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Hamburg resident participates in film and virtual exhibit

HAMBURG — Hamburg resident and Canisius College student Brianna Blank served as the cinematographer, editor and assistant editor on the Canisius College Video Institute project “1812: By Fire and Sword.” Blank is currently a junior dual major in digital media arts and communication studies at Canisius.

“1812: By Fire and Sword” is a narrative film and virtual exhibit that features local re-enactors and professional actors’ telling the stories of the burning of Buffalo, Red Jacket, Laura Secord, Cyrenius Chapin, General McClure and other events that characterized the War of 1812, in the Niagara Theatre. Five short films were made with the Buffalo History Museum, in conjunction with its exhibit, “By Fire and Sword: War in the Niagara Theatre, 1812 – 1814,” on view at the museum through June.

More than 30 historians, consultants, technicians and actors participated in the “1812: By Fire and Sword” project; a dozen of them were communication studies and digital media arts students. The project was supervised by Jamie O’Neil, associate professor and director of digital media arts and codirector of the Canisius College Video Institute. P.J. Moskal PhD, assistant professor of digital media arts, led the development of the near field communication system that utilized tablets for the deployment of media within the museum.

The Canisius College Video Institute will premiere this project at 7 p.m. on Nov. 20 at the Buffalo History Museum, located at 25 Nottingham Court in Buffalo. The event is free and open to the public. A lecture and reception will follow the screening.

To view the film trailer or virtual exhibit, visit The “1812: By Fire and Sword” project was made possible by a $35,000 grant, from the J. Warren Perry and Donald Perry Memorial Fund.

For more information, call O’Neil at 888-3123 or visit

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