In 1956, a group of individuals who were meeting for lunch at Kodak decided to form an organization called RAVA (Rochester Audio Visual Association), in order to provide a forum for discussion and collaboration among those active in the burgeoning film industry. For many years, RAVA filled the needs of its professionals by organizing conferences, workshops and exposès.
In 2008, under the leadership of Stanley Main, another filmmaking organization, called RMM (Rochester Movie Makers) was born. Initially the group was formed under a film camp model, designed to recruit interest among underprivileged youth in Rochester who wanted to get involved in film and media production. Over the years, this organization became more of a support entity for members in the community who were producing shorts and low/micro budget films. In addition, the group hosted events such as Mind2Movie, designed to encourage the creation of new, short works. Members also volunteered their time to began running script writing workshops for wannabe film script writers.
In 2016, the two groups merged to form RAFAS (Rochester Association for Film Arts & Sciences). RAFAS is a non-profit educational organization “designed to foster excellence in film arts and sciences and promote and support independent film and media production within the Upstate New York Region.”
The organization holds monthly meetings, generally held at 6:30 pm on the last Thursday of the month at RCTV* (21 Gorham Street in Rochester). Their monthly meetings focus on educational and informative content related to production and film creation. One of the organization’s goals is to encourage networking by providing a welcoming and professional environment in which to foster learning and collaboration. The group currently boasts a membership of about 85 individuals, involved in all facets of filmmaking.
Individual membership in RAFAS is $49, but under an agreement with RCTV, interested parties can pay $89 and join both RCTV and RAFAS, saving $10 off each organization’s membership.
For those who’d like to know the latest RAFAS news, but sure to join their meetup page!
*Interested parties should check the RAFAS website for monthly meeting time and location, as these meetings sometimes change venue.