Year four is here for the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival taking place at both Dipson’s Market Arcade Centre downtown and the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda. I’ve attended the past two entries and have been impressed by the quality of films and improvements made. 2009 saw the world premiere of Steve Coogan and Hillary Duff’s What Goes Up, a sub-par movie with only lackluster guests in attendance, but a cool event to be a part of anyway. To date, 2008’s The Cake Eaters and last year’s Boppin’ at the Glue Factory, (now known as Junkie Nurse), have been the features that left a mark; hopefully 2010 can give me at least one more to get behind and start talking some buzz with amongst friends, family, and readers.
Spanning April 16-25, two theatres at the Market Arcade will be holding the brunt of the screenings, only switching to the Riviera for the final weekend starting the 23rd. The schedule mostly consists of documentaries and short film series, much like it has since its inception, but a block of music videos is included as well as a good number of feature length work. Spreading those to be around two per night, the festival does lend itself to be attended by regular film fans that work an 8-5 shift. Not to disrespect the other mediums, I prefer to check out the features and will do my best to see at least three during the run here, especially with the pretty impressive special guest list being advertised.
The films on my shortlist include the following:
April 16th, 7pm at Market Arcade — Adventures of a Teenage Dragonslayer
Designated as the festival’s Feature Opening Presentation, the film promises to include an appearance by Amy Pietz, Lea Thompson, and Buffalo’s own Wendie Malick.
April 24th, 10pm at Riviera Theatre — Hot Tamale
Actually completed in 2007, this will be the Western New York premiere of what is billed as a ‘wild ride’. Word has it that Carmen Electra, Randy Spelling, Mike Starr, Jason Priestley, and beauty Diora Baird will be stopping by.
April 25th, 10:45am at Riviera Theatre — Autism: Made in the USA
A documentary on the quest to find the true causes and promising solutions for Autism, the screening now has both Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy—both activists on the affliction—signed up to attend.
April 25th, 5pm at Riviera Theatre — Christina
The festival’s closing feature takes place in Post World War II Berlin, and has Nicki Aycox, Jordan Belfi, and Avatar’s Stephen Lang billed to be in the audience.
So, there are some big names assumed to show face, a plethora of work that you may never have a chance to see anywhere else or any time soon, and the comfort of two great theatres in Western New York. For only ten bucks a ticket, as well as deals for day/week/festival passes, the opportunity shouldn’t be disregarded without at least a fleeting thought of checking out what all the hoopla is about.