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Contact: Meira Blaustein at meira@woodstockfilmfestival.com or call 845.679.4265

Festival's Animation Award to be sponsored by Blue Sky Studios. Blue Sky Animation Panel to accompany.

(Woodstock, NY) June 16, 2011: The Woodstock Film Festival is pleased to welcome animation giant Blue Sky Studios as the official sponsor of the 2011 WFF Maverick Award for Best Animation.The winner will receive a cash award, courtesy of Blue Sky Studios, which is slated to sponsor the award for the next three years.

Blue Sky Studios, the animation pioneer which produced the megahit Ice Age, will also be hosting a special panel at the festival about the various stages of creating a large scale feature-length animated film. The panel will include key creative personnel from Blue Sky, whose combined perspectives will represent the full spectrum of the animation process.

"We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Blue Sky Studios as the sponsor of our Animation Award" stated co-founder and executive director Meira Blaustein. "Animation has been one of our most important programs at our festival for many year. Animators are among the hardest working and most creative filmmakers out there and I am happy that Blue Sky Studios, one of the best animation studios in the world, is on board to acknowledge their work."

Blue Sky Co-Founder and director Chris Wedge will be a featured participant in the panel, and will also present the Maverick Award for Best Animation. Wedge won an Academy Award in 1998 for his short film Bunny, and has since directed both Ice Age and Robots. His next Blue Sky feature is Leafmen. He can also be heard as the “voice” of the saber-toothed squirrel Scrat in Ice Age and its sequels.

Chris Wedge will be joining award winning animators and WFF Programmers Bill Plympton and Signe Baumane on the jury that determines the recipient of this year’s award. Plympton and Baumane have curated The Woodstock Film Festival animation program since 2004. The program provides a forum for independent animators to showcase their work, and is consistently one of the most popular programs. Previous award winners include Anthony Sheppard’s Music Scene in 2010, Jake Armstrong’s The Terrible Thing about Alpha-9 in 2009, and Yann Jouette’s Berni’s Doll in 2008.

About Blue Sky Studios:

Blue Sky Studios is the Academy Award®-winning, feature CG animation studio behind the wildly successful Ice Age franchise.  Using their propriety rendering software, CGI Studio®, Blue Sky creates photo-realistic, high-resolution, computer-generated character animation and rendering to tell timeless stories to children of all ages. Blue Sky’s productions include Ice Age (2002), Robots (2005), Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006), Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who (2008), Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009) and Rio, currently in theaters.  Blue Sky Studios is wholly owned by Twentieth Century Fox. 

For more information, visit their website at: http://www.blueskystudios.com.


About the Woodstock Film Festival:
Hailed by Indiewire as "A true American Maverick Among Fests" and 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 Woodstock Film Festival premiers exceptional films, hosts the most talented emerging and established professionals in the movie industry; presents A-list concerts, panels and parties, and creates stimulating, innovative programming year-round.

The Woodstock Film Festival is a non-profit, 501 (C)(3) 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 Woodstock Film Festival celebrates its 12th Annual Festival September 21- 25, 2011, with an extraordinary line-up of fiercely independent films, panels, concerts and special events in Woodstock and the neighboring towns of Rhinebeck, Kingston and Rosendale.

P.O Box 1406, Woodstock, NY 12498 - (845) 679-4265
info@woodstockfilmfestival.com - www.woodstockfilmfestival.com