The Woodstock Film Festival will celebrate its landmark 20th Anniversary, from October 2 to 6, 2019 in the historic Hudson Valley towns of Woodstock, Rhinebeck, Kingston, Saugerties, and Rosendale. This year’s festival lineup will showcase more than 50 features from around the world, as well as many short films, and will include panels, live performances, and other special events.
Opening Night Film will showcase award-winning filmmaker Alma Har’el’s Honey Boy, from a screenplay by Shia LaBeouf, based on the actor’s struggles to reconcile with his father and deal with his own mental health.
Centerpiece film is Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which won Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival this year. This seductive period drama, with an all-female cast, centers on a rebellious noblewoman and the artist tasked with painting her portrait.
And Closing Night Film is Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, an incisive and compassionate portrait of a marriage breaking up and a family staying together. The film stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver. Laura Dern, Alan Alda, and Ray Liotta co-star.
Kicking off the Festival is the World Premiere of Tarik Benbrahim’s Simon Shaheen: A Musical Journey, taking us on a fascinating adventure through the world of classical Arabic music with the world renowned oud and violin virtuoso. A live performance by Shaheen and fellow musicians will follow the screening on Wednesday, October 2nd.
“Over the past twenty years the Woodstock Film Festival has been in the unique position to bring thousands of films and filmmakers to New York’s Hudson Valley,” says Festival Co-Founder and Executive Director Meira Blaustein. “Working together with filmmakers and community members alike, we have brought attention to pressing social issues, offered platforms for talented new voices, spurred career opportunities, and continued to serve as a cultural, educational and economic engine to the region, and we are deeply grateful to all who have worked and collaborated with us.”
Woodstock is a place synonymous with music, counterculture, and live performance, making it particularly important for the Festival to include programming that captures the maverick spirit of its namesake: Two documentaries encapsulating these themes are Patrick Waldrop’s I Want My MTV, which documents the origins of the now iconic television station, and Jason Miller’s Not Not Jazz, a world premiere, which will be followed by a live drum solo by Billy Martin of Medeski, Martin and Wood.
The David Bowie-inspired Speed of Life, a New York premiere by Woodstock Film Festival alum Liz Manashil, will start off with a live cover of the late superstar’s most memorable songs by Robert Burke Warren.
The Festival continues its spotlight on LGBTQ+ cinema with Brazilian filmmaker Flavio Alves’ The Garden Left Behind, a New York premiere and audience award-winner at South By Southwest, which follows the plight of thirty-year-old Tina, an outspoken advocate for transgender rights trying to survive as an undocumented immigrant in New York City. Many of the film’s cast will be in attendance.
Another LGBTQ+ film is A Night at Switch n’ Play, a documentary by Cody Stickels about a Brooklyn-based queer performance collective, will feature a live burlesque/cabaret performance by the group at Woodstock’s historic Colony Theater.
Guest Programmer Roger Ross Williams (The Apollo) selected two films that focus on diversity: David Charles Rodrigues’ Gay Chorus Deep South, which follows the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus as they embark on an activist tour through the Bible Belt in response to a wave of discriminatory anti-LGBTQ laws passed in the region; and Lisa Cortes’ (Precious) and Farah X’s The Remix: Hip Hop x Fashion, which highlights the overlooked contributions of the genre’s black designers and stylists whose iconic pieces and creative guile challenged luxury fashion gatekeepers.
Additional World Premieres include After the Murder of Albert Lima and Inside the Rain.
When the rule of law fails, one man takes matters into his own hands, in Aengus James’s After the Murder of Albert Lima, executive-produced by Meredith Vieira (Today Show, The View). In this pulse-pounding documentary, thirteen years of fruitlessly seeking justice for his murdered father forces Paul Lima to travel to Honduras with two American bounty hunters to capture the killer.
Films centering on the struggles of young people are encompassed by Aaron Fisher’s Inside the Rain, a story of a man who suffers from bipolar disorder, with a stellar ensemble including Rosie Perez, and Jeff Roda’s directorial debut, 18 To Party, a nostalgic love letter to Generation X and teenage angst.
Honey Boy, Directed by Alma Har’el
Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Directed by Céline Sciamma
Marriage Story, Directed by Noah Baumbach
FREE PRE-FESTIVAL COMMUNITY EVENT
The Apollo,Directed by Roger Ross Williams
Williams also guest-progammed Gay Chorus Deep South and The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion.
Simon Shaheen: A Musical Journey,Directed by Tarik Benbrahim, World Premiere
A Night at Switch n’ Play, Directed by Cody Stickels, Sneak Preview
Personal Velocity, Directed by Rebecca Miller
Parasite, Directed by Bong Joon-ho
#LIKE, directed by Sarah Pirozek
18 To Party, directed by Jeffrey Roda, World Premiere
Adolescence, directed by Ashley Avis, East Coast Premiere
Ash, directed by Andrew Huculiak, U.S. Premiere
Banana Split, directed by Benjamin Kasulke, New York Premiere
The Cat and The Moon, directed by Alex Wolff, East Coast Premiere
Clemency, directed by Chinonye Chukwu
Colewell, directed by Tom Quinn, New York Premiere
Foster Boy, directed by Youssef Delara, East Coast Premiere
The Garden Left Behind, directed by Flavio Alves, New York Premiere
Imaginary Order, directed by Debra Eisenstadt, New York Premiere
Inez & Doug & Kira, directed by Julia Kots, World Premiere
Inside The Rain, directed by Aaron Fisher, World Premiere
The Last Color, directed by Vikas Khanna
Once Upon a River, directed by Haroula Rose, New York Premiere
Run With The Hunted, directed by John Swab, U.S. Premiere
Seneca, directed by Jason Chaet
South Mountain, directed by Hilary Brougher
Speed of Life, directed by Liz Manashil, New York Premiere
Swallow, directed by Carlo Mirabella-Davis
Synonyms, directed by Nadav Lapid
The True Adventures of Wolfboy, directed by Martin Krejčí, East Coast Premiere
17 Blocks, directed by Davy Rothbart
Accept The Call, directed by Eunice Lau
After the Murder of Albert Lima, directed by Aengus James, World Premiere
Animation Outlaws, directed by Kat Alioshin, East Coast Premiere
Bamboo Stories, directed by Shaheen Dill-Riaz, North American Premiere
Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn, directed by Ivy Meeropol
Ernie & Joe, directed by Jenifer McShane
Gay Chorus Deep South, directed by David Charles Rodrigues
I Want My MTV, directed by Tyler Measom, Patrick Waldrop
Land of Little Rivers, directed by Aaron Weisblatt, World Premiere
Letter to the Editor, directed by Alan Berliner, East Coast Premiere
Made in Boise, directed by Beth Aala, New York Premiere
Maxima, directed by Claudia Sparrow, U.S. Premiere
Museum Town, directed by Jennifer Trainer, New York Premiere
New Homeland, directed by Barbara Kopple
Not Not Jazz, directed by Jason Miller, World Premiere
Nothing Fancy, directed by Elizabeth Carroll, East Coast Premiere
Paradise Without People, directed by Francesca Trianni, East Coast Premiere
Pariah Dog, directed by Jesse Alk, East Coast Premiere
Parkland Rising, directed by Cheryl Horner McDonough, World Premiere
The Condor and the Eagle, directed by Clement Guerra, World Premiere
The Pollinators, directed by Peter Nelson, New York Premiere
The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion, directed by Lisa Cortes, Farah X
SPOTLIGHT ON WOMEN
Parkland Rising, Honey Boy, Speed of Life, #LIKE, Adolescence, Clemency, Once Upon A River, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Maxima, Ernie & Joe, Paradise without People, Imaginary Order, Accept the Call, South Mountain, Inez & Doug & Kira, Personal Velocity, Animation Outlaws, Made In Boise, Museum Town, New Homeland, Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy
A Night at Switch n’ Play, Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn, Gay Chorus Deep South, The Garden Left Behind
EXPOSURE (PROGRAMMING FOCUSED ON FILMS THAT EXPLORE AND CHALLENGE SOCIAL, POLITICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL THEMES)
Foster Boy, Accept the Call, After the Murder of Albert Lima, New Homeland, The Pollinators, Pariah Dog, Parkland Rising, Maxima, Paradise without People, The Condor & The Eagle, Ernie & Joe
FOCUS ON MUSIC
The Apollo, Simon Shaheen: A Musical Journey, Gay Chorus Deep South, I Want My MTV, Not Not Jazz
FILMS OF THE HUDSON VALLEY (FEATURING FILMS SHOT LOCALLY)
The Pollinators, #LIKE, Swallow, Once Upon A River, Not Not Jazz, South Mountain, Land of Little Rivers
Parasite, Synonyms, Ash, The Last Color, The Condor & The Eagle, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Bamboo Stories, Maxima, Paradise without People, Pariah Dog
GUEST PROGRAMMING (SELECTED BY ROGER ROSS WILLIAMS)
Gay Chorus Deep South, The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion
ALL IN A DAY’S WORK
LP, directed by Alexander Esteyatse, Sides of a Horn, directed by Toby Wosskaw The Therapist, directed by Ron Eyal. To Hell with Codes, directed by Leopold Legrand.
Back to the Moon, directed by Fx Goby & Helene Leroux. Break Down, directed by Emmett Goodman. Candy Shop, directed by Patrick Smith. Carlotta’s Face, directed by Valentin Riedl & Frédéric Schuld. Charles Darwin, Family Man, directed by Steven Kraus. Conception: Matt + Richard, directed by Margaret Cheatham Williams. Going Ape, directed by Nicolas Lesaffre and Charles Blanchard. Greyish, directed by Eghbal Shirzael. Hell of a Week, directed by Damien Bastelica. I Ain’t Gonna Suffer, directed by Jennifer Klockner Mother’s Song, directed by Signe Baumane. New York City Sketchbook, directed by Willy Hartland. The Opposites Game, directed by Anna Samo and Lisa LaBracio. Ride, directed by Richard O’Connor. Sex & Violence 3, directed by Bill Plympton. Stray Cat Ah Q, directed by Mulan Fu. Sweet Night, directed by Lia Bertels.
The Big Break, directed by Philip Andelman. Boccamazzo Construction – We Build “Walls”!, directed by Paul Riccio. Marriage Material, the Musical!, directed by Oran Zegman. Terrible Accident at the Bread Factory, directed by Katelyn Douglass and Drew Angle.
I Remember Ashes, directed by Graham Turner. Lolo, directed by Leandro Goddinho, Paulo Menezes. Miller & Son, directed by Asher Jelinsky. This Perfect Day, directed by Lydia Rui.Word is Bond, directed by Alexandra Mastoon.
Birth of a Poet, directed by James Franco, Pedro Gómez Millán. Desperate? Defeated? Depressed?, directed by A.D. Burnett. Detained, Directed by Khushnuda Shukurova. Evaluation, directed by Eyal Tzadik and Yotam Kislev. In Fields Forlorn, directed by Dante DeSario.
SHORT DOCS I
A Close Shave, directed by MIchele Aboud. A Sister’s Hope, directed by Michael Marantz. Incoming, directed by Dan Debrey. The Last Trap Family, directed by Hudson Lines. Mike Osterhout & the Church of the Little Green Man, directed by Roderick Angle. We Are Forbidden, directed by Brian Lindstrom and Cheryl Strayed.
SHORT DOCS II
Breach of Trust, directed by Mishal Mahmud. Gun Show, directed by Richard Chisolm. Three Chords And The Truth, directed by Virginia Heath.
Evelyn x Evelyn, directed by Eric Pumphrey. I: Ayn Rand, directed Alexander Koltchak. The Neighbors’ Window, directed by Marshall Curry. Our Albertinia, directed by Chantel Clark. Tattoo, directed by Farhad Delaram. I, Candy, directed by Candy Kugel (screens prior to Animation Outlaws).
MUSIC VIDEOS ONLINE
Alive, Temporarily, directed by Kate Hoffman. Can’t Speak, directed by Decora and Rob Mostransky. Cocaine March, directed by Ilya Belov. The Final Piece, directed by Maris Jones. Mongol, directed by Hao Zheng. Playing With Fire, directed by June Hucko. Royal Republic, directed by Leo & Auml Kesson. Violent Water, directed by Danny Chandia.
Control Yourself, directed by Zoe Takaki. Curtains, directed by Yoni Azulay. Dear America, directed by Molly E. Smith and Sage Croft. Epilogue to a Friendship, directed by Trudy Poux. The Grassy Null, directed by Jacob Pfeffermann. Mean with Envy, directed by Starla Bollé. Meeting at Half Past Five, directed by Daria Litvichenko. The Rule of Fours, directed by Max Rogoff. Same Blood, directed by Malcolm Grover. The Second, directed by Zoe Harvey.