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David Archer Press Director daassociates@aol.com

Alana Davis Deputy Press Director press@woodstockfilmfestival.com or 845-679-4265


Woodstock, NY (Sept. 20, 2012) —Acclaimed director Jonathan Demme will receive the Honorary Maverick Award at the 13th Annual Woodstock Film Festival. The award gala will take place on Saturday, Oct. 13, 9pm at Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston.

The veteran director, whose documentary I'm Carolyn Parker: The Good, The Mad and The Beautiful screened at last year's festival, is best known for his films Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, Rachel Getting Married, The Agrolnomist and Stop Making Sense.

During his 40 years of filmmaking, Jonathan Demme has had a profound impact on audiences with works so diverse it is astonishing that the same director envisioned and created them. He is known to some people for such narrative masterpieces as Silence of the Lambs, Melvin and Howard, Swing Shift, Something Wild, Swimming to Cambodia, Philadelphia, and Beloved. But he is equally recognized as a documentarian, giving voice to many unsung heroes and momentous issues with such films as Cousin Bobby, The Agronomist, Jimmy Carter Man from Plains, and I’m Carolyn Parker, which chronicled the life of Parker and her family as they rebuilt their lives after Hurricane Katrina devastated their community and home in the Lower Ninth Ward. His upcoming films, The House at Lovestrand and three New Orleans portrait documentaries continue Demme’s commitment to champion the unacknowledged.

Anyone who follows music undoubtedly knows Demme for his phenomenal feature-length music films, including Stop Making Sense (which got people up and dancing in the aisles of theaters), Storefront Hitchcock, Neil Young: Heart of Gold, The Neil Young Trunk Show, and most recently Enzo Avitabile Music Life, which chronicles the career of the incomparable Italian saxophonist, singer-songwriter who plays a fusion of world music and jazz that is mesmerizing.


This glimpse at his career, spanning four decades, clearly illuminates what makes Demme the Woodstock Film Festival 2012 choice for the Maverick Award. He courageously tackles challenging and controversial subjects; and in doing so, whether he is portraying Anthony Hopkins as the terrifying Hannibal Lecter or Tom Hanks as an early victim of AIDS, his characters emerge with unusual depth and humanity. What’s more, his stories are not only thoughtful, they are as equally absorbing and entertaining.

Demme began his film career not behind the lens, but as a film critic, eventually graduating to public relations, until 1970, when he met Roger Corman, mentor to many brilliant filmmakers.

Demme has previously participated in the Woodstock Film Festival as a panelist and as a filmmaker. It is our great honor this year to have him here to receive our most prestigious Maverick Award and to acknowledge a dedicated director who has demonstrated an unparalleled passion for art, music and culture, along with a commitment to social awareness and justice.

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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, 501c3 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 organization is based in THE FILM CENTER in Woodstock, NY.

The Woodstock Film Festival will celebrate its 13th Annual Festival October 10-14, 2012, 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.

2012 Sponsors
Platinum Sponsor
Gold Sponsors
120db bdcf      
Silver Sponsors
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Superstar Sponsors
bmi hendricks hudson    
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Award Sponsors
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lowel panavision    
Foundation and State Support
nysca charitable dcac  


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