A Spotlight on Local Filmmakers

Just steps away from the Yonkers Metro-North station in the riverfront section of Downtown Yonkers, two-hundred independent movies will be screened.  From November 1-11, the eleven-day Yonkers Film Festival (YoFiFest) will turn the spotlight toward the filmmaker for some due attention. These makers aren’t all hailing from L.A. – though they do come from all over the globe including 18 different countries – but in fact, a record number of them, nearly three-dozen, are from Westchester County or filmed there.

For the seventh year, YoFiFest will celebrate the art of the motion picture – this includes documentaries, shorts, features, animation and more – but also the filmmakers and their fans.  You see, YoFiFest is not just about the film. Throughout the festival, guests can get a well-rounded view of the whole movie-making process: screenings are accompanied by Q&A sessions, many have after-parties where guests and filmmakers can mingle, and a series of free workshops are taught by award-winning industry professionals.

Films are being screened at two venues, about a block away from each other – the Atrium Theater at the Yonkers Riverfront Library and The YoFi Digital Media Art Center (DMAC), a classroom and lecture hall designed to present a wide variety of events.

Thematic showcases are packaged together for separate events, such as short comedy films by women or short documentary films that explore social justice issues. Back to Westchester, so many films had a connection to the County that a third night of the festival’s popular “Locally Sourced”-themed event, featuring short films with a Westchester connection, was added to the schedule.

The topics vary just as much as the themes. Two Westchester-connected films include a young reporter who discovers a terrifying new virus that seems to spread through social media (Mutiny) to a film about a Holocaust survivor that was adapted from a poem (Write Me).

For more info, visit yofifest.com.

A version of this article first appeared in the November issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.

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