Filmmaker and Hoboken International Film Festival (HIFF) producer Kenneth Del Vecchio has his sights set on Rockland County to serve as the new home of the renowned event, which showcases non-studio films, TV pilots, and screenplays from artists across the globe.
HIFF moved from its namesake city to Middletown’s Paramount Theater following the destruction of Hurricane Sandy. With his three-year deal up, Del Vecchio has decided to move on, claiming he has a different vision from Middletown’s political leaders, who also failed to meet the minimum sponsor fee to qualify as a bidder.
Del Vecchio pegs Rockland as an attractive destination for several reasons, first and foremost being that, “I’ve gotten to know a number of individuals in Rockland who have shown me a great enthusiasm for the movie-making community,” he says, adding that the county’s accessibility to crowds from New Jersey, the Hudson Valley, and New York City lends enhanced geographic appeal. Although he has not named specific, targted locations, Del Vecchio says there are several viable Rockland venues with the necessary capacity to accommodate the 15,000 annual visitors.
Del Vecchio and HIFF had previously looked execute a deal for their new home by early this coming January, but the overwhelming reaction from potential hosts has him leaning toward a probable decision anywhere between now and August. And while he concedes that, “There is a good chance I’m going to stay in Orange County,” he assures hopeful residents, “Rockland is still at the top of my list” and that, “No matter what, I foresee doing something there, whether taking the film festival there directly, hosting another event, or doing production there.”