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Buffalo Film League selects Wurlitzer Building in North Tonawanda as new location for media production and film consortium headquarters


Mon, Feb 8th 2016 12:30 pm

Buffalo Film League, producer of the film "Buffalo Hates You Too: A Love Story," announced Sunday its relocation to The Wurlitzer Building, 908 Niagara Falls Blvd., North Tonawanda.

The move to NT is the culmination of a two-year search for the company's production and distribution facilities, and its digital media labor consortium.

Buffalo Film League Chief Marketing Officer Mike Hendrickson said the choice to bring the company to NT was an easy one.

"The minute we arrived in North Tonawanda, we felt remarkably supported by Art Pappas and the mayor's office, Lumber City Development Corp., the townspeople and the management of The Wurlitzer Building - which is really an ideal space for our business," he said.

BFL will be joined by several other companies, including: Lumber City Brand Works, a brand media agency that focuses on media-centric branding tactics, production and distribution primarily for the health care and food products industry, and UFIT THRIVE, a Pennsylvania-based company (and Lumber City client) that develops lifestyle programs for diabetes treatment programs throughout the Northeast.

BFL will be working closely with its sister company, Lumber City, to produce and distribute the feature documentary, "Buffalo Hates You Too: A Love Story," directed by well-known Buffalo director John Paget. In order to attract the labor force needed to complete the film, and begin work on other branded corporate documentaries, BFL created a labor consortium that will seek to bring an additional 30 digital media professionals to Niagara County over the next year.

"The labor market for a service-based business like ours is very fragmented due to it being a freelance-dependent business," said Kelly Green Porterfield, BFL director of creative management. "We think the ability to bring smaller, independent film projects to the region depends on being able to offer a strong, defined labor force that can be enlisted quickly to do the work that is too often done by folks from California, Texas and New York City. By locating in North Tonawanda, we are closer to both Buffalo and Toronto. When new consortium members come to see what we are doing in NT, they are surprised by how welcoming, affordable and laid back this town is. It fits who we are."

BFL has already begun work on "Buffalo Hates You Too: A Love Story" (projected release date: spring 2017), and is actively seeking new members for the consortium to help on that film and other projects it hopes to begin over the next several months.

Lumber City will manage the property rights, branding, promotion and distribution for BFL films and its clients' media projects.

Hendrickson said the move to a town known primarily for its historical role in industrial metals, manufacturing and lumber might not look like an obvious fit to some, but to him it is a sure sign of why his company will do well in North Tonawanda.

"The film, digital media and distribution business is made up of hard-working, creative people. To be in the same town that played such an important role in American business and history - The Wurlitzer Corporation, The Herschell Carousel Factory, Richardson Boat, the Erie Canal, The Riviera Theater - is an appropriate backdrop to the creativity, hard work and spirit we bring to work everyday," he said. "Just walking into The Wurlitzer Building is empowering."

BFL (www.buffalofilmleague.com) is an LLC registered in the state of New York whose management team has produced numerous feature-length documentaries distributed by FilmBuff and 365 Film Group. It has worked with more than 30 Fortune 500 companies over the past 25 years. BFL's management team has been responsible creating successful Telly- and Emmy-nominated documentaries and branded programming for clients such as Eli Lilly, Pfizer, The Pennsylvania State University, ORVIS and The National Automobile Dealers Association.

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