EXCLUSIVE: The Woodstock Film Festival will award honorary awards to Ethan Hawke, Awkwafina, Leave no trace director Debra Granik and IFC Films president Arianna Bocco this fall.
The 23rd annual festival will run from September 28 to October 2. The awards ceremony, a constant industry draw over the years given the festival’s location two hours north of New York, is also expected to feature appearances from actresses Amanda Seyfried and Vera Farmiga as well as the filmmaker. Marina Zenovich.
Hawke receives Woodstock’s Maverick Award, which recognizes “a leader and visionary in film and media arts who demonstrates a fierce, independent spirit, strong artistic vision, and pursuit of positive change” . The four-time Oscar nominee is also a successful screenwriter, director, producer and novelist. He recently directed the well-received HBO Max docuseries The latest movie stars, about Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman. Hawke’s recent screen roles were in the TV series Moon Knightt, the horror movie The black phoneand The man from the north. We will soon see it in Raymond and Ray and Leave the world behind.
Awkwafina will receive the Transcendent Talent Award, which is given to “a creative who pushes the boundaries of their artistic field, whether as an actor, writer, director or more.” The actress, writer, producer and native of Queens, New York, recently took on a role in Universal’s The villains, appeared in two seasons of Comedy Central, Awkwafina is Nora from Queens, that she created, as well as Disney’s Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. She will then be seen in Renfield next April.
Bocco, who receives the Trailblazer Award, led acquisitions at IFC Films before being named president of the specialty distributor in 2020. She oversaw the acquisition of more than 800 films at the company. Prior to IFC, she led the Gersh Agency’s independent feature packaging division and served as Senior Vice President of Acquisitions at Miramax Films and Vice President of Acquisitions and Co-Production at New Line and Fine Line.
Granik is set to receive Woodstock’s Fiercely Independent award. She directed and co-wrote winter bone, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2010 en route to four Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture. In 2015, his feature documentary, Stray dog, was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. His last movie, Leave no trace, premiered at Sundance 2018 and was included in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes 2018. She is currently editing a longitudinal documentary filmed over the past five years about the experiences of people reentering life in New York after their incarceration. Her next project is an adaptation of Barbara Ehrenreich’s non-fiction bestseller, Nickel and Dimed.
In addition to revealing the honorary award recipients, festival organizers also said the Best Documentary Feature award has been renamed in honor of the late documentary filmmaker Leon Gast. The Best Narrative Short Award is renamed in honor of Mark Braunstein, one of the festival’s early benefactors.
The festival also awards the Change Maker Award to a filmmaker whose narrative or documentary work “most effectively delves into a pressing contemporary issue and generates constructive conversation”.
These additional winners as well as this year’s festival roster will be announced in the coming weeks.