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The Non-Gala Fundraiser: Four Days of Celebration with the Voice & Vision Film Festival

by Laura deBuys

People are always surprised when I tell them that The Picture House has to fundraise for 50% of its budget each year. You go to the movies, you pay your 10 or 12 dollars, and you assume you’ve taken care of things… but in reality we send 60% of those dollars to the film distributor, leaving us with 3 or 4 dollars to pay salaries, replace projector bulbs, heat and cool the spaces, and, well, take care of everything. Not to mention the mission-fulfilling programs — senior cinema, arts education in underserved schools, community events, and more — that aren’t ticketed and require 100% funding.

So we’ve traditionally had a gala that is a key element in the $1.2 million we need to raise each year. BUT, feeling that there was a certain amount of dinner, auction, and paddle raise fatigue, and given that we wanted to center our fundraising around our mission and its focus on film, education, and community — so The Voice & Vision Film Festival was born!

To make it work, though, we have to get the message out that The festival is not just a festival, it’s also the key annual fundraiser for The Picture House! We hope to garner the same level of support that we would for a gala but give you four days of film and celebration without the auctions and the paddle raises! Instead you get:

Party on Kraft The opening celebration at The Picture House Bronxville — great food, music, friends, tastings, and more!

Festival Films, Q&As, and Workshops See the films, meet the filmmakers! Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at both theaters. Come see Erin Bernhardt’s Refuge, see The Colorado and talk to filmmaker Murat Eyuboglu, composer Paola Prestini, and writer William deBuys. Meet filmmaker and Westchester native Jeff Watkins and see his film Small Town, Big Hope: Pelhamlove. See American Animals, a Hayley Selects feature, and talk with acclaimed actress (and Mission Impossible 7 & 8 costar) Hayley Atwell afterwards. Or chat with Music Supervisor Stephanie Diaz-Matos (The Get Down, Issa Rae’s Raedio) about her track of films celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop and her childhood friend, Mount Vernon native Heavy D.

The Voice & Vision Awards On Saturday night, 6-7:30, at The Picture House Pelham, we’ll raise a glass and honor Hayley Atwell and Stephanie Diaz Matos for their contribution to the mission of the festival – raising new voices and inspiring another generation of filmmakers.

We hope you’ll join us for this inaugural festival and support The Picture House Regional Film Center. These theaters, this kind of programming, relies on your support!

Learn more and purchase your festival tickets when you visit the Voice & Vision website. Thank you!