Tilke Hill

Buffalo is full of people helping to cultivate cinema and we want to celebrate those involved. The Cultivators is a new monthly feature in which we highlight individuals who are integral to the presentation, promotion and production of film here in the queen city.



Former Festival Director, Buffalo International Film Festival | CEO, The New Hotness, Inc.


What got you interested in movies?

Connection. Doing something together with my family that did not involve debates … though of course those would follow. A common experience between humans with which to provide a seed for discussion.

Storytelling. Discovering humanity.

Escape. Sitting in the dark and going on an adventure.

Popcorn. My mom used to make this giant batch of popcorn in a pan and fill up a paper shopping bag full of it. We’d then sneak it into the theatre.

What is your favorite movie related memory?

Throwing up a little in the bathroom after watching Requiem for a Dream by Darren Aronofsky. I had no idea … that you could make films like that. And then affect someone in such a visceral way. Until then.

But also … Labyrinth.

How did you end up in Buffalo?

I moved here due to an illness—my family was here.

What do you want to see more of in Buffalo?

I’d like to see the Buffalo International Film Festival reaches its goal of becoming a top tier festival. I’d like to see a film stage built that could house larger budget films and television shows. I’d like the AMC rebuild to be awesome.

I’d like to see more local underrepresented writers and directors. For example, I walked onto a set yesterday of a few kids I know and there were 15 bodies making a film, none were women and all were white. Its endemic. This is a small scale example of a large scale issue. We only started talking about change 2 years ago, it will take thousands for parity.

What are your essential film books?

I don’t really read film books. My storytelling school was devouring plays and watching films.

I’m of the Quentin Tarantino mindset … consume, figure out what you like, discover your voice, make your work.

As far as the production/sales side … no story is the same and everyone is making a buck telling you how you should do it. Just like we’re all snowflakes, all of our paths to success in film is unique.


This question would be easier if you said top ten per genre … because I had to leave so many off …

  1. True Romance [1993], directed by Tony Scott
  2. Badlands [1973], directed by Terrence Malick
  3. Postcards from the Edge [1990], directed by Mike Nichols
  4. What We Do in the Shadows [2014], directed by Jemaine Clement & Taika Waititi
  5. V for Vendetta [2006], directed by James McTeigue
  6. Wild at Heart [1990], directed by David Lynch
  7. Betty Blue [1986], directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix
  8. Sophie’s Choice [1982], directed by Alan J. Pakula
  9. The Hurt Locker [2009], directed by Kathryn Bigelow
  10. Wonder Woman [2017], directed by Patty Jenkins

Film stills from left to right, top to bottom are Requiem for a DreamLabyrinth, Marshall premiere as part of the 2017 Buffalo International Film Festival (photo courtesy of North Park Theatre), and Market Arcade Film & Arts Centre (soon to be AMC Theatres).

Leave a Reply