BNFF14 PREVIEW: The 8th Annual Buffalo Niagara Film Festival

It’s eight years later and The Buffalo Niagara International Film Festival is still going strong April 24th through May 3rd. I personally missed organizer and filmmaker Bill Cowell‘s inaugural season, but have been attending off and on as both a ticket holder and member of the press since. My first experience was in 2008 at the Riviera Theatre in Tonawanda. I drove over mostly because that night’s feature had a cast consisting of Bruce Dern and Kristen Stewart (pre-Twilight). While director Mary Stewart Masterson‘s The Cake Eaters proved worthy of…

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REVIEW: Down and Dangerous [2014]

“Who says I’m not having fun?” If you’re familiar with writer/director Zak Forsman’s work you’ll know that it was only a matter of time before he branched out from subtle character pieces to the action genre. Whether the stoic performances, attractive compositions, or pulsing beats by composer Deklun, Forsman and his team at The Sabi Company have found the talent necessary to make Hollywood-caliber productions on a shoestring budget. And while the diptych of his Heart of Now and producer Kevin K. Shah’s White Knuckles aligns more with that independent…

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BNFF11 REVIEW: White Knuckles [2010]

“Why don’t you give me something to be joyful about?” Love can seem so easy from the outside. Two people: completely enamored with each other, their smiles easy, serene, and unmistakably genuine. You look at them and think 40-years of marriage would be pure bliss, a harmonious dance that could never last as long as it should. But we forget that behind each joyful façade lurks the reality of who we are. A relationship takes work and the longer it spans the more care is necessary to keep it viable.…

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BNFF11: The 5th Annual Buffalo Niagara Film Festival Recap

Another year—another Buffalo Niagara Film Festival complete. 2011 was definitely an evolution for Bill Cowell’s brainchild, bringing in the most filmmakers to promote their work I’ve seen, the inclusion of a new venue with Niagara Falls’ Rapids Theatre, and the first ever ‘Star’ on the BNFF Walk of Fame. The ten-day event smartly coincided with the end of the Buffalo Sabres’ hockey season rather than the start of a playoff run like last year; saw some cold days, but no snow; and did whatever it could to increase audience attendance.…

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BNFF11 REVIEW: Heart of Now [2011]

“The bottom line—I don’t feel good about what happened” Very near the beginning of Heart of Now, a young girl, Monica (Mary Elise Hayden), makes the quasi-pithy, half-serious/half-joking statement that all women need a man who will give them ‘loads of intensity and massive support’. Couldn’t this observation expand further to blanket all of humanity, though? Don’t we all need that mix of feeling and security to go about our daily lives with meaning? Well, if we are to use Zak Forsman’s lead Amber (Marion Kerr) as an exemplification for…

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BNFF11 PREVIEW: The 5th Annual Buffalo Niagara Film Festival

The Buffalo Niagara Film Festival (April 8-17) has hit year number five—not a small feat when you consider the amount of work that goes into pulling such an event off. I’ve attended the past three years and have to say that it’s gotten better each and every time. From the level of cinema, the recognition of filmmakers in attendance, and the overall day-to-day handling of the festival itself, the experience is pretty great when you consider the $10 ticket price (cheaper if you partake in a Multi Pass) per movie.…

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