Building on its 15 years of great programming in support of independent filmmaking, the Syracuse International Film Festival will present the CNY Film Festival 2018 on March 22-24, now in its 5th year.



March 22


Rapsodia Satanica (1917 Silent Film)

presented by Cineteca Bologna


Rapsodia Satanica (1917) was the last film directed by Nino Oxilia and is undoubtedly one of the finest achievements of the early Italian cinema. In it, Oxilia spins a variation on the Faust myth, embodied here by the diva Lyda Borelli. Typical of extravagant D'Annunzian aestheticism at its height, Rapsodia Satanica was one of the summits of what was later called the "tail coat film." Diametrically opposed to the "cinema of reality" practiced by Serena, Martoglio and others, "tail coat films" set their melodramatic stories in the salons and villas of the upper middle class and the aristocracy, deploying narrative structures contrived to showcase their actors and especially its actresses. This had the effect of accentuating their physical presence and turning them into stars - probably the first stars in movie history. The success of the "dive" contributed to the development of motion picture grammar in its special use of the close-up.



Time & Location


The film starts at 8:15pm at Shemin Auditorium on Syracuse University.


Address: Shaffer Art Building, Eastside, Syracuse, NY 13210



Admission: FREE

March 23


Once Upon A Time in America (Extended Cut)

presented by Cineteca Bologna


Once Upon a Time in America is a 1984 epic crime drama film co-written and directed by Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone and starring Robert De Niro and James Woods. The film is an Italian-American[2] venture produced by The Ladd Company, Embassy International Pictures, PSO Enterprises, and Rafran Cinematografica, and distributed by Warner Bros. Based on Harry Grey's novel The Hoods, it chronicles the lives of best friends David "Noodles" Aaronson and Maximilian "Max" Bercovicz as they lead a group of Jewish ghetto youths who rise to prominence in New York City's world of organized crime. The film explores themes of childhood friendships; love, lust, greed, betrayal, loss, broken relationships, together with the rise of mobsters in American society.



Time & Location


The film starts at 6:00 pm at Shemin Auditorium on Syracuse University.


Address: Shaffer Art Building, Eastside, Syracuse, NY 13210



Admission: FREE

March 24


CNY Film Festival Competition Screenings


Selected films from the CNY Film Festival competition will be shown at the Palace Theatre. Filmmakers whose films were selected by our panel of judges either reside in, or have a direct connection to New York State. There will be over 9 hours of content, separated into five programs with short intermissions.



Time & Location


The day starts at 12:00 pm at The Palace Theatre.


Address: 2384 James St, Syracuse, NY 13206



Awards & Prizes


Winners of the 2018 CNY Film Festival


Coq Au Vin - First Place Prize

Rise of the Warrior Apes - Second Place Prize

Hand of Bridge - Third Place Prize





General Admission - $10

General Admission with Student ID - $5

General Admission + After Party Reception (Starts at 10pm) - $15












Jess Novak Band: Treat Me Right

Directed by: Dennis Fernando & Jess Novak



A Music Video of Jess Novak Bands "Treat Me Right"



Total Run Time: 3 Minutes and 15 seconds






Follow Me (Single Episode)

Directed by: Kyle Kuchta



Follow Me is a thrilling web series that follows Zach Mullen as he goes from webcam musician to internet sensation. When he meets a fellow musician Maddie Jacobs and her sister Hannah, his path takes an unexpected turn.



Total Run Time: 3 Minutes 37 seconds







Directed by: Tyrone Tizak Jackson & Amraddin Jamalli



Free from jail after 25 years and the only thing you want to do is see your kids but not everything happens as planned.



Total Run Time: 24 Minutes 18 seconds






"Secret Government Monster Hunter"

Directed by: Courtney Angell



This is a music video produced for the CNY band Born Again Savages.  It features retro-style monsters and mayhem, as well as a cast of local music scene celebrities and personalities.



Total Run Time: 6 Minutes 7 seconds






All These Little Things

Directed by: Josh Kasselman



Young Alice is left in the care of a reclusive neighbor for the morning, as her parents lock horns over their crumbling marriage. She hatches a plan to brighten everyone's outlook, but the risks may outweigh the rewards.



Total Run Time: 14 Minutes 56 seconds






Seen Again

Directed by: Peter Murphey



A troubled man, trying to make sense of his life while driving through the Arizona desert, encounters difficult  memories from his past that appear as a storm of personal objects falling from the sky.  This experimental, hand-drawn and collage, 2-D animation explores the power of memory as manifested through objects from our past.



Total Run Time: 10 Minutes 22 seconds







Directed by: Julián Garnik



Saul struggles to fit in a world where people are detached from each other and mindlessly hypnotized by technology, until he meets Luna, a mysterious, charming woman. Together they dive into the strange realm of love, chasing each other through dreams and forming their own reality.



Total Run Time: 7 Minutes 10 seconds






Quarume - Never Go Back

Directed by: Arturo M. Merelo



Ulises, lost into his emotions, decides to take a trip and look for a friend, Angelo, that can help him through the painful process of having lost his woman.   Walking around Palermo they will try the different street foods, mostly all done with guts, as a metaphor of the deep pain he is enduring .   By walking and eating Ulises will clear his mind a bit to reach his own path, somehow more free.



Total Run Time: 14 Minutes 51 seconds






They Took Them Alive

Directed by: Emily Pederson



More than two years after 43 students disappeared from Ayotzinapa in Mexico, their loved ones still seek justice and closure.



Total Run Time: 18 Minutes 36 seconds














Still Life with Family

Directed by: Lizardo Reyes Jr.



A teenager realizes the alcoholism problem within his family and the damage that is left behind.



Total Run Time: 12 Minutes 40 seconds






The Peculiar Adventures of Willow B. Star

Directed by: Mark Simon



Super-sleuth, animal lover, and self proclaimed recluse, Willow B. Star is an enigma in her sleepy little town of Gravelsville, USA. Everyone there seems to know who she is, but not much about her. What they do know is that anytime there’s a mystery to be solved, she’s their go-to detective. From missing persons, to international smuggling rings, to haunted houses...Willow and her brilliant canine companion, Stinky, are on the case!



Total Run Time: 11 Minutes






Hesperus is Rising

Directed by: Ben Cleeton



In a lifeless, inert room a young woman is inspired by an unseen force. A book of cryptic symbols from the home of two angels, Stronghold and Virtue, is transmitted to St. Lucy, patron saint of the blind where it motivates simple, pure gesture.



Total Run Time: 8 Minutes 15 seconds






App: The Human Story

Directed by: Jake Schumacher



Told through three diverse stories paired with a passionate indie community, App: The Human Story is a look at the coming of age of a new art form. With the launch of the iPhone and subsequent devices, developers for the first time had a worldwide market hungry for their innovations: their apps. Yet, a renaissance needs cultivation, not exploitation. 10 years in, is the opportunity gone? Will artists find a way to create tools that elevate the human experience, or will the market be valued even above the future?



Total Run Time: 1 Hour 12 Minutes













Directed by: Chris Markwardt



A girl with dreams of becoming the world's greatest scientist descends from a rain cloud and encounters a man who vacuums up dust in the countryside to prevent the formation of dangerous anthill-like structures that appear after it rains.



Total Run Time: 11 Minutes 29 seconds






The Geometries of Desire

Directed by: David R Williams



"The Geometries of Desire" investigates the complexities of truth, the distortions of memory, the illusions of love, and the ways we protect  ourselves by constructing our own spatio-temporal apartheids. The film references Kurosawa's "Rashomon", the cut-up methods of Burroughs, the work of Maurice Blanchot, and Chris Maker's "La Jette", playing with filmic space and time and finally asking the question "can one really see themselves?".



Total Run Time: 1 hour 31 Minutes










El Que Fue

Directed by: Esteban Veras



The two failed hours of Pablo trying to take his own life, and the interaction he has with a woman in a liquor store, led him to a rare discovery and an acceptance with a drunk old man in the street.



Total Run Time: 10 Minutes 34 seconds






Dirty Old Man

Directed by: Sam Avery



Dirty Old Man is a short film based on the comedy of the late-great Rodney Dangerfield and tells the story of an older man who continues to make inappropriate jokes to pretty women at the gym after receiving his final warning from the manager.



Total Run Time: 10 Minutes 44 seconds






House Unbound

Directed by: Donato Rossi



Two sisters meet after long time, dealing with their relationship after their mother's death.



Total Run Time: 11 Minutes 30 seconds






Miracle on 42nd Street

Directed by: Alice Elliott



What do Alicia Keys, Terrance Howard, Donald Faison, Larry David, Samuel L Jackson, Giancarlo Esposito and Angela Lansbury have in common? They are all in this film, and at one time they all lived in an apartment complex called Manhattan Plaza in New York City. Narrated by Chazz Palminteri, Miracle on 42nd Street is the untold story about the history and impact of the Manhattan Plaza apartment complex in New York City. Starting with the facilities’ initial commercial failure in the dire 1970s, the film recounts how the buildings were “re-purposed” as subsidized housing for people who worked in the performing arts. The social experiment was a resounding success in the lives of the tenants, and it led the way in the transformation of the neighborhood and local economy. The film makes a compelling case for both the economic value of the arts and artists in America.



Total Run Time: 1 hour 8 Minutes











Awards & Prizes


Monetary prizes and citations will be given for the top films selected by the jury. In addition, there will be non-monetary citations for best submissions.


First Place Prize - $1,000

Second Place Prize - $500

Third Place Prize - $250


Subcat Studios Music Award will be awarded to highest rated film who incorporated music throughout their film, and will receive two hours of free studio time at Subcat Studios.










A Hand of Bridge

Directed by: David Miller and Frank Borin



A faithful adaptation of the micro-opera A Hand of Bridge (1958) by Samuel Barber. Two couples reveal their deepest desires, darkest fears, and wildest fantasies during an evening playing bridge.


Official Selection-Seattle International Film Festival 2017


Total Run Time: 14 Minutes 49 seconds






Coq Au Vin

Directed by: Nick Wenck



Two friends get ready for a date.



Total Run Time: 8 Minutes






Rise of the Warrior Apes

Directed by: James Reed



Rise Of The Warrior Apes tells the epic, twenty year story of an indomitable chimpanzee troop in Uganda. With a population three times larger than any other known to science, the incomparable success of the Ngogo chimps has been shrouded in mystery for decades. Through the extraordinary lives of a handful of individual chimp characters we experience a political drama and bloody conflict that unfolds deep in the African jungle. Using previously unseen archive footage, witness testimony from the scientists who have lived along side them since the study began in 1993, we chronicle the Rise Of The Warrior Apes – a  true chimpanzee empire. It is a story of unbreakable friendship, fierce rivalry and unparalleled ambition and it reveals the shocking truth behind the most successful group of chimpanzees ever known.



Total Run Time: 1 hour 22 Minutes





CNY Film Festival 2018 Program

for Competition Screenings at The Palace Theatre


Special Thanks to our judges: Wook Heo, TeNesha Murphy, Sean Nevison, Nancy Keefe Rhodes, and Owen Shapiro

Second Program - 2:15 PM

Third Program - 4:30 PM

Fourth Program - 6:45 PM

Award Winners Announced - 8:30 PM

Fifth Program - 9:00 PM

First Program - 12:00 PM


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