Select Page

Two films produced by the Canisius College Video Institute (VI) will be featured at the 7th Annual Buffalo International Film Festival. The screenings of East Side: A Community of Hope and Where the Crow Will Be Forever are scheduled for Sunday, October 6, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. at The Screening Room Cinema Cafe, 4524 Bailey Avenue in Amherst. The student filmmakers will participate in a Q&A session following the films.

East Side: A Community of Hope, produced by Erik Taheri (DMA ’14) and Rich Lunghino (DMA ’13), examines the East Side of Buffalo – a community plagued by violence, poverty, and suffering – and the faith-based initiatives being undertaken in an effort to revitalize this once-thriving community. The inspiration for the film came from Taheri’s own lifelong devotion to helping those less fortunate who live on the East Side of Buffalo, and a summer 2012 immersion trip to the East Side led by Michael Gent, PhD, professor of management, and Devonya Havis, PhD, assistant professor of philosophy.

Where the Crow Will Be Forever explores the history of the Crow tribe, life on the reservation and why the Crow have chosen to stay. Student filmmakers Ashley Fike (COM ’13) and Lauren Mosier (DMA ’13) traveled with Keith Burich, PhD, professor of History, and a Canisius contingent to Montana in summer 2012, during a trip offered through the American Indian Center at Canisius College. The group celebrated at Crow Fair and learned about life on the reservation through first-hand experiences and conversations with members of the Crow tribe.

Both 30-minute documentaries were produced under the direction of Barbara J. Irwin, PhD, professor of Communication Studies and co-director of the Video Institute.

The award-winning Canisius College Video Institute provides students with opportunities to put their classroom lessons to work on projects that enrich their learning and benefit the greater community. Students produce social documentaries and service-oriented videos – all connected by the theme of social justice – to promote discourse on ethical, social and cultural issues relevant to the world today. The Video Institute is co-directed by Irwin and Jamie O’Neil, associate professor and director of the Digital Media Arts program.

For more information about the film festival or to purchase tickets, visit

Submitted by:  Barbara J. Irwin, PhD, professor, communication studies