The Yonkers event features local and international films; details
Video: YoFi Fest opens the Digital Media Art Center
Dave Steck, Executive Director of YoFi Fest, talks about their new Digital Media Art Center on Wells Avenue in Yonkers.
Mark Vergari, Rockland / Westchester Journal News
The ninth annual Yonkers Film Festival, or YoFi Fest, is back in person for 2021.
The festival, which was 100% virtual in 2020, will run from Friday to November 21 as a “hybrid film festival,” meaning the event is accessible both in person and online. Those wishing to experience the festival in person can attend indoor screenings at the Yonkers Riverfront Library, as well as’ discussions with the filmmakers (question and answer sessions with filmmakers), workshops, events and receptions. “.
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Meanwhile, for those more comfortable watching virtually, the 183 independent films will be available for live streaming simultaneously as in-person viewing. Those who watch the festival from a distance can also participate in the “Filmmaker Responses” after the broadcasts.
“We have made the decision to present this year’s festival as a hybrid experience,” said Dave Steck, executive director and co-founder of YoFi Fest, in a statement, “so that everyone has access to all the films. and can choose to watch them wherever they are. are the most comfortable. ”
In 2013, YoFi Fest began with the hope of showcasing independent filmmakers while educating and providing cultural opportunities to the Yonkers community and beyond.
“When we started the film festival nine years ago, Yonkers was not known as a movie-friendly city,” said Steck. “But with a growing number of movies and TV shows being shot here… it’s starting to feel like people are realizing what we’ve known for a while – Yonkers is Hollywood on the Hudson.”
This year’s event will feature 183 independent films from 25 countries, covering a variety of formats including feature films, shorts, music videos, documentaries, web series, animation and student work in a mix of genres such as horror, romance, family and more.
Film buffs can choose films made by local filmmakers, women filmmakers and international filmmakers; there are LBGTQ movies, comedy, science fiction, and social justice themes. There’s a lot to consider, from “Be Cool” by Donald Wilson (a driver must stay calm during a traffic stop during a hectic time in America) to “Be Still,” a dance flick by director Nicole Manoochehri. There are stories in New York, such as “Kennebec-on-Hudson” in which a painter tells tales of his life as seen from his 22-foot motorboat studio, to “City Birds”, a animated film by Kristin Reiber Harris.
“One of the benefits of streaming the movies this year is that we can reach almost any corner of the planet,” noted Patty Schumann, co-founder and programmer of YoFi Fest. “The filmmakers’ chats are one of the best parts of the film festival and this year almost all of our filmmakers are planning to attend their film’s Q&A.”
Of particular interest to foodies, on November 21, the film “86’s: How a Global Pandemic Shaken the Culinary Capitol of the World” will be screened. The documentary, by Rob Petrone, deals with the effect of the pandemic on the restaurant industry and features several restaurants in Westchester, including Penny Lick Ice Cream in Hastings, North End Tavern in New Rochelle and Mariachi Mexico in Armonk.
Prior to the screening, there will be a reception and tasting that will include these restaurants, in addition to Dolphin and Nahmais and Sons in Yonkers, as a fundraiser for Feeding Westchester.
Passes for YoFi Fest are available in four types of pass: opening weekend pass for $ 100; a bundle of five films for $ 55; a bundle of 10 films for $ 108; and a full festival pass for $ 150.
Regarding COVID-19 health and safety, proof of vaccination, along with valid photo ID, is required to enter the festival and masks must be worn by all participants, unless to eat or drink in the Atrium lobby.
For more information, including the full list of screenings, visit yofifest.com.
Lohud food journalist Jeanne Muchnick contributed to this report.
Heather Clark covers business openings and closings in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties. Keep up to date with the latest comings and goings by joining our Facebook group at What’s going on Westchester, Rockland, Putnam. Contact Clark by email, [email protected]