Syracuse film festival goes virtual, partners with WCNY to show movies on TV

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The 2020 Syracuse International Film Festival is going virtual due to the coronavirus.

SIFF, in its 17th year, has partnered with WCNY to show 64 movies from around the world on TV and in virtual watch parties on Zoom starting next month. All of the selections, including short and feature-length films, will be available digitally while a select few will air on WCNY and Create across WCNY’s 14-county viewing area in Central New York.

The program has not been finalized, but more than a dozen films and shorts are currently scheduled to air from Nov. 7-14. (See below.)

Screening “events” will also be available on WCNY’s enterprise Zoom platform, which will include the film and in some cases a Q&A with the director. A complete list and additional details will be available at

WCNY main channel schedule:

November 7

9:00 p.m. “My Promise to PJ”

10:30 p.m. “And They Were Roommates: Navigating Inclusive Mentorship in Higher Education”

11:10 p.m. “Enid & Mami”

November 8

3:00 p.m. “Generational Growth”

November 9

11:00 p.m. “Slava’s Journey”

November 10

8:00-9:00 p.m. “The Dusty Sea” “Bubble” “Pearl Driver” “Coffee and a Donut” “A Boy on his Birthday” “Under the Flag”

November 14

8:30 p.m. “Bolero: A Global Hit”

9:30 p.m. “Opeka”

Create channel schedule:

November 7

9:00-9:30 p.m. Shorts- “The Dusty Sea” “Bubble” “Pearl Driver”

November 11

11:00 p.m. “Can You Hear Us?”

November 12

11:00 p.m. “Passion Makes School”

November 13

9:00 p.m. “Unlocking Doors to Cinema”

November 14

9:00-9:30 p.m. Shorts- “Coffee and a Donut” “A Boy on His Birthday” “Under The Flag”

* * * * *

WCNY is available in the Syracuse area on the following channels:

  • Over The Air / Digital TV Set – channel 24.1
  • Spectrum – channel 11, 1121
  • Verizon Fios – channel 11, 511
  • DirecTV – channel 24-1
  • Dish Network – channel 24

Create is available in the Syracuse area on the following channels:

  • Over The Air / Digital TV Set – channel 24.2
  • Spectrum – channel 1275 (not basic/standard; Spectrum Digital only)
  • Verizon Fios – channel 466
  • DirecTV – N/A
  • Dish Network – N/A

A full list of television channels is available at

The annual Syracuse International Film Festival is typically held in October at a variety of local theaters and includes screenings and Q&As with filmmakers, but shifted due to Covid-19 concerns. Founded in 2003 by Syracuse University film professor Owen Shapiro and his wife, Christy Fawcett-Shapiro, the festival is dedicated to highlighting local independent films and introducing international films to Central New York. For more information, visit


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