The Hudson River Valley offers a number of film festivals for lovers of the genre, beginning in late August and hitting full stride in mid-October.  This is the first of a five-part series, one part for each festival (that I’m aware of – if I leave one out please let me know!)

Hudson Valley International Film Festival August 26th – 28th

The film festival season kicked off with the Hudson Valley International Film Festival at the Monroe Arts and Civic Center in Monroe. This is only the festival’s second year, having begun in 2015. It was held August 26th-28th, which was the weekend before the Labor Day weekend. I’m not sure if the organizers will continue to schedule the festival for the weekend before Labor Day weekend.

This year’s three-day event began with a black-tie, red carpet reception, followed by a feature-length film jointly written and directed by festival president Charles Marinaro and festival co-director Chris Matrone. An opening night party followed.

The film programs on Saturday and Sunday began at 10:00AM each day and offered a full slate of features, shorts, documentaries, music videos, and TV pilots shown on three big screens in the Arts and Civic Center. For night-owls, the last film on Saturday was scheduled to begin at 11:45PM (but lasted only four minutes). Sunday’s last offering, a five-minute piece, was scheduled to start at 7:25PM.

Other festival events included interactive sessions with filmmakers, live music, comedians, slam poets, and a party each night.

The festival organizers look to promote “non-studio films, television pilots, and screenplays from filmmakers throughout the United States and World beyond.”

Tickets this year were $8 for a two-hour block of time, $20 for one entire day of films, and $40 for an “All Access Pass”.