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The sixth edition of the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival begins eight days of screenings this Friday through Saturday, April 21. The lineup includes 27 feature films, 21 documentaries, and nearly four dozen short films, music videos, and student films.
The opening night feature is Sophie, a family film from Canada about a young girl with two great passions: ballet and the elephant featured in her family’s zoo. When her parents are forced to sell it to a traveling circus, she follows in an effort to reclaim her oversized pet.
Closing night features two documentaries. The short “Kaziah the Goat Woman” follows a woman who is determined to paint portraits of every American solider who died in the Afghan War. If I Should Fall is the story of Ontario trooper Marc Diab, who died in Afghanistan but left a funeral video for his family.
Among the other films scheduled:
10 Terrorists—A reality show that seeks contestants to compete in an international terrorist campaign is the premise for this Australian comedy.
A Wake—Ensemble drama about the members of a once renowned theater troupe who dig up old tensions when they reunite for the funeral of their director, who died under mysterious circumstances.
Ajob Prem Ebong—Black comedy from India set in a village where the death of a man killed by a bus sparks an uprising against political corruption.
Boys—Buffalo native Lisa Willice, a former assistant to Pierce Brosnan and Cameron Crowe, co-produced this Boston-based mob drama that should appeal to fans of GoodFellas and The Sopranos.
Blind Turn—A year after a woman kills most of a family in a drunken driving incident, she is kidnapped and held captive by their survivor, who has a plan to exact justice.
Bullycam —Two teenaged girls use a camcorder to document and expose bullying at their high school in this debut film that was Awarded “Best Narrative Feature” at the NYC Independent Film Festival.
The Custom Mary—Urban LA is the setting for this story about a young Latina recruited to be the mother of a new Christ, cloned from a Turin-like shroud, by an apocalyptic cult.
Edut (Testimony)—From Israel, a docudrama in which actors read testimonials given by Israeli soldiers and Palestinian civilians about the horrors and atrocities of that seemingly endless conflict.
Heniek (Henry the Dealer)—From Poland, a comedy based on a true story about a group of car dealers who are stunned to learn that their sluggish co-worker has been arrested as a criminal mastermind.
Homecoming—An Army medic on leave in her hometown outside of Orlando enjoys a reunion with two high school friends in this semi-improvised comedy-drama.
Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy—Canadian production based on the Trainspotting author’s novella “The Undefeated,” about the relationship between a married woman and a heavy drug user who meet at a rave. With a cameo by Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson.
Maria—Popular Mexican actor Fernando Allende makes his directorial debut with this drama about an orphan girl who falls in love with the cousin whose family took her in.
Meherjaan—This love story set during the Bangladeshi war of liberation in 1971 has gained controversy in that country for its depiction of a woman’s affair with a Pakistani soldier.
Moon Point—You’ll be reminded of David Lynch’s The Straight Story during this Canadian comedy about a young slacker who sets off on a trip to woo his childhood girlfriend in a wagon towed by his friend’s electric wheelchair, top speed five miles per hour.
The Pact—Penn State theater professor Matt Toronto wrote and directed this comedy about a pair of brothers who make a drunken agreement to forsake women for a year, only to find that they can’t break it even if they try.
Schlafende Hunde (Sleeping Dogs)—A man haunted by premonitions of violent death tries to mend bridges with his long-estranged adult son in this German drama.
The Search For Kennyboy—A pair of bounty hunters in need of cash accept an assignment to look into the death of Enron CEO Kenneth Lay in a microbudget comedy that claims to have no political agenda.
Sure Shot Dombrowski 3—Second sequel to the Canadian mockumentary about the career of a legendary hockey superstar.
Tag und Nacht (Day and Night)—German drama that asks the question, why shouldn’t two attractive young women in need of money work as escorts when they’re already having bad sex for free?
West Is West—In this sequel to 1999’s East Is East, tradition-bound Mr. Khan (Om Puri) takes his troublesome London-born son to Pakistan to straighten him out, only to cause a crisis with the family he left behind when he emigrated to England.
With the exception of closing day, all screenings will be held at the Market Arcade Film and Arts Center (639 Main Street). Screenings on Saturday, April 21, take place at the Rapids Theatre (1711 Main Street, Niagara Falls). Tickets are available at the venues and at the festival’s website, thebnff.com, which also has a full listing and schedule.