Human rights issues -- including the ongoing civil war in Syria -- are being highlighted at different film festivals in Syracuse this fall.
Abdulwahab Tahhan left Aleppo, Syria 11 months ago. He was living in a refugee camp in Turkey when the documentary "The Suffering Grasses" was filmed. That film was screened at the ArtRage Gallery in Syracuse Tuesday night and Tahan spoke with the audience via Skype from the U.K. where he now lives.
The state budget includes a provision aimed at boosting the film industry in upstate New York. The new tax credit creates a two-tiered system that includes a 10 percent credit for productions using particular upstate locations.
Western New York has missed out on being the setting for a major motion picture, but Republican state Senator Patrick Gallivan hopes the loss of the movie “Draft Day,” starring Kevin Costner, will help push along a bill that would offer tax credits for films to be shot in New York state.
As they await Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision on whether fracking will go forward in New York, dueling pro- and anti-fracking filmmakers held screenings and promotions for their films in Albany. At one point in their visit, the two sides confronted each other in the halls of the Capitol.