Canisius Video Institute Premieres "East Side: A Community of Hope"

BUFFALO, NY ― The Canisius College Video Institute will premiere the documentary film, “East Side: A Community of Hope,” on Tuesday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Montante Cultural Center.  The event is free and open to the public. Pianist Michelle Thomas will perform before the film. A panel discussion and reception will follow the screening.

The 30-minute film, produced by Erik Taheri (DMA ’14) and Rich Lunghino (DMA ’13), examines the East Side of Buffalo – a community plagued by violence, poverty, and suffering – and the faith-based initiatives being undertaken in an effort to revitalize this once-thriving community.  The inspiration for the film came from Taheri’s own lifelong devotion to helping those less fortunate who live on the East Side of Buffalo, and a summer 2012 immersion trip to the East Side led by Michael Gent, PhD, professor of management, and Devonya Havis, PhD, assistant professor of philosophy.

The award-winning Canisius College Video Institute provides students with opportunities to put their classroom lessons to work on projects that enrich their learning and benefit the greater community.  Students produce social documentaries and service-oriented videos – all connected by the theme of social justice – to promote discourse on ethical, social and cultural issues relevant to the world today.  The Video Institute is co-directed by Barbara J. Irwin, PhD, professor and chair of communication studies, and Jamie O’Neil, associate professor of digital media arts and director of the Digital Media Arts Program

For additional information about the event, visit, e-mail Irwin at or call (716) 888-2108.

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