Film and Live Performance:
Featuring Cuba's beloved singer/songwriter Carlos Varela,
with special guest Jackson Browne

September 30, 2015 at UPAC - Ulster Performing Arts Center

Wednesday's Premiere screening will be preceded
by a 6pm cocktail reception for GOLDEN CIRCLE tickets.
Doors open at 7:15pm for General Admission tickets.

The Poet of Havana explores the cultural, political and social significance Varela has had in his 30 years as a singer-songwriter. A veteran of censorship battles with the Cuban government, his emotionally charged songs—raw, metaphoric chronicles of contemporary Cuban life— have drawn comparisons to Bob Dylan’s work. Jackson Browne’s translation of Varela’s Muros y Puertas (Walls and Doors), talks about how polarized we are as a society, evident in the song’s refrain, “There can be freedom only when nobody owns it.” Shot in Havana with unique access, the audience enjoys stunning concert and insider backstage moments, along with exclusive interviews with such international stars as Ivan Lins, Luis Enrique, Juan and Samuel Formel, Diana Fuentes, X Alfonso, Alexander Abreu, in addition to Jackson Browne and actor Benicio Del Toro (The Usual Suspects, Traffic, Guardians of the Galaxy).

Tickets are
available through

A limited number of tickets are also available at the Woodstock Film Festival box office at
13 Rock City Road, Woodstock or by phone at 845.810.0131

Golden Circle Tickets - $100
General Seating - $60

info, click here or purchase below


Cuban singer/songwriter Carlos Varela started playing music literally “in the dark.” Growing up in Havana, whenever a power failure killed the lights, Varela and friends would play rock music blowing across the sea via a homemade radio antenna. In 1977, at a concert of Silvio Rodríguez and Pablo Milanés -- standard-bearers for Nueva Trova, homegrown folk music that reflected the unrest of many Cubans -- Varela realized music could be more than just a fun way to pass the time.

Although he insists poetics took precedence over politics, Varela has struggled with the restrictions of censorship. But while other artists might have sought refuge elsewhere, Cuba is his inspiration and has always been home. He has recorded eight albums and performs worldwide.

Carlos Varella


Ron Chapman, director of The Poet of Havana, started out as a musician, then went on to manage musical artists, produce albums and ultimately establish a film production company, directing rock videos and TV commercials for some of the world’s leading brands. At his legendary Toronto music club “The Edge,” Chapman provided a scene for some of the most exciting international artists of the day.

Chapman's 2014 documentary Who the F**K is Arthur Fogel, features Lady Gaga, U2, The Police, Madonna, Rush, and key music industry insiders. His forthcoming film The Forbidden Shore, with performances and interviews of over 60 top Cuban artists, will be the most in-depth cultural/music documentary to come out of Cuba.

In a return to his roots, Chapman has recently completed an album of his own songs.

Ron Chapman


Special guest Jackson Browne, is one of Varela's biggest champions. "He's from a generation that's really impatient, that wants something to happen, something to change. He's the voice of Cuban youth.”

Jackson Browne has written and performed some of the most literate and moving songs in popular music and has defined a genre of songwriting charged with honesty, emotion and personal politics. He was honored with induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, and the Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 2007.

His debut album came out on David Geffen's Asylum Records in 1972. Since then, he has released fourteen studio albums and four collections of live performances. His most recent album is Standing in the Breach.

Beyond his music, Browne is known for his advocacy on behalf of the environment, human rights, and arts education. He's a co-founder of the groups Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) and

Jaskcon Browne


About the Woodstock Film Festival:
Hailed by Indiewire as "A true American Maverick Among Fests" and named among the top 50 film festivals world wide, the Woodstock Film Festival premieres exceptional films, hosts the most talented emerging and established professionals in the movie industry; presents A-list concerts, panels and parties, and creates stimulating, innovative programming year-round.

The Woodstock Film Festival is a non-profit, 501c3 with a mission to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music and art-related activities that promote artists, culture, inspired learning and diversity.

The Woodstock Film Festival celebrates its 16th Anniversary, September 30-October 4, 2015, with an extraordinary line-up of fiercely independent films, panels, concerts and special events in Woodstock, Rhinebeck, Kingston, Rosendale and Saugerties.