Remember that lousy movie you saw a little while ago? The one where you left the multiplex grumbling that all the good stuff was in the trailer? What did that ticket cost you—$10, $12 bucks? (God forbid it was in 3D and IMAX.) Do you remember how ripped off you felt, Bunky?
Boy, have I got a deal for you! How does 20 movies for $39.99 sound? Maybe even more than 20 if you plan your time right.
Is there a catch? Well, of course there’s a catch. You have to see them all next weekend, at the 12th edition of the Buffalo International Film Festival. Bear in mind that it’s a long weekend, so you have from noon Friday until midnight-ish Monday. If you just plant yourself at the North Park, you can catch five movies per day. If you want to up your total by seeing how many you can squeeze in if you hustle between there and Hallwalls, Squeaky Wheel, and the Burchfield Penney Art Center, well, there’s just no telling how hard you can squeeze that festival pass (which is only available until noon on Friday, October 5, opening day). Even if you only see one movie per day, you’re ahead of the game.
Of course, movies are one of those things where quality trumps quantity. But while I can’t guarantee that you’re going to love every movie that you see at BIFF, the odds are much better than if you go to see 20 other random movies. BIFF’s programmers have worked to secure the most interesting films from other film festivals, along with a selection of locally connected premieres, and they’ve been doing a first-rate job of it for enough years now that you should feel safe in devoting at least a part of next weekend to checking what they have to offer.
Should you find yourself at a movie that really isn’t to your liking, there’s no reason to sit through it just because you really want to see the one that’s showing next. I started to take a count of how many places there are to eat and/or drink on Hertel Avenue within easy walking distance of the North Park, but I ran out of fingers and toes. Your biggest problem won’t be finding something to do: It will be making sure you get back in time for the next movie.
The 2018 edition of BIFF unspools from Friday October 5 through Monday Oct. 8. You can browse the complete schedule at buffalofilm.org. Passes and single screening tickets are available at the website available and at the North Park box office.