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Blackbird Film Festival Begins Today at SUNY Cortland

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Filmmaker Imani Christopher answers audience questions at the 2023 Blackbird Film Festival. Image Courtesy of Sam Avery.

Today, April 11th, is the opening of the 4 day long Blackbird Film Festival at SUNY Cortland. The festival will celebrate its 10th year anniversary this year. The Blackbird Film Festival was created by SUNY Cortland Associate Professor, Sam Avery and will have filmmakers from across the world join in a celebration of cinema.


The festival is free and open to the public to attend. Events will take place on the SUNY Cortland Campus at Old Main. Expected to attend are 62 filmmakers along with cast and crew members. A majority of them will be visiting from Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York City.

In total, there will be 103 films to view divided into 15 blocks. One block will be from current and former SUNY Cortland students titled “Rising Stars.” Films that have made it into the festival were reviewed by students at Cortland. SUNY Cortland says there were 714 submissions for review before the final lineup was chosen.

“The students are a tremendous value to Blackbird,” Sam Avery said. “Without their help, specifically when it comes to judging, I’m not sure Blackbird would be possible.”

In addition to films, the festival will include workshops, discussions, a red carpet event, and an end awards ceremony on Sunday.

More information and details on this year’s Blackbird Film Festival may be found HERE.

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