Local non profit for the arts, Beaver Alley Studios inc, looks forward to another successful festival in Batavia. The WNY Film, Art and Music Event takes place from September 15 through 17 at Genesee Community College. The festival has three days of local and international films, a singer/songwriter competition and various educational workshops.
Festival Director Rhonda Parker says she is very excited to launch a "Free before Five" promotion, to open the arts festival up to more people. Last year's festival was a huge undertaking for the small self funded organization. "We had films, workshops, panels and live entertainment going on in three areas at once. We decided to scale back a little bit this year so we could lower costs and make the festival, mostly free." Parker started the nonprofit organization in 2015 and has been working to increase community involvement and support.
The festival opens at 12:00 on Friday September 15th with four hours of documentaries, including 'Motxila21', about a band with members who have Downs Syndrome. At 4:00 there will be an Artist trading card workshop sponsored by Blick art materials, , followed by acoustic music by Mark Parker. At 6:00 there is a block of films with strong female leads, including the local films "The Assassin Game" and "Persona." "Persona" is a sci-fi/thriller about a woman induced with dissociative identity disorder by a clandestine group in our government.
The final Friday block features the local films created by the non profit studio. These include the Zombie Comedy, "a Very Zombie Christmas" and the dramatic adventure, "Message in a Bottle." "Message in a Bottle" is about three young teens who go on a life changing journey to rescue a kid that was sending eerie messages downstream. The film is most similar to "Stand by Me" in its handling of a dark subject matter, but does have some fun elements from movies like "The Goonies." Prior to the screening there will be a performance by 14 year old singer/songwriter Sera Bullis, who has two songs featured in the film.
Saturday begins with a singer songwriter competition. Eight musical acts will compete for their chance to win "The Golden Record." The variety of country, folk, rock, blues and pop music features: The Stationwagon Band , Ally Rose, Donnie O'Keefe, Katie Ann Grossi, Rhiannon, The Heenan Brothers, Sera Bullis and Creative Spirit. The competition will feature a combination of American Idol Style judging and an audience vote to determine the winner. There will also be a variety of vendors to browse.
The evening film blocks begin with some international a local films including "Dress Rehearsal" about a method actor that goes too far, and "A Table Discussion." It also includes a local film by a first time Director, "My Glorious Meltdown," and a web series about a real life video game called "Steryotypica." At 8:00 there are 4 films with Comedy or Romance, including a local mock-umentary about the Lucy Statue, called "Scary Lucy." This is followed by a feature film, "On the 7th date.," about a couple who come to terms with a relationship that is going nowhere, and decide to spend the night being themselves.
On Sunday Sept 17th The day begins with international music videos, followed by a Charcoal and Chalk workshop. At 1:00 there will be movie themed comedy, followed by a Song Pop Game Show. At 2:00 there will be a screenwriting workshop, followed by a movie block with short films that are tackling tough topics, such as coping with death.
The 5:00 Movie block features various short films that are thriller or horror based including a zombie film about lovers who are dealing with relationship problems as the world comes to an end. There are also two stop motion films created by a local filmmaker. The 8:00 block includes dramatic ans suspenseful films from all over the world, including two from WNY. Sociopathy is about a very manipulative little boy, while "Tales of Darkened Light" is a Hitchcock like series. The award ceremony follows.
Everyone is encouraged to come out and check out the fun at no charge, before 5. Tickets for the evening blocks may be purchased online at http://www.wnyfame.com/fametickets.html.