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2018 High Falls Film Festival

A Fine Line – with director Q&A

Directed by Joanna James

USA / 2017 / Documentary Feature Film / 72 mins / English

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A Fine Line – with Q&A

The Little Theatre - #1
Saturday, November 3, 2018 12:00 pm


A Fine Line explores why only 6% of head chefs and restaurant owners are women, when traditionally women have always held the central role in the kitchen. Hear perspectives and experiences from world-renowned chefs, including: World’s Best Female Chef Dominique Crenn, Time Magazine’s 1 of the Most Influential People Barbara Lynch, 2 Michelin Star Chef April Bloomfield, 3 Michelin Star Chef Elena Arzak, Emmy Award Nominated Chef Lidia Bastianich, World’s Best Chef Daniel Humm and many more.

At the heart of what is needed to empower women across all industries is the personal story of a small-town restaurateur with a larger-than-life personality, Valerie James, a single mother on a mission to do what she loves while raising two kids with the odds stacked mightily high against her. An inspiring success story on perseverance, family and food.

A Fine Line grapples with issues sparking national discussions including: work/life balance, harassment in the workplace, equal pay, career advancement and paid parental leave.


Q & A after the film with director Joanna James and Rochester’s own Robin Banister Swan, owner/Executive Chef at Ox and Stone and owner of Roux; Ashley Swan, head chef at Roux; and Paulina Swan, owner/chef at The Swan Dive.


The Community Partner for this screening is The Women’s Foundation of the Genesee Valley.

Director's Bio

Joanna’s directorial debut with A Fine Line, which she has produced and edited, has led to her passion of filmmaking and sharing people’s stories. Joanna is the founder of Aliana Productions, an independent film, television and multimedia production company out of New York. A native of Boston, Joanna began her writing career as an intern, reporting for the national/foreign desk at The Boston Globe in 2000, and later reporting for The Hellenic Voice, where she was chosen to cover the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens. Stateside, Joanna then wrote for The Taunton Daily Gazette, where she was awarded best environmental reporting by the New England Press Association for an investigative piece. Shortly thereafter, Joanna moved to Miami as a freelance writer and producer working for Plum TV. Additionally, Joanna holds a Master’s Degree in International Communication and Media from Lynn University, with a focus on film production.

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Dates & Times

A Fine Line – with Q&A

The Little Theatre - #1
Saturday, November 3, 2018 12:00 pm