(Buffalo, N.Y.) – Buffalo State will host the 8th annual SUNYWide Film Festival Nov. 9-11.
The festival was launched in 2009 to highlight the film and video work of students and faculty in the SUNY system.
“We are so excited to have it at Buffalo State,” said Professor Aaron Daniel Annas, director of this year’s festival. “When I heard about the festival, I knew I wanted it to come to Buffalo.”
Leading up to the festival, the Buffalo Review will produce a weekly podcast to tell the stories of some of the people involved with the event.
This week (Aug. 29) we spoke with Annas and Edward Evans, senior instructor of media at SUNY Broome.
Evans said he strongly encourages students to submit their work.
“This is an opportunity to take a piece of your work and have somebody look at it outside the normal scope of your academics,” Evans said.
“Don’t be afraid. You put it out there and sometimes you don’t know how good your work is and to have somebody look at it, who doesn’t know you, and let’s just say they like it; that is a point of validation and in the worst case scenario you at least have the opportunity to get some feedback.”
The SUNYWide Film Festival was created by Phil Hastings, associate professor of film and video arts at SUNY Fredonia, and it has since grown into one of the top student festivals in the Northeast.
To date, more than 800 students have submitted films and videos to compete in the festival. According to Evans, more than 200 works were submitted last year alone.
This is the first time the event will be held at a SUNY campus other than Fredonia or Oswego.
Evans said as the festival has grown, it makes sense to host it in a major media market like Buffalo.
“It’s unique and it’s exciting,” he said. “It’s a visibility and an accessibility that is different and on a bit larger scale.”
Annas said he is excited to bring the festival to Buffalo, as the city has become a recent hot spot for filmmaking.
“We’re really hoping to draw, not only from SUNY,” Annas said, “but also really draw from the Buffalo community and have a lot of media professionals from Buffalo take part in the festival.”
The deadline to submit a film is Sept. 15 and submissions can be made on the SUNYWide Film Festival website.