Woodstock Film Festival Announces 20th Anniversary Audience & Maverick Award Recipients

The 20th Anniversary Woodstock Film Festival wrapped up on Sunday with the Closing Night film Marriage Story, directed by Noah Baumbach. Audience ballots from more than 100 films were counted late Sunday night to determine the winners of the Audience Awards. Over the past week, thousands of film goers, industry and filmmakers from around the world attended screenings, panels, and special events in Woodstock, Rhinebeck, Rosendale, Kingston and Saugerties.

The Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature went to Run with the Hunted, Jon Swab’s first solo directed film, in which a young boy, Oscar, commits a noble murder and is forced to run away from his rural hometown, leaving behind his best friend Loux to join a ragtag band of lost children.

The Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature went to Parkland Rising, Cheryl Horner McDonough’s impactful story of artist and activist Manuel Oliver, David Hogg, and others connected to the tragic February 2018 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, FL, as they build a national movement for gun reform.

Maverick Awards (previously announced)
On Sunday, October 5, the 20th annual Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Awards Ceremony took place at Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston, NY. The venue, in the heart of Kingston’s historic uptown district, was packed with filmmakers, film industry luminaries, community leaders, and audience members.

Awards were presented to exceptional films and honorees in various categories.

The evening opened with opening remarks by Ron Nyswaner (Homeland) who introduced Festival Co-Founder and Executive Director Meira Blaustein.

Following Blaustein’s welcome statement, entertainment lawyer and film producer Jonathan Gray gave a reading of the First Amendment.

Renowned producer, activist and philanthropist Abigail E. Disney received the Honorary Trailblazer Award for her work creating film and television programming centered around promoting social justice. The award was presented to Disney by 2018 honorary Maverick Award recipient Julie Taymor.

Awards for Woodstock Film Festival 2019 films were presented in the following categories:

Best Narrative Feature – Swallow, by Carlo Mirabella-Davis with an honorable mention to Once Upon a River, directed by Haroula Rose.


The jurors also gave special recognition to actors Haley Bennett for best female performance in Swallow and Tim Guinee for best male performance in Ash.


Jurors: Julie Taymor, David Dinerstein, Rebecca Miller, Alex Smith
Award sponsored by Gigantic Pictures

Best Documentary Feature – 17 Blocks, directed by Davy Rothbart with honorable mentions to Maxima, directed by Claudia Sparrow and Accept the Call, directed by Eunice Lau.
Jurors: Joe Berlinger, Roger Ross Williams, Pamela Yates

Best Narrative Short – The Neighbor’s Window, directed by Marshall Curry with an Honorable Mention to Tattoo, directed by Farhad Delaram
Jurors: Karen Allen, Dan O’mara, Rita Taggart

Best Short Documentary – A Sister’s Hope, directed by Michael Marantz
Jurors: Curry Marshall, Lacey Schwartz Delgado, Robert Stone
Award sponsored by Markertek.com

Best Student Short – Marriage Material, the Musical!, directed by Oran Zegman with an Honorable Mention to Miller & Son, directed by Asher Jelinsky
Jurors: Jane Applegate, Isil Bagdadi, Declan Baldwin

Ultra Indie Award – Seneca, directed by Jason Chaet with an honorable mention to Tawny Cypress for her performance as “Inez” in Inez & Doug & Kira
Jurors: Jamin O’Brien, Harris Doran, Lori Singer
Award sponsored by Gray Schwartz LLP

Animation Award – Sweet Night by Lia Bertels and Honorable Mention goes to Anna Samo, Lisa LaBracio for The Opposites Game.
Jurors: Lizzi Akana, Joy Buran, Noelle Buran

Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography – Ash, directed by Andrew Huculiak, cinematography by Joseph Schweers
Jurors: Ellen Kuras
Award sponsored by Panavision

James Lyons Editing Award for Narrative Feature – Daren Navarro and Tom Quinn for Colewell. Honorable Mentions for Alex Lora and Frank Dale Arroyo for The Garden Left Behind
Jurors: Naomi Geraghty, Nick Houy, Kate Williams, Sabine Hoffman

James Lyons Editing Award for Documentary Feature – Jennifer Tiexiera for 17 Blocks
Jurors: Ian Olds, Toby Shimin, Sabine Hoffman

Carpe Diem Andretta Award – Youssef Delara for his film Foster Boy.
Award sponsored by the High Rocks Charitable Trust
Be sure to follow us on social media and sign up for our newsletter for future announcements. Hi-res photos from this year’s festival can be downloaded at this link.

About The Woodstock Film Festival
Widely acknowledged as one of the premiere independent film festivals in the U.S, its special 20th Anniversary festival will be celebrated Wednesday through Sunday, October 2-6, 2019, in Woodstock, Saugerties, Rosendale, Kingston, and Rhinebeck, NY. For more than two decades, the festival has brought together thousands of filmmakers, film lovers, artists, and musicians through the annual festival and outstanding year-round programming. The festival’s year-round programming includes premiere screenings, panels, screenwriting workshops, youth film lab, and outstanding special events in New York’s Hudson River Valley region.


The Woodstock Film Festival showcases passionate, creative, and thought-provoking work by some of today’s most promising and accomplished independent filmmakers from all over the world. Woodstock Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit 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. For more information, please visit www.woodstockfilmfestival.org.

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