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The Fiercely Independent Festival Concludes with an Inspiring Ceremony and Audience Favorites

Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature:

AMIRA & SAM, directed by Sean Mullin

Honorable Mention: THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD, directed by Peter Anthony

Film still from Amira & Sam

Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature:

LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, directed by Thomas G. Miller

Honorable Mention: HOW I GOT OVER, directed by Nicole Boxer

limited partnership
Film still from Limited Partnership

(Woodstock, NY) October 20, 2014 - With every overflowing ballot basket from each screening accounted for, the annual AUDIENCE AWARD winners are in. The 15th annual fiercely independent Woodstock Film Festival wrapped up Sunday night as guests enjoyed the final screenings of narratives, documentaries, and shorts. Thousands of filmmakers, industry members, and film lovers from around the country and the globe attended nearly 150 films, panels, and special events in Woodstock, Rhinebeck, Rosendale, Kingston and Saugerties.

"This year's lineup was made up of an outstanding collection of independent films that truly push the envelope," said Meira Blaustein, Woodstock Film Festival Co-Founder and Executive Director. "These films open our eyes and ignite our hearts. It is our privilege to share the filmmaking experience in all of its diverse approaches."

Saturday night's Maverick Awards Ceremony, held at Backstage Studio Productions in the historical Stockade District of Kingston, NY, honored both the exceptional talent that was brought to the festival this year as well as honorary award recipients Darren Aronofsky and Mark Duplass. Paul Green and The Internet Trolls entertained guests while award presenters, including Natalie Portman and Jennifer Connelly, graced the stage.

“It was a very inspiring night," recalled Darren Aronofsky as he accepted the 2014 Honorary Maverick Award on stage. "All the independent spirit that was here touched me and inspired me. So thank you, Woodstock, for that, and I go home with some new energy."

Also influenced by the independent spirit that encapsulated the evening, first annual Fiercely Independent Award winner, Mark Duplass, devoted his acceptance speech to championing the unique "ecosystem" that keeps the independent film world thriving.

"Let's be fiercely independent," Duplass called to all filmmakers, distributors, and film festivals. "Go make your movie. Don't stop until you make your movie, but still be nice and generous and loving while you do it. Let's do that and raise each other up."

For the Woodstock Film Festival, local communities did a great deal in lifting up the independent film world by graciously opening their doors to festival-goers. A volunteer team of over 300 made the festival possible along with 15,000 audience members and over 300 actors and industry members in attendance, filling the streets of towns in the Hudson Valley with the festival spirit.


Each year, WFF offers ballots to film-goers to choose their favorites. The WFF 2014 Audience Award winners are:

Jennifer Connelly, Darren Aronofsky and Natalie Portman at 2014 Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Awards Ceremony (photo by Simon Russell)
Click to download hi-resolution file

awards group
2014 Woodstock Film Festival 15th Annual Maverick Award Show
Photo credit: Simon Russell

Click photo to download hi-resolution file

The awards given out at Saturday's MAVERICK AWARDS CEREMONY at Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston included:

  • PATRICK'S DAY, directed by Terry McMahon, received The Maverick Award for BEST FEATURE NARRATIVE
  • Honorable Mention went to ARWAD, directed by Samer Najari and Dominique Chila

  • RED LINES, directed by Andrea Kalin and Oliver Lukacs, received BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY
  • Honorable Mention went to MENTOR, directed by Alix Lambert and A SNAKE GIVES BIRTH TO A SNAKE, directed by Michael Lessac

  • MY KINGDOM, directed by Debra Solomon, received BEST ANIMATION
  • Honorable Mention was presented to THE DAM KEEPER, directed by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi

  • SUNDAY, directed by Iva Gochev, received BEST SHORT NARRATIVE
  • Honorable Mention was presented to NIGHTHAWKS, directed by Jun Bung Lee

  • SO YOU'VE GROWN ATTACHED, directed by Kate Tsang, received BEST STUDENT SHORT FILM
  • Honorable Mention was presented to THE YOUNG HOUSEFLY, directed by Laurence Vannicelli

  • OUR CURSE (NASZA KLATWA), directed by Tomasz Sliwinski, received BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY

  • PATRICK'S DAY, directed by Terry McMahon with cinematography by Michael Lavelle, received The Haskell Wexler Award for BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • PATRICK'S DAY, directed by Terry McMahon and edited by Emer Reynolds, received the James Lyons Award for BEST EDITING of a FEATURE NARRATIVE.
  • Honorable Mention was presented to THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD, directed by Peter Anthony and edited by Morten Hojbjerg

  • KILLSWITCH, directed by Ali Akbarzadeh and edited by Prichard Smith, received the James Lyons Award for BEST EDITING of a FEATURE DOCUMENTARY
  • Honorable Mention was presented to A SNAKE GIVES BIRTH TO A SNAKE, directed by Michael Lessac and edited by Joel Plotch

  • UNCERTAIN TERMS, directed by Nathan Silver, received the ULTRA INDIE AWARD
  • Honorable Mention was presented to I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS, directed by Leah Meyerhoff

  • Caryn Waechter, director of THE SISTERHOOD OF NIGHT, received the Tangerine Juice Entertainment Award for BEST FEMALE FEATURE DIRECTOR

  • Mark Duplass received the first annual FIERCELY INDEPENDENT AWARD, presented by Tom Quinn

  • Darren Aronofsky received the HONORARY MAVERICK AWARD, presented by Natalie Portman and Jennifer Connelly

Other highlights from the 15th Annual Woodstock Film Festival included:

  • OPENING NIGHT FILM: TWO MEN IN TOWN, directed by Rachid Bouchareb
  • Nearly 70 Premieres including 22 World Premieres, 5 North American Premieres, 2 US Premieres, 17 East Coast Premieres and 21 NY Premieres

  • Festival attendees included Darren Aronofsky, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Connelly, Courteney Cox, Mark Duplass, Ron Nyswaner, Melissa Leo, Bruce Greenwood, Robert Vaughn, Tim Guinee, Hugh Masakela, Debra Granik, Paul Wesley, Shawn Christensen, Robin Bronk, Doreen Ringer-Ross, Joe Berlinger, Larry Fessenden, Richard Abramowitz, Todd and Jedd Wider, Lori Singer, Jonathan Gray, Claude dal Farra, Terry Kinney, Barbara Kopple, Leon Gast, Steve Earle, David Broza, Pauly Shore, and Tony Kushner, among others.

  • COURTENEY COX screened her directorial debut feature film, JUST BEFORE I GO starring SEANN WILLIAM SCOTT. They both participated in a Q&A after the film. Courteney was also featured in the Women in the Director's Chair panel.

  • PAUL WESLEY attended the festival with two of his films, AMIRA AND SAM, directed by Sean Mullin and BEFORE I DISAPPEAR, directed by Shawn Christensen, participating in Q&A with co-stars Fatima Ptacek and Dina Shihabi.

  • BRUCE GREENWOOD arrived at the festival to accompany the screening of WILDLIKE, directed by Frank Hall Green. He also participated on the Actor's Dialogue panel along with TIM GUINEE.

  • PAULY SHORE screened the East Coast Premiere of his self-directed documentary PAULY SHORE STANDS ALONE. He also headlined a stand-up comedy act on Saturday evening.

  • Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner, TONY KUSHNER, and Academy Award winner, MELISSA LEO, were featured on panels Sunday morning, speaking, respectively, about their expertise in the adaptation of novels for the screen and the casting process.

  • Jazz legend HUGH MASEKELA whose music is featured in the documentary, A SNAKE GIVES BIRTH TO A SNAKE, participated in the Q&A session for the film and was featured on the panel Music as the Unifying Force.

  • Musicians DAVID BROZA and STEVE EARLE attended the festival for the World Premiere of EAST JERUSALEM/WEST JERUSALEM, directed by Erez Miller and Henrique Cymerman. The two musicians gave a live acoustic performance after the film.

The 16th annual Woodstock Film Festival will take place next fall in October 2015! Mark your calendars and look forward to joining WFF for yet another year of celebrating fiercely independent filmmaking. Keep up to date with everything WFF through our official website, signing up for our monthly newsletters and following the festival's latest news on social media. See you next autumn!

CLICK HERE FOR HI-RESOLUTION PHOTOS and visit the WFF Youtube channel for video coverage from the 15th annual Maverick Awards Ceremony as well as other 2014 festival events.


About the Woodstock Film Festival:
Hailed by Indiewire as "A true American Maverick Among Fests" the Woodstock Film Festival premieres 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 organization 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 celebrated its 15th Annual Festival October 15-19, 2014, with an extraordinary lineup of fiercely independent films, panels, concerts and special events in Woodstock, NY and the neighboring towns of Rhinebeck, Kingston, Rosendale and Saugerties.

2014 Sponsors



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Award Sponsors
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Foundation and State Support

P.O Box 1406, Woodstock, NY 12498 - (845) 679-4265 -