We Are Upstate NY With Celia Baruchin of the Woodstock Film Festival
With all the excitement building for this year’s Woodstock Film Festival, Inside+Out catches up with the festival’s Volunteer Coordinator, Celia Baruchin. Let’s find out what she’s most excited about for this year’s festival and why she loves living in the Hudson Valley.
INSIDE+OUT: Where are you originally from and what is your connection to the Hudson Valley?
Celia Baruchin: I was born in Hudson, where I have deep family roots, and remember visiting Woodstock on weekends in the 1960s and 70s when I was a little girl. My parents loved the local art and woodwork available here and bought a few cherished pieces for our home.
Tell us a bit about your role at the Woodstock Film Festival and how long you’ve been with the organization.
I’m new to the Festival this season and am the WFF Volunteer Coordinator. My role at the Festival is all about inviting volunteers to pitch in with almost every aspect of its production. I have two goals: first, to have a group of 200 volunteers on board with us by mid-September. (As of today, I’m still 85 shy, so if you want to join us, please go to our website and sign up!!). And second, for each and every volunteer to connect with someone new; learn something useful, and be acknowledged for their contribution. Of course, I want everyone to have a great time, too – it is a Film Festival, after all!
What are you most excited about for this year’s festival?
I’d have to say it’s the enormous, generous spirit of voluntarism that most excites me about the Festival! Of course, I love film, particularly independent film, but more, I love community engagement and opportunities that bring people from our local towns and communities together in the production of this amazing annual event, now in its 23rd year! Also, 2022 is looking like a return to some degree of pre-Covid normalcy, which is a huge source of excitement for us all at the office.
What is it about the Hudson Valley that makes it unique to live + work here?
Hands down, it’s the creativity! Everywhere you turn, people are creating and innovating, building, making, writing, playing and sharing. The depth of skilled artistry in the Hudson Valley never ceases to amaze and inspire me!
What’s your top most frequented place in upstate NY?
Easy! It’s a three-way ice cream tie: Del’s Roadside in Rhinebeck; Nancy’s in Bearsville; and Fortunes in Tivoli. All three: Yum!
You have to love someone driven by Ice-Cream! What is missing in the area that you wish we had?
My husband and I moved upstate full-time from Staten Island during the pandemic, and I really miss the cultural, ethnic and racial diversity of our neighborhood. Some powerful, new economic drivers for the middle class would make a critical difference here, too.
You’re hosting dinner and a movie get-together. You can invite six people – tell us your dream guest list and what movie you would play.
Just six?! And only one movie?! Good heavens! Let’s see. I’d invite 6 of my besties, we’d cook a glorious locally-sourced meal together, and we’d watch Passion Fish, the 1992 John Sayles film. It’s a beautiful movie with a perfect cast and a very favorite of mine.
* * *
The 23rd Annual Woodstock Film Festival
Tickets for in-person and virtual events are available online and at the box office
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.