By Peter Aaron
Back in March, when the cavalcade of coronavirus closures began, Woodstock Film Festival cofounder Meira Blaustein, perhaps like most sane festival organizers this year, considered canceling the beloved event. But not for long. Instead, Blaustein, who cites “a healthy dose of insanity” as part of what made her want to start the 21-years-and-still-running film festival in the first place, didn’t yield to pressure. Taking a cue from the artistic spirit of the fest’s namesake town, she and her—to borrow the festival’s famous tagline—”fiercely independent” team of fellow film lovers got creative. With traditional movie theaters currently closed in New York State, they made astute use of technology and found alternate venues at which to screen some of this year’s hand-picked selection of over 30 full-length movies and nearly 40 short films. And so (insert clapperboard clack! here) the 2020 Woodstock Film Festival will take place from September 30 through October 4, after all.
A special component for 2020 is the festival’s 35th anniversary tribute to celebrated horror producers Glass Eye Pix (Depraved, The Last Winter, Habit) that features three locally filmed genre films: Wendigo (2001), Bitter Feast (2010), and Stake Land (2009). “Glass Eye Pix presents three films from its canon of over 50 movies, each highlighting the director’s unique voice, and each offering a glimpse at the range of stories found in the horror genre,” says head producer and area resident Larry Fessenden. “All shot in the Hudson Valley at different times of year.”