Dive into a Year of Diverse Stories and Emerging Talent
Westchester County isn't just a scenic backdrop for films and television shows; it's home to a thriving community where film enthusiasts and creators come together. With historic theaters and independent cinemas, Westchester offers a platform for storytelling and celebrating the art of film. What better way to experience this vibrant scene than by attending its diverse film festivals?
Mark your calendars—2024 promises a rich array of festivals showcasing independent and emerging voices in cinema. Check out this year’s lineup, and take the opportunity to explore diverse stories, discover fresh talent, and engage with the industry.
Jacob Burns Film Center, Pleasantville | March 2-3, 2024
The New York International Children’s Film Festival, exclusively screening at Jacob Burns Film Center, is an Oscar-qualifying festival entertaining families and kids of all ages for over 25 years. Its programs are designed to celebrate the beauty and power of film, spark the inherent capacity of children to connect with complex, nuanced art, and encourage the creation of intelligent films that represent and celebrate unique, diverse, and historically excluded voices.
Mercy University, Dobbs Ferry | April 16-19, 2024
Mercy University's International Film Festival celebrates the art of filmmaking. Organized by the School of Liberal Arts, this four-day event offers exclusive screenings followed by guest speakers and lively discussions and draws talent from around the world.
Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, Peekskill | July 26-28, 2024
The Peekskill Film Festival is an annual event at the historic Paramount Hudson Valley Theater. Founded in 2015, the festival showcases a mix of features, documentaries, shorts, and animated works. Known for its commitment to highlighting emerging filmmakers and providing a platform for underrepresented voices in the film industry, the festival includes an entire day dedicated to student film—plus panels, Q&As, and other special events.
August 9-10, 2024
Founded in 2015 with a mission to foster the next generation of underrepresented filmmakers and artists, the Urbanite Arts & Film Festival will highlight new voices in film including, but not limited to, young women, BIPOC, LatinX, LGBTQIA, people with disabilities, and the neurodiverse communities.
Bedford Playhouse, Bedford | August 10, 2024
Katonah Classic Stage Film Festival began as a small outdoor film event during the pandemic and has grown to become a selective festival screening works under the stars and indoors at the Bedford Playhouse. Catering to filmmakers and audiences of all ages, KCSFF includes narrative, documentary, animation, student and “made in Westchester County” films.
Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown | October 10-13, 2024
Celebrating films that explore the otherworldly or the unknown, the Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival takes place during the pre-Halloween season in the Hudson Valley village renowned for the holiday, Sleepy Hollow. With a jury of literary and film industry professionals, the festival features screenings, live events, guest panels, and competitions.
The Picture House Regional Film Center, Bronxville and Pelham | 2024 Dates TBA
The annual Westchester Italian Film Festival offers an opportunity to experience the rich culture and heritage of Italy through the lens of its vibrant and diverse cinema. The festival features a carefully curated selection of Italian films, ranging from classic masterpieces to contemporary works by emerging filmmakers.
YoFiFest – The Yonkers Film Festival
Yonkers Riverfront Library and Digital Media Arts Center, Yonkers | November 8-17, 2024
YoFiFest, hailed as one of the "Top 100 Best Reviewed Festivals" on nine occasions by Film Freeway, celebrates its 12th anniversary this year. The festival features full-length films, documentaries, shorts, animation, music videos, web series, and student creations. Beyond providing audiences with exclusive screenings, YoFiFest serves as a platform for industry professionals to forge connections with each other and engage with fresh audiences.
Photo credit: Ed Cody for Jacob Burns Film Center