Best Narrative Feature -DON’T LET ME DROWN, directed by Cruz Angeles.  Best Feature DocumentaryJUNIOR, directed by Jenna Rosher.

Best Narrative Feature -DON’T LET ME DROWN, directed by Cruz Angeles.  Best Feature DocumentaryJUNIOR, directed by Jenna Rosher.


2009 Woodstock Film Festival Awards
2009 Woodstock Film Festival. Pictured from left to right. Geoff Gilmore, Ted Hope, Meira Blaustein (Co-Founder/Executive Director of the Woodstock Film Festival), Richard Linklater, Barbara Kopple, Ethan Hawke, John Sloss, and Giancarlo Esposito. (Photo courtesy of the Woodstock Film Festival)
(Woodstock, NY) – October 3, 2009 The Tenth Anniversary Woodstock Film Festival Awards Ceremony was held tonight at the historic Backstage Productions Arts & Entertainment Complex in Kingston, NY. The festival, which began Wednesday, Sept. 30, will close Sunday October 4th, celebrating 10 years of exceptional independent film, panels, concerts, events and parties, with the best of the best in the indie film world.

Emceed by actor/director Giancarlo Esposito, the WFF Awards ceremony guests, presenters and award recipients included Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, Ted Hope, Jonathan Demme, John Sloss, Geoff Gilmore, Jonathan Gray, Nancy Abraham, Peter Saraf, Ira Sachs, Barbara Kopple. Amoung other lumuniaries attending the 2009 festival included Uma Thurman, Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster, Vera Farmiga, John Ventimiglia, Kevin Corrigan, and Brian Geraghty.

The Lee Marvin BEST FEATURE NARRATIVE AWARD: DON’T LET ME DROWN, directed by Cruz Angeles. DON’T LET ME DROWN tells the story of a blossoming friendship between two New York City high school students whose immigrant families must endure turmoil just after 9/11. (This marks Angeles’ second triumph at the Woodstock Film Festival. In 2003, he garnered top honors for Best Student Short Film with THE SHOW) The Maverick Award for BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY: JUNIOR, directed by Jenna Rosher. JUNIOR chronicles the life of Eddie Belasco, a 75-year-old San Francisco native with a classic Italian-American upbringing who is now facing his future as a retiree.

The Maverick Award for BEST ANIMATION: THE TERRIBLE THING OF ALPHA-9! (animator Jake Armstrong), presented by animators Signe Baumane and Bill Plympton. Honorable mention to BACKWARDS by Aaron Hughes .
The Diane Seligman Award for BEST SHORT NARRATIVE: ADELAIDE, directed by Liliana Greenfield-Sanders, with an HONORABLE MENTION to MIRACLE FISH directed by Luke Doolan.
The Diane Seligman Award for BEST STUDENT SHORT FILM: PINHAS directed by Pini Tavger, with an HONORABLE MENTION to THE 4th OF JULY PARADE directed by Miranda Rhyne.
The Haskell Wexler Award for BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Juan Carlos Rulfo, THOSE WHO REMAIN (LOS QUE SE QUESDAN), directed by Carlos Hagerman and Juan Carlos Rulfo. The award was presented by cinematographer Michael Simmonds.

"Although this picture deals with issues of immigration and poverty, the camera is secure on a tripod – no doco wiggle. Moving shots are smooth hand held or excellent Steadicam. The camera holds on characters after ‘lines’ allowing us to experience their reactions full of emotional silence. Did I see rigged lights softening silks and regular dolly tracks? If Juan Carlo Rulfo was funded adequately to afford these better tools, he certainly used them wisely to make a beautiful, important picture.”—Haskell Wexler

James Lyons Award for BEST EDITING of a FEATURE NARRATIVE: Andrew Hafitz for his work on DON’T LET ME DROWN, directed by Cruz Angeles, with an HONORABLE MENTION to Anna Boden for her work on CHILDREN OF INVENTION, directed by Tze Chun.
James Lyons Award for BEST EDITING of a FEATURE DOCUMENTARY: Kate Hirson and Jessica Reynolds for their work on GARBAGE DREAMS, directed by Mai Iskander.
The James Lyons Awards for BEST EDITING were presented by accomplished filmmakers Sabine Hoffman and Craig McKay.
HONORARY TRAILBLAZER AWARD: Producer Ted Hope. Presented by Geoff Gilmore, chief creative officer at Tribeca Enterprises and one of today’s biggest champions of independent filmmakers (award previously announced).
HONORARY MAVERICK AWARD: Writer and director Richard Linklater. Award presented by his longtime colleague, collaborator and friend, actor/director Ethan Hawke (award previously announced).
Other Maverick Award recipients attending the Tenth Anniversary Festival include Honorary Mavericks Mira Nair (THE NAMESAKE), Barbara Kopple (WOODSTOCK: NOW AND THEN), actors Woody Harrelson and Steve Buscemi, and Trailblazer recipient John Sloss.

The Woodstock Film Festival has an outstanding group of industry leaders who make up the jury for each category of competition:
Feature Narrative Jurors Emily Russo, Ira Sachs, Peter Saraf
Feature Documentary Jurors: Nancy Abraham, Heidi Ewing, Ron Mann
Shorts Jurors: Jeffrey Abramson, Stephen Garrett, Amy Devra Gossels
Student Short Film Jurors: Peter Bowen, Jonathan Gray, Annie Nocenti
Animation Jurors: Signe Baumane, Bill Plympton
Cinematography Juror: Haskell Wexler, A.S.C.
Editing Jurors (Narrative): Sabine Hoffman, Brian A. Kates, ACE, Craig McKay
Editing Jurors (Documentary): Doug Abel, Sabine Hoffman, Sloan Klevin

The Maverick Award Trophies are designed and handcrafted by artist Steve Heller, who shows his work at his Fabulous Furniture gallery in Boiceville, NY.

The Awards Ceremony was co-sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of Ulster County and 120dB Films, with beverages provided by Barefoot Wines and Stella Artois.

The Sponsors for the 2009 Woodstock Film Festival are:
Gold Sponsor: 120 dB Films
Silver Sponsors: Ciroc Vodka; Time Magazine
Superstar Sponsors: A&E IndieFilms; BMI; Lowel Light; Stella Artois; SyFy; Teany Beverages; 100.1 WDST
Award Sponsors: The James Lyons Estate; Pamela Marvin and the Lee Marvin Estate; Panavision (NY)
Federal, State, and County Support: New York State Council on the Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; the office of Assemblyman Kevin Cahill.


The 10th annual Woodstock Film Festival will take place September 30th-October 4th, 2009. The “fiercely independent” festival includes more than 150 films, panels, concerts and special events in Woodstock and the neighboring towns of Kingston, Rhinebeck and Rosendale. For more information visit

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the Woodstock Film Festival premiers exceptional films; hosting the most talented emerging and established professionals in the movie industry; presenting A-list concerts, parties and panels, and creating stimulating, innovative programming year-round.

The Woodstock Film Festival is located in the Hudson Valley Catskills, surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, just two hours from the NYC metro area. The arts colony offers a relaxed, receptive atmosphere, which filmmakers consistently cite as perfect for the creative interaction necessary for a great film festival. WFF is a festival for and by filmmakers and was born through a passion for cinema that could only be the brainchild of active filmmakers and dedicated supporters of ‘fiercely independent’ film.

The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501©(3) organization whose mission is to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music and art-related activities that promotes artists, culture, inspired learning, and diversity.

For more information please call (845) 679-4265 or visit

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