High Falls Film Festival

Dryden Theatre & Little Theatre
Dates & Times
November 10 - 14, 2016

The High Falls Film Festival is an annual film festival held in Rochester. Founded in 2001, the festival's mission is to present quality independent films from around the world focusing on the work of women in all areas of film, video and new media. This is intended to highlight Rochester’s standing both as the home of motion picture film (George Eastman) and the women's rights movement (Susan B. Anthony). The festival also has presented a summer film camp for teens and a teen film festival.

Past editions of the festival have each included some 90 features, documentaries, shorts, children's and young adult programs, student filmmaking competitions, panel discussions, master classes, and informal "Coffee With" events featuring visiting filmmakers and stars. The festival is a lively mix of emerging and well-established talent, with past guests that include actresses Christine Lahti, Angela Bassett, Jane Alexander, Candice Bergen, Joan Allen, Famke Janssen, CCH Pounder, and Sally Kellerman, voice-over actress Nancy "Bart Simpson" Cartwright, producer Lauren Shuler Donner, editor Thelma Schoonmaker, and director Vicky Jenson. Other guests include actors Philip Seymour Hoffman and Bill Pullman, and director James Ivory.

Name Changes

In June 2007, the festival merged with the Rochester International Film Festival (est. 1959). After the 2008 event, the two festivals separated again. The Rochester International Film Festival retained its name, while The High Falls Film Festival continued as The Rochester-High Falls International Film Festival.

On October 21, 2009 the festival announced its new name, 360 | 365, in recognition of its new year-round focus. In late December of that year, the festival announced that the George Eastman House, an international center for film preservation in Rochester, would be a title sponsor for the festival.

After the 2011 festival, organizers announced the termination of the partnership with the George Eastman House, making the festival's new name the 360 | 365 Film Festival.

In 2012 there was no festival due to a funding shortage. The organization returned to its original name, High Falls Film Festival, and focus on the role of women in film. It has committed to a modest 2013 festival to be held April 18-20 while it continues to raise additional funds. Venues in 2013 will be The Cinema, the Little Theatre and the Dryden Theatre.

Past Awards

The Susan B. Anthony “Failure is Impossible” Award
Honors a woman in the film industry who has persevered in her career and triumphed over difficulties.
* 2011: Julie Taymor
* 2010: Thelma Schoonmaker
* 2009: Actors Lynn Redgrave and CCH Pounder
* 2008: Actor Rita Moreno
* 2006: Director Agnieszka Holland; actors Shirley Knight and Famke Janssen; producer Lauren Shuler Donner
* 2005: Actors Christine Lahti, Angela Bassett and Diane Ladd; producer Norma Heyman and screenwriter Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal
* 2004: Actors Joan Allen and Sally Kellerman; publicist Lois Smith
* 2003: Actor Celeste Holm
* 2002: Actor Lainie Kazan
* 2001: Actor Pam Grier

The Golden Lens Award for Cinematography
Honors a person who has made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of cinematography.
* 2011: Buddy Squires

The Rochester Film Legacy Award
Honors a filmmaker or film supporter based in the Rochester area whose passion and dedication embodies Rochester’s proud film legacy.
* 2011: Brock Yates

The Faith Hubley “Web of Life” Award
Named after its first recipient, honors a woman who understands the power of art in connecting with an audience and in making the world a better place.
* 2005: Jane Alexander, actor
* 2004: Mira Nair, filmmaker
* 2003: Jeannie Epper, stuntwoman
* 2002: Nancy Cartwright, voice actor
* 2001: Faith Hubley, animator

The Elizabeth Cady Stanton “Thorn in the Side” Award
Honors women who exemplify the collaborative nature of film and video. The award is named in honor of Stanton, who said: “If there is one part of my life which gives me more intense satisfaction than another, it is my friendship with Susan B. Anthony... we have indeed been thorns in the side of each other...”
* 2009: Debra Zimmerman
* 2008: Estela Bravo, director
* 2006: Stella Pence, (retired) Co-Director, Telluride Film Festival

Audience Choice Awardees
Festival audiences chose Best Feature, Best Documentary and Best Short. Past Audience Award winners include:

* Best Feature: The First Grader
* Best Documentary: Bill Cunningham New York
* Best Short: Shoegazer

* Best Feature: Welcome
* Best Documentary: Waiting For "Superman"

* Best Feature: Skin
* Best Documentary: Signs Of The Time
* Best Short: Julie, Julie

* Best Feature: Phoebe in Wonderland
* Best Documentary: Autism: The Musical

* Best Feature: The Lives Of Others
* Best Documentary: American Blackout
* Best Short: Sintonia

* Best Feature: The World's Fastest Indian
* Best Documentary: Christa Mcauliffe: Reach For The Stars
* Best Short: A Life To Live

* Best Feature: Dear Frankie
* Best Documentary: Born Into Brothels

* Best Feature: In America
* Best Documentary: My Architect

* Best Feature: Nowhere In Africa
* Best Documentary: Blue Vinyl
* Best Feature, Runner-Up: Frida
* Best Documentary, Runner-Up: Sister Helen

* Best Feature: No Man's Land
* Best Documentary: Southern Comfort
* Best Feature, Runner-Up: Fast Runner
* Best Documentary, Runner-Up: Endurance


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