The Woodstock Film Festival (www.woodstockfilmfestival.com), an event known for its “fierce independence”, came to a climax on Saturday evening with its annual Maverick Awards Ceremony, held at the historic Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston, NY. Among the glitterati in attendance were actors Fisher Stevens, Vincent D’Onofrio, Tim Blake Nelson, Mark Ruffalo, Ellen Barkin and Lori Singer, and filmmakers/executives Barbara Kopple, Marie Therese Guirgis, Bill Plympton, Ellen Kuras, Debra Granik, Richard Abramowitz, and John Sloss.
Aside from the juried awards given to films presented at the Festival, a number of tribute awards to exceptional talents in the independent film industry. The Honorary Trailblazer Award was given to Robin Bronk, CEO of the Creative Coalition, for her unyielding support for the arts and the rights of creative artists. The Honorary Maverick Award was bestowed on indie director Tony Kaye, the director of the landmark film AMERICAN HISTORY X. The Meera Gandhi Giving Back Award was presented to Oscar nominated actor Mark Ruffalo (THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT) for his commitment to the art of screen acting.
The Excellence In Acting Award was bestowed on actress Ellen Barkin, for her screen work and her recent Tony Award for her Broadway debut in the revival of Larry Clark’s seminal AIDS drama THE NORMAL HEART. The ceremonies also include a special tribute to pioneering producer and director Gary Winick, who passed away in February of this year from brain cancer at the age of 49. Winick, whose short career included both indie and Hollywood projects, is perhaps best known for his co-founding of InDigEnt, a company that produced nineteen independent digital films in the past 15 years, including his own film TADPOLE.
The films honored at indie cinema’s coolest awards event included:
- The Lee Marvin Award for Best Narrative Feature: ON THE ICE (Andrew O. MacLean)
- The Maverick Award for Best Feature Documentary: SEMPER FI: ALWAYS FAITHFUL (Tony Hardmon & Rachel Libert)
- The Maverick Award for Best Animation: LUMINARIS (Juan Pablo Zaramella)
- The Diane Seligman Award for Best Short Narrative: WE’RE LEAVING (Zachary Treitz)
- The Diane Seligman Award for Best Short Documentary: POETRY OF RESILIENCE (Katja Esson)
- The Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography: ON THE ICE (Lol Crawley)
- The James Lyons Award for Best Editing For A Feature Film: TILT (Kostadin Kostadinov, Zorica Nikolovas)
- The James Lyons Award for Best Editing Of A Feature Documentary: BOMBAY BEACH (Alma Har’el, Joe Lindquist)