The state of New York is famous for being the hotspot of creativity and innovation.
It houses some of the best art museums and galleries in the entire world!
Even when it comes to architecture, it is home to some of the most distinctive structures ever made.
Filmmaking is no exception to the rule either. It is just one art form that the area actively encourages and accommodates.
You might have already heard of Tribeca, but what about the Buffalo International Film Festival?
Here’s an interesting fact: the efforts of the festival cum charity actually made Buffalo the first city to ever celebrate the UNESCO World Day for Audio-Visual Heritage!
Anyone interested in movies should take the initiative to learn about the event that has quickly been gaining traction.
For the uninitiated, the BIFF is a 501©3 non-profit organization that aims to create a platform for content makers.
The following are the core principles that the BIFF upholds: Artistry, Community Collaboration, Education and Engagement, and Diversity and Inclusion.
At the moment, its Board of Directors is headed by Sam Toles as the chair. The organization relies on donations, grants, and sponsorships so if you are able, don’t forget to support this visionary institution.
Where is it?
We can’t talk about the BIFF without talking about the city it is held in. Let us first situate it on the map and in history. Buffalo is actually the second largest city in New York, next only the one named after the state. Nicknamed the Queen City, it is located right on Lake Erie.
The unspoiled area is conducive for artistic endeavors— it has ballet, a philharmonic, and the Albright-Knox gallery! Frank Lloyd Wright even designed some of the buildings here.
It was a booming city during the industrial age, but it was hit hard during the Great Depression. In the past few years, however, Buffalo has been making strides to recover its former glory.
It is time to let go of industries that won’t be coming back and get with the times.
With the new career opportunities came the influx of young workers who were able to take advantage of cheap housing.
The city saw a skyrocket in its young population as well as the revival of its splendor.
BIFF is a yearly showcase of various independent film from the regional, national, and international division.
The event started in 2006 and it has since pushed the limits of the art form. It prides itself on letting diverse voices be heard.
The people behind the event supports the local filmmaking scene by offering sponsorships, seminars, workshops, and career opportunities. These events happen over the course of several days across various venues exclusively in the city.
The film festival has become Western New York’s premiere cinematic event during the 12 years that it has been in operation. It has featured films, installations, mixers, panels, and performances.
This coming year, it will also begin to showcase two new art forms: episodic and new media!
Every fall, the festival shows a total of more than 100 films and features from all over the world. In its most recent iterations, it premiered works like:
Bang: The Burt Berns Story
Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge
Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present.
Some of the prizes awarded during the festival:
Best Episodic Project
Best Feature Film
Best Short Film
Best Feature Film
the “Gold Bison” Best Narrative Feature
“The Supersnipe Animation Award”
Are you a filmmaker who is interested in submitting your work to the BIFF? That’s a great idea. Regardless of which part of the world you hail from, your art is welcome at the festival.
There is an open call, so feel free to submit your work to them during this period. Do not forget to ensure that it meets the requirements and specifications so that the piece can be considered and evaluated!