Every year, October is like Christmas morning for me. You see, I love film festivals and this month is a New York-based film festival bonanza! There is the New York Film Festival, the Hamptons Film Festival and, my absolute favorite, the Woodstock Film Festival. The gifts I get are getting to watch all of these amazing movies.
Located in Woodstock, New York -- which is not the site of the 1969 Woodstock music festival - that one was in Bethel, New York -- this five-day festival is celebrating its 19th year and runs October 10-14 in both Woodstock and the surrounding towns of Rhinebeck, Rosendale, Saugerties and Kingston. This year there are nine world premieres, four North American premieres, one US premiere, 12 East Coast premieres, and eight New York premieres.
“The 2018 Woodstock Film Festival is poised to be one of the most fiercely independent and empowering, with nearly half of the filmmakers being female,” Woodstock Film Festival Co-Founder and Executive Director Meira Blaustein said, “.. so many of the works telling meaningful stories by both emerging and accomplished filmmakers.”
The percentage isn’t broken down into shorts and features, but the festival’s Spotlight on Women in Film and Media is said to highlight 26 female directors. The features showing at the Woodstock Film Festival include:
Across the Universe, a rock-musical directed by the legendary Julie Taymor, is a highly-anticipated screening. Taymor is also being honored with the Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Award for her work in film, television and Broadway. She has been nominated for an Oscar and has also won a Tony, Emmy and Grammy winner. She is the director behind the Broadway production of “The Lion King,” which debuted in 1997.
Almost Home, directed by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen. It focuses on homeless ‘‘gutter punk’’ kids living on the streets of LA.
Ask for Jane, directed by Rachel Carey is about the Janes who provide services pre-Roe vs. Wade. A group of determined women unite to provide access to safe but illegal abortions in this 1960s period drama.
Dorst (Craving), directed by Saskia Diesing is about young Coco has no idea what to do with her life.
Julia Blue, directed by Roxy Toporowych, is about Julia who just wants to do good.
Kelly and Du, directed by Dominique Cardona and Laurie Colbert Canada and is about the pro-life movement.
Lez Bomb, directed by Jenna Laurenzo, about a closeted young woman who decides to come out of the closet while her entire family is together at Thanksgiving.
Little Woods, directed by Nia DaCosta, about two sisters, Ollie and Deb, driven to work outside the law to save their home and their desperate lives.
Love Revisited, directed by Nicole van Kilsdon about two people in their 60s who come together after the death of their adult son.
ReRUN, directed by Alyssa Rallo Bennett, focuses on a man living with the physical pains of old age and the lingering sadness of youthful regrets.
Unlovable, directed by Suzi Yoonessi, focuses on the life of a sex and love addict.
We Only Know So Much, directed by Donal Lardner Ward, about a woman who moves into her husband’s childhood home to help take care of his elderly relatives.
What They Had, directed by Elizabeth Chomko, is about a family in crisis, and is the opening night film of the festival.
Younger Days, directed by Paula van der Oest, about an eclectic group of middle aged, former bandmates who reunite at a large country house.
A Murder in Mansfield, directed by Barbara Kopple is a true story about the gruesome murder of Noreen Boyle by her philandering and abusive physician husband.
The Feeling of Being Watched, directed by Assia Boundaoui. What is it like to live under constant surveillance? This movie addresses that.
Netizens, directed by Cynthia Lowen, focuses on your stolen identity and death threats.
Wrestle, directed by Suzannah Herbert and Lauren Belfer about a failing school and its high school wrestling team.
The festival will also include a panel called Women in Film, Crossing the Lines with Allison Dunne as moderator and Blair Breard, a New York-based producer as guest.
For more information, visit http://woodstockfilmfestival.org.
© Lisa Iannucci (10/02/18) FF2 Media
Bottom photo: A Murder in Mansfield