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Finished your favorite show on Netflix? Check out some major film events in Buffalo

The Spectrum

This is a great weekend to be in Buffalo if you're a film lover - it's the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival and Godfather night at the Screening Room in Amherst.

The Buffalo Niagara International Film Festival is hosted at the Market Arcade Film and Arts Centre on Main Street in downtown Buffalo (should be familiar if you've heard of professors Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian's Buffalo Film Seminars). With six films playing Friday and another four Saturday, you could spend hours watching underground, artistic and thought-provoking films.

At 7 p.m. Friday, Seasons of Love - a romantic comedy set in Western New York - will open. If you're an avid gym attendee and spend hours comparing protein supplements online, Generation Iron, a documentary by Vlad Yudin, might be just the thing for you. Opening Saturday, the documentary follows seven bodybuilders as they train for the 2012 Mr. Olympia competition. Hailing from Buffalo, Greg Robbins's docu-drama My Dream Beside Me opens on Saturday. The autobiographical film is based on the love story of Paul Rich and Mary Kay Slesinger Rich. The two fell in love after being widowed - he was 84 and she was in her mid-60s. Whereas Hollywood mainstream films show love among young people, this film insists that love can be found and maintained at any age.

On Friday, The Godfather Part III will be showing at The Screening Room Cinema Caf?(c) in Amherst. The film begins at 7:30 p.m. and dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. For $30, you can watch The Godfather in the cinema's cozy theater, eat from the spaghetti buffet available, have a glass of wine and enjoy a free coffee and soft drink during the show. Cannolis are included. The Screening Room is unlike any other theater in Western New York - with communal seating at tables or couches, you can snuggle up to your sweetie or enjoy drinks with friends while taking in one of the best classic films around.

If the outdoors is more your style, on Saturday at 10 a.m. volunteers can meet at Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve in Cheektowaga to participate in the "Earth Day in May" cleanup. Volunteers will help clean debris and plant native wildflowers. Registration is required. Embrace the warm weather by helping one of the best parks in the area prepare for spring. According to the preserve's website, Reinstein is 292 acres of forests, ponds and wetlands. Just down the road from Reinstein is Stiglmeier Park, a 308-acre park home to the Losson Nature Trails. With variety of birds, deer and beaver, Stiglmeier is home to everything that nature lover's love. As many of the park's trails are upraised wooden platforms, you won't find your shoes covered in wet mud from the recent rain.

Buffalo is home to some impressive works of architecture. On Sunday, Buffalo History Tours will give 55-minute guided tours of the Hotel Lafayette in downtown Buffalo. For $10 you can attend just the tour, but for $25, you can also have breakfast at the Lafayette. The tours leave every hour on the hour, running from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Lafayette, located at 391 Washington St., was designed in the French Renaissance style by the first professional female architect in the United States, Louise Blanchard Bethune, according to the Lafayette's website. The hotel was built in 1904, just four years after the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo. Today, the Lafayette is not only a hotel, but has banquet rooms, retail stores and restaurants.

This is the last weekend before classes end. Though I'm sure you have a million papers to write and a thousand hours of studying to catch up on, we all deserve a break. Choose your treat and see what kind of productivity you can accomplish after a few hours of enjoyment.


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