We remember it as the historic November storm – a snowmageddon that would be a perfect backdrop for one of those popular sci-fi disaster movies if only Hollywood would come. Well it did.
The filmmakers behind “2307: Winter’s Dream” took advantage of that lingering Buffalo winter and its massive snowfall to turn Lake Erie into a tundra set 300 years in the future. The sci-fi film will have its Buffalo premiere at 10:15 p.m. Saturday in the North Park Theatre (1428 Hertel Ave.) as part of the Buffalo International Film Festival.
The film was written and directed by Joey Curtis, the screenwriter for the Oscar-nominated film "Blue Valentine." (Curtis will be in attendance at the screening.) It stars Paul Sidhu, Arielle Holmes, Timothy Lee DePriest and Anne-Solenne Hatte.
The movie was actually being made in Los Angles when its producer, Rochester native Robert Beaumont, thought of the extraordinary winter that Buffalo was experiencing in 2014-15. “I jumped on a plane to check it out,” said Beaumont who said he had a great experience when he filmed the movie “Emelie” here.
"We realized pretty quickly that Buffalo was the place to film the movie," said Beaumont who is here for the film festival. "It looked perfect. Plus I had a sense of what the local crews were capable of doing from ‘Emelie,’ so we packed up the production and headed to Buffalo.”
“2307,” which Beaumont describes as “Blade Runner” meets “Escape from New York,” is about survivors of an environmental accident forced to live underground after Earth has frozen over. The survivors have created humanoids as slave labor and when one escapes as part of a rebellion, a soldier sent to stop the threat learns that everything isn't as it seems.
The film's exterior winter scenes used such area locations as Lake Erie in Hamburg, Silo City, 18-Mile Creek and Zoar Valley. Beaumont said he couldn't have been happier about the locations. "I always had an idea it would be great to make a movie here," he said.
For the Lake Erie scenes, he said, “You will never know it’s Buffalo. It looks like another planet.” Silo City is a unique location that "looked so otherworldly with all the snow."
Buffalo's winter setting could have another starring role soon - Beaumont is hoping to make his third film here, possibly with some of the same characters from "2307."
"We're coming here for the nature of winter. And the old industrial sites. It affords us a look we haven't seen in films. When I picture the sets, I see Buffalo."
The Buffalo International Film Festival continues through Oct. 10. A full list of movies and info about the festival can be found here.