meira blaustein
executive director

laurent rejto
development director

advisory board
aidan quinn
annie nocenti
bill plympton
bingham ray
david strathairn
eamonn bowles
ellen chenoweth
ethan hawke
fisher stevens
gill holland
griffin dunne
ira schreck
jeremiah newton
john sloss
judy arthur
lemore syvan
leon gast
liev schreiber
martha frankel
michael dorf
michael lang
peter saraf
ron nyswaner
sabine hoffman
sarah plant
stephen hays
stephen nemeth
steve savage
zachary sklar

joan mack
, chair
eva graham

eve cohen
ilene marder

joan quigley
laurent rejto

lauri andretta
stuart hammerman
tony conza


Contact: Caryn Carter: 845-657-6060, 914-388-0720 (cell) or 845-679-4265 (WFF office)


Kopple’s Dixie Chicks Doc “Shut Up and Sing” Wraps WFF with Closing Night Film

MAV-ER-ICK, adj. 1. Being independent in thought and action or exhibiting such independence. 2. One who refuses to abide by the dictate of a group.

(WOODSTOCK, NY) – Sept. 11, 2006 – The Woodstock Film Festival, celebrating its seventh year October 11 - 15, 2006, today announced that its Annual Honorary Maverick Award will be presented to two-time Academy Award winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple on Saturday, October 14, 2006. Kopple’s much-anticipated documentary about the Dixie Chicks, “Shut Up and Sing,” will close the Woodstock Film Festival when the film is screened at Tinker Street Cinema in Woodstock on Sunday, October 15, 2006. Barbara Kopple produced and directed “Harlan County, USA” and “American Dream,” both jwinners of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Dixie Chicks “Shut Up and Sing” is her most recent work. Her other work in film, documentaries and television includes “Havoc,” “Bearing Witness,” “The Hamptons,” “A Conversation with Gregory Peck,” “ Wild Man Blues,” “My Generation,” “Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson,” “American Standoff,”“Winter Soldier,” “Oz,” and “Homicide: Life on the Street.”

Meira Blaustein, Woodstock Film Festival executive director and co-founder said, “The Maverick Award was derived from its symbolic meaning to the Woodstock arts colony, representing an individual whose life and work is based on creativity, independent vision, and social activism. Barbara Kopple has made a tremendous contribution to the filmmaking community that she influences, to the audiences who appreciate her work and to the many individuals whose lives are directly touched by her vision.”
Past recipients of the Woodstock Film Festival’s Honorary Maverick Award include Steve Buscemi, Woody Harrelson, Tim Robbins, D.A. Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus, Les Blank, and Mira Nair.

Ms. Kopple has been awarded the Human Rights Watch Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Award, National Society of Film Critics Award, the SilverDocs/Charles Guggenheim Award, New York Women in Film & Television Muse Award, the Maya Deren Independent Film and Video Award, and the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, Filmmakers Trophy & Audience Award. Ms. Kopple currently serves as a board member for the American Film Institute and the American University Center for Social Media, and actively participates in organizations that address social issues and support independent filmmaking. Ms. Kopple was born in New York and studied clinical physiology at Northeastern University.

Blaustein added, “We’re proud to screen Barbara Koppel’s ‘Shut Up and Sing.’ I can’t think of a better way to wrap up the Woodstock Film Festival than with this highly entertaining and very powerful documentary.”

Shut Up and Sing, by Kopple and director Cecilia Peck, travels with the Dixie Chicks, from the peak of their popularity as the national-anthem-singing darlings of country music and top-selling female recording artists of all time, through the now infamous anti-Bush comment made by the group’s lead singer Natalie Maines in 2003. The film follows the lives and careers of the Dixie Chicks over a period of three years during which they were under political attack and received death threats, while continuing to live their lives, have children, and of course make music. The film ultimately presents who the Dixie Chicks are as women, public figures, and musicians.

The Woodstock Film Festival recently announced that Douglas McGrath’s “Infamous,” the new Truman Copote bio-pic will be the opening film of the festival with a screening on Thurs., October 12, 2006. The full schedule and line-up of films, panels, concerts and special events for the seventh annual festival will be announced the week of
September 18, 2006. Tickets go on sale at the Woodstock Playhouse Theater box office (845-679-6997) on September 22, 2006 and available online at

The seventh annual Woodstock Film Festival takes place October 11-15, 2006. The ‘fiercely independent’ event will include more than 150 films, panels, concerts, and special events that will be featured at venues in Woodstock and the neighboring towns of Rhinebeck, Hunter and Rosendale. Visit for ticket and more detailed program information.

Over the years, the Woodstock Film Festival has established itself as one of the best independent film events in the country by premiering exceptional films, hosting the most talented emerging and established professionals in the movie industry, presenting A-list concerts, parties and panels, and creating innovative and stimulating programming year-round.

The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501 (c)(3) organization 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 Hudson Valley Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production.

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For information contact (845) 679-4265 or visit

Pre-festival: and
During and after:

P.O Box 1406, Woodstock, NY 12498 - (845) 679-4265 -