upstate films

Celebrating 18-years of innovative filmmakers & filmmaking, the Woodstock Film Festival has unveiled its line-up of nearly 120 films, panels, and events, screening Wednesday, October 11th through Sunday, October 15th, in Woodstock NY, and neighboring towns of Rhinebeck, Saugerties, Kingston and Rosendale.

The festival which is featuring 4 World Premieres, 5 North American Premieres, 1 US Premiere, 20 East Coast Premieres and 9 New York Premieres.

WFF's Co-Founder and Executive Director Meira Blaustein joins us for a preview. 

This Saturday - July 15th at 2pm - the Woodstock Film Festival will present a special screening of Story Of A Girl at Upstate Films in Woodstock. The film's director, Kyra Sedgwick, and editor, Sabine Hoffman, will host an in-person Q&A session following the screening. The screening is happening before the film's official television premiere on Lifetime on July 23rd.

The film tells the story of a young girl's loss of innocence and the role of social media in adolescent lives. It is based on Sara Zarr's award winning novel. 

The film is Kyra Sedgwick's directorial debut. She's an actress who has in The Closer and starred in films such as The Woodsman and Personal Velocity.  

Alice Guy-Blaché was the first female film director and the first film studio owner. She made her first film, by her own account, in 1896 at age 23. She went on to write, direct, or produce more than 1,000 films.

Upstate Women in Film and Television (UPWIFT) will present a selection of films by Alice Guy-Blaché at the Rosendale Theater in Rosendale, NY on Wednesday, November 30th; at The Linda in Albany, NY on Friday, December 2nd; and at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck on Sunday, December 11th.

Part of the presentations will be a Skype Q&A with producer and director Pamela Green, who is currently making a feature full-length documentary film about Alice Guy-Blaché for which she has been conducting extensive research for the past five years.

Pamela Green joins us now along with Hanna Sawka, President of UPWIFT.


  Mike Birbiglia is an award winning comedian, writer, actor, and director known for his autobiographical stand-up tours and one-man shows on Broadway. His first feature film, Sleepwalk with Me, was released in 2012.

His second film, Don’t Think Twice, opens this Friday at Spectrum 8 Theatre in Albany, NY and at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, NY. This story is Birbiglia’s first major work not based on his own life -- in it, an improv group called The Commune has reigned as the big fish in the small pond of their New York improv theater. When not all members of the group start to find success beyond the improv stage -- the group fractures, friendships are strained and feelings are hurt. It’s a funny movie about failure and success -- and how success doesn't always look the way you think it will.

The film is produced by This American Life host and creator Ira Glass, was written and directed by Birbiglia and he stars along with Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci, Chris Gethard, and Tami Sagher.

  The Woodstock Film Festival and Upstate Films in Rhinebeck will presents a screening of Newtown on August 24th at 8:15 p.m.

Filmed over the course of nearly three years, the filmmakers use unique access and never before heard testimonies to tell a story of the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting of schoolchildren in American history on December 14, 2012. Newtown documents a traumatized community fractured by grief and driven toward a sense of purpose.

Kim A. Snyder’s most recent film, NEWTOWN premiered in competition at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, and was hailed in Entertainment Weekly as among the “Best of Sundance.” NEWTOWN will continue to screen at premiere festivals worldwide and is poised to have a theatrical release in September 2016, with a national broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens in early 2017.

Maria Cuomo Cole is the award-winning producer of the feature documentary, Newtown, which will be premiering at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. In her career, she has tackled such relevant subjects as gun violence, homelessness, veterans’ PTSD, Domestic Violence and sexual assault.

They will be at the screening in Rhinebeck and join us to talk about the film.

    Brandy Burre had a recurring role on HBO’s The Wire when she gave up her career to start a family. While living with her family in Beacon, NY she decides to reclaim her life as an actor and the domestic world she’s carefully created crumbles around her.

The documentary film, Actress is both a present tense portrait of a dying relationship and an exploration of a woman, performing the role of herself.

Actress will screen at Upstate Films in Woodstock, NY on November 29th at 5pm and Brandy Burre and filmmaker, Robert Greene will both be in attendance for a discussion following the film.

Dennis Stock

    James Dean walks down a drizzly street in Manhattan with his coat collar up against the wind and the rain. It’s an iconic image, captured by photographer, Dennis Stock.

Stock’s photographs of movie stars, jazz musicians, hippies, architecture, landscapes, and nature are such a part of the story of America in the 20th century that even if you've never heard his name - you have seen some of his work.

Beyond Iconic is a documentary film about Dennis Stock directed by Hanna Sawka. The film is screening this Sunday at 1:30pm at Upstate Films in Woodstock, NY. Hanna Sawka will be at the screening for a Q&A following, and then musicians Teri Roiger and John Menegon - who scored the film - will perform down the street at Center for Photography Woodstock.

Hanna Sawka joins us to talk about the film.