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Williamstown Film Festival Presents Wind-Up Fest

WILLIAMSTOWN — The annual Williamstown Film Festival (WFF), now in its 17th year, welcomes big changes with new faces, a new name, and new programming focus.

Slated for Oct. 15-18, WFF Presents: Wind-Up Fest is a nonfiction festival with documentary film as its backbone. Other forms of nonfiction will be in conversation with documentaries, including long-form journalism, radio podcasts, photography, and social-practice art.

The event’s new artistic director, Paul Sturtz, is also the co-director at the True/False Film Fest in Columbia, Mo., and its new managing director, Sandra Thomas, is the former executive director of Images Cinema in Williamstown.

“Our aim is to provide a unique, distinctive event for North Adams and Williamstown while serving as a destination festival for lovers of nonfiction. We are living in a time when nonfiction storytelling is offering one of the most vital, urgent ways forward,” Sturtz said.

The festival will be curated by Sturtz, who was selected (along with his True/False co-director David Wilson) as one of 40 people in the inaugural Indiewire Influencers list, described as “visionaries that are changing the course of film.”

“I’m excited to work with Paul to make his creative vision a reality,” said Thomas. “Working in partnership with the community, engaging a broad audience, and strengthening the festival’s presence are all important elements of the fest.”

With the addition of Sturtz and return of Thomas, the board of directors announced the retirement of festival Executive Director Steve Lawson.

“It’s been an exhilarating ride, but after 15 seasons as executive director, I felt it was time to pass the torch,” said Lawson. “This seemed like the right moment to segue to new voices and directions. Paul and Sandra have exciting plans in store for the festival which promise to build on all that we’ve achieved so far. Here’s hoping the first 16 years of WFF will prove to be the prelude to a dazzling future.”

The festival has offices in North Adams and Williamstown and can reached at [email protected] or (413) 458-9700.

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