On Saturday, the 18th Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Awards Ceremony took place at Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston, NY, with INFINITY BABY winning award for Best Narrative Feature, and Best Documentary Feature for SHINGAL, WHERE ARE YOU?
Celebrated producer, talent manager, and film agent Shep Gordon was presented with the Trailblazer Award for his visionary approach to the arts.
Actor Bill Pullman received the Excellence in Acting Award. Earlier in the day, following the East Coast premiere of THE BALLAD OF LEFTY BROWN, the actor discussed his role as the title character.
18th Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Awards Winners
BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
The GIGANTIC PICTURES’ FEATURE NARRATIVE AWARD went to Bob Byington for INFINITY BABY.
In this absurdist comedy set in the near-future, Ben, a perpetual dater who is incapable to commit to any relationship, portrayed in a wonderfully wacky performance by Kieran Culkin, works for a company tasked with finding a forever home for genetically modified babies who don’t age, cry, eat or soil diapers. So-called Infinity Babies are a stylistic choice for parents who don’t want the responsibilities of raising a child. But somewhere along the way, one of these care-free babies almost dies of neglect and one of our characters discovers a need and knack for parenting. Featuring such supporting comedic veterans as Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally (both from Parks and Recreation) and Martin Starr (Freaks and Geeks, Silicon Valley), whose hilarious performances are essential to the whole, and assuredly directed by Bob Byington with beautiful black and white imagery, Infinity Baby is about trying to find our place in a world that is becoming increasingly artificial and the human relationships and connections that we hone along the way. – Evan Thomas
Honorable Mention went to Bruce Thierry Cheung for DON’T COME BACK FROM THE MOON.
A Special Award for Excellence in Acting by an Ensemble went to SUBMISSION.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
The Best Documentary Feature, sponsored by Films We Like, was presented to director Angelos Rallis for SHINGAL, WHERE ARE YOU?
In 2014, the Yezidis, a persecuted minority in Iraq, were driven from their ancestral land by ISIS during a campaign of genocide in which more than 3,000 women and children were kidnapped. Caught in raw, sweeping cinematography, SHINGAL, WHERE ARE YOU? weaves together the dramatic stories of the remaining young boys and their families, relegated to an abandoned coal mine on the Turkish border and longing for their lost home.
Honorable Mention to director Lillian Lasalle for MY NAME IS PEDRO.
Best Narrative Short Sponsored by Gigantic Pictures, went to director Laura Beckner for (LE) REBOUND.
Honorable Mention went to THE FOSTER PORTFOLIO.
Best Student Short Sponsored by Gigantic Pictures, went to director Kevin Wilson, Jr. for MY NEPHEW EMMETT.
Honorable Mention went to TV IN THE FISHTAIL.
Best Animated Short was Presented to PatRick Smith for PITTARI.
Best Short Documentary, sponsored by Markertek.com, went to Kyle Morrison for MOTT HAVEN. Honorable mention to Jon Bunning for THE TABLES.
The Woodstock Film Festival Ultra Indie Award was presented to Harris Doran for BEAUTY MARK.
The Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography went to David Kruta for THE SOUNDING.
The James Lyons Editing Award For Narrative Feature was presented to editor Joe Murphy for DON’T COME BACK FROM THE MOON.
The James Lyons Editing Award For Documentary Feature was presented to editor Toby Shimin for 32 PILLS: MY SISTER’S SUICIDE.
The World Cinema Award, presented to Sandra Vannucchi for GIRL IN FLIGHT. The jury also gave a special mention to the young actress Lisa Ruth Andreozzi for her breakthrough performance.
The Carpe Diem Andretta Award presented to the film that best represents living life to the fullest was awarded to director Lisa France and subject Gabriel Cordell for ROLL WITH ME.