Coming off his Oscar nomination as director of “First Reformed,” veteran filmmaker Paul Schrader will discuss his celebrated career April 13 at the Hudson Valley Museum of Contemporary Art (Hudson Valley MOCA) in Peekskill.

Sponsored by the Peekskill Film Festival, Schrader’s appearance is one of the marquee events that comprise AIM ’19 (for Art Industry Media). The weekend festival, themed “Peekskill: Projecting the Future,” will see the historic riverfront city transformed into an exciting multi-sensory experience.

A variety of venues will join together to host eye-opening programs that showcase the Hudson Valley’s attributes as a breeding ground where art, industry and media intersect.

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The weekend’s worth of mostly free attractions, now in its second year, is coordinated by the AIM committee of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to Peekskill Film Festival and Hudson Valley MOCA, participating organizations for AIM ’19 include Antonia Arts, Arts 10566, Bantam Tools, Lincoln Depot Museum, Peekskill Arts Alliance, Peekskill Clay Studios, and Peekskill High School’s Robotics Program.

“An Evening with Paul Schrader” is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at Hudson Valley MOCA. Known as “one of Hollywood’s greatest outliers” for the raw reality and spirituality of his work, among Mr. Schrader’s memorable creations are the screenplays for director Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull,” and “The Last Temptation of Christ.” Other Schrader films include “American Gigolo,” “Hardcore,” and “Affliction.”

His 2018 Oscar-nominated film, “First Reformed,” starring Ethan Hawke, is described as “a gripping thriller about a crisis of faith that is at once personal, political, and planetary.”

Using clips from his films, Schrader will comment on how he created his characters, and on his combative relationship with the Hollywood establishment.

He also will share his ideas for the future of movie distribution and how it can benefit indie filmmakers and their audiences. Priced at $25, tickets can be purchased through

Among other programs of interest at AIM ’19 are…

• Panel discussion on economic development for businesses of all sizes, moderated by longtime legislator George Oros, with speakers from the state, county and local level. 9:30 a.m. April 13, Lincoln Depot Museum.

• Interactive robotics demonstration at Peekskill High School. 2-4 p.m. Peekskill High School. AIM is presenting a $1,500 grant to the school’s robotics program.

• Futurist Bre Pettis, a pioneer of 3D printing as co-founder of MakerBot, will discuss next-generation media technology at Westchester Community College Center for the Digital Arts. 10-11 a.m. April 14.

The full schedule of events for AIM ’19 is at

The Art Industry Media (AIM) initiative is the brainchild of Peekskill business leader Ben Green, who chairs the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce AIM Committee. Mr. Green, who owns the Hat Factory, a 100,000 square-foot industrial park, is in the forefront of the city’s cultural renaissance. He is developer of the Peekskill Arts Center, now under construction, with a planned 2020 opening.

In a joint statement, Mr. Green and Deb Milone, president of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce, said, “With the imminent closure of Indian Point (a local nuclear power plant) – and the attendant loss of revenue to the community from its owner Entergy—it is central to AIM’s mission to nurture new industries that will revitalize the local economy.”

The official printed program for AIM ’19 includes a complete “Directory of Local Art Industry Media Companies,” which number close to 100.

In addition to Ben Green, members of the AIM Committee include Andrea Bloome of Alchemy Post Sound; Jeffrey Cobelli of Good for You Productions; Maxie Grobner of Studio 6 Agency; Peter McKinley of pak creative; Charles Newman of The Charles Newman Co.; Bre Pettis of Bantam Tools. I also serve on the committee.

Other supporters and partners of AIM ’19 are: The Atrium, Berkshire Hathaway, City of Peekskill, Holiday Inn Express, Hudson Hospitality Group, M&T Bank, Rescue Stuff, Studio Theater in Exile,

Bruce “The Blog” Apar promotes local businesses, organizations, events and people through public relations agency APAR PR. He also is an actor, a community volunteer, and a contributor to several periodicals. Follow him as Bruce The Blog on social media. Reach him at or 914-275-6887.