We Are Upstate NY With Operations Director Sage Higgins
As the excitement builds, Inside+Out is celebrating the 23rd year of the Woodstock Film Festival with a series of interviews showcasing some of the Hudson Valley filmmakers participating in this year’s festival. And, we are sharing insight from some of the festival’s staff, with a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to produce a festival. So, let’s get to know more about local resident, Sage Higgins, the Operations Director for the Woodstock Film Festival.
Where are you originally from and what is your connection to the Hudson Valley?
I was born in Rhinebeck, NY, and raised in the Hudson Valley in Marlboro, NY in a home that dates back to the 1860s. I have always felt a deep connection to the history of the area through the home I grew up in and the time I spent here.
Tell us about what you do before, during, and after the festival, and how long you’ve been with the organization.
This is my fourth year with the Woodstock Film Festival. I oversee all of the logistics and operations as well as run the administrative side of things during the festival. My responsibility keeps me busy all year round, so I also work before and after.
What would you say is the most rewarding or the most challenging thing about running operations at a Film Festival?
The most rewarding part of the job is being able to work with so many talented and creative people. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the people I have met through The Woodstock Film Festival. They have taught me so much personally and professionally. For the most challenging (and exciting), I’d say it’s the problem-solving aspect of it. I love that aspect of it but it’s definitely not always easy.
What is it about the Hudson Valley that makes it unique to live + work here?
I love this question. Since I grew up here, I sometimes forget what an amazing and beautiful place this is. The fact that on my lunch break, I can walk into town and look up and see the mountains is a very centering and grounding thing.
What is missing in the area that you wish we had?
More frequent public transportation!
You’re hosting dinner and a movie get-together. You can invite six people – tell us your dream guest list and what movie would you play?
I grew up loving the film Dead Poets Society (featuring a very young Ethan Hawke!), so a true dream would have been to have dinner with Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, and my closest loved ones to talk about the experience of shooting that film. That film was the first piece of art I was very emotionally affected by.
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The 23rd Annual Woodstock Film Festival
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About the Woodstock Film Festival
Founded in 2000, 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. The Woodstock Film Festival is an Oscar®-qualifying festival in the short film categories – Live Action Short Film, Animated Short Film, and Documentary Short Film.