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The Buffalo International Film Festival is a recent addition to the list of cultural and artistic organizations that call Buffalo, New York, home. The group celebrates movies of the world and is the parent group of several movie themed organizations based in western New York State.

BIFF, the acronym for the Buffalo International Film Festival, is the brain child of Edward Summer, who also serves as president of the group. Founded in 2005, the not-for-profit group’s aim is to preserve and promote Buffalo’s historic links to the movie industry as well as celebrate today’s movies that showcase talent from the Buffalo area.

The group also promotes lesser known individuals and those with diverse cultural or ethnic backgrounds whose movie industry contributions enhanced the world’s motion picture history.

The Buffalo International Film Festival will host several fall events during October this year. The premier event will feature a showing of the Charlie Chaplin classic, City Lights, in conjunction with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra performing the original score. The screening will be held in Kleinhan Hall at 370 Pennsylvania Street in Buffalo from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on October 10, 2009.

A taped interview with Ray Bradbury will lead off a 2:00 p.m. Saturday matinee featuring a cartoon, newsreel and science fiction cliffhanger on October 17, 2009. Sunday, October 18th at 2:00 p.m. the Buffalo International Film Festival will celebrate the 113thanniversary of the opening of the world’s first movie theater in Elliott Square in Buffalo.

The Vitascope Theater is the first movie theater to open in a building constructed just for the purpose of entertaining ticket holders. Mitchell and Moe Marks opened the doors of the Elliott Square vita scope theater on October 19, 1896. The design focused on motion pictures only. Its lay-out was not built for vaudeville or any type of entertainment, except movies.

In addition to preserving and promoting historic films, BIFF actively supports the carbon arc project. Carbon arc projectors use two copper sheathed carbon tubes to project filmed images onto a screen. The carbon/copper tubes produce a white light that enhances the quality of the images on the screen, unlike today’s projectors that rely on yellow light produced from a Xenon light bulb to enlarge images.

In addition to helping pay for the rods, which can cost as much as $2,000 each, BIFF also supports programs to train people to operate the carbon arc projectors. Funding to maintain the machines and keep them running smoothly is also part of BIFF’s goals. Support from BIFF helps preserve carbon arc projectors at the North Park Theater,

the Riviera Theater and Shea’s Buffalo Theater.

The Buffalo International Film Festival encourages membership in the Buffalo Niagara Film Society and the Niagara Film Society. For $10, society members enjoy special screenings of upcoming movie releases, discounted movie tickets and first notice of upcoming BIFF events.

Visit the Buffalo International Film Festival website at for final details and ticket prices for the October 2009 slate of activities sponsored by the organization.