Short films Are Free At Falls Film Festival
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Showings of short and feature films from around the globe to begin Wednesday

Movie lovers are being invited to view the short films for free at the Niagara Falls International Film Festival taking place Wednesday through Sept. 29.

Festival founder Bill Cowell announced that all the short films at the festival will be free to attendees, noting that by doing so, the festival planners hope to showcase the efforts of short film makers and to showcase new talent in the process.

“That is why we have made them free-to-the-public this year, to encourage film fans that don’t routinely seek out the shorts programs to take a look and discover some great films and new filmmakers,” Cowell said.

The festival, an outgrowth of the 15-year-old Buffalo Niagara Film Festival, is claiming Niagara Falls as its new home base and will share a large schedule of events in three Niagara County locations, including the Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls and the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda.

Also announced was the addition of a new film, “The Network of Freedom,” which tells the true story about Helena Studler, a French nun from the Daughters of Charity, who sheltered orphaned children during the dawn of World War II when the Nazis set up operations in the small town. Sister Helena (played by actress Assumpta Serna), together with the villagers, take action to create a hidden network of men and women who — at great personal risk — managed to help escape and rescue several thousand people, including the future president of France, François Mitterand.

New York state has strong representation at the festival including Daniel James’s film, “The Inbound Interception,” about an earth-born woman who carries the memories of the entire galaxy and must protect them from a sinister adversary; Chun Gee Hong’s PI, about people from different backgrounds and in random combinations intersecting in a restaurant; Ryan Gangemi’s “The second Loss,” about a couple struggling to understand their relationship in the aftermath of a terrible accident.

The festival invites film lovers to join filmmakers from all over the globe, along with celebrities, industry veterans and aspiring new talent as they gather together for a celebration of films through viewings, workshops and seminars and special events.

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