You’re quite the film connoisseur, aren’t you? At least, that’s what you told her, and now she’s going to hold you to it. You could take her to see “Scary Movie 3,” but you don’t really want the snide remarks for the next three months. This week, however, you have a better option. The High Falls Film Festival has hit Rochester, with 34 world-class films that you can enjoy – and that will save your reputation.

This is the festival’s third year. The event was organized to celebrate women in film, an appropriate choice for the city of both Susan B. Anthony and George Eastman. Not all the films in the festival are about or by women, but they are represented here like they are at few other major festivals. It’s worth looking at the festival’s Web site, www.highfallsfilmfestival.com, to see all the movies playing. To give you a taste, here are the Campus Times’ top six picks:

Sisters

This Russian film is one of the best portrayals of the chaos of post-Soviet Russian society. The film follows two young sisters as they hide from kidnappers, mob rivals of the girls’ father. This movie is in some ways like the two “Brothers” films in which director Sergei Bodrov starred, but it is by no means a sequel. Bodrov was killed while working on his next film, so this frenetic account of Russian life will remain the only film he will direct. The film plays tonight at 7 p.m. at the Little Theatre.

This is Not a Love Song

Billie Eltringham directed this film about two unruly British chums who set out to find adventure and, unfortunately, succeed. The creepy setting of the English moors adds very much to the film. In publicizing the film, the makers tried very hard to point out that it wasn’t like “Deliverance” or “Blair Witch Project,” which means, of course, that it is like them in many ways. The film has received quite a few very good reviews and is recommended by the festival’s artistic director. The film plays tonight at 8:50 p.m. at the Little Theatre.

Osama

This is the first Afghani film made since the Taliban regime was removed from power. This feature is about a 12-year-old girl in Afghanistan forced to disguise herself as a boy in order to support her family. The film is made to seem as though it is almost real, and at times even could be mistaken for a documentary. This film won three awards at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. It screens Friday at 7:00 p.m. at Dryden Theatre.

Monique

Here we see the life of a down-on-his-luck French photographer, who is left alone after his son moves out and his wife leaves him. He ends up alone, except for Monique – the plastic “entertainment” doll he bought one night in a drunken stupor. The movie is not the most sophisticated of the festival, but it should be fun nonetheless. Catch it Friday at 9 p.m. at the Little Theatre.

This is a Game, Ladies

This documentary follows Vivian Springer and the Rutgers University Scarlett Knights, as the women’s basketball team tries to fight their way to the NCAA Championship. Springer is one of only two African-American women coaches in college basketball, and she had guided Rutgers to the NCAA Final Four three times before this film was made. The film is recommended by the festival’s artistic director, and the film’s producer will answer audience questions at the show. The film plays Saturday at 3:15 p.m. at the Little Theatre.

Girl Hood

Two Baltimore girls are followed during and after their time in a juvenile detention center. Both have committed violent crimes and have a far different perspective on being a teenage girl in America than usually portrayed in film. The film has received recognition for the openness of the interviews and how deeply it reaches into the girls’ hearts. The film shows Saturday at 7:15 p.m. at the Little Theatre.

Find out more at http://www.highfallsfilmfestival.com.

Brown can be reached at cbrown@campustimes.org.



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