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CONTACT: Chandra Knotts, Deputy Press Director chandra@woodstockfilmfestival.com or 845-679-4265
• Click here for full online schedule with ticket info (available September 12)
• Click here for pre-fest PDF (6mb download available September 3)


2013 Youth Initiative features annual Teen Film Program, Career Day, and the inaugural Woodstock Film Festival Social Media Campaign

Woodstock, NY (Sept. 3, 2013) – Since its inception as an educational not-for-profit organization, the Woodstock Film Festival has been committed to youth and education as a means to positive development, conflict resolution and growth opportunity. Since 2002, the WFF Youth Initiative has offered inspired learning opportunities for students by providing the opportunity for one-on-one exchanges with filmmakers and top film industry members who hold a variety of positions including screenwriter, actor, director, producer, cinematographer, editor, composer, attorney, animator, casting director, makeup artist, documentary filmmaker and film critic.

Several Academy Award® winners have been a part of the Youth Initiative over the years including the legendary composer Elmer Bernstein, who was nominated for fifteen Oscars®, filmmakers Barabara Kopple and Leon Gast, screenwriters Zachary Sklar and Ron Nyswaner, actors Timothy Hutton and cinematographer Haskell Wexler, who is the only cinematographer with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

WFF proudly presents its Teen Film Program each year as an event that encourages young filmmakers and showcases some of the best young talent from the local region and across the country and around the world.

On October 4, 2013, students from the region will enjoy a day of interaction with filmmakers, actors, producers, writers, animators and others from the film business at WFF's annual CAREER DAY.

Additionally, 2013 celebrates the inaugural year of WFF's Social Media Campaign, a program that offers local students the chance to take their interests in social media websites and refashion them as platforms of reporting, production and engagement.

An annual part of WFF's Youth Initiative, over 150 students from schools throughout the region gather each year at Onteora High School in Boiceville, NY for Career Day, where students meet with A-list film industry professionals in small groups, ask questions, and learn about careers in film and new media.

In addition to conversations with leading authorities on filmmaking, students are also treated to a film screening, which is followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.

Career Day is a rare and highly practical opportunity for students (between ages 14-20) who are interested in careers within film and media fields. The event, which was started in 2001 by NYU Industry Liaison Jeremiah Newton presents the opportunity for first-hand communication with highly respected professionals.

WFF's 2012 Career Day featured an engaging Q&A session with filmmaker Olivia Silver, preceded by a special screening of her film Arcadia. The film screening was followed by conversations held with industry members including editor Michael Taylor (Garden State, Across the Universe), director Arturo Pons (Compass is Carried by the Dead Man, No Sents Res?), and actress Lori Singer (Law & Order: SVU, Footloose)
Past participants of the annual event have included 14 time Academy Award® nominated composer Elmer Bernstein (The Magnificent Seven, To Kill a Mockingbird,The Great Escape, Far From Heaven), actor and director Larry Fessenden (The Last Winter, Wendigo, Habit), Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Leon Gast (When We Were Kings), Oscar Nominated actor Melissa Leo (Frozen River, 3 Burials of Melquiades Estrada), actor Donal Logue (The Daily Show, ER, The Knights of Prosperity, Ghost Rider), Academy Award® nominated screenwriter Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia, The Painted Veil, A Soldier's Girl) and Academy Award® winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest).

"I am always amazed at the quality of the program and especially impressed by the depth of understanding these youngsters have of the film making process. It has been a privilege to share my documentary experiences at the WFF Career Day forum." – Leon Gast, Academy Award® Recipient, "When We Were Kings"

Leon Gast lecturing to students

Producer Larry Fessenden at WFF Career Day

Students at a WFF Career Day workshop

The Woodstock Film Festival is excited to announce that the 14th annual event will see the involvement of social media in connecting festival attendees with film fans across the globe, utilizing a new social media campaign designed to integrate local students into festival publicity. The aim of online engagement is to increase communication between filmmakers, audiences and fans, fostering a dialogue with a focus on independent filmmaking.

Additionally, the WFF Social Media Team, in collaboration with local teachers, have designed a program that offers local students the chance to take their interests in social media websites and refashion them as platforms of reporting, production and engagement. Starting in early September, students will participate in a series of workshops teaching corporate level social media campaign strategies and etiquette. Students will be divided during the festival between different teams that each center on a specific type of social media, including live blogging, tweeting, photographing, curating and filming. Tasked with reporting and generating WFF media content, students will hone their skills in film production, photography and journalism through the scope of independent filmmaking. Among the list of local schools involved in the project are Onteora High School, Woodstock Day School, Poughkeepsie Day School and Kingston High School.

An exciting new prospect of the pilot campaign is the inclusion of the Woodstock Film Festival Glass Cam, Google glasses that will be used during the festival events for coverage as well as demonstrational and educational purposes for students. The Daily Freeman's Life Editor, Ivan Lajara, will head the WFF Glass Cam coverage and will provide a special instructional session to participating students.

Encompassing WFF's motto "Fiercely Independent," this pilot program extends beyond promoting the Woodstock Film Festival, as it will give students the tools to use social media for a professional and education purpose. Read more about the 2013 WFF Social Media Campaign HERE.



Directed by Darian Henry and Imani Peterkin
USA / 2013 / 7:35 minutes
World Premiere

Inside the Ring profiles the longest running boxing program in Albany, NY, byt taking you inside the ring to hear from longtime coach Jerrick Jones and some of the up and coming young fighters.


Directed by Kayleigh A. Myer, Brandon Sawhill-Aja, Jazmin Kay
USA / 2013 / 1 minutes
World Premiere

An experimental film that takes a look at the ability for corruption that an onion embodies. Using stop-motion animation, combined with moving image and otherworldly music, this film strives to ignite an experience within the unconscious self.


Directed by David Britton
USA / 2013 / 3:48 minutes

A young man sets out on a whimsical journey to retrieve his feline friend.


Directed by Allie Nagelski, Sydney Bowman, Tyler Ganis, Ciara Conway, Clare MacDonald, sophomores Arianna Hoshino, Taylor Scott, and Alivia Weddington
USA / 2013 / 3:08 minutes

A narrative short created in order to dispel the myths and eradicate the stigmas associated with mental health.


Directed by Stephen Boyer
USA / 2013 / 12 minutes
New York Premiere

Michael Parker has neglected to do his volunteer hours in order to graduate high school. He and his friends use their combined search engine skills to find somewhere to get hours in the last two months of school. They find him a job playing piano at a medical clinic and at first, he hates it. Despite this, Michael goes and does his hours. It isn't until the last required day that something unique happens, a tumor-patient named Leonard Fitzgerald approaches Michael and tells him that the music has been healing.


Directed by Ben Kadie
USA / 2012 / 8:53 minutes
New York Premiere

The story of Megan, a closeted gay 15-year old, who runs away from her mother's expectations. Hiding in an abandoned subway tunnel, she uses spray paint to create art for her mother. Megan hopes that through this gallery of graffiti she can help her mother understand who she is.


Directed by Hunter Hopewell
USA / 2013 / 4 minutes
World Premiere

Pretty Good Problems is a music video, written and produced by 16 year old High School Student, Hunter Hopewell. It's a story about an essentially average kid that dreams about having a rock band with raving fans and visualizes that it's really happening when he puts on his 'magic headphones.'


Directed by Lance Oppenheim
USA / 2013 / 7:31 minutes

A week prior to his passing, Lance Oppenheim's grandfather shared his former aspirations of becoming a filmmaker. After numerous hardships, a narrow escape from the Nazis and an immigration to the US, his grandfather's dream slowly, but surely, faded away. After his grandfather's passing, Lance uncovered an archival trove of dust-covered 8mm film that had seemingly not been viewed by anyone for at least a generation.
Mesmerized, what unfolded before Lance was something most people have never witnessed before: the development and utter decline of the human body and mind.

Motivated by his grandfather's unfulfilled dreams of filmmaking, Lance decided to piece together a film that his grandfather had already unwittingly made. quicksand is not only a personal tribute to Lance's grandfather nor father, but to anyone that has ever experienced loss. Whether it be a loss of a loved one, or a loss of memories, quicksand embodies the enigma of life and death.


Directed by Jack Warren
USA / 2013 / 15 minutes
World Premiere

In a time different from our own, two teenagers, Sam and Sylvia, meet in the ruins of a forgotten train station. For the first time in both their lives they dance and discuss the troubles of their torn pasts.


Directed by Kayleigh Myer
USA / 2013 / 1:50 minutes

An experimental art film shot and edited over the course of 7 hours. Kayleigh Myer's production is a visually-based, interpretive portrait project of an intended resemblance to the 35mm aesthetic. Centered around exuding an internal vibe wrapped around vivid understanding of the unconscious self, this short film utilizes light to cultivate an essence within the viewers mind and perception of imagery.

• Click here for full online schedule with ticket info (available September 12)
• Click here for pre-fest PDF (6mb download available September 2)

• Click here to return to FULL LINEUP


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 Woodstock Film Festival will celebrate its 14th Annual Festival October 2-6, 2013, with an extraordinary line-up of fiercely independent films, panels, concerts and special events in Woodstock and the neighboring towns of Rhinebeck, Kingston, Rosendale and Saugerties.

2013 Sponsors


Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors

Superstar Sponsors
metro wdst

Award Sponsors
bluesky filmwelike
gigantic giving back
lowel panavision

Foundation and State Support

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