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More About


Sam Avery is an award winning filmmaker and educator living in Syracuse, NY with his brilliant wife Dr. Julie Ficarra and two lunatic sons, Sullivan and Thatcher. Currently, Sam is an Associate Professor at The State University of New York, College at Cortland where he teaches classes in Fiction and Nonfiction Filmmaking, Studio Television Production, and Screenwriting in the Communication and Media Studies department.


In 2014, Sam started the Blackbird Film Festival - an annual celebration of visual art and film based in Cortland, NY. Each season, Blackbird screens approximately 80-100 independent films made by directors from around the world and provides students and community members access to unique screenings, workshops and networking events. 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 2020, Sam served as the Academy Director at Syracuse Studios in which he coordinated the on-set internship program and academy film production training series.

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, building things, and writing about himself in the third person...

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