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Westchester’s New Music Video Film Festival

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For up-and-coming recording artists, videos provide an opportunity to not only share new projects but also demonstrate the visionary process involved in creating music. That is exactly what Gorilla River Productions is helping Westchester musicians accomplish with its Music Video Film Festival.

This inaugural event — held on February 8 at the Chappaqua Performing Arts Center — will be followed by the Hudson Valley Music Summit, a full-day conference for music-industry professionals in the Northeast. Founded by Dave Hoffman (pictured), the first summit took place in 2019 and is returning in August.

Founder Dave Hoffman / Photo courtesy of Gorilla River

Selected musicians will be allotted a 15-to-20-minute slot that will feature their videos, the conception and production of each video, and will conclude with creative feedback from a panel of judges. As a resident of Westchester, Hoffman notes the importance of such events. “Westchester has some incredible forums for both live music and for films. I wanted to bring these two energies together to create something new,” he says. “I’m very eager to create more opportunities for young, hungry bands to get themselves in front of new fans and industry pros who can help them.”

Current technology has also made producing such works far easier. “Everyone has the tools to professionally film and edit a video, using their phone and laptop, which means a creative director is really only limited by his own imagination,” says Hoffman. “I’m looking to showcase the magic that can happen when a great director and a great band come together.” In addition, the audience will get to enjoy live music at the three-hour event, during which three winners will be chosen to have their videos screened at the 2020 Hudson Valley Music Summit.

Yet for Hoffman, it’s ultimately about bringing the community together. “There is a camaraderie that is already springing up among people who attended the Hudson Valley Music Summit, because people who have a radar for exciting, new events feel a kinship with other early adopters,” he explains.