Local and international films presented at the new Dobbs Ferry festival

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DOBBS FERRY – Director Natalie Sena was struggling to get her films known to the general public, so she decided to start a local film festival and bring audiences to her.

Sena, a resident of Dobbs Ferry, kicked off the quarterly movies4movies film festival, which held its quarterly screening and awards on Saturday at the village public library.

“I started this because it was hard to get people to see your movie and I wanted others to have the opportunity to see movies,” Sena said.

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More than 60 filmmakers from Westchester, Rockland and around the world – including France, Mexico and the UK – have submitted films of all genres and lengths to the festival, Sena said. A panel of judges selected the top 30 films and ultimately chose the winners for seven award categories.

Despite a successful inaugural festival in February, Sena said most of the 15 films shown at that screening were directed by male filmmakers. She made it her goal to add more producers and actresses to the mix this time around.

After working with the New York nonprofit Women in Film and Television, female nominations exploded, Sena said. The judges also liked their jobs; Six of the seven awards went to female directors.

The event, which started at 11 a.m. and was due to end after midnight, featured discussions with local actors and directors.

Mexican filmmaker Humberto Busto won the award for best overall film for his film “Julkita”.

Sena said the multinational festival allows filmmakers to interact and network, which can lead to sharing techniques, suggesting locations or loaning material.

“For us, it’s more about providing our filmmakers with an audience to get these reactions, to get feedback,” she said. “Some of them come back and they re-cut their films or use those comments to advance in their future work.”

A portion of the proceeds, including film registration fees and merchandise, goes to grants to filmmakers to help them with their projects.

The fourth and final installment of the 2017 festival program will take place later this year. Visit the movie4movies site for more information.

Twitter: @reinerwire

Darcy J. Skinner

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