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Buffalo International Film Festival underway with several Western New York premieres

The annual festival runs from Oct. 5-9 and features over 150 films from 30 countries

<p>Buffalo International Film Fest began on Oct. 5</p>

Buffalo International Film Fest began on Oct. 5

Calling all movie-goers! The Buffalo International Film Festival (BIFF) is running through Oct. 9. The annual fest is packed with a lineup of more than 150 big screen movies .Located in the heart of downtown Buffalo, BIFF takes place at some of Buffalo’s most historic theater venues, such as Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, over the course of four days. 

The 2023 lineup also includes online screenings of short and feature-length films. There is truly something for everyone of all ages.

BIFF is budget-friendly, showing some films and events for completely free. Tickets can be purchased at each individual location. Attendees can also purchase the Bison Pass, which grants entry to all festival showings, as well as off-screen venues like beverage service at the Matinee or BIFF’s Sunday Funday Party at Community Beer Works. More information can be found on the festival’s official website

Tune into some of the festival’s screenings and free events:

Oct. 7

BIFF Shorts: Racial Justice in View (free)

Catch a glimpse of narrative shorts that highlight the timeline of issues involving race, equality and justice in the U.S., Canada and Indigenous nations. 

BIFF Shorts: Experimental

This feature of shorts translates poetry and prose in fragments that challenge our traditional perceptions of film and media art featuring the film, "Saha: The Book of Earth Mediums,” by UB media studies professor, Elia Vargas.

BIFF Shorts: Next Gen (free)

The Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center’s advanced track Teen Council hosts a screening of its students’ films, providing a look into the future landscape of filmmaking already inhabited by a new generation of filmmakers. 

Oct. 8

Sunday Funday Party (free)

Need a break from the big screens? Kick back and relax at Community Beer Works on 7th Street. This festival sponsor features some award-winning beers that are sure to please filmmakers and audience members alike. 


DMS@50+ (free)

UB’s Media Studies Department is celebrating 50 years at the North Park Theatre with finds from its extensive media art archive. . The screening features works from notable faculty from the “Buffalo Heads Era,” like Hollis Frampton, Steina and Woody Vasulka, and Tony Conrad, who were monumental in establishing .

[six years] (directed by Paige Sarlin)

“Accordion” (directed by Tony Conrad)

[six years] chronicles the anniversary of filmmaker and musician Tony Conrad’s death through an intimate narrative of images and sounds from the apartment he shared with his wife, UB media studies professor Paige Sarlin. Audience members are meant to experience it with a balloon (provided by Sarlin). The accompaniment of the balloon is not only meant for accessibility to deaf audience members but to platform the film as a spatial and temporal experience for grief.

“Accordion” is a short from 1981 about the early televisual image by documenting a man improvising on his accordion. 

Oct. 9

Fancy Dance” (free)

A Western New York premiere, this film details the story of a young girl pushed into the deep end of real life with a missing sister and a niece to tend to. A hasty decision to find the young girl’s mother instead reveals the truths behind the struggle of indigenous women in a failed justice system. 

“Kim’s Video” (directed by David Redmon and Ashley Sabin)

Films, videos, DVDs, VHS tapes galore! Kim’s Video & Music store was a hub for film fanatics in the East Village of New York City in the early 2000s, with employees like the director of “Joker,” Todd Phillips and the Strokes’ guitarist, Albert Hammond Jr. Its owner, Yongman Kim, amassed a collection of 55,000 titles ranging from student films to blockbusters, making sure anything and everything saw the light of day. 

Because of the demands of the digital age, Kim had to close his store and relocate titles to colleges and most of his collection to Salemi, Italy to create a public archive, but the archive was never developed. The documentary follows film director and beloved customer of Kim’s, David Redmon, as he embarks on a quest to locate this collection and ensure that it sees the light of the day for today’s cinephiles.

Tenzin Wodhean is an arts editor and can be reached at tenzin.wodhean@ubspectrum.com

The arts desk can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com

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