Sick of watching reruns on T.V.? Looking for something new to try? From Oct. 30 through Nov. 3, Rochester has your answer in the form of the 2nd annual High Falls Film Festival.

The High Falls Film Festival is the only film festival in the U.S. that specifically celebrates the achievements of women in all creative roles in film and video making process.

It highlights noteworthy films from around the world, with an emphasis on special contributions by women in film.

The films range from those directed by veterans of the film world to other films that mark the debut of a promising, hopeful director. Many of these films are directed by people who are just beginning to make a name for themselves in the U.S. and in the rest of the world.

These contributions go beyond acting, directing and producing the usual attention grabbers, the jobs that people immediately associate with movie making to include composing, cinematography and even the contributions of stuntwomen.

The movies featured in this year’s festival will be screened at the Dryden Theatre adjacent to the George Eastman House and The Little Theatre. Both of these theaters are located on East Avenue.

Many genres of films have been invited and will be shown, including documentaries, feature films, shorts and a children’s program.

This year’s festival will include the screening of over 34 feature length films ? a higher number than that of last year.

This year, the festival will open on Friday night at the Dryden Theatre. The featured film is the bio-pic “Frieda,” about the Mexican painter Frieda Kahlo and her husband, Diego Rivera.

The cast is an A-list of Hollywood stars including Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Ashley Judd, Geoffrey Rush, Antonio Banderas and Edward Norton.

Friday, the Little Theatre’s opening night film is a French film titled, “Chaos,” the story of a young Parisian couple whose lives become entangled with a prostitute.

On the way home from a party, the couple sees a distressed young woman run toward them. Instead of helping her, they lock their car and drive away. As they drive away, they can see the woman being attacked. The attack sets off a chain of events that lead to a movie full of adventure, suspense, and out of the ordinary kind of fun.

The High Falls Film Festival consists of more than just film screenings. This year, there will also be panels and seminars.

Some themes that will be discussed in these seminars and panels are casting, cinematographers, truth in documentary, the art of producing and independent film.

The panel titled, “Woman Who Run the Show: How A Bold and Resourceful New Generation of Women Stormed Hollywood” will be led by Mollie Gregory, a filmmaker and author of a book on the featured subject.

Gregory plans on bringing several of her Hollywood colleagues to the festival to openly discuss their careers as female movie makers.

In another panel, dubbed the Film Critics Panel, three of the country’s well known film critics, Carie Rickey of the “Philadelphia Enquirer,” Molly Haskell and Rochester’s own Jack Garner from the “Democrat and Chronicle,” will discuss the world of film criticism and the methods that they use when critiquing a film.

In addition to the seminars, many awards will be given out, including the Susan B. Anthony “Failure is Impossible Award” audience awards, separate awards for the best Feature, best Documentary and the Web of Life Award.

This year, Nancy Cartwright, best known as the voice of Bart Simpson from the animated series “The Simpsons,” will be the recipient of the Web of Life Award.

The High Falls Film Festival Web site states that this award is presented to a woman who “understands the power art has to entertain and connect with an audience, and also the responsibility the artist has to follow through with that connection by helping make this world a better place.”

Tickets for the High Falls Film Festival can be purchased at Ticket Express on 100 East Avenue (222-5000). Tickets are $7.50 a show, or a book of 10 tickets can be purchased for $60. Student Rush Tickets can be purchased 5 minutes before a show for $5 each.

For more information, contact the High Falls Film Festival information line at 258-0401, check out their Web site at www.highfallsfilmfestival.com or visit their office at 240 East Avenue.

Gorode can be reached at kgorode@campustimes.org.



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