There is nothing quite like curling up in a theater under a giant silver screen for a shared experience. The laughs are louder, the scares are bigger, and you're definitely not the only one crying. If you love a good movie or just need an excuse to gobble buckets of buttery popcorn, the Blackbird Film + Arts Festival is exactly where you need to be!
This year's event will feature amazing independent short films from around the world, as well as an ice cream party, a local art show, a paint & sip, free film screenings, and more, April 28-30 at SUNY Cortland and throughout downtown Cortland.
WHAT IS BLACKBIRD FILM + ARTS FESTIVAL?
Found in 2015, the Blackbird Film + Arts Festival celebrates and supports independent filmmakers from around the world, striving to curate an inclusive festival atmosphere where experienced professionals and first-time filmmakers can strike up conversations and perhaps take something away from one another.
WHERE IS THE EVENT?
The film screenings will take place at 22 Graham Avenue, Cortland. SUNY Cortland's historic Brown Auditorium Theater has been home to the Blackbird Film Festival since renovations were completed in 2018. The theater seats 500 guests comfortably and boosts a 25' screen with 5.1 surround sound. Located on the main floor in Old Main, the space is perfect for creating the inclusive festival atmosphere Blackbird is known for.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Movie screenings are FREE to the public! Parking on campus is also free throughout the weekend. Select activities may require a fee to participate.
FILMS & MAKERS
The 2023 Blackbird Film Festival features 95+ films organized into 11 unique screening blocks curated around themes, stories and styles. Each screening block is approximately 70 minutes and typically includes 6 - 8 short films ranging from 1 to 30 minutes. Each block will screen in the Brown Auditorium Theater on SUNY Cortland's campus.
WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING?
Along with film screenings, the event will encompass:
Ice Cream Social The Blackbird Film Festival is hosting an epic ice cream party to celebrate its kickoff! The party starts at 3pm on Friday, at Old Main and is free to the public!
BRU64 Cafe Meet-Up Saturday morning starts out with an 8am meet and greet at Bru 64. Talk all things cinema over lattes and bagels with this year's creators, writers, directors and makers. Get the inside scoop about what it really takes to make a film.
Film Trivia Lunchathon So, you think you know a thing or two about movies? Or, maybe you just really like a good lunch. Either way, the Hollywood Restaurant is the place to be on Saturday at 11:30am. Munch, lunch and laugh with festival goes and contributors alike.
Blackbird Paint & Sip This event is quickly becoming a favorite annual tradition! Join Blackbird at Old Main, on Saturday at 7pm, for a guided painting class. Enjoy a glass of wine or beer while creating a unique film-themed piece of art! Ticket Required ($25)
The BlackBird Fim Fest is a collection of short films geared towards adults. The film themes range from sentimental to educational on Friday night. With a focus on altruism, intimacy, vulnerability and social issues, you might consider bringing a box of tissues to go with your popcorn.
Saturday's first block is predominantly animated, described as a beautiful mix of films combining live action and animation that unravel the complex lives of its charters. Followed by two blocks with an emphasis on identity, self and human rights. Saturday night wraps up with an ominously named block called "Stranger Danger." Expect lots of twists and turns and a few good scares. Not for the faint of heart.
Sunday begins with a celebration of up-and-coming filmmakers, followed by a tribute to all things musical. The festival wraps up with its final block, all about the ups and downs of marriage and promises to be equal parts self-reflection and humor.
Each block finishes with a brief Q&A, where you can as the writers and directors about their films directly!
While you're there, don't forget to check out the local art show! Focused on the festival's signature blackbird, dozens of local artists have contributed in mediums ranging from clay to fiber, oil to watercolor.
Plan on attending Blackbird Film Festival? Share your pictures with us for a chance to be featured! Tag @experiencecortland and use hashtag #experiencecortland.