Raymond Guarnieri – Cultivator Profile

Buffalo is full of people helping to cultivate cinema and we want to celebrate those involved.
The Cultivators is a new monthly feature in which we highlight individuals who are integral
to the presentation, promotion and production of film here in the queen city.

Former Executive Director at Buffalo International Film Festival
Writer, Director & Producer of Buffalo Boys (2013)
Website: raymondguarnieri.com / Twitter: @RayGuarnieri



What got you interested in movies?

I grew up on Scorsese and DeNiro because of my dad’s side of the family (Italian American). Goodfellas, Casino, Raging Bull. I wanted to be an actor and went to The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC right out of high school. I graduated at the start of the DSLR revolution and stumbled into producing and directing my first feature Buffalo Boys. Since then my life has revolved around the moving image.

What is your favorite movie related memory?

My VERY first memory period is of my dad standing over me while I lay in a portable crib. He was impersonating DeNiro in Taxi Driver while looking down at me, “What are you looking at? Are you looking at me? Are YOU looking at ME?”

How did you end up in Buffalo?

I grew up all over WNY: Clarence, Tonawanda, Cheektowaga. I’ve lived full-time in NYC since 2008 but make it back 4-5 times a year to keep the Buffalo International Film Festival going and to be with family and friends.

What do you want to see more of in Buffalo?

I want to see more major motion pictures being made in Buffalo. I want to see all the unions represented. I want filmmaking to be a viable career choice for people all over WNY (without having to move to Toronto, NYC or LA). I want Buffalo to be the home of a premiere film festival—where filmmakers from around the country and world hope to have their movie screened so that it might be picked up by a distributor and even nominated for an Oscar.

What are your essential film books?

In order of importance:
1.) Making Movies, Sidney Lumet
2.) On Directing Film, David Mamet
3.) Shooting To Kill, Christine Vachon


website-headerI’m so mad that you’re even making me do this.
website-header#01 – Goodfellas [1990], directed by Martin Scorsese
website-header#02 – Inglorious Basterds [2009], directed by Quentin Tarantino
website-header#03 – Shadow of a Doubt [1943], directed by Alfred Hitchcock
website-headerAlfred Hitchcock is the greatest artist of the 20th Century.
website-header#04 – Citizen Kane [1941], directed by Orson Welles
website-header#05 – 2001: A Space Odyssey [1968], directed by Stanley Kubrick
website-header#06 – Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope [1977], directed by George Lucas
website-header#07 – Dune [1984], directed by David Lynch
website-headerThe 1984 David Lynch version … DON’T JUDGE ME.
website-header#08 – Pulp Fiction [1994], directed by Quentin Tarantino
website-header#09 – The Shining [1980], directed by Stanley Kubrick
website-header#10 – 12 Angry Men [1957], directed by Sidney Lumet

Photo of Raymond Guarnieri supplied by the subject.
Film stills from left to right, top to bottom are Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Buffalo Boys, Taxi Driver, and Carlos.

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