Press Releases

New Winter Arts and Film Festival Embraces the Chill

GENEVA, NY – The Smith Center for the Arts is partnering with the GenevaBID and Hobart and William Smith Colleges to launch the inaugural Geneva Downtown Film Festival taking place February 11th, 7:00pm at The Smith. Admission is free.

“The Geneva Downtown Film Festival celebrates innovative ideas and a passion for storytelling, we’re hoping to cultivate a community of film lovers and filmmakers at any stage of their careers: students to experienced filmmakers; emerging artists to established professionals,” said Rebecca Burditt, Assistant Professor of Media and Society, Hobart and William Smith Colleges. “We’re proud to bring all of these interesting works together in downtown Geneva and to be able to screen them in such a spectacular venue.”

Almost 100 filmmakers from around the world submitted content, representing the U.S., Spain, Iran, U.K., Portugal, Italy, Ukraine, Tunisia, Russia, Canada, Turkey, Israel, Indonesia, India, Germany, China, Brazil, Belgium, and Armenia.

Please be advised that some films, because of content and/or language, may not be appropriate for all viewers. If this is a concern, please contact us so that we may give you the best information with which to make a decision about attending.

Film festival judges include: Marilyn Jimenez, Professor Emerita of Media and Society and Africana Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges; Nora Brown, director of the Rochester/Finger Lakes Film Commission; Diana Riesman, executive director and co-founder of the Wharton Studio Museum; and Rebecca Burditt, Assistant Professor of Media and Society at Hobart and William Smith.

The Geneva Downtown Film Festival invited filmmakers to submit their short works in any genre, including but not limited to animation, documentary, live action narrative, and video essay. There are four categories for submission: High School, College, General, and 5-minute Micro Films (open to all levels). Judges will select the best films and runners up from each category, and these will be screened at The Smith Opera House. Prizes will be awarded for the best film in each category.

In order to gather safely, the Smith requires all patrons over 12 years of age at the film festival to wear a mask AND show proof of vaccination and ID at the door. Children younger than 12 years are required to wear a mask. Patrons may remove their mask once seated in the theatre.

The Geneva BID (GBID) is partnering with multiple community groups to host a winter arts festival February 5th through 12th that will attract residents and visitors to downtown. Embracing winter, the festival will offer a series of activities throughout the week to celebrate the season and the burgeoning local arts culture. The festival is anchored by both the Geneva Downtown Film Festival, and the Winter Lantern Parade.

To learn more about events offered by The Smith Center for the Arts visit, or visit or call our box office for phone and in-person sales, 10am-4pm, Tuesday-Friday.

The Smith Center for the Arts, stewards of the historic Smith Opera House, provides diverse arts and educational enrichment opportunities year-round for Finger Lakes residents and visitors. The Smith Opera House is at 82 Seneca St. in Geneva, NY. Please email or call (315) 781-5483. For more information visit