https://www.woodsholefilmfestival.org Redfield Auditorium
53 Water Street
Woods Hole, MA 02453
$Online screening passes: $130 for an individual, $175 for a household. In-person ticket packages: $125 for 10 tickets, $80 for 6 tickets (package holders can reserve individual tickets 10 days before they go on sale to the public). Individual film, workshop, and panel discussion tickets: $16-20
The Woods Hole Film Festival enters its third decade from July 30-August 6, with 45 feature length and 72 short films—nearly half directed by women—from both first-time and veteran filmmakers, with a focus on films about science, music, and social justice. Films will screen in person at Redfield Auditorium and Cornelia Clapp Auditorium (formerly Lillie) in Woods Hole, the Simon Center for the Arts and Morse Hall at Falmouth Academy, and the Cotuit Center for the Arts; most films will also be available to stream on the Festival’s virtual platform. There are 9 world, 2 US, and 50 New England premieres, plus in-person Q&A’s with filmmakers, workshops and master classes with Filmmaker-in-Residence Tasha Van Zandt, panel discussions, daily morning filmmaker chats, music events, and an awards ceremony.
Opening Day Films
Besides two shorts programs, opening day includes the New England premiere of The Big Bend, Brett Wagner’s debut narrative feature about two families who meet in the remote Texas desert, doing their best to survive, while exploring one of the wildest places in America, starring Jason Butler Harner (Ozark’s Agent Perry) and David Sullivan (who starred in Small Town Wisconsin, best drama winner in 2021). Three documentary features also screen that day. Multi-hyphenated performance artist Miranda July narrates Sara Dosa’s Sundance winner Fire of Love, about Katia and Maurice Krafft, a French couple who died in a volcanic explosion doing the very thing that brought them together: unraveling the mysteries of our planet, while simultaneously capturing the most explosive volcano imagery ever recorded. Bradford Thompson and Brett Whitcomb’s (GLOW: The Story of the Glorious Ladies of Wrestling) Butterfly in the Sky is a nostalgic look at the legacy of “Reading Rainbow,” the beloved children’s TV show hosted by LeVar Burton. Kathy Kasic’s debut, The Lake at the Bottom of the Ocean, follows an international team of scientists who discovered a subglacial lake buried 3,600 feet beneath the Antarctic ice, revealing hidden truths about our planet’s dynamic past and their impact on the planet’s future.
Berkshires resident Karen Allen (Raiders of the Lost Ark) returns to the festival opposite William Sadler (The Shawshank Redemption) in the world premiere of Sarah Schwab’s A Stage of Twilight, a narrative feature shot in New Milford, CT about a retired couple enjoying life in their 70s, until a fatal diagnosis changes their plans. Gren Wells’s Dear Zoe, adapted from the popular coming-of-age novel of the same name, stars Sadie Sink (Stranger Things), Theo Rossi (Army of the Dead), Jessica Capshaw (Grey’s Anatomy), and Justin Bartha (The Hangover).
Bringing Science to the Screen
Three documentaries in the festival’s Bringing Science to the Screen program focus on climate change’s effect on the world’s two poles. Filmmaker-in-Residence Tasha Van Zandt’s debut feature documentary, After Antarctica, follows legendary polar explorer Will Steger and his lifelong journey as an eyewitness to the greatest changes to the polar regions of our planet. Steger will join Van Zandt during a Q&A following the film. In Exposure, Holly Morris (The Babushkas of Chernobyl) profiles eleven novice women explorers from both the Arab world and the West, who embark together on a physically and emotionally demanding journey to the North Pole on the rapidly disappearing Arctic Sea ice. Academy Award winner Ross Kaufman’s (Born Into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids) latest film, Of Medicine and Miracles, is a tear-jerking, heart-racing record of medical history, chronicling the monumental task of curing cancer, as seen through the harrowing experiences of one young girl, her family, and a doctor on a mission. Zero Gravity director Thomas Verrette worked jointly with a diverse group of middle school students who competed in the nationwide, MIT-sponsored Zero Gravity competition to code satellites aboard the International Space Station. Harvard Professor Peter Galison’s animated documentary short, Shattering Stars, tells the story of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, who was publicly humiliated when his major discovery about black holes at age 19 collided with accepted physics. Decades later he won the Nobel Prize for his discovery, even though the experience shattered his ambitions.