It's a remarkable time for movie fans in the Buffalo area. Hollywood is not only calling, it's calling Buffalo home base for multiple movie productions and big-name events.
As film crews ramp up production here on another film - this time "The Adventures of Wolfboy," with a cast led by John Turturro - we are preparing for the premiere of the feature film "Marshall," shot in Buffalo in 2016. Continuing the made-in-Buffalo theme, Turner Classic Movies hosts a special screening of "The Natural" on Oct. 21. Plus we have a trio of local film festivals on tap. Here's a look.
Buffalo Niagara International Film Festival, Sept. 20 to Oct. 1.
This annual festival returns to show more than 300 films in a new location - the Four Seasons Theatre (2429 Military Road, Niagara Falls). Guests include Robert Davi ("The Goonies," "Expendables 3") who will be here with "Davi's Way," a documentary that chronicles his year-long quest to re-create Frank Sinatra's famed "Main Event" concert. Other guests include actors Nikki Moore, Holley Fain and Jon Steppling and comedian Matt Wayne. There will be panel discussions and workshops.
Movie tickets are $10 for matinee performances, $13 evening and $15 for premieres by calling 693-0912, online and at the theater box office. Info: thebnff.com.
Buffalo International Film Festival, Oct. 6-9.
This is the 11th year of the BIFF, a festival which focuses on bringing contemporary, local, national and world cinema to Buffalo. Many of the filmmakers will be on hand to discuss their movies including Oscar-nominee Kevin Tent ("Crash Pad"), who grew up near Buffalo; plus Brendan Boogie ("Sundown") and David R. Williams ("Algebra of Need").
Screenings are held at venues as diverse as the films: North Park Theatre, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Squeaky Wheel and the Burchfield Penney Arts Center. A four-day pass is $36.97. Info: buffalofilm.org
"Marshall" premiere, Oct. 13.
After scouting locations to film some scenes in the Buffalo area, the production crew for this biopic on Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall decided our city had everything it needed to re-create the movie's vintage 1940s setting and stayed here. (Sound familiar? The same thing happened with "The Natural.")
In the title role is Chadwick Boseman, whose star power is rising in anticipation of his appearance in the full-length "Black Panther" film and the follow-up "Avengers: Infinity War." Kate Hudson, Josh Gad, Sterling K. Brown and Dan Stevens ("Downton Abbey") co-star. Stay tuned for news on the local premiere.
Turner Classic Movies presents "The Natural," Oct. 21
It's been 34 years since this Robert Redford baseball classic was filmed in Buffalo, yet the passion for the movie in the Queen City remains as strong today as when it was being made here in 1983. No surprise, then, that when Turner Classic Movies announced it would host a free screening of the film that online tickets were gone in under 15 minutes.
The event, which includes a visit from TCM host Ben Mankiewicz and the film's director Barry Levinson, is the result of Buffalo's winning entry in the "Bring TCM to Your Hometown" contest hosted by the network's fan club, TCM Backlot. Info: northparktheatre.org, tcmbacklot.com.
Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival, Nov. 3-12
What started out as a film festival devoted to horror, fantasy and sci-fi has expanded into a well-rounded slate of movies also including action, animation, documentary, drama and thrillers. It also has a family element with the Buffalo Dreams Family Film Festival. Movies will be shown at Dipson Eastern Hills (Nov. 3-9) and Screening Room Cinema Café (Nov. 10-12).
Of special note is a nod to horror schlock master Lloyd Kaufman. The festival will show "Return to Return to Nuke Em High aka Vol. 2," filmed in Niagara Falls and the world premiere of "Greetings from Tromaville" a documentary about Kaufman and Troma Entertainment from Rochester filmmaker Adrian Esposito.
Admission costs from $8 to $10 for individual screening, $20 for a day pass and $100 for an all-festival pass. buffalodreamsfilmfest.com.