The 18th Annual Syracuse International Film Festival will return with a mix of televised/virtual films and in-person screenings and events for 2021. Kicking off on Monday, October 18th and running through October 24th, WCNY will start the Festival showing seven films on it’s channels, followed by in-person screenings and events at the Redhouse Theater as well as Shemin Auditorium at Syracuse University. Attendees can view long and short-form films, learn more about the industry through writer and audition workshops and hear from director’s themselves during live Q&A sessions.



Looking for advice on a career in the Film Industry? Then these workshops are a perfect way to get your start. Featuring a Writers Workshop with Nick Bernardone, American writer, producer and director at 3pm on Friday, October 23rd, as well as an Audition Workshop with Annie Delano, a professional casting director at 11am on Friday, October 23rd.  Bernardone has been nominated for 4 Emmy awards and his credits include NBC’s 30 Rock, AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead, among others. Delano has cast hundreds of roles including for “The Ultimate Playlist of Noise”, “The Binge”, “The Night House” and many others.


Short Films

Want to check out the Festival but don’t have a ton of time? Check out day two of the Festival on Saturday, October 23rd, at The Redhouse Theater. A total of 35+ films will be shown throughout the day on Saturday, with the large majority of selections coming in at under 30 minutes play time. Producer John Yost will show three short films this day, followed by a Filmmaking Panel featuring himself and director Victoria Diana discussing what it’s like to produce short films.


Syracuse University & Student Filmmakers

While the majority of the Film Festival takes place at The Redhouse Theater, The Shemin Auditorium at Syracuse University will play host to three film showings on Sunday, October 24th, followed by a Student Filmmakers Showcase, featuring 17 short films.


Silent Film Showcase

While the majority of the Festival will occur October 22 – 24, 2021, The Silent Film Showcase will be hosted by Le Moyne College on Thursday, November 11th at 6pm at the Coyne Center for the Performing Arts. Composer and singer/songwriter, Erin O’Hara will conduct a live performance of her new original score to the classic silent film “Pandora’s Box”, alongside a screening of the film.  


Q & A’s

Several screenings on Friday, October 22nd will feature live Q&A sessions with the directors after their films. Director Dani Menkin, “Aulcie”, director Kevin Lewis, “Willy’s Wonderland”, and director Steve Race, “Directed By”, will all be on hand for questions following their films. The majority of films presented on Friday evening are longer form, running 45 minutes to an hour and a half.


International Showings

The 2021 Syracuse International Film Festival will feature films from 13 nations as well as the United States. Attendees will have the opportunity to view films from India, Russia, Germany, Denmark, Canada and more during the three-day event.



WCNY and WCNY Global will air a slate of Festival films on Monday, October 18th, Wednesday, October 20th and Thursday, October 21st. “The People of Standing Stone”, presented by The Oneida Indian Nation is a look at the Oneidas’ role in the Revolutionary War. Other films being shown on WCNY channels include Bryan Buckley’s Oscar Nominated “ASAD”, as well as his short, “The Pirates of Somalia”, “Origins” by Jeffrey Palmer and more.


Sophia Award

Each year the Festival awards The Sophia Award to an artist that has made an Outstanding Creative Achievement in the world of independent cinema. This year’s recipient, Bryan Buckley, an American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer and two-time Academy Award nominated director. Buckley was named the Commercial Director of the Decade by a 2010 Adweek Readers Poll, after directing a total of 64 Super Bowl Commercials. He will be discussing his career and why he has become a master at short form storytelling on Saturday, October 23rd at 7pm at the Redhouse Theater, and two of his films, “ASAD” and “The Pirates of Somalia” will be screened during the Festival. Buckley will join the ranks of past Sophia Award winners including, Grace Jones, Daniel Baldwin, Jim Morris and Nick Cassavetes, to name a few.


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