High Falls Film Festival
Founded in 2001, the High Falls Film Festival is one of the few film festivals worldwide that celebrates the work of women filmmakers, and is one of the longest running women's film festivals on the East Coast.
The High Falls Film Festival celebrates the artistry and innovation of women in film behind the camera, in leading roles on the screen, and at the heart of storylines. The focus on women in film is inspired by Rochester, N.Y.'s legacy as the birthplace of film (George Eastman and Kodak) and the women's rights movement (Susan B. Anthony).
The offerings include an international slate of independent films enhanced by panels, workshops, and talks with filmmakers.
A non-profit organization, the High Falls Film Festival has screened more than 500 films since its inception, spotlighting the cinematic works of women and bringing the finest independent motion pictures and film artists to Rochester and Western New York audiences. The Festival includes features, documentaries, shorts, children's and young adult programs. The Festival has also offered programs in film education as well as student film making competitions.
The festival aligned with the Rochester International Film Festival in 2007 and with George Eastman House in 2009 under the name George Eastman House 360 | 365 Film Festival. After taking a hiatus in 2012, High Falls Film festival returned in 2013 to its original mission, focus, and name. The festival's venues in 2015 include The Little Theatre and the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House.
Films from past Festivals have gone on to win Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards and recognition at other festivals, from Sundance to Berlin. High Falls Film Festival includes panel discussions and master classes presented by prominent industry professionals who give our filmmaking audience unique access to advance their own talents in all aspects of filmmaking.
High Falls Films Festival presents more than 50 features, documentaries, and shorts, including a children's program and student-filmmaker program, in addition to panel discussions, opening and closing night parties, and informal "Coffee With" events featuring visiting filmmakers and artists.
The festival is a lively mix of emerging and established talent, with past guests including actresses Kerry Washington, Lynn Redgrave, Rita Moreno, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christine Lahti, Bill Pullman, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster, Mira Nair, Jane Alexander, Candice Bergen, Joan Allen, Gordy Hoffman, Famke Janssen, Faith Hubley, Stuart Craig, Diane Ladd, John Curran, CCH Pounder, Leslie Stahl, Celeste Holm, Lainie Kazan, Sally Kellerman, voice-over actress Nancy "Bart Simpson" Cartwright, producer Lauren Shuler Donner, Richard Donner, Agnieszka Holland, and SHREK director Vicky Jenson, editor Thelma Schoonmaker, and director Vicky Jenson.
Lights! Camera! and Action!...as the red carpet gets rolled out at the Little Theatre for the annual High Falls Film Festival. This festival celebrates the innovation of woman in film, with cinematic movies to drive the story-line of the times. It is a great concept to have a film festival like this hosted in Rochester because we are the birthplace for the women's rights movements. I have seen a variety of films here at this festival like Vogue Magazines' history of Diana Vreeland to the current world premier movie of Happy 40th. These are independently made movies that you do not get the opportunity to see on the big screens. As usual, The Little Theatre did an excellent job of hosting the Opening Night movie of Happy 40th with friendly staff that educated you about the movie beforehand. This movie was extremely touching, as it involved four women coming together to celebrate a birthday of a friend who is now in a wheelchair. Happy 40th was extremely raw to see (like Game of Thrones), as it portrayed a realistic point of view of what someone goes through in a wheelchair. The way this movie was laid out to make you feel like you were there experiencing the problems with these women characters together. From a male perspective, you can sympathize with him in the bed department as he was experiencing intimacy issues with his wife. After the movie, there was a Q & A session with the director, Modaka Raine. This was a great opportunity to see the producers talk about the struggles in making a film, and the different perspectives they use to get there point across. Modaka also was the rebel hippy girl in the movie, so it was neat to see how she played both the role, and the producer. Ironically, her character in the movie is very similar to her character in real life. The Opening Night Party after the feature film was held at The Sibley Building. Now keep in mind, it was hard to compete with the previous year's venue at The Inn on Broadway. While on a lower scale, it did not lack the entertainment value. Non-stop music was being played tonight by the band Backstory, as people got into the movie themed music on the dance floor. Marissa N., and myself enjoyed a complimentary massage from ShearEgo. Marques Gibbons did an excellent full body massage which lasted for about a half-hour!! While I was getting a massage, Marissa N. was heading to The Melting Pot Restaurant booth for some strawberries and chocolate. Brown Hound Bistro catered the rest of the food with a multitude of hors d'oeuvres. We could not stop eating there signature BBQ Sandwich bites, which has house cured chicken breast and pancetta combined with a spicy house sriracha sauce. They even took it a step further by topping it with fresh tomatoes, and pickled onion- Gobble Gobble. Now I have never had a Galushki before, but now I will come back for more. These are Ukrainian Dumplings with fresh ricotta cheese, and caramelized onions. You can find the Brown Hound Bistro in the Memorial Art Gallery. To finish off your night, you can have your commemorative photo taken at the Photo Booth, just make sure you have no food on your face. Overall: Opening Night Film- Happy 40th, Opening Night Party at The Sibley Building, The Little Theatre, Q & A with Modaka, ShearEgo Messages, and TASTY food by Brown Hound Bistro...I Will Be Back.