WNY film lovers are over the moon about the 15th Annual Buffalo International Film Festival. For years, film aficionados and fans calmored for a first rate film festival in Buffalo, and now they have it. For 15 years, organizers of the Buffalo International Film Festival have been building up momentum, as this city has rallied behind the film industry. A combination of steady acclaimed film productions and notoriety as a pro-film city has enabled Buffalo to emerge onto the international stage as a force to be reckoned with. The icing on the cake is a film festival that is now screening over 120 films from 24 countries, including some notable works hailing from Buffalo. Incredibly, this has all been orchestrated despite the pandemic. The 2021 festival will be held in person, and virtually online, allowing everyone to participate in some fashion.
The film festival brings numerous filmmakers from around the world to the city to celebrate their latest films.
‘It’s been a long, hard pandemic for all – and now it’s time to have some good times and (safe) fun together! Every film presented in a theater will have filmmakers in attendance, many from out-of-town,” touted Executive Director Anna Scime. “Every film in this lineup is amazing – in the theater and online – and we’re beyond grateful and honored to present these incredible works this year. We want to show these filmmakers and our community the love that they deserve and for those from out of town, some good ol’ fashioned Buffalo hospitality, as we safely collect and celebrate together!”
Adding to the excitement, the in-person screenings at this year’s festival will be held at a number of highly coveted and unique theatrical locations such as the North Park Theatre, Burchfield Penney Art Center, Duende at Silo City, and The Tralf – as well as virtually via the Eventive digital cinema platform.
^ An opening night presentation of Catch The Fair One, the Tribeca Film Festival winning thriller filmed in Buffalo, with star Kali Reis and producer Kimberly Parker presenting the film. Film produced by Nomadland and The Rider.
Headlining features include Catch The Fair One, Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James, 100 Years From Mississippi, We Burn Like This, Rust Belt Driller, and Bad Attitude: The Art of Spain Rodriguez.
“We have amazing films and makers, as well as panels, offscreen events and more going on Oct 7-11 at venues throughout the City of Buffalo,” continued Scime. “We’ll be masking in venues and using best practices to keep everyone safe and healthy, but we’ll also be having a really great time together watching, thinking and talking film, dancing, and engaging with art in many forms. We hope the public can come out and support these filmmakers, and the festival! I think that this is collectively something that we all need right now.”
“We look forward to welcoming new and old friends back to BIFF to celebrate our fifteenth anniversary and our official selections,” said Artistic Director John J. Fink. “Great storytellers have found innovative ways to stay creative and it has been very exciting to see how filmmakers have adapted to the challenges we’ve collectively faced.”
“We were very fortunate to have the support of Buffalo to carry us through a tough year during the pandemic,” noted board member Keith Poplawski. “Like so many other organizations, being presented with the challenges of 2020 forced us to adapt and we ultimately went virtual. In doing so, it created a new opportunity for us to explore in streaming capabilities and a way for us to present our local, domestic, and international filmmakers to a broader audience with more viewing options. This year, we are able to do both, online and in-person, giving our filmmakers and audience the most flexibility as we take the first steps forward to put covid behind us.
“Buffalo’s support is crucial to our survival. Every year, we challenge ourselves to align with the flourishing filmmaking and production community locally. This requires us to examine where we can best position ourselves to create more educational opportunities for internships and panels, provide experience with staff hiring and development, and expand our range of partners and programming. We also recognize and take our role in welcoming filmmakers to the city very seriously. Buffalo makes it easy on us to use hospitality to set us apart from other film festivals so we always want to make sure we can deliver one the city and region can be proud to call its own. I am very proud of our partners, staff, and sponsors in presenting this lineup for 2021.”
Tickets and passes are on sale now at WWW.BUFFALOFILM.ORG including the all-access Bison Pass ($45) and Triptych Virtual (3 virtual screenings for $20). Individual tickets to live screenings with filmmaker Q+As are $12 and virtual screenings are $9.