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CONTACT: Ilene Marder, Communications Director, press@woodstockfilmfestival.com, (845) 679-4265
  Gabriel Meyers, Press Director, press@woodstockfilmfestival.com, (845) 679-4265
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(Woodstock, NY) July 30, 2010:
The Woodstock Film Festival is thrilled to announce that long time film distribution guru Bob Berney will be honored as the 2010 Woodstock Film Festival Trailblazer Award recipient.

Berney has been a preeminent force in the international film world for more than two decades operating four of the most successful independent film distribution and marketing companies: Apparition, Picturehouse, Newmarket Films and IFC Films. Berney's sharp eye for performances and material has brought a multitude of smart, challenging and entertaining films to the screen.

"We are honored to present our Trailblazer Award to Bob Berney," said Meira Blaustein, co-founder and director of WFF. "His innovative approach to film marketing and distribution has been admired by many in our industry and his independent and uncompromising spirit make him the epitome of a Trailblazer."

"I'm glad to be thought of as a 'trailblazer' instead of an 'industry vet,' for a change, it's very nice.  I respect the spirit of the Woodstock Film Festival; it's adventuresome programming, not only in film but in music and many other art forms. The sense of community there reminds me of my days in the movie theatre business and the pure joy of experiencing something new through film in a shared environment," said Berney.

Berney has film credits speak for themselves. As founder and operator of Apparition, Picturehouse, Newmarket Films and IFC Films, Berney has overseen the releases of Academy Award nominated and winning films There Will Be Blood, Monster, La Vie En Rose, The Passion of the Christ, Whale Rider, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Y Tu Mama Tambien, A Prairie Home Companion, Pan's Labyrinth, Mongol and many more.

In addition to critical successes, Berney has a proven track record for acquiring material that audiences want to see, including box office smashes like The Passion of the Christ ($370 million) and My Big Fat Greek Wedding ($240 million).

As an independent distribution and marketing consultant, Berney was responsible for the release of Christopher Nolan's Memento for Newmarket Capital Group and Todd Solondz's critically acclaimed Happiness for Good Machine International (now Focus Features).

"How do you know Bob Berney is the essence of true independence?" asks James Schamus, CEO of Focus Features and a previous Trailblazer Award Recipient, "You can use the names of both Todd Solondz and Mel Gibson in the same sentence when celebrating him. How awesome is that?"

Berney reminisced about previous WFF experiences "One of my favorite memories is being in Levon Helm's 'barn' after a great film and extending that creative excitement through his music. I'm very honored to be part of this year's event and glad to hang out in Woodstock for a while."

For tickets to the 2010 Awards Cermony, please visit www.woodstockfilmfestival.com/cart/awards_2010.php

About the Woodstock Film Festival:

The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501©(3) organization whose mission is to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music and art-related activities that promotes artists, culture, inspired learning, and diversity.

Hailed by Indiewire as "A true American Maverick Among Fests," and one of the TOP film festival in the world, the Woodstock Film Festival has been praised by actor Ethan Hawke as "among the finest of a dying breed: a festival that isn't trying to sell you anything, but simply and beautifully celebrating the art & craft of filmmaking."

The 11th annual Woodstock Film Festival will take place September 29-October 3, 2010.  The “fiercely independent” festival includes more than 150 films, panels, concerts and special events in Woodstock and the neighboring towns of Kingston, Rhinebeck and Rosendale.

The Woodstock Film Festival premieres exceptional films; hosts emerging and established filmmakers; presents A-list concerts, parties and panels, and creates stimulating, innovative year-round programming .

For more information visit www.woodstockfilmfestival.org or call (845) 679-4265