Current VPA News

The 14th annual Syracuse International Film Festival (SYRFILMFEST) will be held Oct. 18-22 at various locations in Syracuse, including the Syracuse University campus. The festival’s schedule includes films by College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) students, faculty and alumni, as well as programming curated by faculty or presented by VPA. The festival’s artistic director is Owen Shapiro, professor of film in the college’s Department of Transmedia.

The festival’s VPA connections include:

  • “Honoring Michal Bat Adam: The Road to Where.” Michal Bat-Adam is Israel’s first woman film director. Featuring Hope I’m in the Frame by Netalie Braun (2017) and The Road to Where by Bat-Adam (2016). Co-presented by VPA. (Oct. 18)
  • The Show (2017) by Giancarlo Esposito, past guest of the VPA film program. This pulse-pounding thriller is about a reality show that exploits the on-camera deaths of its players on live TV. Interview with Esposito to follow. Presented by VPA’s film program. (Oct. 19)
  • Dabka (2017) by VPA alumnus Bryan Buckley ’85. When rookie journalist Jay Bahadur (Evan Peters) has an inspiring chance encounter with his idol (Al Pacino), he uproots his life and moves to Somalia looking for the story of a lifetime. Presented by VPA. (Oct. 20)
  • “David and Carol North Schmuckler New Filmmakers Showcase.” This is a showcase of some of the best films produced by students in the VPA film program in 2017 along with a new film from Le Moyne College film students. (Oct. 21)
  • “Dan Silver Program.” VPA alumnus Dan Silver ’01 is vice president, head of platforms and content/new media for Marvel’s Digital Media Group. In this entertaining talk, Silver will intersperse his comments, observations, and insights with clips from Marvel 1:1 Genesis: Brandi Chastain (Marvel Entertainment and ESPN Films, 2014); The High Five (ESPN Films, 2014); Subterranean Stadium (ESPN Films, 2015); and Seventh Generation (ABC News, 2017). Co-presented by VPA. (Oct. 21)
  • Sleight (2016) by J.D. Dillard and Alex Theurer. In Sleight, a young street magician, Bo (Jacob Latimore) is left to care for his little sister after their parents passing, and turns to illegal activities to keep a roof over their heads. Presented by VPA’s Department of Transmedia. (Oct. 21)
  • “New Directions in Short Form Film.” Includes films by VPA film faculty members Vasilios Papaioannu G’12 (Shells, 2017) and Jeffrey Palmer (Origins, 2013). Co-presented by VPA and the film program. (Oct. 21)
  • Sylvio (2017), by Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney ’04, is the story of a small-town gorilla, Sylvio, who is stuck in his job at a debt collection agency. Birney is a VPA alumnus, as is Peter Davis ’04 (production designer and actor) and Eric LaPlante ’04 (director of photography). Presented by VPA’s film program. (Oct. 21)
  • “New Russian Experimental Films,” curated by Boryana Rossa, assistant professor in VPA’s Department of Transmedia, which is presenting the program. (Oct. 21)
  • Freak Talks About Sex (1999). Winner of the Hamptons International Film Festival, Freak Talks About Sex is about Dave Keenan (Josh Hamilton) who left Syracuse for a new life in Arizona. Presented by VPA’s film program. (Oct. 21)

Details for each screening, as well as a full festival schedule and ticket information, can be found at Some events are free for Syracuse University students.