Two different movies about extraordinary women will start and end the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival which begins this weekend.
"Kaziah the Goat Woman" about an artist who has pledged to paint all of the fallen soldiers of the Iraq and Afghanistan war, will close the festival during awards ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. April 21 at the Rapids. That event will include a showing of "If I Should Fall," and distribution of awards and a presentation to local military families.
Kazaih Hancock is expected to be there for the filming, although funds are still being sought to fly her and the film's producer, Kathleen Dolan, to Buffalo. Hancock has painted almost 1,000 portraits of soldiers killed in action, and gifted them to their families, including two portraits to two Niagara Falls families. But the true total of paintings is actually higher, thanks to the open heart of the artist, a goat herder from Utah.
"Sometimes the mother would contact me and say, my husbands alive, but he's missing an arm and two legs, does that count for anything and I'd say, you know what, it certainly does," Kaziah said Tuesday during a phone interview.
Being shown with "Kaziah," will be “If I Should Fall” which attempts to define the tragedy of war through a family's loss of an only son. Driven by premonition of death before deployment to Afghanistan, Trooper Marc Diab made a video for his funeral to deliver a message of comfort from beyond the grave. Prophetically Diab died March 8th, 2009 by IED. His video played at his funeral to a sea of tears. Through telling the story of the loss of one family, 'If I Should Fall' attempts to tell the story of all families whom have lost a loved one to war.
The film festival, which will feature about 100 movies in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, will begin at 7 p.m. Friday at the Buffalo Market Arcade Theaters with the movie “Sophie” about a young ballet dancer who sets out to find her beloved elephant, Sheba, who was sold to a circus.
Known faces associated with this years screenings are – G.W.Bailey, Gary Daniels, Deborah Kara Unger, John Rhys-Davies, Clint Eastwood, Billy Boyd, Kristin Kreuk, Carlo Rota, Stephen Mchattie, Natalie Brown, Brea Grant, Kimberly Stewart, Colleen Camp, Woody Allen, Lauren Holly, Wilford Brimley, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Andrew Howard, Dan O’Brien, Judson Mills, Sean faris, Clayne Crawford, Thom Barry, Nicholas Campbell, Krista Sutton, Raoul Bhaneja, Sarain Boylan, Martha Burns, Kristopher Turner and more. (for best resource on biographies and film credits go to www.imdb.com)
Tickets are available on line at www.thebnff.com, The Market Arcade Film & Arts Center and at The Rapids Theatre, Niagara Falls. Seats for seniors, students and veterans are always $5.