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Short Film Festival hits the screens in Utica Saturday

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The New Uptown Theatre in Utica will host the first ever Utica-Ithaca Short Film Festival Saturday, showcasing 25 films either shot in Utica or by a Utica native.

The film festival will show off the work of filmmakers from the Utica area as well as from Ithaca College, many seeing the value in using the city as their backdrop.

"All the locations are like, you go on one street that's completely decadent and then the other one is opulent, you know? You got the full gamut of what you want for settings here," says City Film Commissioner Paul Buckley.

Buckley, who helped coordinate many students' shoots, now hopes the festival will bring more filmmakers to the city, allowing them to stay on a budget and bring business to Utica.

"They come up here, they stay in the hotels, they eat in the restaurants, but also use extras and professionals as well, so bring in money into the area," says Buckley.

The films each range from 5 to 25 minutes, and are of any genre. Using the latest film technology, Buckley says they showcase the city in a different, creative light.

"I've seen maybe 80 percent of them and I'm very impressed with the quality," says Buckley. "It's unbelievable the technology of today. These kids are professionals. I'm in awe!"

The filmmakers will be at the Uptown Theatre for the screenings and to answer any questions on their films.

The festival begins at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 12 and tickets are $8 at the door.

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