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Press Release for 23rd Annual Woodstock Film Festival Honorary, Legacy, + Change Maker Awards

*For Immediate Release*


Woodstock, NY (August 18, 2022) On August 18, 2022, the Woodstock Film Festival announced the recipients of their Honorary Maverick Award, Transcendent Talent Award, Trailblazer Award, and Fiercely Independent Award as well as new Legacy Awards and Change Maker Award. Four-time Academy Award®-nominated actor, director, producer, and writer, Ethan Hawke; Golden Globe winning actor Awkwafina; Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Debra Granik; and IFC Films president, Arianna Bocco; among those recognized. The late Academy Award®-winning documentarian Leon Gast and entrepreneur and philanthropist Mark Braunstein are named for Legacy Awards. The 23rd Annual Woodstock Film Festival will return to the Hudson Valley Sept 28 - Oct 2, 2022, with over 120 films, panels and special events. For more information, visit woodstockfilmfestival.org.

Also attending the awards ceremony: Academy Award®-nominated actress Amanda Seyfried, Academy Award®-nominated actress Vera Farmiga, and Emmy Award winning filmmaker Marina Zenovich, to name a few.



Maverick Award: Presented to a leader and a visionary in the film and media arts, who exhibits fierce and independent spirit, strong artistic vision, and the pursuit of positive change.


Transcendent Talent Award: Presented to a creative who breaks through the boundaries of their artistic field, be it in acting, writing, directing, or more.

Trailblazer Award: Presented to a leader in the film and media arts industry who has carved innovative paths for all to follow, establishing independent vision, and creating strong and widespread appreciation to quality, substantive filmmaking.


Fiercely Independent Award: Presented to a singular filmmaker whose unique vision has furthered the field of independent filmmaking by following their own path, serving as a role model for other filmmakers, and advancing the highest quality of independent filmmaking.


Ethan Hawke  is a four-time Academy Award®-nominated artist and one of Hollywood’s most multi-faceted stars, Ethan Hawke is an actor, screenwriter, director, producer, and best-selling novelist.

He recently directed the critically-acclaimed six-part documentary, The Last Movie Stars, about Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman. Hawke’s recent onscreen roles were in the TV series Moon Knight, the horror film The Black Phone, and The Northman. He can soon be seen in Raymond and Ray and Leave the World Behind.

In 2020, Hawke received a Peabody Award for the Showtime series The Good Lord Bird, which he starred in, executive produced, and co-wrote. His prolific film acting career includes Dead Poets Society; Reality BitesGattacaTraining DayBefore the Devil Knows You’re DeadBoyhoodBorn to Be BlueMaudieBefore SunriseBefore Sunset and Before Midnight; and First Reformed. He made his directorial debut with Chelsea Walls and then went on to direct the Hottest State, and most recently directed, co-wrote, and produced the music biopic, Blaze. He also directed the music documentary, Seymour: An Introduction.

As a Tony Award-nominated stage actor, Hawke starred on Broadway in the revival of Sam Shepard’s True West; Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of UtopiaMacbethHenry IV; and The Seagull. He also has acted off-Broadway and directed the acclaimed productions of A Lie of the Mind, Clive, and Things We Want

 A best-selling author, in 2021 he released A Bright Ray of Darkness and the graphic novel Meadowlark: A Coming-of-Age Crime Story. Other written works also include the novels The Hottest State and Ash Wednesday, the graphic novel Indeh, and the children’s book Rules for a Knight.


Awkwafina is an award-winning actress, writer and producer transplanted to LA from Queens, New York. Nee Nora Lum, her trademark comedic style and signature flair led her to become a breakout talent. Most recently, she appeared in Universal's The Bad Guys, two seasons of her Comedy Central Show, Awkwafina is Nora from Queens, which she created and stars in, and Disney's Shang Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings. On deck is Universal's Renfield, to be released April 2o23. 


Lum appeared in Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon and Jumanji: The Next Level, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for her starring role in the 2019 indie darling The Farewell. She brings an impressive range of talent to everything she does, most famously to Warner Bros' 2018 smash hit Crazy Rich Asians, in which she starred as Peik Lin. That year, Lum hosted Saturday Night Live. Other starring roles include Ocean's 8, and the indie comedy, Dude


Lum made her feature film debut in 2016 in the comedy Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, and was the voice of Quail in the animated adventure Storks. She became an internet sensation in 2012 with her satirical work in the viral video My Vag, and her 2014 debut album, "Yellow Ranger", which featured her acclaimed raps NYC Bitche$ and Mayor Bloomberg (Giant Margarita). Her book Awkwafina's NYC, a travel guide to New York, was published by Penguin Random House in 2015. 


As President of IFC Films, Arianna Bocco oversees acquisitions, productions, marketing, publicity, and theatrical film distribution, as well as the fast-growing subscription streaming service, IFC Films Unlimited. Under Bocco’s leadership, IFC Films continues to be recognized globally as an established distributor with impeccable taste; a champion of first-time directors; and home to a rich library of critically acclaimed and award-winning independent films.

Since joining IFC Films in 2006, Bocco has spearheaded all acquisitions and productions for the company, acquiring the rights to some of the most critically acclaimed independent films from around the world, building a prolific library of popular, award-winning films and documentaries. Throughout her tenure, the company has acquired, produced and distributed several hundred of films including Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, a Golden Globe® winner for Best Motion Picture (Drama) and six-time Oscar® nominee including Best Picture and winner for Best Supporting Actress; Cristian Mungiu’s Palme d’Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days; Armando Iannucci’s widely-acclaimed political satire The Death of Stalin and Oscar® nominated In the Loop among many others.

Bocco is revered for her vast experience in acquisitions, production and development, having held a variety of high-level posts throughout her career. In 2021, she was named to Variety’s 500 Most Important People in Global Media and Cablefax Magazine’s list of Most Powerful Women. Prior to joining the company, Bocco served as head of the independent feature packaging division of the Gersh Agency in New York City, and previously, she worked at Miramax Films as Senior Vice President of Acquisitions. While at Miramax Films, she was involved in acquiring such notable films as Zach Braff's Garden State and Tom McCarthy's The Station Agent. Before joining Miramax Films, Bocco was Vice President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions at New Line Cinema and Fine Line Features. She held various roles in acquisitions there during her six-year tenure. Bocco began her career at ICM and The Steve Tisch Company.

Bocco earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College. She currently resides in New Jersey, with her dog Henry.


Debra Granik is the director and co-writer of Winter's Bone, which premiered and won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2010. The film was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture. Granik and co-writer Anne Rosellini were also Oscar nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. Her first film, Down oo the Bone won Granik the Best Director prize at the 2004 Sundance. In 2015, Granik completed Stray Dog, a feature documentary, which was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. Her most recent film, Leave No Trace, premiered at Sundance 2018 and was included in the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes 2018. She is currently editing a longitudinal documentary shot over the past five years about the experiences of people reentering NYC after incarceration. Her next project is an adaptation of the non-fiction book, Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich. 



The Best Documentary Feature Award is being renamed the Leon Gast Documentary Feature Award, after the late academy award winning filmmaker Leon Gast who was a close friend of The Woodstock Film Festival for over twenty years and who was the recipient of the festival’s 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award. Leon was a director, producer, editor, cinematographer and Woodstock resident. His revolutionary documentaries won multiple awards including at the Oscars (When We Were Kings) and Sundance Film Festival (Smash His Camera).


The Best Narrative Short Film Award is being renamed the Mark Braunstein Narrative Short Film Award, after the late benefactor of The Woodstock Film Festival who gave us our first check back in 2000 and remained a supporter of the festival for nearly twenty years. Mark left behind a legacy that continues to support the community and the arts. As an entrepreneur, innovator, and philanthropist, he supported many organizations and causes, including The Woodstock Film Festival and the Arts Society of Kingston, and started the soup kitchen in Woodstock that feeds numerous area families during the holiday seasons and beyond.



Sponsored by World of Ha, the Change Maker Award honors a filmmaker whose work, either narrative or documentary, most effectively delves deep into a pressing contemporary issue and generates a constructive conversation.



The Woodstock Film Festival (WFF) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that nurtures and supports emerging and established filmmakers, sharing their creative voices through an annual festival and year-round programming to promote culture, diversity, community, educational opportunities and economic growth.

WFF provides innovative mentoring and inspired educational programs benefitting filmmakers, students and diverse audiences, while serving as a powerful cultural and economic engine for New York’s Hudson Valley and beyond. Such efforts have consistently resulted in the festival being hailed as one of the top regional film festivals worldwide.

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