(Woodstock, NY) September 2, 2008 – KEVIN SMITH, the director/screenwriter/actor/editor/comic book writer hailed as “one of the most unique voices to emerge during the American independent filmmaking renaissance of the 1990’s,” will be presented with the 2008 Honorary Maverick Award for his past and continuing work in independent film. Smith’s latest offering, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, will help close the 9th Annual Woodstock Film Festival on Sunday, Oct. 5, courtesy of The Weinstein Company.
Widely known for his inteligent comedies, Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Jersey Girl, Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back, Dogma and Clerks II, Smith will receive the Honorary Maverick Award at the WFF Awards Ceremony on October 4th.
"I can't imagine a single person in the entertainment industry who embodies the spirit of the Woodstock Mavericks more than Kevin Smith” said John Sloss, head of Cinetic Media, member of the Woodstock Film Festival Advisory Board and a long time colleague of Mr. Smith. “From "Clerks" to "Dogma" to the upcoming "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" he has tweaked the noses of the Establishment and expanded the bounds of propriety in a singularly brilliant and irreverent way. More remarkably, all the while imbuing his work with an uncommon humanism, a quality also historically attributed to the Woodstock community,”
Avoiding large Hollywood films, Smith has stayed true to his independent film roots and continued to make intelligent comedies that explore deeper themes such as religion, youth, and romance.
"Woodstock embodies the Maverick spirit as a symbol of creative, risk-taking, independent thought," said Meira Blaustein, WFF Executive Director and Co-Founder. "This year's honorary Maverick Award recipient, Kevin Smith, personifies all of these qualities. His films perceptively pursue humanity with a satiric and fiercely independent eye. He's an outstanding choice for this award." Past recipients include Les Blank, D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, Tim Robbins, Woody Harrelson, Mira Nair, Steve Buscemi, Barbara Kopple and Christine Vachon.
Starting his career in his native state of New Jersey, Smith made his first film, Clerks, for less than $30,000 dollars, shooting it at the convenience store where Smith had worked. It won both the Mercedes Benz award and the Award of the Youth at the Cannes Film Festival, a Filmmaker Trophy at Sundance and was picked up by Miramax. Since then, Smith has written and directed a number of underground successes including Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Clerks 2. He’s also responsible for larger budget films such as Dogma, Jersey Girl, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Smith’s work has won many film festival accolades including the Independent Spirit Award.
His new project, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, is another smart comedy which stars Seth Rogan and Elizabeth Banks as two friends who, faced with dire financial straits, decide to make a porno movie. While they agree that the endeavor will remain completely professional and sex won’t get in the way of their friendship, what starts out as a film project turns into much more. The film is one of two closing films this year…Smith’s film will close in Woodstock. (The Great Buck Howard, directed by Sean McGinly, closes in Rosendale.)
In addition to acting, writing, and directing, Smith has created comics for Marvel and DC and released two lecture DVDs entitled An Evening With Kevin Smith. Last year he also released a memoir/diary, entitled “My Boring Ass Life: The Uncomfortably Candid Diary of Kevin Smith.”
ABOUT THE WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL
The 9th annual Woodstock Film Festival takes place October 1-5th, 2008. The “fiercely independent” festival in the colony of the arts will include more than 150 films, panels, concerts and special events featured at venues in Woodstock and the neighboring towns of Rhinebeck and Rosendale. For more information, visit www.Woodstockfilmfestival.com
Since 2000, the Woodstock Film Festival has established itself as one of the foremost 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 stimulating, innovative 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. WFF’s sister organization, The Hudson Valley Film Commission, promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production throughout the region.For more information, contact Ilene Marder, WFF Press Director or Gabriel Meyers, Deputy Press Director at (845) 679-4265.