Emotional film made in Buffalo, to be screened at Cannes Film Festival! Grab some tissues & check it out!

March 28, 2018

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

I’ve watched the 7-minute movie a few times now and I’ve cried every single time. The movie, called Ride of Your Life, was shot and edited for Buffalo’s 48-Hour Film Project in 2017. It has received much praise from the industry – even named as the top 12 48 hour film project films at the international awards ceremony in Paris earlier this month. Yes, INTERNATIONAL!!

The Buffalo filmmaking team Partially Submerged Elephants put the film together in just two days. That’s right.

The movie grabs hold of – and tugs firmly – at your heart strings. Everything about it is beautiful.



Allen and Cheri Leight’s kids were in the film. Kaylee, 5 and Elijah, 4,  really help make this film what it is. They spent several hours filming at the Erie County Fair last summer. Cheri told me in a phone interview that the film is nothing short of amazing and worthy of all of the attention, “I was amazed. I mean it blew my mind and I was just, I mean, Travis’ artistic direction, he is so talented. How they moved it along, how it worked. It was so beautifully done and tastefully done. I sobbed. I sobbed. I just sobbed. It is a beautiful, beautiful film and we are thrilled at the success for Travis and all of the players here. Never did we imagine that it would be going this far.”

And it’s going far. All the way to the French Riviera!

It was shot at last summer’s Erie County Fair and other areas around Buffalo. It takes a woman on the ride of her life, quite literally – as she has flashbacks of her life for the entire ride. It’s emotional. It’s relatable.

Ride of Your Life will be shown as part of the 48 Hour Film Project’s screening at the Cannes Film Festival in May. This group from Buffalo is headed to Cannes!

Travis Carlson directed the film. He told me a bit about how the 48-hour film project works. Each team is given a genre – from there the team brainstorms, once you begin to figure things out, you start shooting.

No pressure, right?!

Each person on the team contributed the personal memories we see in the film. Everything went together from there. Next came location, location, location! The team headed to the Erie County Fair – and the Tilt-A-Whirl. After shooting, came editing and then it was delivered. On time. In 48 hours. Travis said it was tight, “It’s really dramatic. A lot of teams each year don’t make it. You spend all that time and then you don’t make it. It’s unfortunate but they are very strict.”

This team was just that in every sense of the word! It was a total collaboration.




Travis and the team are all from Western New York and are incredibly excited to represent this amazing area. The entire process has been unreal, but Travis knew it was special, “For me, when I was here at like 3 am writing, getting everyone’s responses to our memory journey that we were going on. That’s when I thought, wow this is very powerful. I knew, I knew it was special.”


But man, that deadline was something, “We didn’t even watch it all the way through when it was done, we didn’t have time,” Travis admits, “We sat there on the couch after we sent it and watched it together.”

Travis, as you can imagine, is thrilled. Happy for himself, his team, his community, and happy that good storytelling is appreciated, “It reinforces that it’s great to be telling stories. It’s great and it really is reassuring that you can do these things. You have to take a risk, and commit to it and it can really pay off.”

It sure can!

Allen and Cheri, Travis and many of the other talented team members are headed to the Cannes Film Festival – for what will surely be an amazing time. The viewing will be May 14th.

A Gofundme has been set up to help all of these talented Buffalonians make their way to Cannes in May! https://www.gofundme.com/Buffalo48toCannes






About Me



Welcome to Totally Buffalo! A local lifestyle website.

My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! I’m a wife, a mom, a grandma, a Buffalo booster, an entrepreneur and a small business owner. I’m so glad you stopped by.  After 20 years in the buffalo media, I went out on my own to tell stories about the people, places, events and all-around fabulousness of this wonderful place we call home. Buffalo is different and so is this site. We are here to share stories, encourage kindness, and help make this a better place to live.

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