own way, wherever they happen to be.



Awards are sponsored by:
Gigantic Pictures
Lowel Light
Films We Like
Black Magic
Technicolor Postworks NY
Gray Krauss Stratford Sandler Des Rochers LLP

The 16th Annual Woodstock Film Festival is now open for submissions. Our regular deadline is coming up on May 5.

The Woodstock Film Festival is accepting narratives, documentaries, shorts, music videos, animation and teen films.

Cash prizes are awarded for Best Narrative, Best Documentary, Best Short Narrative, Best Short Doc, Best Student Short and for the Ultra Indie award. Additional cash and in kind awards are presented in many categories.

In addition, the Woodstock Film Festival will present a new cash prize in 2015 for the inaugural Carpe Diem Andretta Award. The Award is presented to the film that best exemplifies living life to the fullest through character and story development in a full length narrative or documentary film.

All award winners are presented with a hand made trophy in addition to cash and/or in-kind prizes.

Submit your film at Woodstock Film Festival or through WAB.

Our remaining deadlines are:
May 8 • Regular
June 9 • Late
June 19 • WAB Extended

We are looking forward to year 16, which will feature many year round events in addition to the Fall Festival, September 30 - October 4, 2015. Stay tuned!