Signe Baumane’s animated musical feature, My Love Affair With Marriage, is the inventive and deeply personal story of Zelma (voiced by Dagmara Domiczyk of Succession) and her quest to become complete. We meet Zelma as a ferocious 7-year-old who quickly learns she must conform to societal expectations of what it means to be female—girls don’t run, girls don’t fight—in order to attract a boy and someday marry. As she journeys through her teenage years into adulthood, we enter Zelma’s mind and body alongside a sentient neuron who explains the science behind her behavior in reaction to (and rebellion against) these expectations. In Baumane’s enchanting, signature style of hand-drawn animation over papier-mâché backgrounds, we follow Zelma on this semi-autobiographical and educational exploration of self acceptance. A stunning feat of animation, independently produced, and 7 years in the making, My Love Affair With Marriage proves itself well worth the wait. – Joy Buran and Noelle Melody
The Quiet Epidemic calls the treatment of Lyme disease “one of the most controversial, divisive, and vicious medical debates in medicine today.” Following Julia, a wheelchair-bound teenager taken ill three years before filming, and Neil, a Harvard trained oncologist who turns to Lyme disease research after his own misdiagnosis, the film embarks on an emotional, yet scientific journey towards understanding chronic Lyme disease. Ignored by most of the medical establishment, and abandoned by insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry, these patients fight for validation and health. Documenting research, testing, vaccines, diagnosis (and mis-diagnosis), heart disease, brain damage, and death, this story is heartbreaking, yet hopeful. Drawn to the subject by personal experience, directors Lindsay Keys and Winslow Crane-Murdoch presents a paper trail of suppressed scientific research and buried documents that reveal why tick-borne diseases have been allowed to quietly spread around the globe. For so many residents of the Hudson Valley who have experienced the wrath of Lyme disease, this story touches us deeply. – Sabina Barach
“Hello world. How do you plan on fucking with me today?” There’s both a sadness and a strength to these words, as there is to this film. Kristen Abate, who also co-directed alongside Steven Tanenbaum, gives a brave raw performance as a young woman with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a rare inflammatory disease that has left her permanently bent over, a question-mark, a maybe poet and sometimes dog walker, a troubled and spirited and hopeful presence in the heart of New York. But Straighten Up and Fly Right is not about life with a disability. It’s about everyone that life touches: strangers who stare or look away, potential lovers, friends free to come and go, tiny connections with glimmers of hope. In the end, its power lies in putting us out there on the st
Harry Styles (Dunkirk) and Emma Corrin (The Crown) bring both heat and heart-breaking restraint to this story of a tragic love triangle, set in 1950s England, with David Dawson (The Last Kingdom) at the tipping point of all the unrequited desire and impossible temptations — impossible because, at the time, homosexuality was a criminal offense. Told in retrospect, looking back from some 40 years on, the tale takes on added poignancy as we learn that these three once vibrant and ambitious young people are still suffering the damage done all those years ago, still trying to sort their lives, to find a way past the lost decades and simmering regret. And it’s this contemporary framing that adds to the movie’s power and sorrow because the central issue — that who you are, who you love, could itself be a crime — is a notion all too present in today’s world. – Peter Wortmann
The fiercely independent Woodstock Film Festival returns to venues throughout the bucolic Hudson Valley towns of Woodstock, Kingston, Rosendale and Saugerties, and online for its 23rd Anniversary, September 28 – October 2, 2022.
Hailed as a “True American Maverick Among Festivals,” and named among the top 50 film festivals worldwide, the Woodstock Film Festival continues its tradition of hosting the most talented, emerging and outstanding film professionals in the industry.
This year’s 5-day festival highlights 48 exceptional feature films as well as 98 impressive shorts, intimate filmmaker panel discussions with prominent industry figures, a live musical performance, and a glowing awards ceremony.
This is the first year that short films that win at The Woodstock Film Festival in the categories of Best Short Narrative, Best Animated Short, and Best Short Documentary will automatically be eligible to be nominated for an Academy Award® in their respective categories.