BEHIND THE CAMERA: 2023 in Review

Cindy Abbott Letro reviews the year 2023 for production in the Buffalo Niagara Region from the historic surroundings of Buffalo’s City Hall.

“UNBILLIEVABLE!” Blue & Red Carpet Premier This Sat. (12/2) at North Park Theatre

“UNBILLIEVABLE!” Blue & Red Carpet Premier This Sat. (12/2) at North Park Theatre


 Blue & Red Carpet Premier Dec. 2 @7 p.m./Buffalo’s historic North Park Theatre

November 28, 2023 — BUFFALO, NEW YORK:  Yes, this is really happening. In the alternate reality conjured by the movie UNBILLIEVABLE! there is a world where Buffalo’s football team gets their inevitable victory over the forces of evil and the AFC East.

Now, the public can view the official trailer and pre-order the movie before its release this Saturday, December 2, 2023. Just go to for more info.

  • A Digital Premiere Pass and UNBILLIEVABLE! logo t-shirt ($19.95)
  • Ticket to the Blue & Red Carpet Premier Screening at the North Park Theatre ($19.95)
  • VIP Package: A Digital Premiere Pass, Poster-Art-T-shirt, and VIP ticket to the Blue & Red Carpet Premiere Screening at The North Park Theatre on Saturday, December 2, at @7:00 p.m. ($34.95).

“I decided to write the script because I’m a lifelong Bills fan, and I’m losing my mind,” says UNBILLIEVABLE! filmmaker Scott Rubin, who served as the Editor-in-Chief of National Lampoon for ten years. “How many times can your heart be broken as a sports fan? With the Bills, it seems endless. There has to be a way out of this, and if they can’t win a world championship in the real world, at least I can try to make them win in the movie world.”   Co-directors J. Garrett Vorreuter and Scott Rubin take you on a wild ride as they unmask the generational pain, hope, heartache, and perhaps glory that awaits every Bills fan when that long-awaited special Sunday returns. The film has been shot entirely in Buffalo, of course.

The movie has been crowdfunded by the fans, invested in by the fans, and sponsored by the support of local Buffalo Businesses. It is a project driven by the love of the Bills and the city of Buffalo. “I realized that so much of the story is about us, the fans,” Rubin says. “Players come and go, but we’re still here. I’ve been a fan since 1964! It turns out that we’re much more interesting, at this point than the actual football team: How we survive as fans, year after year; our interesting quirks and coping mechanisms that make us come back the next season even more committed and insane.”

John/Joan Wick Style Stunt Bootcamp October 28th and 29th

Robbins Stunt Team is holding a John/Joan Wick style stunt bootcamp at The Sportsplex in North Tonawanda. Saturday and Sunday October 28th-29th actors and stunt performers will take a high-octane stunt bootcamp with professional stunt performers/fight choreographers, armorers, and firearm safety experts.

Founder, Greg Robbins is leading the bootcamp along with his professional stunt team. “Greg Robbins and his team are very knowledgeable, safe and are the go-to stunt team for the projects that come to Buffalo.” said Buffalo/Niagara Film Commissioner, Tim Clark.

Mr. Robbins has been preforming stunts, stunt coordinating and armorer for decades with credits that include, stunt coordinator on Hail Mary, Bad Cupid, Givers of Death, Bunker, Bound and was a stunt performer on The Terminator, Clover and Cabrini. Just to name a few.

“The film industry in Western New York needs more stunt performers” says, Greg Robbins. “This is the perfect time to bring up the next generation of stunt performers, firearm safety experts and future coordinators. We have wonderful support crews that complement the film tax credit and our beautiful city attracts the motion picture industry. We need more stunt people here, so we don’t have to hire outside of our area. This bootcamp will help with that need.”- Greg Robbins

To register email Greg Robbins:
YouTube Channel:


17th Annual Buffalo International Film Festival October 5–9th

17th Annual Buffalo Int’l Film Festival Announces Full Lineup of 160 Film Premieres from 30 Countries + Offscreen Events + Panels –   in venues across Buffalo, NY

Highlights include made-in-WNY films The Puppetman, Heartbreak Falls, A Decade At DBsWNY Stories, Local Portraits, 98 Degrees West, Tradition, Trauma & Tenderness[six years]Starting from Zero,

Festival favorites include If You Were the Last, Maria Schneider, 1983, Fancy Dance, Chasing Chasing Amy, Kim’s Video, Alien Food, Eat Bitter, Only the Good Survive, unseen

Buffalo, NY, September 22, 2023:  The 17th annual Buffalo Int’l Film Festival (BIFF) is excited to announce its 2023 festival lineup, which includes festival favorites from Cannes, Sundance, Hot Docs, SXSW, and Tribeca; and world, US, and regional premieres! The festival will present five days of film, art, music, performances, panels (and more!) from October 5–9th in Buffalo.

For the first time since the pandemic all of BIFF’s programming will take place in person, with the exception of hybrid events like panels and Offscreen art and performances that will be presented live and also live streamed.  To better serve our community and accommodate for the growth that we’ve experienced these last few years, BIFF is thrilled to be extending our offerings to new neighborhoods within the City of Buffalo and working with new community partners, as well as long term collaborators.

In addition to the festival’s three core venues – the North Park Theatre (1428 Hertel Ave), Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center (341 Delaware Ave), and Burchfield Penney Art Center (1300 Elmwood Ave), and new for 2023  – BIFF will also present screenings and panels at Buffalo Toronto Public Media (140 Lower Terrace St), Mason O. Damon Theater at the Buffalo & Erie County Downtown Central Library (1 Lafayette Sq), The Buffalo History Museum (1 Museum Ct), and Journey’s End Cinema at the Tri-Main Center (2495 Main St #530).

BIFF 2023 Festival Trailer from Buffalo Int’l Film Festival on Vimeo.

We’re so excited to share this year’s program which offers a celebration of creativity and connection as we return to a fully in-person event. The line-up offers quality films for everyone from seasoned cinephiles to the next generation of movie lovers and makers. – John J. Fink, Artistic Director.

“We’re so thrilled and honored to present these phenomenal films to the WNY community, and to welcome new and old friends to our beautiful city for this year’s Buffalo Int’l Film Festival! Our team has been working hard for the last year to curate several highly anticipated titles, many of which will be accompanied by live filmmaker Q+As. There is so much incredible content – something for every age and taste. Everybody is invited to Buffalo’s city-wide celebration of cinema – we can’t wait!” – Anna Scime, Executive Director

Seats can be reserved for free programming, and tickets and passes can be purchased at or at each venue’s box office on the day of the screening. Tickets are $12 for all in person screenings, $7 for select matinees. BIFF also participates in Arts Services Inc’s Arts Access Program, which allows program participants to reserve free tickets to all festival events. BIFF’s popular All-Access Bison Pass is also on sale for $55 and provides access to the festival’s 150+ film screenings, official events, and more.





Director Kristian Mercado, and Producers Andrew Miano and Dan Balgoyen in attendance.

Friday October 6, 7:00pm – North Park Theatre




Director Elisabeth Subrin in attendance.

Friday October 6, 1:00pm – Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center Cinema




Director Brandon Christensen in attendance.

Saturday October 7, 9:30pm – North Park Theatre




Friday October 6, 9:30pm – North Park Theatre




Monday October 9, 7:00pm – North Park Theatre

*In celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Seneca/Haudenosaunee lands, this is a free screening. RSVP is encouraged and donations/pay-what-you-can welcome.



*Alphabetical order – please check individual film pages for date/time/venue, and filmmakers in attendance.

Narrative Features:

Alien Food

Eight Eyes

Everybody Wants To Be Loved w/ Learning to Dance

Fancy Dance

Heartbreak Falls

If You Were the Last

Maria Schneider, 1983 + The Passenger


New Strains

Only the Good Survive



Under the Influencer


Where The Road Leads w/ Midnight Ride


Documentary Features:

98 Degrees West – Zamir Discovers Bourdains America

A Decade At DBs

A Thousand Pines

Aurora’s Sunrise

Break the Game w/ Pronoia

Chasing Chasing Amy

Eat Bitter

Go On, Be Brave

I Like It Here w/ Gone Before Your Eyes

Into the Spotlight

Kenyatta Do Not Wait Your Turn

Kim’s Video

Love is Not an Orange

Plan C

Razing Liberty Square

[six years] w/ Accordion

Starting from Zero

The Golden Thread

The Only Doctor

Tradition, Trauma, & Tenderness


ᏓᏗᏬᏂᏏ / We Will Speak


Shorts Blocks:

Coming of Age



Danger Zone


Episodic Stories


Family Films

Film on Film


Local Portraits

Next Gen

Saturday Morning Cartoons


Racial Justice in View

Vast Confinements

WNY Stories


Free Film Programming:

BIFF Shorts: Next Gen

BIFF Shorts: Racial Justice in View

Fancy Dance

Free Offscreen, Panel + Party Programming:

Award Ceremony

BIFF Offscreen: II

BIFF Offscreen: Cage Match Dress Rehearsals

BIFF Offscreen: The Flicker

BIFF Offscreen: Starjuice

BIFF Offscreen: Stress Dolls

BIFF Offscreen: woolgathering

Community-Focused Nonfiction Panel

In Focus + On Location: The Puppetman

Space Is the Place Party

Spare Key Party

Sunday Funday Party

*More exciting free programming (Offscreen art, music and performance events, panels, roundtables, workshops, parties + more) TBA soon!


About Buffalo Int’l Film Festival:

Buffalo International Film Festival (est. 2006) champions regional, national, and international films that push the limits of independent cinema – presenting quality films from around the world to WNY residents and visitors. BIFF is committed to amplifying diverse voices and exhibiting cutting-edge programming in narrative, documentary and experimental film. A proud supporter of local filmmaking and the arts; BIFF also offers workshops, seminars, industry panel discussions, fiscal sponsorship and professional development opportunities, as well as an Offscreen series of art, music and performance.

For more info, please visit

Press Contacts:

John Fink, Artistic Director, 973-615-3124,

Anna Scime, Executive Director, 716-316-8510,

Buffalo International Film Festival
A celebration of cinema!
ON CASTING: FINDING THE RIGHT ACTORS- Tom Fontana & Rosalie Joseph FREE This Thurs. 3pm at Buff State U

ON CASTING: FINDING THE RIGHT ACTORS- Tom Fontana & Rosalie Joseph FREE This Thurs. 3pm at Buff State U

TFA Visiting Artist Series presents

Panel discussion with Emmy award winning writer/producer and Buffalo State alumni, Tom Fontana and TV Network casting executive, Rosalie Joseph Moderated by TFA associate professor, Jeffrey Hirschberg this Thursday, September 28th, 3pm, Ciminelli Recital Hall in Rockwell Hall at Buffalo State University
Sponsored by the Television and Film Arts program and the Theater Department

Emmy award winning writer/producer and Buffalo State alumni, Tom Fontana

Tom Fontana has written and produced such groundbreaking television series as St. Elsewhere, Homicide: Life On The Street, Oz, City On A Hill, and Netflix’s Borgia. Fontana wrote the HBO film Strip Search, directed by Sidney Lumet, as well as contributed two pieces to the September 11th special America: A Tribute to Heroes. His new series, Monsieur Spade will premiere on AMC/Canal+ in 2024. He has received, among others, three Emmy Awards, four Peabody Awards, three Writers’ Guild Awards, four Television Critics Association Awards, the Cable Ace Award, the Humanitas Prize, a Special Edgar and the first prize at Geneva’s Cinema Tout Ecran Festival.

He was executive producer of American Tragedy for CBS, The Killing Fields for Discovery, Shot in the Heart, Paterno, You Don’t Know Jack, and Wizard of Lies for HBO. He also produced the documentary The Press Secretary for PBS and the independent films, Jean, In Good Conscience and Anytown USA. Fontana has written articles for such periodicals as The New York Times, TV Guide and Esquire and has taught at Columbia, Syracuse, Rutgers and the State University College at Buffalo, his alma mater, from which he received the Distinguished Alumni Award and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.

He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Producers Guild of America, the Friars Club, the Players Club, the Writers Guild of America, East, from which he received the Evelyn F. Burkey Award, the Richard B. Jablow Award and the Ian McLellan Hunter Award for Lifetime Achievement. Fontana co-founded the charitable organization Stockings with Care and serves on the boards of the American Theatre Wing, the Paley Center for Media’s International Council, The Writers Guild Initiative and the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Fontana has had numerous plays produced in New York, where he lives, as well as at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre, the Cincinnati Playhouse in the
Park, the Williamstown Theatre Festival, the McCarter Theatre Company, the Berkshire Playwrights Lab and here in Buffalo, at the Studio Arena Theatre.

TV Network casting executive, Rosalie Joseph

Rosalie Joseph spent much of her over 4-decade Casting Career as a TV Network Casting executive.  She served as Vice President of Casting for ABC and Senior Casting Executive at CBS. In between her time at the networks, she was an independent Casting Director and cast pilots and series as well as theater and film.  Rosalie served on the Casting Society of America’s Board for 2 decades and presently serves on the Board of Casting Society Cares. In 2019, the Casting Society of America created the Rosalie Joseph Humanitarian Award to honor her philanthropic work both inside and outside the entertainment industry. The first award, presented to Rosalie at the CSA Artios Awards, will be presented annually to a Casting Director or Associate who actively works in philanthropic and humanitarian causes.

Buffalo State University is located at 1300 Elmwood Avenue, NY 14222.