When Angelo LoGalbo knew he would be able to realize his life-long dream of making a film, one thing was certain: He wanted to show it in his hometown of Buffalo.
So when it came time to film his romantic comedy “Seasons of the Heart,” he knew he had to make the city a character in the movie as well.
“I knew I wanted to show the film in Buffalo and thought it would be cool that the backdrop would be all Buffalo,” LoGalbo said of his film that debuts at 7 p.m. Friday in the Market Arcade Film & Arts Centre as part of the Buffalo Niagara International Film Festival. “I wanted to go through the seasons and show the hidden treasures of Buffalo. ”
Among the many Buffalo treasures seen in the film are Chef’s Restaurant, Anderson’s Frozen Custard, Canisius College, the Century Grille and Niagara Falls. A first-date scene was filmed at Pizza Plant; the final scene was in Russell’s Steaks, Chops & More. Look for cameos by such famous Buffalonians as Lou Billittier Jr. and Russell Salvatore. “Anything that is Buffalo, we tried to get in there,” said LoGalbo who wrote, directed and stars in the film, as well as composed much of its music.
The movie is loosely based on the true story of a young man having to choose between pursuing his dream job or being with his dream love.
“The more I would share the idea, the more I learned it resonated with people. They had a dream they wanted to pursue but the timing is bad because they’re in a relationship. It comes time to make the choice,” he said. “The relationship is a metaphor for Buffalo. People leave for various reasons but they come back for the food, for family, for the four seasons.”
BNFF screenings continue at 4 p.m. today through Saturday. A full schedule is at www.thebnff.com. Here are some highlights:
“The Power of Few,” at 5 p.m. today, has an intriguing backstory that involves “audience participation” and an impressive ensemble cast including Christopher Walken and Christian Slater. The anthology film, told from multiple perspectives, allowed people to contribute to the story and editing via online tools.
In the press kit, writer and director Leone Marucci called his film “a multiperspective mystery that explores the varying influences on a single event, so inviting the world to join in with their own perspective came as a natural extension of the central theme. I took a no restrictions approach and discovered endless possibilities for fan involvement.”
Another film with Buffalo connections is “My Dream Beside Me,” based on a true story of an “end of life” romance between Paul Rich and Mary Kay Slesinger Rich. It screens at 3 p.m. Saturday.
A short film showcase starting at 9 p.m. Friday includes actress Amy Jo Johnson’s directorial debut, “Bent,” based off of her feature-length script called “Crazier Than You.”
The documentary “Generation Iron,” which chronicles seven bodybuilders as they train to compete in the 2012 Mr. Olympia, screens at 1 p.m. Saturday. A live bodybuilding performance takes place at noon.
What: Buffalo Niagara International Film Festival
When: Through Saturday
Where: Market Arcade Film & Arts Centre, 639 Main St.
Tickets: Individual films are $5 (seniors, students, veterans) or $10 general; $25 day pass.