Before we convince you of just how dramatically overhauled the 2015 Buffalo International Film Fest will be this year, we’d like to pay homage to BIFF’s previous director, Ed Summer. Ed passed away last fall after a battle with cancer. According to BIFF’s new director, Ray Guarnieri, Ed was a film historian. He knew a great deal about film, he had great taste, and he was very well-loved. But as is happening all over our city, the next generation is picking up where our elders have left off, and adding a charm, excitement, and energy that hasn’t been seen in years. Ray is the hometown director behind the lense for 2013’s Buffalo Boys, which took home multiple awards all over the country. He has put together a new organization that is different from the ground up. Realizing some of the limitations that Ed Summer faced by attempting to run the festival with a small group, Ray has gathered a large, young, well-connected group from Buffalo and Western New York’s arts and culture scene to contribute to this year’s festival. This year, BIFF will have a restored gem to highlight and call its home, the North Park Theater, but will also continue to use other movie theaters in the area, including The Screening Room in Amherst.


BIFF 2015, running October 15 – 18, will highlight more women in film, more LGBT influenced films, and has a diversity development committee to not only seek out more films made by minorities, but create the kind of environment that encourages them to engage in film in the first place.

In addition to presenting 24 features and 38 shorts, the Buffalo International Film Festival in conjunction with Squeaky Wheel will host the first all-women filmmaker panel in the history of Buffalo’s film festivals – guests include Rochester Film Commissioner Nora Brown, film distributor Crystal Calhan and filmmaker Anna Scime.

“We’re thrilled to host this special panel as well as seven feature films directed by women in our program this year. All of these guests have experience working in larger markets,” said Tilke Hill, the festival’s director of diversity.

You’ve heard about Ninja Turtles filming in Buffalo. As goofy a film as that may be, it’s a huge deal. When Ray was filming Buffalo Boys, there were only 2 other projects being filmed in Buffalo. Now there are dozens every year. This film festival isn’t aspiring to remain small and quaint. It aspires to rank in the top 10 fim festivals in North America within 10 years. A properly run, and well-attended film festival creates the momentum not just for its own growth, but to make an impression to outsiders that Buffalo is a filmmaker’s dream.

So go. See a movie! Meet directors and actors. Be inspired, and share your experience on social media.

Below is the lineup of events. Below that is a visually stunning promotion of the festival. Check out the website for more. This revival is another proud moment for our city. We hope you take part in it.

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