Video Institute Presents Screening of 1812: By Fire and Sword Film and Virtual Exhibit

BUFFALO, NY ― The Canisius College Video Institute presents the premiere of 1812: By Fire and Sword on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 7 p.m. at The Buffalo History Museum, 25 Nottingham Court, Buffalo, NY. The event is free and open to the public. A lecture and reception will follow the screening.

1812: By Fire and Sword is a narrative film and virtual exhibit that features local re-enactors and professional actors telling the stories of The Burning of Buffalo, Red Jacket, Laura Secord, Cyrenius Chapin, General McClure and other key events that characterized The War of 1812 in the “Niagara Theatre.”  The five short films were made with The Buffalo History Museum in conjunction with its exhibit, By Fire and Sword: War in the Niagara Theatre, 1812-1814, on view at the museum through June 2014.

By Fire and Sword, which opened September 12, 2013 at The Buffalo History Museum, focuses on activity in the Niagara Frontier and takes an in-depth look at the region’s vital role in The War of 1812. The Canisius College Video Institute students conceptualized and created an interactive “virtual exhibit.” As museum guests approach By Fire and Sword artifacts, they touch Google Nexus tablets to view the film re-enactments inside the context of the museum experience. These clips are linked to museum artifacts through a technique called “historical geotagging.”

More than 30 historians, consultants, technicians and actors participated in the 1812: By Fire and Sword project; a dozen of them were communication studies and digital media arts students, including:


  • Rich Lunghino ’13, art director, associate producer
  • Erik Taheri ’14, app developer, cinematographer
  • Jason Insalaco ’13, director, cinematographer, series editor
  • Tim Marcolini ’13, scriptwriter
  • Lauren Mosier ’13, cinematographer, scene editor
  • Ashley Fike ’13, production assistant
  • Brian Russ ’13, 3d modeler, graphic designer
  • Steve Lakomski ’14, graphic designer
  • Joshua Smith ‘14, 3d modeler
  • Tom Etu ’14, actor
  • Hussam Harb AlMukhtar ’13, actor
  • Brianna Blank ’14, cinematographer, editor and assistant director 


The 1812: By Fire and Sword project was supervised by Jamie O’Neil, associate professor and director of the Digital Media Arts Program and co-director of The Canisius College Video Institute.  P.J. Moskal, PhD, assistant professor of digital media arts, led the development of the near field communication system that utilizes the Google Nexus tablets for the deployment of media within The Buffalo History Museum.

To view the film trailer, click here.  

The1812: By Fire and Sword project was made possible by a $35,000 grant from the J. Warren Perry and Donald Perry Memorial Fund.

The Canisius College Video Institute provides students with opportunities to put their classroom lessons to work on projects that enrich their learning and benefit the community. Students produce service-oriented videos, narrative films and social documentaries ­all connected by the theme of social justice ­ to promote discourse on ethical, social and cultural issues relevant to our world today. The award-winning program is interdisciplinary, encourages global awareness and puts students in the position of doing social justice.

The Canisius College Video Institute is co-directed by Barbara J. Irwin, PhD, professor of communication studies, and Jamie O’Neil, director of The Digital Media Arts Program.

For additional information about the event or The Video Institute, contact Jamie O’Neil at (716) 888-3123 or click here.

Canisius College is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation and the premier private university in Western New York.