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Contact: Ilene Marder or Meira Blaustein 845.679.4265 or

to Receive Special LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT Award at 9th Annual Woodstock Film Festival


Haskell Wexler (click to enlarge)

(Woodstock, NY) July 7, 2008: Award-winning cinematographer, Haskell Wexler, ASC, is set to receive the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award at the 9th Annual Woodstock Film Festival (WFF) this October 1-5. 

“Haskell Wexler’s outstanding talent as a cinematographer, his unique voice as a director, and his unwavering passion as a social activist have been an inspiration and a guiding light to the Woodstock Film Festival audience and to the film community at large,” Woodstock Film Festival Co-Founder and Executive Director Meira Blaustein said, “We are thrilled to present him with the Woodstock Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award”.

Considered one of the most well respected cinematographers in the film industry today, Haskell Wexler’s career spans six decades and work ranging from such films as Bound for Glory, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf", Interviews With My Lai Veterans, and American Graffiti. Wexler has received five Academy Award® nominations and a number of other prestigious awards, honoring his outstanding achievements in the photography of a wide range of films.  He won his first Best Cinematography Oscar® in 1967 for Mike Nichols’ Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and received the coveted prize again, ten years later, for Hal Ashby’s Bound for Glory.  His other nominations were for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1976), Matewan (1988), and Blaze (1989).

Several other films that Wexler worked on have also won or been nominated for Academy Awards®, including The Living City (1952), T For Tumbleweed (1962), Interviews With My Lai Veterans (1970), and The Man on Lincoln’s Nose (2000)

In addition to these honors, Mr. Wexler has also received numerous other accolades, including The American Society of Cinematographers' Lifetime Achievement Award, an Independent Spirit Award (Matewan), an Emmy nomination (Outstanding Cinematography for 61*), and a “Star” on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. He was also elected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to the Board of Governors to represent the Cinematographers Branch.

“My professional interest is photography” commented Mr. Wexler. “Photographers are storytellers who have always been welcome at Woodstock.  George Orwell said “In a time of universal deceit telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” Artists are not required to be revolutionaries. The Woodstock Film Festival is not just another festival where filmmakers show their work and distributors test the market.

The place, Woodstock, is identified with the spirit of that historic concert. The Film Festival continues the sound and images of those rebel artists of the ‘60’s. The Woodstock Film Festival encourages rebels who tell stories artfully and honestly. I am very appreciative of my Woodstock honor”.

Beyond his achievements as a cinematographer, Wexler has also directed several successful feature films.  Medium Cool (1969), a revolutionary film shot amid the turbulence of the 1968 Democratic Convention, was nominated for a DGA Award, and his 1985 film, Latino, set in Nicaragua during the Sandinista regime, received a special honor at Cannes Film Festival.  Most recently, Wexler directed From Wharf Rats to Lords of the Docks (2007), a historical drama about Harry Bridges, an influential San Francisco waterfront union activist.

Haskell Wexler has also been an integral part of the Woodstock Film Festival, dating back to the very first festival in 2000.  Always an active presence at WFF since 2001, Wexler has personally selected an outstanding cinematographer to receive the Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography (sponsored in 2008 by Panavision), presenting the prize each year during the festival’s Maverick Awards. Many Mr. Wexler’s films have also been showcased over the years at the Woodstock Film Festival, including Five Days in March (2000, World Premiere), Bound for Glory (2002), and Who Needs Sleep (2005, NY Premier).

In addition, Wexler has participated in discussions and panels both at the Woodstock Film Festival and throughout the year as a part of WFF’s year round programming.  Wexler came to Albany in 2004, where his film Medium Cool was screened as part of a WFF year round event, staying for a lengthy discussion afterwards.  At the 2002 festival, Mr. Wexler was part of a conversation and brunch on “The Art of Dissent,” following a screening of Bound for Glory.  He also participated in “A Day at the Roundtables,” talking with area high school students about the art of filmmaking as part of WFF’s 2002 Youth Initiative program. 

"We have been truly fortunate for the past nine years to have the support and friendship of Haskell Wexler, and we hope to continue working with him for many years to come.” Meira Blaustein said.

The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Haskell Wexler at the 2008 Woodstock Film Festival Award Ceremony on Saturday, October 4, by his long time friends and colleagues writer / director John Sayles, producer Maggie Renzi and others.


The ninth annual Woodstock Film Festival takes place October 1 - 5, 2008. 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, Kingston and Rosendale. Visit for 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 -