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Celebrating Cinephiles: Fall Film Festivals in Upstate N.Y.


If you’ve ever been called a cinephile, have eaten enough movie popcorn to start popping your own kernels, or can recite every line from all the classics, then fall is the perfect time to visit Upstate New York.

The WNY Film, Art & Music Event (WNY FAME) is more than just a film festival. According to their website, “It is like a film festival, music festival, art show and convention had a love child.” Located in Batavia, N.Y., just an hour from the Peace Bridge, this event runs September 15-17, 2017 and allows you to mix and match among local and international films, music videos and the battle of singer/songwriters for the Golden Record. On Sunday at 1:00 p.m., there will even be stand-up comedy about your favorite classic movies and characters.

If you’d rather scream than laugh, head to the Upstate NY Horror Film Festival in Rochester N.Y. From Friday, October 13th (how appropriate) through the 15th, they will have two separate screening rooms showing the best horror films that are gory, suspenseful, or just plain experimental. To add to the creepy, there will be a makeup artist, Rochester’s Ghostbusters, Life After Death Paranormal Activity, ghost hunt, and more!

Also in Rochester, the High Falls Film Festival runs November 2-6 and celebrates the achievements and artistry of women in film - from behind the camera to leading roles on the screen. Over the five days, watch some of the best independent films created by female cinematic artists while also attending panel discussions, workshops and talks with filmmakers. Founded in 2001, this is one of the oldest women’s film festivals in existence - which makes sense since Rochester has a strong connection to the women’s rights movement.

Film buffs cannot leave Rochester before visiting the George Eastman Museum, the mansion and exhibits dedicated to the pioneer of photography and motion picture film. The museum is home to three temporary exhibitions on photography and cinema that rotate about every four months, and hosts various screenings and events throughout the year.

Head west into the Finger Lakes to Ithaca, N.Y. for the Ithaca Fantastick festival from November 4-12, 2017. According to their website, fantastic film is a term used to categorize the uncanny (supernatural phenomenon with a rational explanation) and typically includes films with elements of sci-fi, fantasy, thriller, or horror. The festival features a wide range of film including foreign, black-and-white and comedy. Running simultaneously with the film festival will be three nights of musical concerts and the Fantastic Art Exhibition.

Pick your genre, pack the popcorn and head to Upstate N.Y. for the perfect movie-lovers getaway.