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Free Public Screening of Short Films Shot in CNY.

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Syracuse, N.Y. [Sept. 24, 2021] – Innovation Group of  CNY Arts, LLC, a part of the regional arts council for Central New York, is announcing an opportunity for the public to view four short films from the 2020 CNY Short Film Competition winners. On the evening of October 1st, CNY Arts will partner with LightWork Studios, and the Urban Video Project to present the winners of the short film competition at a free public viewing at the Everson Plaza behind the Everson Museum of Art.

The event will highlight the artistic work from four teams that each received $40,000 to produce a short film under the supervision and mentorship of industry professionals. All the films were shot locally and each filmmaker has a connection to the Central New York region through residency or attendance at a local college or university. The films were each shot over a one-week period in Central New York, and the crews received crucial industry experience in the business and management of film production.

“The Short Film Competition serves as an incubator to give these young artists, both local residents, and area college film school graduates, a unique opportunity,” said Stephen Butler, Executive Director of CNY Arts, “through the experience, they gain crucial experience and walk away with a product they can hang their hat on, and also spread the message about Syracuse’s programs to promote filmmaking.”

“The Short Film Competition serves as an incubator to give these young artists, both local residents, and area college film school graduates, a unique opportunity,” said Stephen Butler, Executive Director of CNY Arts, “through the experience they gain crucial experience and walk away with a product they can hang their hat on, and also spread the message about Syracuse’s programs to promote filmmaking.”

The films that will be screened at the Friday viewing are:

  •  Devour: “Devour” tells the story of a struggling chef who, while closing up a once-successful restaurant for the night, reconnects with an old flame that has shown up at the restaurant seeking a familiar face after her acting career takes off. The film is by Victoria Diana who is from Schenectady, N.Y and graduated from SUNY Oswego.
  •  Dognapped: A short film about a sentimental woman seeking to retrieve a dog after a failed relationship who runs into a mixed-up burglar while breaking into the home of her former companion. The film is by Andrew Nimetz, a native of Long Island who is also a graduate from SUNY Oswego.
  • Wasted Talent:  A film about four high school teens who form a unique bond despite coming from vastly different worlds, and must confront the harsh realities of the world and environment they live in. The script is by Derrick Benton, a Brooklyn native and a graduate of SUNY Oswego. His films often explore themes of identity, existential anxiety, and social inequality.
  • Alone: A story about a young boy who finds a mysterious machine in a dumpster that changes his world for the better and for worse. It is by Jane Kharkover, a graduate of Syracuse University who has had short films premiere at the 2019 Sante Fe and Hollywood Shorts film festivals.

This is the second installment of the CNY Short Film Competition, administered by the Innovation Group of CNY Arts LLC. The competition was launched in 2019, but this year’s winners faced the added challenge of commencing principal photography under the restrictions and safety protocols for COVID-19.

“Through the difficulty of film production in the time of COVID, I believe we have four extremely interesting, and beautifully diverse films,” said Josh Adams, the Competition Director and Executive Producer for the CNY Short Film Competition. “Each filmmaker, crew member, and actor was able to come away with really wonderful-yet-trying experiences. Underneath and behind each film is a story about perseverance, and showing that difficult things are possible through dedication, care and safely working through their craft as artists and storytellers,” said Adams.

The CNY Short Film Competition supports up-and-coming locally connected artists who will serve as ambassadors for the region at various short film festivals across the nation and around the world. The funding for the competition comes from Empire State Development through a larger economic development grant to establish a viable film industry in the region. Past winners of the 2019 CNY Short Film Competition have gone on to have success at film festivals across the nation and abroad.

“It was a really incredible program and a unique opportunity,” said Kathryn Ferentchak, a winner from the 2019 CNY Short Film Competition, whose short film “I Wish” was also featured at the Tokyo Lift-Off Film Festival and the Melbourne Lift-Off Film Festival. “It’s rare to see support like this for the arts, especially with an emphasis on young people, and having the opportunity to take advantage of the soundstage was great,” said Farentchak.

Filmmakers will be on hand at the event as well as competition staff and representatives from CNY Arts. The event will also feature vendors from the area offering food and drinks as well as other crafts available for purchase.

For further information about the event, please visit lightwork.org To learn more about the CNY Short Film Competition and other programs supporting filmmaking in the region, please visit the Innovation Group of CNY Arts.

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For media inquiries about CNY Arts, Innovation Group of CNY Arts, and the CNY Short Film competition please contact CNY Arts staff at 315-435-2155/2156 or email film@cnyarts.org

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About the Author:

Charlie is a former U.S. Marine who served as a Combat Cameraman and Communications Strategy & Operations Chief for more than fifteen years. He is originally from Asheville, N.C., but now calls Syracuse, N.Y. home. He studied Public Relations at the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University.
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