CONTACT: Greg Lamberson,

Buffalo, New York – Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival has announced the Special Award winners for its 2017 event. The awards honor filmmakers who have distinguished themselves in areas of genre filmmaking, and will be presented along with the competition awards at the Dreamer Awards, to be held for the first time in the WBBZ TV Studio located in the Eastern Hills Mall on Sunday, Nov. 5th, at 6 pm. The multi-genre festival, now in its fifth year, runs 11 days: Thursday, Nov. 2nd – Thursday, Nov. 9th at Dipson Theatres Eastern Hills Cinema in Williamsville, and Friday, Nov. 10th – Sunday, Nov.12th at the Screening Room Cinema Cafe in Amherst. This year’s program includes 110 films: 40 features and 70 shorts.

The festival’s first Filmmaker of the Year award will be presented to Adrian Esposito, a Rochester, New York filmmaker with autism who has two documentaries in the festival: Diffability Hollywood, which is the Opening Night film on Thursday, Nov. 2nd at 6:45 pm, and Greetings from Tromaville, which has its World Premiere Friday, Nov. 3rd at 7 pm as the first half of a double feature with the East Coast Premiere of Return to Return to Nuke Em High aka Vol. 2, filmed in Niagara Falls.

The first Living Legend Award will be presented to Fred Olen Ray, who has directed over 150 feature films, six of them (and counting) in the Buffalo-Niagara region. Ray is a true legend among B movie fans, and his cult classic Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers screens after the awards, at 8 pm.

The first Lois Weber Award, celebrating the achievements of women in film and named after the first female director in the US, will be presented to Devi Snively, whose short film Bride of Frankie screens Saturday, Nov. 4th at 5 pm. An alumnus of American Film Institute’s workshop for women, Snively’s films have screened at over 200 film festivals worldwide, garnering over 50 awards and critical acclaim.

The Indie Genre Spirit Award goes to Christopher Olen Ray, who has worked as a director, line producer and producer on scores of independent films. Based in Burbank, Ray played a pivotal role in building Buffalo-Niagara’s film industry when he produced SyFy’s Battledogs here five years ago, and has since produced six features in the area with his father Fred. Ray’s latest directorial effort, Circus Kane, screens Sunday at 9:40 pm, following Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers.

The Dedication to Excellence in Independent Filmmaking will be presented to Jon Keeyes, whose horror film The Harrowing screens at 3 pm Sunday, before the awards. Keeyes is a screenwriter, director, producer and line producer who has worked on quality films in numerous genres, working with such actors as James Franco, Ron Perlman and Michael Ironside.

The full schedule for Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival is available at, and advance tickets are available at, under “Eastern Hills Cinema.”

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