Jennifer Connelly and Natalie Portman Among Winners at 15th Annual Woodstock Film Festival
The 15th annual Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Awards Ceremony was held tonight at the historic Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston, NY. The festival, which began Wednesday, Oct. 15, will close on Sunday, Oct. 19, celebrating 15 years of exceptional independent film, panels, concerts, events, and parties with the best of the indie film world.
Audience members of this year's awards ceremony witnessed Oscar-nominated director and writer Darren Aronofsky receive the Honorary Maverick Award. Critically acclaimed for his work in films like Black Swan, The Wrestler, and The Fountain, Aronofsky was presented this award by Academy Award Winners Natalie Portman (Black Swan) and Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind), who he directed in his most recent films, NOAH and previously in Requiem for a Dream.
The first annual Fiercely Independent Award was presented to Mark Duplass, after THE EAST Coast Premiere of his newest feature, Creep, and its Q&A panel at the Woodstock Playhouse earlier this afternoon. Serving as co-writer, producer, and co-star of the film, Duplass is not slowing down in his creative conquests. Often working alongside his brother, Jay, he has taken on various roles in the creation of The Puffy Chair, Cyrus, Jeff Who Lives at Home, The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, and many more.
Also awarded this evening was the Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography, which went to cinematographer Michael Lavelle of Patrick's Day. A statement on behalf of Wexler reminded the audience, "This award is based on what I consider true cinematography, not just on the traditional photographic dexterity. He has that. Michael Lavelle's work on Patrick's Day shows a profound understanding of the story and his ability to employ DP skills such as framing, focus, lighting, and camera movement is subtle, in un-selfconscious ways to subliminally involve the viewer."
Maverick Awards Ceremony guests, presenters, and award recipients included Darren Aronofsky, Mark Duplass, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Connelly, Tom Quinn, and more. Live music was provided by Paul Green and The Internet Trolls, while cocktails and appetizers were graciously provided by our sponsors.
The Maverick Awards Ceremony also includes presentation of awards for Best Feature Narrative, Best Feature Documentary, Best Short Narrative, Best Short Documentary, Best Student Short, the Animation Award, the James Lyons Editing Awards, the Diane Seligman Awards, The Tangerine Entertainment Juice Award for Best Female Director, and the newly added Ultra Indie Award.
- The Maverick Award for BEST FEATURE NARRATIVE was presented by jurors
Logan Hill and Melissa Leo to:
Patrick's Day, directed by Terry McMahon
- Honorable Mention was presented to Arwad, directed by Samer Najari and Dominique Chila
- The Maverick Award for BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY was presented by jurors
Joe Berlinger, Amy Hobby and Barbara Kopple to:
Red Lines, directed by Andrea Kalin and Oliver Lukacs
- Honorable Mention was presented to Mentor, directed by Alix Lambert
and A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake, directed by Michael Lessac
- The Maverick Award for BEST ANIMATION was presented by jurors Signe Baumane and Patrick Smith to:
My Kingdom, directed by Debra Solomon
- Honorable Mention was presented to The Dam Keeper, directed by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
- The Diane Seligman Award for BEST SHORT NARRATIVE was
presented by Jonathan Gray, Leah Meyerhoff and Lori Singer to:
Sunday, directed by Iva Gocheva
- Honorable Mention was presented to Nighthawks, directed by Jun Bung Lee
- The Diane Seligman Award for BEST STUDENT SHORT FILM was
presented by jurors Isil Bagdadi and Terry Kinney to:
So You've Grown Attached, directed by Kate Tsang
- Honorable Mention was presented to The Young Housefly, directed by Laurence Vannicelli
- The Diane Seligman Award for BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY was
presented by jurors Leon Gast, Emily Rothschild and Todd Wider to:
Our Course (Nasza Klatwa), directed by Tomasz Sliwinski
- The Haskell Wexler Award for BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY was presented to:
Patrick's Day, directed by Terry McMahon with cinematography by Michael Lavelle
- James Lyons Award for BEST EDITING of a FEATURE NARRATIVE was
presented by jurors Sabine Hoffman and Adam Blaustein Rejto to:
Patrick's Day, directed by Terry McMahon and edited by Emer Reynolds
- James Lyons Award for BEST EDITING of a FEATURE DOCUMENTARY was
presented by jurors Sandra Christie, Jean Tsien and Sabine Hoffman to:
Killswitch, directed by Ali Akbarzadeh and edited by Prichard Smith
- Honorable Mention was presented to A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake edited by Joel Plotch
- ULTRA INDIE AWARD was presented by jurors Richard Abramowitz and Amy Gossels to:
Uncertain Terms, directed by Nathan Silver
- Honorable Mention was presented to I Believe in Unicorns, directed by Leah Meyerhoff
- TANGERINE ENTERTAINMENT JUICE AWARD FOR BEST FEMALE FEATURE DIRECTOR was
presented by juror Amy Hobby to:
Caryn Waechter, director of The Sisterhood of Night
- FIERCELY INDEPENDENT AWARD was presented by Tom Quinn to:
- HONORARY MAVERICK AWARD was presented by Jennifer Connelly and Natalie Portman to:
The Maverick Award trophies are handcrafted by local artisan Steve Heller of Fabulous Furniture in Boiceville, NY.
The Sponsors for the 2014 Woodstock Film Festival are:
Gold Sponsors: 120 dBfilms, Markertek.com, Toyota
Silver Sponsor: Ketel One Vodka
Superstar Sponsors: BMI, Metrovision, Radio Woodstock / WDST
Award Sponsors: FilmsWeLike, Gigantic Pictures, Gray Krauss Stratford Sandler Des Rochers LLP, Lowel Lights, Panavision NY, Tangerine Entertainment, Technicolor/Postworks NY, Blackmagic Design
State Support: New York State Council of the Arts
The festival will come to a close tomorrow night with the screening of THE BETTER ANGELS, directed by A.J. Edwards (Woodstock Playhouse, 7:30PM). The film will bring to a close WFF's annual five days of celebration of independent film, filmmakers and their audiences, taking place around the historic arts colony of Woodstock and the neighboring towns of Rhinebeck, Kingston, Rosendale and Saugerties. Stay tuned for the announcement of the Audience Award Winners Sunday night, Oct. 19!
The 15th annual Woodstock Film Festival will take place next fall in October, 2015! Mark your calendars and look forward to joining WFF for next year's fiercely independent celebration of film.
Photo courtesy of Woodstock Film Festival