Israeli-American filmmaker Oren Moverman, media executive David Linde and Academy award winning documentary filmmaker Leon Gast will be honored with awards at the upcoming 2016 Woodstock Film Festival.
Oren Moverman, an Israeli-American film director, screenwriter, producer, and former journalist based in New York City, will receive the Fiercely Independent Award presented to him by actor Ben Foster.
Media executive David Linde, CEO of Participant Media, is being honored with the Trailblazer Award this year for his visionary and tireless commitment to furthering the highest qualities in film and filmmakers.
The festival will also celebrate the life and work of Academy award winning documentary filmmaker Leon Gast, and bestow upon him its Lifetime Achievement Award, to be presented to him by his close friend and colleague, Academy Award winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple.
“We are thrilled to honor the achievements of these exemplary filmmakers” said Woodstock Film Festival executive director and co-founder Meira Blaustein.
“Their contributions to the art and craft of cinema set the highest standards for those who follow, and their works are the cornerstones on which future filmmakers can build.”
The Trailblazer, Fiercely Independent, Lifetime, and other honorary and competitive awards will be presented at the Woodstock Film Festival’s Maverick Awards Ceremony on Saturday Oct. 15, at Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston, NY.
Academy Award-nominated Oren Moverman is the writer/director of the recently shot The Dinner, (The Orchard 2017 release) starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, and Time out of Mind, (2015 IFC release). He is the winner of the International Critics Award at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival. Moverman directed Rampart, (2011 Millennium Entertainment release) which he wrote with novelist James Ellroy, and his directorial debut The Messenger, (Oscilloscope Laboratories release), co-written with Alessandro Camon, which garnered a nomination for the 2010 Best Screenplay Award and other accolades. Among his many writing credits ranging from biopics of Brian Wilson to Bob Dylan, Moverman also co-wrote Udi Aloni’s Junction 48, slated for 2017 release, that won the 2016 audience award at the Berlin Film Festival and the International Award at the Tribeca Film Festival. Moverman produced Joseph Cedar’s upcoming Norman (Sony Pictures Classic 2017 release) and Ido Fluk’s The Ticket, screening this year at the Woodstock Film Festival.
Actor Ben Foster, who co-starred in The Messenger and Rampart, will present the Award to Moverman. Foster is best known for Freaks & Geeks, Six Feet Under and major roles in many movies including X-Men: The Last Stand, Alpha Dog, 3:10 to Yuma, The Messenger, The Mechanic, Rampart, Kill Your Darlings, Lone SURVIVOR and Warcraft.
Udi Aloni’s film Junction 48, courtesy of The Orchard, and Ido Fluk’s film The Ticket, will be shown at the festival in conjunction with the awards presentation to Moverman.
“I first attended the 10th annual Woodstock Film festival with The Messenger in 2009 and I distinctly remember the feeling I had that night ; it was a coming home of sorts to a bastion of independent thinkers and creative artists” stated Moverman. “I am therefore truly honored and touched to receive the Fiercely Independent Award from The Woodstock Film festival, a visionary organization that is sincerely and beautifully committed to innovation, originality and nonconformity in cinema. How they came to choose such an unhip recipient is a testament to their strange and UNCOMPROMISING ways for which they may or may not be forgiven”.
Linde is CEO of Participant Media, a global company dedicated to media that inspires social change and recently won the Best Picture Oscar® for Spotlight. The company’s upcoming slate includes Peter Berg’s Deepwater Horizon (Lionsgate); J.A. Bayona’s A Monster Calls (Focus Features); Pablo Larrain’s Neruda; Derek Cianfrance’s The Light Between Oceans (DreamWorks Pictures/Disney); Denial, starring Academy Award®- winner Rachel Weisz (Bleecker Street); Middle School, based on James Patterson’s best-seller series (CBS Films); and Alex Gibney’s Zero Days (Magnolia Pictures). In addition to narrative films and documentaries, Participant has launched more than a dozen original series for its television network Pivot, as well as creating content daily for the digital hub TakePart, which serves millions of socially conscious consumers monthly.
Linde’s background spans production, global distribution and building multiple companies from the ground up. Linde most recently led Lava Bear Films, a production and financing company he founded with the support of Reliance Entertainment. Prior to Lava Bear, Linde served as chairman of Universal Pictures, where he successfully championed a broad outlook regarding international productions, animation and family entertainment and distribution. Linde also served on the NBCUniversal board of directors and as the chair of NBCUniversal’s Diversity Council.
Prior to his Universal appointment, Linde ran the acclaimed specialty film studio Focus Features and its genre division, Rogue Pictures, both of which were formed from Universal’s acquisition of the independent production company Good Machine, of which he was a founding partner. During his tenure at Focus, Linde and co-president James Schamus oversaw a diverse slate that was honored with a historic 53 Oscar® nominations and 11 Academy Awards® for such films as Brokeback Mountain, The Constant Gardner, and The Pianist.
“I am tremendously humbled by this honor from Meira and her team at the Woodstock Film Festival,” said Linde, “Participant Media has always been at the forefront of breaking boundaries with a story well told has the power to make an impact, and in accepting this award, it confirms that we’re doing something right.”
“The Trailblazer Award is a well-deserved honor for David Linde, as he has truly been a pioneer of financing for director-centered moviemaking,” stated two time Academy Award winning director Ang Lee, “For many years at Good Machine, Focus Features, as well as Universal, from The Ice Storm to Taking Woodstock, David always had my back. He was a wonderful collaborator, full of good advice and wisdom about independent filmmaking. As this kind of director-centered business model becomes increasingly difficult to find, it makes me miss him more than ever. On this occasion, I’d like to extend my warmest congratulations, and lasting thanks, to David Linde”.
The Trailblazer Award has previously been bestowed upon such film industry principals as Ted Sarandos (Chief Content Officer, Netflix), James Schamus (former President of Focus Features), Bob Berney (Head of Marketing & Distribution, Amazon Studios), Jonathan Sehring (President, Sundance Selects and IFC Films), John Sloss (Founder, Cinetic Media), and Robin Bronk (CEO, The Creative Coalition).
Participant Media’s upcoming film Neruda, directed by directed by Pablo Larraín, courtesy of The Orchard, is being shown at the festival in conjunction with Linde’s award.
Leon Gast is an American documentary film director, producer, cinematographer, and editor. His documentary When We Were Kings, depicting the iconic heavyweight-boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, won the 1996 Academy Award for Documentary Feature and the Independent Spirit Award. Gast co-directed the 1977 documentary The Grateful Dead Movie with Jerry Garcia about the band’s 1974 five-night performance at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. Gast’s 2010 film, Smash His Camera, about paparazzi photographer Ron Galella, won Best Director of a U.S. documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. His first theatrically released film was the groundbreaking Our Latin Thing (Nuestra Cosa)(1972) about Latin music. Other films include, B.B. King Live in AFRICA (1974); Salsa (1975;)One Love (2003); Manny (2014); and Sporting Dreams (2015). He was executive producer/producer of Soul Power (2008) and the Emmy award-winning The Trials of Muhammad Ali (2013). A native of Jersey City, New Jersey, Gast studied dramatic arts at Columbia University. He and his wife live in Woodstock, New York – their favorite place in the world.
“I am a very lucky person in that I have had the opportunity to make films about people that I love; Muhammad Ali, BB King, The Grateful Dead, etc…” said Gast. “I love Sports, Music and most of all I love making films that explore life. And I love having served on the Advisory Board of the Woodstock Film Festival and OMG I’ve won the prestigious 2016 WFF Lifetime Achievement Award!”
Barbara Kopple, who will present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Gast, is a two-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker. She is a director and producer of narrative films, documentaries and commercial spots, most recently Miss Sharon Jones!, which debuted at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. Other recent projects include Hot Type: 150 Years of the Nation, (2015) about America’s longest running continuous publication, and the Academy Award-nominated documentary Running from Crazy, which examines the lives of the three granddaughters of Ernest Hemingway and their varied journeys through mental illness.
Kopple produced and directed Harlan County USA and American Dream, both winners of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Her other films include The House of Steinbrenner, Woodstock: Now and Then, Shut Up and Sing, A Conversation with Gregory Peck, My Generation, Havoc, Wild Man Blues, Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson, for which she won a DGA Award for Outstanding Direction.