YoFiFest is Your Film Festival! Now in its 11th year, the 2023 YoFiFest Film Festival returns this November to celebrate moving pictures, the people who make them and the people who watch them. Voted by filmmakers as a 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.”
From opening night’s Red Carpet Reception, through our Audience Choice Awards Ceremony at the Closing Night Party, YoFiFest is a welcoming and inclusive festival that celebrates filmmakers at every stage of their careers. Our schedule is jam packed with screenings, workshops, panels, networking opportunities and parties that honor and celebrate the independent, artistic spirit from around the world, and right in our own backyard. And it’s run by film, television and audio/visual professionals, ensuring all films receive high quality presentation in actual theaters.
YoFiFest takes the selection process very seriously and is careful to ensure that each movie is reviewed by the screenings committee and programmer, in its entirety, at least three times. 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 2022 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. Every film accepted is eligible for our Audience Choice Award in its category.*
While we are well known for our in person parties and mixers, filmmakers have been raving about our Virtual Lobby and online social events that we developed over the last few years to meet the challenges and needs of the pandemic. In light of the demand, we’ll be bringing back our Virtual Meet the Filmmaker Nights, Online (and in Person) Trailer Party, Speed Networking Events, Remote Mix&Mingles and more! Those joining us remotely will be invited to attend talkbacks online. Filmmakers who attend in person will receive an All Access VIP pass that allows entry to the Red Carpet Reception, Closing Night Party and Awards Ceremony, and every screening, workshop, panel, party, networking and social event through out the festival!
We believe that a robust range of voices and stories makes for a better and more interesting community. We are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion and we welcome and encourage women, persons of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community to submit.
Thank you for your interest and we look forward to seeing your work!
Awards & Prizes
AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS:
All selected films 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.
Every audience member can vote, whether in person or online.
The film will be considered in the category in which it was submitted. You may submit your film to more than one category.
*Short Shorts will be considered in the short category type: documentary, horror/thriller/suspense, Dance etc
Queer Screen Short
Locally Sourced Short
All awards will be announced and presented at our hybrid Awards Ceremony. Recipients will receive laurels, a dedicated social media announcement, and will be posted on our website.
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.
• FILMS ON YOUTUBE, VIMEO, NETFLIX, ETC.: submitted films should not be commercially available on DVD, or already be on Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Vimeo, etc. We want to show great films to our enthusiastic audience in a dark room on a big screen. Though we consider all submissions, we prefer to give screen time to films that have not been released to the public on YouTube, or other free sites. If your film is selected, we ask that you remove it from all free platforms so that we have the best chance to bring an in person audience to see your film.
• 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.
• While we are hopeful and optimistic we will be able to present a live component of YoFiFest 2022, we will continue to 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.