Local Student Filmmaker Gears Up For Yonkers Festival

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Written by Ben Fraternale and Laura Pavlo and directed by Fraternale, "Socks & Robbers" portrays a cosmic collision course amidst a house robbery. Photo Credit: Fraternale Films
Ben Fraternale
Ben Fraternale Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ben Fraternale
Behind the Scenes: Shooting "Socks and Robbers"
Behind the Scenes: Shooting "Socks and Robbers" Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ben Fraternale

IRVINGTON, N.Y. -- When Irvington native Ben Fraternale isn't studying to obtain his degrees in communications and astronomy, he's focusing on his career path, which is related to one but not the other.

The 21-year-old University of Maryland student started his own film production company, Fraternale Films, after realizing his passion for filmmaking.

"I've been making videos since I was a kid," he said, "I used to shoot interviews with pro football players, and they got put on really popular websites. Once I got to college, I got the creative bite and really wanted to make short films that had a feature film length quality."

However, Fraternale endeavors to make his films a little different than what you might see at the Oscars.

"A lot of short films go the sad route, or concentrate on dark things you can tell in 8 minutes. I've watched every Oscar-winning short film over the past few years, and a lot of them are really sad. They're still good, but I wanted to give a more exciting film," he said.

So far, Fraternale has made three films. His most recent, "Socks and Robbers," is being featured at the Yonkers Film Festival (YoFi) in October.

The film, co-written by Fraternale and Laura Pavlo, takes four characters and three different stories, intertwining them into a gripping "Tarantino-esque crime film." 

"Every little thing is connected," Fraternale said, "Every small detail ends up meaning something. Essentially, it is about four people who are completely intertwined and it sort of spills out throughout the movie and how they are connected."

It has four actors, all from the Westchester area, including Jack Rovello of "Days of Our Lives," "Sex And The City," "One Life To Live," and "The Hours" fame.

As someone who grew up in Westchester, Fraternale said he felt very proud to be involved with a local film festival, despite already receiving some accolades. 

"I love the area, and I really wished there was a Westchester film festival because I wanted to find somewhere local to show my work," he said, "(...) We've won the award of merit at the Best Shorts Film Festival, and an award at New Filmmakers in New York, but I’m really proud of this one, specifically this one because it is local and feels very grassroots. I am proud to represent and proud to be in Yonkers." 

Fraternale intends to move to Los Angeles after graduating in 2014.

For more information on Fraternale Films, check out its website here.

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