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 eighth year, the 2020 YoFiFest returns November 6th through 13th to celebrate moving pictures, the people who make them and the people who watch them. YoFiFest was awarded the Best of Westchester's Best New Film Festival and Best Film Geek Event and was listed as one of the 39 Most Notable Events in Westchester by Westchester Magazine. We were also named as one of the top 10 hippest things about Yonkers when Yonkers was dubbed Hippest Town by lohud.com/The Journal News.
The festival offers a full schedule of screenings, workshops, networking opportunities and parties that celebrate the independent, artistic spirit from around the world, and right in our own back yard. We present all types of work, including feature films, short films, documentaries, animation, music videos, web and TV pilots and student work. Our always popular "mini film school" will be back, with lectures, workshops and panel discussions hosted by top film and television industry professionals. Each day has receptions and parties where attendees will get the chance to mix and mingle and talk about movies. In short, the festival offers something for everyone.
We're all about audiences and filmmakers connecting so in addition to lots of great movies, hands on workshops and our “mini film school”, we have plenty of parties, networking events, Q&As, meet and mingles, and other social opportunities to engage with your fans and fellow filmmakers and build contacts for future collaborations. Filmmakers whose films are screening are encouraged to attend and receive an All Access VIP Pass, which allows free admission to the entire festival and all events. Life long friendships and partnerships have been made among our attendees! Due to the circumstances and safety concerns of the coronavirus, we have had to move our festival online for 2020. There will be a variety of new online social opportunities and free workshops and events. However, due to the cost of moving the festival online to Eventive, the leader in safe online exhibition platforms for film festivals, we won't be able to provide full festival passes to our filmmaker attendees. We are currently working with Eventive on discounts to the festival and screenings.
We take our selection process very seriously and are careful to ensure that each movie is reviewed in its entirety at least twice. We are filmmakers ourselves, and we understand and respect the amount of hard work put into each film. Over 95% of our festival is programmed from submissions. Out of fairness to all filmmakers who submit to the festival, we don't offer any fee waivers and we don't invite films to the festival.
Here’s what filmmakers are saying about us:
“A wonderful experience and I expect the good word of mouth will continue to grow the festival. It was obvious your team put a good deal of work leading up to the event...As you know, we stumbled upon the festival last year as visitors and were really impressed with the quality of films, workshops and overall organization of the event. This year, we had the same impression. Yofi is one of the best film festivals that I have attended and I encourage other filmmakers to submit here. I look forward to attending again next year!”
- Kal Toth, Director, Building Magic
“Thank you again for giving us the opportunity to screen ...with Birthday Cake. It was a great experience for everybody. I can tell you guys put so much effort into the event. It had such a good vibe. All our actors attending made valuable industry contacts and helped their careers so much. WE LOVE YOFI! We have already begun to post pics on our various social media. You are getting to be REALLY well-known!”
- Scott Powers, Executive Producer, …with Birthday Cake
“I just wanted to say thanks again for accepting our film into your film festival. It was an amazing experience from beginning to end! The workshops taught me valuable information about the industry. I am incredibly thankful for all the connections your festival allowed me to make. Congrats on how successful the festival was! I look forward to submitting my future films to your festival, and I wear your shirt proudly!”
- Alexzander Ellenboge, Director, Good Day “
"From YoFi’s first screening on Thursday to the last one on Sunday, the Red Carpets, the Receptions, the very informative Panels (I loved the one about Independent Film Distribution), you really did everything right. It was neat to see how the festival has grown and how filmmakers came from near and far to participate. The friendly and nurturing environment felt especially welcoming and we will most certainly be back, whether or not we are attending with a film or simply as supportive audience members.”
- Carina Rush, Producer, No Letting Go
Many, many thanks for including our short film, Time is the Longest Distance, in this year’s line-up of YoFiFest. Being part of a festival in my home county, Westchester, and meeting some other local filmmakers felt special and was most enjoyable. It was wonderful to see how YoFiFest has developed over the past few years. Keep up with the great work!
A heartfelt thank you from director Bryan Powers and me for all your support for our film, as well as the effort and creativity you put into this terrific festival.
- Claudia Murdoch, Producer, Time is the Longest Distance
Thanks for hosting Martin’s Hagge last week. It was a pleasure attending and meeting such terrific people from Yonkers and abroad.
You must be exhausted but please know your attention to detail and the care you take to make the filmmakers welcome, wasn’t lost on me!
Hope to see you next year!
- Penny Eizenga, Writer/Director Martin’s Hagge
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.
In short, we love great stories, we love our filmmakers, and we love connecting audience and filmmakers. We are 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 are 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.
YoFiFest is easy to get to, fun to hang out at and not to be missed!
Thanks for your interest and we look forward to seeing your work!
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, 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. 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.
• If accepted, filmmakers are expected to assist the Festival in film promotion.
• 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).
• If your film is accepted, you will be solely responsible for delivering your promotional materials to and from the festival venue.
• 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.