High Falls Film Festival

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The High Falls Film Festival is an annual film festival held each spring in Rochester, New York. Founded in 2001, the festival's mission is to focus on quality independent films from around the world. The current festival focus is on the work of women in all areas of film, video and new media, highlighting Rochester’s standing as the home of motion picture film (George Eastman) and the women's rights movement (Susan B. Anthony). The festival has also 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,[1] 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[edit]

In June 2007, the festival merged with the Rochester International Film Festival (est. 1959).[2] 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, making the name George Eastman House 360 | 365 Film Festival.[3]

After taking a hiatus in 2012, the festival announced its return April 18–20, 2013 with its original name, High Falls Film Festival, and original focus on women in film. The festival's venues include The Little Theatre, The Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House and The Cinema Theatre.


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:



  1. ^ Gallagher, Michael Aaron (May 30, 2009).2009 Rochester High Falls International Film Festival honors ground-breaking pioneers. Retrieved 05-30-2009.
  2. ^ Hutchurson, Lisa (2007-06-21). "Two acclaimed film festivals merge". Democrat and Chronicle. p. 1C. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  3. ^ Reguero, Anna (2009-12-23). "George Eastman House joins area film festival". Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York: Gannett Company). p. 1A. Archived from the original on 2009-12-23. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 

External links[edit]