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There is little in the world that's more an act of faith than a fledgling filmmaker making his own film his own way. No small hope is involved, too. And more than a little charity.

For Buffalo-raised Peter McGennis, it all comes together next Friday when his crime thriller set in the Big Easy -- a film called "In" -- will open in the Amherst Theatre. Along with the story of a young man suckered into mob doings down in New Orleans, the film boasts a soundtrack by David Kane that features the late jazz organist Jimmy Smith. It also features a closing-credit song written by McGennis and sung by Maria Muldaur.

Sharp-eyed residents will see local attorney Paul Cambria having a grand time playing a thug role.

If that weren't enough of a local investment of spirit, McGennis is trying to arrange the summer filming -- in Buffalo -- of "Buffalo" (about, he says, a "man who returns to Buffalo after 20 years of exile in order to reconstruct his life for what becomes one chilling moment").

"I relish being a warrior scrub from Buffalo," McGennis says.