Student Talent Combines On Film, Virtual Exhibit

April 9, 2012


BUFFALO, NY - The Canisius College Video Institute presents Edward Austin Kent (1854-1912), a film and virtual exhibit, on Sunday, April 15at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, 25 Nottingham Court, Buffalo. The film will be screened at 3 p.m., the virtual exhibit will follow. The event is free and open to the public. 

On April 15, 1912, Kent was among the 1,500 people to perish in the R.M.S. Titanic disaster. His legacy lives on in the architecture of many significant buildings in Buffalo.Edward Austin Kent (1854-1912), the film and virtual exhibit, commemorates Kent’s achievements and his final adventure a century ago. 

Starring Chris Brandjes as Edward Austin Kent, the film retells the creation of Kent’s masterpieces: the Unitarian Church on Elmwood, The Otto Building, and the original Temple Beth Zion as well as important residences and municipal buildings. On his fateful voyage onboard the R.M.S. Titanic, Kent socialized with an important figure in feminist literature, Helen Churchill Candee (played by actress Beth Donohue Templeton). In their final moments onboard, Candee gave Kent a locket that he took to his grave. The film dramatizes their relationship based on historical research. 

Canisius College Digital Media Arts majors Richard Lunghino ’13 and Erik Taheri ’14 combined their talents to create a truly unique digital humanities experience. Lunghino, who is also enrolled in the All-College Honors Program, researched the exhibit and wrote the script. He then used technology on the iPad to program an augmented-reality overlay within the space of the historical society. Viewers can participate in this digital humanities presentation on iPads, which are provided. View a demonstration of the virtual exhibit

Taheri shot and edited the film using digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cinematic cameras, with techniques developed in the digital filmmaking concentration at Canisius. Through the generous support of the Canisius College Video Institute, a first-time narrative production featuring professional actors recreates Kent’s saga in the genre of historical fiction.View the film trailer.

The Canisius College Video Institute is funded, in part, by the East Hill Foundation and the Western New York Foundation, and co-directed by Barbara J. Irwin, PhD, chair of the Communication Studies Department, and Jamie O’Neil, associate professor of digital media arts and director of the Digital Media Arts Program.

For additional information about the event or the Video Institute contact O’Neil at (716) 888-3123 or visit the Video Institute website

Canisius College is one of 28 Catholic, Jesuit Colleges in the nation and the premier private college in Western New York. Canisius prepares leaders – intelligent, caring, faithful individuals – able to pursue and promote excellence in their professions, their communities and their service to humanity.