Arts & Culture Featured TV & Film

BIFF announces Decolonial Spotlight at the North Park Theatre + More!

Fancy Dance

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

Erica Tremblay (Dir), 91 minutes, USA, WNY Premiere

Since her sister’s disappearance, Jax (Lily Gladstone) has cared for her niece Roki (Isabel Deroy-Olson) by scraping by on the Seneca-Cayuga Reservation in Oklahoma. Every spare minute goes into finding her missing sister while also helping Roki prepare for an upcoming powwow. At the risk of losing custody to Jax’s grandfather, Frank (Shea Whigham), the pair hit the road and scour the backcountry to track down Roki’s mother in time for the powwow. What begins as a search gradually turns into a far deeper investigation into the complexities and contradictions of Indigenous women moving through a colonized world and at the mercy of a failed justice system.

Festivals: Sundance

*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.

BIFF Shorts: Homefronts

Saturday October 8, 2:15pm – Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center CinemaStories about home, and the politics and poetics of place. Shorts from Canada, Indonesia, Iran, Venezuela and the United States.  103 minutes.

“The Steak”

Kiarash Dadgar Mohebi (Dir), 9 minutes, Iran, New York Premiere

Director Kiarash Dadgar Mohebi in attendance.

Preparations for a birthday ceremony are brutally interrupted.

“Unthinkable Conversations”

Emma Richardson (Dir), 10 minutes, UK, Western New York Premiere

Director Emma Richardson in attendance.

Almost a year into a lawless war Amy and Jack have given up hope of anyone coming to help them. Hiding in their once beautiful home with their three young children, they are now starving . The violence rages around them and in the brutal world outside there is no value in anything except the lives of children. Bought and sold as cattle Amy and Jack begin to face up to the reality that the only way to save two of their children is to sell one.

“Al Lado Del Camino / On The Roadside”

Ricardo Chetuan (Dir), 15 minutes, Venezuela, New York Premiere

In Spanish w/ English subtitles.

Clara seeks to change her unhappy life by running away with a young man who falls in love with her, but she is a married woman with children and in the end she realises that her lover offers her the same life she wants to escape from.

Clara busca cambiar su vida infeliz escapándose con un joven que la enamora, pero es una mujer casada y con hijos y al final entiende que su enamorado le ofrece la misma vida de la que ella quiere escapar.

“El Funeral”

Sofía Blanco (Dir), 20 minutes, Venezuela/USA, New York Premiere

In Spanish w/ English subtitles.

Two Venezuelan-American siblings residing in New York are unable to physically attend their grandfather’s funeral due to the collapse of their home country, so they decide to attend online.

A dos hermanos venezolano-americanos residentes en Nueva York les resulta imposible acudir al funeral de su abuelo debido al colapso de su país originario, por lo que deciden asistir de forma online.

“Coming Home”

Jesse McCracken, (Dir), 16 minutes, Canada,

In this short reflexive nonfiction meditation on small town Canada, filmmaker Jesse McCracken returns to his rural hometown of Markdale, Ontario to document his old friend’s attempt at opening a restaurant on a farm in a struggling, conservative leaning community.


Mara Tamkovich (Dir), 13 minutes, Poland, New York Premiere

In Polish w/ English subtitles.

A peaceful demonstration in Minsk in memory of Raman Bandarenka, a young man who was beaten to death, is brutally put down by the police. The world learns about it through the live coverage provided by two female journalists from an independent Belarusian TV station, who are the only ones reporting live on the unfolding events.

For safety reasons, they report from the windows of a nearby apartment. When the police start shooting at the protesters and the women are spotted by a police drone, they have little time to decide whether to continue their mission despite the risk.

“What Ceti Does”

Azalia Muchransyah (Dir), 21 minutes, Indonesia, New York Premiere

In Indonesian w/ English subtitles.

Ceti is a woman from Bogor who is experiencing financial difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her clothing kiosk in Bogor Market was forced to close. Her husband, who works as an online loan debt collector, cannot collect debts from people who had lost their jobs, and her son asks for a smartphone to go to online school. Inadvertently, she finds a solution to her problems when she collects a debt from the family of someone who recently died.

BIFF Shorts: Racial Justice in View

Saturday October 7, 11:00am – Buffalo & Erie County Downtown Central Library: Mason O. Damon TheaterNonfiction and narrative shorts that shine a light on race, (de)colonialism, and inequity in the US, Canada + sovereign Indigenous Nations. 97 minutes.
_“Six Winters Gone Still”

Justin Emeka (Dir), 10 minutes, USA, Western New York Premiere

A reimagining of a scene from William Shakespeare’s classic play Richard II in a contemporary Black cultural context. Henry Bolingbrook, a young Black man who was recently convicted of a petty crime, is excessively sentenced to six years in prison. This is the morning he is to report to jail to begin serving his sentence.

After struggling to say goodbye to his mother, Henry’s older cousin picks him up to take him to the penitentiary. On their way, they take a detour to prepare his mind for incarceration. “Six Winters Gone Still” reveals the loss of innocence for a generation of Black men harshly imprisoned and the impact of their absence on their families.

“Our Longhouse”

Maurice John, Jr. (Dir), 5 minutes, USA, Buffalo Premiere

Director Maurice John, Jr in attendance.

A grassroots community effort to construct a traditional Iroquois longhouse. The “Living Longhouse” project is currently housed in Salamanca, NY at the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum / Onöhsagwë:de’ Cultural Center.

“Two Wars: The Road to Integration”

Sean Donovan + Steven Tedesco (Dirs), 22 minutes, USA, World Premiere

Co-directors Sean Donovan + Steven Tedesco in attendance.

A short film documenting segregation and racism in the United States military since 1775. Based on an exhibit at the Buffalo Naval Park.

“Indigenous Resistance: Now and Then”

‘Wáats’asdiyei Joe Yates (Dir), 15 minute, USA, Western New York Premeire

“We explore how it was for our people to go through statehood, blood quantum, ANCSA, boarding schools, stripping our language and dance away, and all that has done to our mental health. With that, we try to have a hopeful spin on this narrative and show how resilient our people are.”

“Native Home Champions: Riding for the Missing”

Frank Blanquet + Sahar Khadjenoury (Dirs), 10 minutes, USA, New York Premiere

The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls pandemic is a widespread crisis that primarily exists under the radar. At the Indian National Finals Rodeo, or INFR, participants used their platform to shed light on this issue.

“Wallowing Bull”

Noam Sol Azouz + Dan Lior (Dirs), 5 minute, USA, New York Premiere

This musical short explores the cultural significance of the American bison. The bison, which was nearly extinct by the end of the 19th century due to systematic extermination, holds a special place in the hearts of many Native American tribes. Shot on location in the Wind River reservation, Indigenous singer-songwriter Christian Wallowing Bull works to bridge the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous perspectives.

“I Am Kanaka”

Genevieve Sulway (Dir), 15 minutes, United Kingdom, New York Premiere

With a dark history, 5% speaking the native language and 10% living in poverty, Hawaii is in danger of losing its traditions forever. “I am Kanaka” gives a glimpse into the future with Kaina Makua’s non-profit program teaching Hawaiian language, sustainability and life skills to disadvantaged indigenous kids aged 5-20.


Danielle M. Fuller (Dir), 15 minutes, USA, New York Premiere

Director Danielle M. Fuller in attendance.

After a video of 15 year old Maya’s best friend–Jayla– getting into an argument with a teacher over a racially insensitive remark goes viral, the two must find a way to work through the fallout: from increased media attention, whispers at school, but yet most difficult the silent rift within their friendship.

Go On, Be Brave

Monday October 9, 12:00pm – North Park TheatreBrian Beckman + Miriam McSpadden (Dir), 111 minutes, USA, WNY Premiere

Go On, Be Brave is the story of one woman’s race against time – a diagnosis of ALS and an attempt at the impossible – to be the first person with ALS to complete a marathon in all 50 states. Follow Andrea’s journey as she inspires others to go on, be brave.


Friday October 6, 12:00pm – North Park TheatreDilip Harnarayan Dixit (Dir), 120 minutes, India, US Premiere

In Gujarati w/ English subtitles.

The story of Meera, a widow that rises above challenging circumstances to improve her life and the lives of her fellow villagers through her work with cows and the Milk Co-operative Movement, also known as White Revolution in India.

I Like It Here

Thursday October 5, 7:00pm – Journey’s End Cinema

I Like It Here
Ralph Arlyck (Dir), 88 minutes, USA, Western New York Premiere

Director Ralph Arlyck in attendance.

We talk, or laugh, about aging but we rarely confront its reality. The film does this but is, finally, about the pleasures of being alive. The filmmaker tries to convey how it feels to be seeing the winding down of your life. He spends time with friends from his past and present and ruminates about the challenges of getting old; of feeling your joints and thoughts stiffen, as the camera confronts – often humorously — obstacles and surprises on the last lap.

BIFF Shorts: Connections

Saturday October 7, 12:00pm – Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center CinemaInteractions and exchanges to ward off loneliness. 103 minutes.

Allie Viti (Dir), 8 minutes, USA, Western New York Premiere

Annette stops at a bodega while she appears to rehearse a confrontation on her way to work. While moving about the store, her internal crisis of confidence comes to a head in unexpected ways.

“Tail Between Her Legs”

Nora Marris (Dir), 13 minutes, USA, World Premiere

Director Nora Marris in attendance.

A comedy-drama following a pair of estranged siblings as they struggle to find common ground in the aftermath of their father’s death.

“Supermarket Affairs”

Hang Luong Nguyen (Dir), 15 minutes, Viet Nam/USA, New York Premiere

In Vietnamese + English w/ English subtitles.

While preparing for her husband’s second death anniversary, a middle-aged Vietnamese immigrant woman and her Americanized adult daughter butt heads over how to best honor him, and inadvertently drag a handsome stranger at the local Asian market into their messy family dynamic.

“Blue Hour”

J.D. Shields (Dir), 15 minutes, USA, Western New York Premiere

Two personal journeys intersect when a struggling young photographer is hired for a cheap last minute portrait gig. The unfolding photo session, while transient, leaves an indelible mark on both women.

“Boiling Over”

Paulo Miranda (Dir), 12 minutes, Brasil, New York Premiere

Director Paulo Miranda in attendance.

In Portuguese w/ English subtitles.

Wife asks for a divorce to her husband, and he accepts it. From there, an unusual and amusing conversation between them, exposing each other secret desires and unknown persona.

“Love, Daddy”

Kevin Bauer (Dir), 3 minutes, USA, New York Premiere

Director Kevin Bauer in attendance.

Love, Daddy is a reflection on the excitement, stress, and fear that comes with being a parent.

“Paper Planes”

Michael Glover Smith + Alyssa Thordarson (Dirs), 17 minutes, USA, Western New York Premiere

A woman with agoraphobia and the airbnb guest across the hall strike up a correspondence that becomes something more for the holidays.

“She’s Clean”

Jenn Harris (Dir), 10 minutes, USA, Western New York Premiere

From the comfort of her bathroom, a resilient woman tries to marry her desires for sexual freedom with emotional intimacy by showering with all her dates.

“The Naming of Things”

Gadi Rubin (Dir), 10 minutes, USA, Western New York Premiere

Director Gadi Rubin and Producer Catherine Hogan in attendance.

A product of Jewish day schools and way too much education, Ike finds himself adrift after the sudden death of his wife. As Ike navigates his wife’s shiva, he struggles to find meaning in the world around him, the Jew inside him, and the community trying to feed him bagels.

Can religion help right our world after it has been upended by death?

Starting from Zero

Friday October 6, 7:00pm – Journey’s End Cinema

Director Hassan Amini and Star Khalid Andish in attendance.Hassan Amini (Dir), 102 minutes, USA, New York State Premiere

Three refugees are caught in the crosshairs following the U.S. military’s sudden withdrawal from Afghanistan. Fleeing for their lives, they are transported to Qatar and stationed in the most paradoxical of refugee camps — a luxury compound built for guests of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

A female boxer, a journalist, and a TV personality find themselves uprooted from their lives, separated from their homeland and family, and stuck in bureaucratic limbo until they can get settled elsewhere.

The film follows them in the camp and on their eventual journey to Buffalo, NY, Seattle, WA, and Berlin, Germany, where they must restart their lives and confront the deferment of their dreams.

2023 All Access Bison Passes



Access to all theatrical screenings in Buffalo, NY, October 5-9th. Reserve tickets in advance for screenings at the North Park Theatre, Burchfield Penney Art Center, Journey’s End Cinema, Buffalo Toronto Public Media, Buffalo & Erie County Downtown Central Library Mason O. Damon Theater, and Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center Cinema.

$12 – general admission
$7 – select matinees

BIFF 2023 Lineup + Tickets