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This week’s “Business Spotlight” is the West Chester International Short Film Festival, which takes place from Friday, April 28th – Sunday, April 30th. We sat down with their Sponsorship Coordinator, Victoria Rose, to get the inside scoop.

1. Tell me about your business/event and what makes it unique.

The West Chester Film Festival celebrates the spirit of independent short film. We are an entirely volunteer-run, nonprofit organization and one of the longest running film festivals in the world!

2. What services or entertainment do you offer?

There is so much to do at the Fest! Start with the Opening Night Party on Friday, April 28th  where you can grab a program book to find out all the details of the weekend, connect with filmmakers and fellow film lovers, enjoy hors d’oeuvres and drinks, and see what we have in store! Saturday there are film blocks throughout the day, a Filmmaker Q&A and Meet & Greet, plus Pop-Up Film Blocks around Downtown West Chester. Sunday brings more film blocks, another Pop-Up Film Block, and the fabulous Closing Night Chester Awards Party! Take a pic on the red carpet, enjoy the open bar and catering by West Chester restaurants, check out the Silent Auction, and see all the best films of the Fest take to the screen one more time!

3. How long have you been hosting this event?

The West Chester Film Festival was founded in 2003, and this year we will be celebrating our 17th Fest. 

4. What do you love most about being in West Chester?

The West Chester community is why we exist! The Fest was originally organized to prove that the West Chester community would welcome and support a dedicated theater space in our town. Twenty years later, we are still showcasing all that our town has to offer!

As a non-profit organization, we rely on local community sponsors to keep our screens on year after year. We then turn around and put those resources right back into our community, using local venues, vendors, and small businesses for our Fest, most of which are right in Downtown West Chester.

5. What can you tell me about the culture or atmosphere of your event?

The WCFF is a true example of “it takes a village.” We are an entirely volunteer-run festival, and this is a labor of love for all of us. We believe in the power of art and independent short film to create connections and an impact in our community. 

We encourage audiences to take part in the festival atmosphere all weekend long. Many restaurants in town offer a discount to Festgoers through the weekend. I love going out after a block and ending up deep in discussion with filmmakers, film lovers, and people who are seeing independent films for the first time about the shorts they have seen through the weekend!

6. Is there anything else you would like to share?

We are so excited about the Fest this year! Our screeners have been raving about the selection of films we will be showing. Highlights include:

  • The Mushroom Man, a film celebrating the accomplishments of West Chester scientist Raymond Rettew and his revolutionary process for the mass production of penicillin
  • Feeling Through, a touching coming of age story which is the first film to star a DeafBlind actor and a 2021 Academy Award Nominee for Best Live Action Short Film
  • Night Ride, a film that perfectly mixes drama and comedy from Norway that was a 2023 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film
  • Hedgehog, a timely story set at the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2021. Plus there will be Pop-Up Film Blocks all weekend long with various themes.

Click here to buy your tickets, and keep an eye on our social media (@WCFilmFestival) for more details!

About the author : Rebecca Schmidt