Voted one of the Top 100 Best Reviewed Festivals on FilmFreeway (NINE TIMES!), YoFiFest was created for filmmakers by filmmakers. Movie Maker Magazine says “what stood out at YoFiFest was the organizers’ obvious respect for the people who craft cinema and video.”
YoFiFest is Your Film Festival! Now in its ninth year, the 2021YoFiFest Film Festival returns this November to celebrate moving pictures, the people who make them and the people who watch them. From the Red Carpet, through our Audience Choice Awards Ceremony to Closing Night, YoFiFest strives to curate an inclusive film festival atmosphere that welcomes and celebrates early career filmmakers as well as seasoned industry professionals, and everyone in between. We offer a full schedule of screenings, workshops, panels, networking opportunities and parties that honor and celebrate the independent, artistic spirit from around the world, and right in our own back yard.
Located on the Hudson River and adjacent to New York City, the festival draws its film-friendly audiences from NYC, Westchester county, Rockland county, the Hudson Valley and the entire NY/NJ/CT tri-state region. It's a chance for filmmakers to screen work to an enthusiastic audience and top film professionals in a warm, fun, friendly and supportive atmosphere.
YoFiFest takes the selection process very seriously and are careful to ensure that each movie is reviewed by the screenings committee and programmer, in its entirety, at least twice, usually more. We are filmmakers ourselves, and we understand and respect the amount of hard work put into each film. 100% of the films played at our YoFiFest 2020 festival were films selected from FilmFreeway submissions. Out of fairness to all filmmakers who submit to the festival, we don't offer any fee waivers.
In short, we love great stories, we love our filmmakers, and we love connecting audience and filmmakers. We’re looking for personal, innovative, imaginative and compelling stories that are well told. We want passionate filmmakers with a fresh point of view, traditional story tellers who dig deep to find the truth and courageous, new visionaries coming to filmmaking for the first time. We’re not overly hung up on when the movies were made or if they are premiers. We just want to share good work with a thoughtful audience that wants to see your work. Life long friendships and partnerships have been made among our filmmakers and attendees. One of the highlights for us is when filmmakers who meet at the festival collaborate and bring us back films they’ve done together!
Like most film festivals that happened after March of last year, YoFiFest 2020 was fully virtual for the safety of all those involved. It was presented entirely online using the most secure and user friendly VOD festival platform available. While we missed meeting all our filmmakers and hanging out with all our film fans in person, we were able to include filmmakers and audiences from all over the world in our live talkbacks, which we LOVED!
YoFiFest 2021 plans to be back in downtown Yonkers as an experiential film festival, with screenings, talkbacks, workshops, photo-ops, networking events, receptions and after-parties, but also have online components and ways to engage remotely as well. We’re also incorporating best practices from last year to connect and involve both independent filmmakers and film lovers from around the globe who may not be able to attend the festival in person. To this end, every filmmaker is invited to attend a talkback for their film, and every audience member will get the chance to vote in our Audience Choice Award balloting, regardless of whether they attend in person or remotely.
Filmmakers are encouraged to attend the festival in person, and will receive an All Access VIP Pass which allows free admission to the entire festival, all screenings, workshops, parties and events. Each day has receptions and parties where attendees will get the chance to mix and mingle and talk about movies. Our always popular "mini film school" will return, with lectures, workshops and panel discussions hosted by top film and television industry professionals and will be available in person and online for filmmakers.
Those joining us remotely will be invited to screen films, attend talkbacks and access all of our workshops, panels and lectures online. We’re also adding additional activities like live simul-streaming of events and talkbacks, a live Red Carpet reception, a Meet the Filmmakers party, and remote filmmaker events. YoFiFest offers something for everyone, everywhere!
While we are hopeful and optimistic we will be able to present a live component of YoFiFest 2021, we will follow all NY State guidelines, rules and laws to make this a fabulous and safe festival for all. To this end, all plans are subject to change as new information evolves.
Thanks for your interest and we look forward to seeing your work!
Here’s what our YoFiFest 2020 filmmakers are saying about us:
“YoFiFest might just go down as my best film festival experience of 2020. Even amidst a pandemic, Patty and the entire team found a way to host an all-inclusive experience that showcased some of the best there is to offer in short film making. To have my film play alongside the likes of films involving established actors like Clancy Brown is a pinch myself kind of moment. Well done and kudos to all involved!”
-Adam Weber The Body
“YoFiFest was a top choice on our list, and we’re so thrilled to have been selected for screening and able to experience such a well loved and high quality festival. Even having to be done virtually this year, Patty, Dave, Alex, and Adrienne did not skip a beat and pulled off another year of filmmaker focused, high quality festivities. Dope festival, great crew and community, and looking forward to hopefully attending in person next year.”
-Yakima Rich Milestones
“YoFiFest is by far the most inviting festival we have participated in this year. They communicate regularly had multiple networking opportunities even with the festival this year being virtual due to COVID. We were impressed with all the selections. They even had a trailer viewing party to watch each film's trailer before the festival began. Other festivals should take notes from YoFIFest. Our only regret is that we did not get to be there in person and we would have loved to meet Patty and Dave in person. We will definitely submit again. Bravo YoFiFest!”
-Carissa Gallo Oddly Popular
“What a truly exceptional festival! I was so impressed. The virtual component was expertly and thoughtfully executed, and the filmmaker workshops were top notch! The filmmaker Zooms were wildly effective for networking and it didn't take long before everyone felt like family.”
-Cindy Wathen-Kennedy Red Watch
“Love LOVE this festival ! The communication is AMAZING. Patty, Dave, Alex and Adrienne sent tons of e-mails to keep us up to date. There were lots of activities and screenings and all film makers could do Q&A's on their films. They did an incredible job of bringing it all online this year. Highly recommend!!!!”
-Sabine Crossen O-Wimbowe
“YoFiFest is a fantastic festival that's well worth the price of submission. As an independent filmmaker, I can say without a doubt that YoFiFest goes above and beyond to champion independent cinema, and (unlike other festivals) actually watches every submission 3! times before making programing decisions. Their workshops are second to none, and the main reason our film 'Despite The Loss' landed educational distribution. Thank you YoFi!”
- Jason Schneider Despite the Loss
Audience Choice Awards
All films selected are eligible.
One film from each award category will be the Audience Choice Awards Recipient and one film from each award category will be an Audience Choice Awards Honorable Mention.
Winners will be announced at our Awards Ceremony.
RULES & TERMS
Like we said, we love filmmakers and want everyone to have a great time! However, we do need a few rules to help us best organize and utilize our dedicated and awesome YoFiFest team.
These regulations apply to all sections and submissions:
• YoFi Fest is open to anyone who wishes to enter.
• Please submit as early as possible. Just makes things easier all around.
• YoFi Fest is an eco-friendly festival, so to reduce waste and environmental impact films must be submitted digitally.
• All films must be in English or with English subtitles.
• In our experience, Vimeo screeners have the best HD playback, and are preferred over FilmFreeway’s video uploads by our screening team.
• YoFiFest is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit and therefore we are unable to offer fee waivers under any circumstance. Entry fees support the various event costs (venues, supplies, events, promotional material, online platform etc.) Thank you for your understanding.
• YoFiFest does not consider films that require SCREENING/RENTAL FEES and DOES NOT PAY SCREENING or LICENSING FEES for submitted films.
• By submitting your film, you acknowledge that the festival will not pay you to present your work.
• Filmmakers accepted and attending the Festival are responsible for travel and all other expenses. Under normal circumstances, there are a limited number of complimentary rooms available at our hosts private homes for our international and out of town guests and local airbnb and hotel discounts available with prior arrangement. This year being a pandemic, those rooms may not be available.
• If accepted, filmmakers are expected to assist the Festival in the promotion of their screening..
• All films submitted must be free from any legal disputes and it is the sole responsibility of the filmmaker to have cleared all rights and releases for exhibition (including music, audio, images, graphics, trademarked images, etc.)
• Only the submitted version of the film may be considered, and swapping it out for alternate cuts is not possible, so please keep this in mind when deciding when to submit.
• If your film is selected, then you will be asked to provide digital stills from the film, press materials, promo clips and video trailer (if available). Please make sure all assets are current and uploaded to your FilmFreeway account if possible.
• Once accepted, all student films must provide a copy of the entrants current student ID or student ID from the year the film was made.
• By submitting your film, you grant YoFiFest the nonexclusive right to use footage, stills and/or titles and information from the film, as well as your name, photograph, and likeness in connection with any and all publicity and promotional activities regarding YoFi Fest prior to, during, and/or after the festival.
• YoFiFest may use images, sounds and excerpts from the films for promotional purposes in all media including the website and may present accepted films at any 2018 YoFiFest event.
• Please note that materials, drives, discs, etc. cannot be returned under any circumstances. Please DO NOT send film prints, master tapes, primary hard drives, DVD Masters or other irreplaceable original media.
• YoFiFest is not responsible for any materials that are lost or damaged.
• The entrant shall release, discharge, indemnify and hold harmless YoFiFest, and its agents, respective officers, directors, employees, representatives, contractors, partners, sponsors, and volunteers from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, costs and expenses (including, without limitations, attorneys' fees).
• The entrant warrants that he/she is the sole and exclusive owner(s) of all legal right and title thereto have absolute authority to submit the enclosed material to YoFiFest.
• By entering, the applicant agrees that all information is true and correct and agrees to all festival rules and guidelines.