Hollywood television and movie actor William Fichtner will return to SUNY Cortland next week for a free, public screening of a new movie he directed, co-wrote and starred in that was partially filmed on Cortland’s campus.
Entitled “Cold Brook,” the film is the first Fichtner has ever directed. He’s already an accomplished actor with a regular role on the acclaimed CBS television comedy “Mom,” with impressive movies in his resume like “Blackhawk Down,” “The Dark Knight,” “Armageddon,” “The Perfect Storm” and many others.
Most of “Cold Brook” was filmed in western New York, but several scenes were done in Cortland, using college students as extras in the summer of 2017.
The special showing on Wednesday (October 2) night takes place at 7:00 in the Old Main Brown Auditorium, less than 200 yards from the site of an important scene in the movie. Theatres won’t see the movie until at least Nov. 8.
After the screening, Fichtner will answer questions from the audience and attend a reception in Old Main’s Dorothea Kreig Allen Fowler ’52, M ’74 Grand Entrance Hall.
All three events are free and open to the public.
“I always knew in the end that there were a couple of shots I really needed that I could only get in Cortland,” said Fichtner. “Erik (Bitterbaum, president of SUNY Cortland) was so supportive. When we were done, he said it would be great someday if we could do a screening on campus, and I never forgot that. I wanted to honor that.”
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Fichtner began visiting Cortland while he was a student at SUNY Brockport because it was the hometown of his college girlfriend. The relationship didn’t last, but his friendship with her family remained strong over the decades, with Fichtner, a Western New York native, frequently traveling to the Cortland area to stay with them at their summer camp.
This camp, located off Cold Brook Road in Cortland County, plays a big part in the movie, Fichtner said. On the SUNY Cortland campus, Fichtner’s crew filmed scenes on Graham Avenue, between Brockway Hall and the Miller Building, as well as on Holloway Field. Several SUNY Cortland students helped out with the production as interns or extras.
The Cortland screening is one of three SUNY campus previews Fichtner is hosting in New York state, while “Mom,” which is starting its seventh season, is on a brief filming hiatus. On Oct. 1, the movie will be shown at The College at Brockport, and on Oct. 3 it will be viewed at Farmingdale State College.