Syracuse Stories Documentary Debut

June 10, 2012 - 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Steve Sussman, Larry Hoyte & Francis Parks
Photo from Syracuse Stories 2011 Festival courtesy of Daylight Blue Media

Syracuse Stories and Daylight Blue Media filmmakers Courtney Rile and Michael Barletta premiere  “Syracuse Stories” a documentary chronicling the week-long Syracuse Stories Festival held in July 2011. Courtney Rile is known for her sensitive and visually compelling filmmaking. She has captured the life and times of Syracuse and Upstate NY in her previous documentary films, including her film on Syracuse’s 15th Ward and artist Arlene Abend.Background: The first Syracuse Stories was held last July 2011. This community-wide story-telling festival was modeled on the International Literary Festival of Paraty, Brazil (FLIP).  Like its Brazilian counterpart, Syracuse Stories was rooted in a simple insight: everyone loves a good story. Whether sad or joyful, provocative or whimsical, stories make us human.  They help us understand and connect with those who may seem not at all like us.  Stories are told in many ways and in all cultures.  They are told through the arts; through song and dance, poems and music, theater and the visual arts, film and puppetry, oral history and the written word.

The Premiere screening of “Syracuse Stories” is an opportunity for those who didn’t get to last July’s Syracuse Stories Festival to discover how film captured the stories and art that were shared, to meet the filmmakers, and to join an on-going discussion on how the arts and story-telling help our community know itself better. “Syracuse Stories” also helps us discover what worked about the Festival and what might be changed.

The audience will also be invited to share their own stories and to participate in dialogue groups to help us capture the stories of our city and our region for future festivals and to gather more film footage. “Syracuse Stories” will also be shown throughout the community and during this July’s 2012 ArtsWeek. To share your story, join a group or get info on other screenings, contact Mary Stanley or Caroline Tauxe (

The “Syracuse Stories” documentary was made possible by a grant from the Central New York Community Foundation.