Syracuse International Film Festival

Bridge Street

The 16th annual Syracuse International Film Festival (SIFF) will take place from October 11th -13th. Over 140 films were submitted for consideration and 33 of them were chosen for competitive screenings. Two dozen directors and film personnel will be attending.

The SIFF’s mission is to “engage, entertain, inform, and inspire the community throughout innovative film and media programs and special film-based events throughout the year.”

Honorary Festival Director, Daniel Baldwin, says that his friend Owen Shapiro, SIFF’s Co-Founder and Artistic Director, has worked really hard to draw filmmakers’ attention to Syracuse. “Watch out! Because once we get a couple TV series that talk about Syracuse on national television, because not a lot of people know about Syracuse unless you are from New York…that is going to change.” Several films being shown at this year’s festival were shot right here in Syracuse. Another film in production, “The Binge”, has been in the headlines recently for also filming in Armory Square in Downtown Syracuse.

“Raising Buchanan” is one of the films that will be showcased. It was previously screened in six other film festivals around the U.S., and in Madrid, Spain. The film is about 40-year-old Ruth Kiesling, a donut shop employee with anger issues and financially broke. In a desperate attempt to obtain money, she finds herself in a position to “steal” the body of President James Buchanan. She then realizes no one seems particularly interested in getting him back. The dark comedy film, as producer Amanda Melby described it, will be screened at 9:30pm on Friday at the Redhouse Theater.

The festival will also be honoring “The Stunt Man,” a film about a young veteran running from the police and who stumbles onto the set of a WW1 movie. Director Richard Rush and actor Steve Railsback will be in attendance greeting guests and answering audience questions.

For more information on the list of films and schedules visit

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