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Sam Avery is an award winning filmmaker and educator living in Syracuse, NY with his amazing wife Julie and son, Sullivan.

Currently, Sam is an Associate Professor at The State University of New York, College at Cortland where he teaches Advanced Film, Advanced Documentary, Studio Television Production and Screenwriting in the Communication and Media Studies department.


In 2014, Sam started the Blackbird Film Festival which takes place annually at the end of April in Cortland, NY. Blackbird screens approximately 80 independent films made by directors from around the world and provides students and community members access to unique film screenings and workshops. Blackbird is currently ranked as one of the "Top 100 Best Reviewed Festivals" out of the 8000+ events listed on More information on the Blackbird Film Festival can be found at

Before entering academia, Mr. Avery worked professionally as the Program Director of the Digital Media Academy at Harvard University and as an Event Supervisor/Videographer for DRC Video Productions.

In graduate school, Sam studied media production under the tutelage of award winning ethnographic film director Sarah Elder and Emmy-award winning producer/director Elliot Caplan as well as distinguished American writer, photographer, and documentary filmmaker Bruce Jackson in the Department of Media Study at the University at Buffalo where he earned his MFA in Media Arts Production.

In his free time, Sam enjoys gardening, badminton, and writing about himself in the third person...

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