Film Festival LogoThe WCI Film Festival and Lecture Series aims to build a bigger, broader learning community through education, entertainment, and community engagement. Our annual public humanities Film Festival and Lecture Series offers a curated selection of culturally and thematically diverse films, lectures and keynote addresses, artistic creations, and celebrations that foster critical inquiry into real world concerns through world-class scholarship, community partnerships, and experiential education.

(Art by Dan Madden)

Film Festival Movie Poster

Our 2020 Festival, “Monsters at the Movies” is an occasion to build a stronger Albany community, and to create bonds between our students and the city that will be their home for four years or more. Since our first Festival in 2016, we have facilitated over thirty on- and off-campus community partnerships and have addressed themes as trendy and figurative as zombies; as diverse and impactful as science fiction; as broad and significant as food; and as personal and public as our inner demons and the outer, monstrous manifestations of cultural trauma. The Festival will take place online via YouTube on a dedicated channel from October 15-18, 2020.

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear,” wrote horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, whose own fictions were often fueled by his fears and the personal and social anxieties of the early 20th century. In Lovecraft’s writing, and in many of our fantasies, films, and fictions before and since, monsters confirm these enduring terrors. They conjure up feelings of horror and dread, images of the abject and the damned. They reveal to us our individual and cultural anxieties, and they give us something to slay when all other hope seems lost. And they do it all through the safe distance of the movie screen. As we struggle, in this defining moment, to re-examine the American identity, the metaphor of monsters becomes particularly apt.

We are planning our 2020 Festival at the height of the most pressing and global crisis facing the three or four generations alive today. Like most cultural traumas of this, or any, caliber, we will feel and see its implications in politics, the hard sciences, the arts, and the humanities for years to come. For centuries, long before cinema lit the silver screen, monsters provided a means through which societies could render, control, and therefore understand their time and experiences of trauma at the personal and cultural levels. In light of the Pandemic, it is even more important that we engage in productive discourse around our shared fears and anxieties, and the WCI Film Festival and Lecture Series provides such a touchstone for our campus and the wider community.

This year’s films include selections from cinema’s influential heyday of the monster, each of which set standards and tropes still in the minds of filmmakers and movie-goers decades later; mid-century fright-fests, which terrified and thrilled audiences by integrating elements of the zeitgeist into their monsters; and contemporary offerings by one of today’s most innovative names in political horror--Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017) and Us (2018). Through the trajectory of these films and the introductions and open discussions that will accompany them, the power of movie monsters to encapsulate, communicate, and represent the world as it is felt and imagined inspires us to think more deeply about what monsters and heroes might best represent our time, our dreams, and our terrors.

While this year’s Festival will take place fully online, in order to keep both the university and Capital District communities central to the event, we have organized a Keynote Panel, comprised of university scholars and local theater and film personalities, to discuss the nuances, influences, and discourse surrounding Jordan Peele’s films and the future he envisions for horror cinema. The Festival will be free to students and the community and will feature a mix of live and pre-recorded events.



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Click on the image below for a pdf version of our menu. 

Film Festival 2020 Schedule

We still very much appreciate our partnership with The Linda. However, current circumstances have led us to choose to take the film festival online for the 2020 year. 

Therefore, we have started a WCI Film Festival & Lecture Series YouTube channel. 

FF YouTube Channel (Smaller)

We will be hosting film introductions, discussions, and some of the films themselves. Take a moment and visit the channel, and don't forget to subscribe to the channel for updates as well. Make sure you click on the notification bell to receive news about new videos. 

Title: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Writer(s): Robert Louis Stevenson, Clara Beranger

Director(s): John S. Robertson

Rating: NR

Reviews: Rotten Tomatoes

More Information: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde IMDB Page


Title: Night of the Living Dead

Writer: John A. Russo, George A. Romero

Director: George A. Romero

Rating: NR (adult content, however)

Reviews: Rotten Tomatoes

More Information: Night of the Living Dead IMDB Page


Title: Get Out

Writer: Jordan Peele

Director: Jordan Peele

Rating: R

Reviews: Rotten Tomatoes

More Information: Get Out IMDB Page


Title: Us

Writer: Jordan Peele

Director: Jordan Peele

Rating: R

Reviews: Rotten Tomatoes

More Information: Us IMDB Page


Title: Dracula

Writer: Bram Stoker (by), Hamilton Deane

Director: Tod Browning, Karl Freund (co-director)

Rating: G

Reviews: Rotten Tomatoes

More Information: Dracula IMDB Page



Acting with AaronAaron Moore is an actor, writer, theater educator, and the founder and director of Acting with Aaron, where he does more than just teach acting, directing, and playwriting to Albany’s youth and adults. Acting with Aaron uses Therapeutic Theater to teach meditation, public speaking, anger outlets, and the importance of silliness, among other things. A creative force and leader in the arts and humanities in the Capital Region, under his direction Acting with Aaron partners with other organizations to celebrate Black talent in and around Albany. We can look forward to his upcoming productions Black to Broadway: A fundraiser for Acting with Aaron and The Sunset Limited. There are still openings in his acting, directing, and playwriting classes, which consistently earn five-start reviews, so act quickly to reserve your spot.

You can find Acting with Aaron on Facebook and other social media outlets, or through email at [email protected]

To donate to this incredible organization, you can use $Acting with Aaron on the cash app or [email protected] at PayPal.



This year, we will host live Zoom discussions for all of our films. We ask that individuals register in advance. Below, you will find the schedule for live discussions:

Jekyll and Hyde LIVE discussion:

When: Oct 15, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:


Night of the Living Dead LIVE discussion:

When: Oct 16, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:


Dracula LIVE discussion:

When: Oct 18, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:


The Films of Jordan Peele LIVE Keynote Discussion:

When: Oct 17, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:


WCI Film Festival and Lecture Series

Click on a poster to learn more about our previous film festivals. All the artwork was created by Dan Madden.

2019 Food on Film!

Food on Film Poster

2018 Classics of Science Fiction!

2017 The Zombies are Coming 2: Return of the Film Festival

2016 Zombie Film Festival


Please check back at a later time for more information.