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Christopher Schobert


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The 2018 Buffalo International Film Festival (BIFF) is all about options. Consider the numbers: 125 films from 22 countries over the course of five days (Oct. 4-8) at four venues in the city of Buffalo. It all adds up to one of the area’s biggest and boldest film fests, and a diverse mix of genres and styles. While there is no festival theme, exactly, a number of BIFF e…

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There is a fresh wave of innovation and optimism in Buffalo, and the city’s newest entrepreneurs are a big reason why. From the tremendously successful 43North competition to a steady stream of startups impacting Buffalo and beyond, the WNY community has become an unforeseen hub of entrepreneurism. We spoke with the founders and operators of five unique companies, all b…

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The Buffalo cinema scene is thriving. That fact is clear when studying the fall calendar of film screenings and festivals. It isn't just packed with events - it is packed with quality. This was not always the case. In fact, just a few years ago it would have been difficult to call the area's loose collection of one-off film screenings and scattershot series a “scene.” B…

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Pop quiz: Family horror-comedy “The House with a Clock in Its Walls” is A) the worst-titled movie of the year, B) a PG-rated flick that is far too frightening for children under 10, C) a surprisingly enjoyable bit of creepy fun featuring a wonderfully cast Jack Black and Cate Blanchett, or D) all of the above. Your answer is D, and as this indicates, parents should appr…

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What’s in a name for local WNY businesses? Some names are obvious first or last names of individuals or family members. Some involve a Buffalo pun. Some have ties to establishments from the city’s past. And some are, well…different. We sought to find how their names came to be. Big Ditch Brewing Company Since opening its tap room in 2015, Big Ditch has become one …

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“I wanted to take some of the stuffiness out of film screenings,” Thursday Night Terrors host and organizer Peter Vullo told The Buffalo News in 2017. “I wanted it to be something people could have fun with and decompress and laugh, scream and clap.” Vullo’s series has become a huge success since debuting in August 2016, and kicks off its fifth season on Aug. 30 with th…

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The long-running Buffalo Film Seminars series, an open-to-the-public University at Buffalo class hosted by Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian, can always be counted on for a lineup of cinematic heavyweights. The fall 2018 season, kicking off on Aug. 28 with King Vidor’s “The Big Parade,” is no exception. The 1925 silent film, about an American soldier who falls in love d…

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The Noir Essentials series at the Dipson Eastern Hills Cinema has featured the greats of film noir, from Charles Laughton’s stunning “Night of the Hunter” to Stanley Kubrick’s heist classic, “The Killing.” In its newest season, Noir Essentials jumps ahead several decades to present five films from writer-directors Joel and Ethan Coen. Titled “The Coen Brothers Bible of …

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The full name of the establishment located at 1771 Love Road in Grand Island is Say Cheese Pizza Co./The Comic Book Cafe, but it’s the latter moniker that’s remembered. Ask local superhero aficionados about Say Cheese Pizza Co., and you’ll get a shoulder shrug. Ask about the Comic Book Cafe, and you’ll get a high-five. That is not because of the food, although the food …

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Playgrounds might not be as ubiquitous a sight in Western New York as pizza places, but it’s close. That is, if you are looking for them. Parents, grandparents, guardians, and aunts and uncles know how essential it is to find new playgrounds for the little ones. So they are always on the lookout. Listed here are some favorites of my kids, as well as spots recommended by…

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The family films of summer 2019 have been wacky (“Hotel Transylvania 3”), wild (“Incredibles 2”), winking (“Teen Titans Go! To the Movies”) and wicked (“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”). Now comes warmth, as a gentle breeze blows Disney’s “Christopher Robin” into cinemas. While not overly memorable, this tale of a grown-up Christopher and his childhood friends Winnie-th…

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With more than 100 films screening over three days, the 2018 Great Lakes Christian Film Festival more than qualifies as a noteworthy local fest. The fourth annual event runs from Aug. 3-5 at the Millennium Buffalo (2040 Walden Ave., Cheektowaga), and features a unique focus on the work of Christian filmmakers and Christian-themed films. GLCF founder and organizer Sh…

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There’s something special about seeing a genuine cinema classic on the big screen, especially at a venue like North Tonawanda’s glorious, historic Riviera Theatre. Film fans will have that opportunity for eight weeks starting in August, during the M&T Bank Throwback Thursday Film Series. All of the films are digitally restored. Note that three of the selections - “T…

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In the days leading up to seeing “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies,” my 8-year-old and I watched several episodes of the animated superhero comedy series,to have a better sense of what was to come. We discovered a pretty darn hilarious show, full of smart meta-humor, but also chock full of jokes any superhero-crazy kid can appreciate. The animated big-screen spin-off is mo…

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Growing a bit bored with pools and playgrounds? Maybe it’s time to get outside and enjoy something a bit different than swimming or climbing. Western New York has plenty of fine places for family-friendly outdoor activities, and the five below are near the top of the list. Best of all? All of the options here guarantee that your little ones will end up exhausted, and r…