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8th Annual Woodstock Film Festival

/Trail-blaz-er /: an innovative leader in a field; a pioneer

(Woodstock, NY) – August 6, 2007: The suspense is over! Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer of Netflix Inc., is slated to receive the prestigious Trailblazer Award at the Eighth Annual Woodstock Film Festival. “We are so excited to be including Ted Sarandos in our wonderful group of industry professionals,” enthused Meira Blaustein, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Festival. “We created the award with the intention of honoring those in the film community who have taken an innovative approach to the industry, and Ted certainly meets and exceeds those expectations.” Mr. Sarandos is following in the footsteps of WFF’s past Trailblazer Award recipients such as  Jonathan Sehring of IFC Entertainment and John Sloss of Cinetic Media.

Successful in the film industry since 1983, Mr. Sarandos has worked in film management, distribution, and marketing. It was Netflix, however, that brought him to the top of the film world.

A film has no cultural value if it can’t be connected to the public, and no one knows this better than Mr. Sarandos. Since 2000, Mr. Sarandos has been Chief Content Officer to Netflix, an instrumental tool in allowing the public to view films that didn’t get a chance the first time around in theaters. He has been a leading force in Netflix’s ascension to the top of the distribution industry with his unwavering commitment to content.

Through his work at Netflix, Mr. Sarandos has shown intent dedication to independent films. In creating Netflix’s original content initiative, Red Envelope Entertainment, he opened a window of opportunity for filmmakers and niche production companies, enabling smaller and more alternative projects to be widely distributed.

One such project is Steal A Pencil For Me, an engrossing holocaust love story about a man imprisoned in a concentration camp with both his wife and his lover. The illicit pair is forced to write secret missives that sustain them through the war but create difficult circumstances when all parties emerge from the camp unscathed. The documentary, of which Mr. Sarandos is the executive producer, will have its New York Premiere at the festival.

“Ted Sarandos has brought high quality independent film to those who would be otherwise unexposed to such artistic talents,” said Blaustein. “That demand is a huge part of what keeps filmmakers able to create.”

The 2007 Trailblazer Award will be presented to Ted Sarandos on Saturday, October 13 in Woodstock.

“I am thrilled and honored to be receiving the Trailblazer Award from Woodstock Film Festival this year,” said Sarandos. “It has been the mission of Netflix and my personal passion to connect people with movies that they will love. This award belongs to the film lovers and film makers across the country and the amazing group of executives and employees of Netflix and Red Envelope Entertainment who bring them together.”

Next up for the Festival is the announcement of this year’s annual Honorary Maverick Award to an individual whose life and work is based on creativity, independent vision, and social activism. Past recipients include Barbara Kopple,  Steve Buscemi, Mira Nair, Woody Harrelson, Tim Robbins,  D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, and Les Blank.

And, later in September, the Woodstock Film Festival will announce its full lineup of over 140 films, panels, concerts, and events that will take place during October 10-14.

The seventh annual The Woodstock Film Festival takes place October 10-14, 2007. The ‘fiercely independent’ event will include more than 140 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 promotes artists, culture, inspired learning, and diversity. The Hudson Valley Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video, and media production.

For information contact (845) 679-4265 or visit


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