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SUNY Wide Film Festival: A Review

by Anthony Vassallo

(Image provided by SWFF)

SUNY Wide Film Festival (SWFF) was held on April 9 and 10 both on-campus and online for SUNY educators, students, family members etc.

The festival was divided into four sections: narrative, documentary, experimental and animation.

Review of “Blind Date,” directed by Amelia Ponirakis

The film begins with a young woman preparing the dining table. Noelle Backman plays the lead role, and after witnessing her body language, the viewer becomes well aware that she was stressed about something. Crisis comes after she steps on her glasses while walking to the front door, the change in the focus of the camera made it clear that she was in trouble.

Although the film is without dialogue, the words are written on the facial expressions and body language of the characters. She attempts to pour wine for her and her date with a smile across her face, but the attempt is futile and only leads to the wine being spilled onto the table. What comes next is a bit shocking, and downright rude. The film projects a great responsibility onto the viewer which is to be patient with those who have a disability and be tender in their time of need.

Review of “Cupcake Dad,” directed by John H.Kim

The film is a story about a father who must make a decision that would impact both his family and his career. It begins with John H. Kim, who starred, wrote, directed and edited the film, leaving his son for work in the morning. We realize the problem early in the film and after John’s co-worker points out a picture in his office, a lightbulb goes off in John’s head. In a heartwarming short film, John attempts to be in two places at once in order to satisfy his career and his family’s needs.

Review of “Mine Now,” directed by Diana Maria

This film from SUNY Fredonia student Diana Maria will leave you quivering simply from the soundtrack. The story’s main protagonists are three curious friends who visit a park after hours where a clown has been spotted. Animated in a retro video game fashion, the viewer is drawn to the progression of the story. The eerie music adds to the suspense and the conclusion is as hair-raising as it gets.

Review of “Broken Strings,” directed by Caitlyn Goolebiowski

“Broken Strings” is an inspiring piece about singer-songwriter Jacqueline Epstein. I was more than impressed with her ability to sing and her poetic verses pull on heartstrings, but the most wonderful quality Epstein had was her positive attitude. Ever since she was little, she would write about things that hurt her and after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at 22 years old, Epstein pursued her dream even harder. Caitlyn Golebiowski does a brilliant job with this documentary, and the talented wonder that is Epstein should surely put a smile on your face.

Visit to learn more about the event


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