Founded in 2001, the High Falls Film Festival is one of the few film festivals worldwide that celebrates the work of women filmmakers, and is one of the longest running women’s film festivals on the East Coast.
Based in Rochester, NY, the birthplace of motion picture film and the early women’s activist movement, High Falls Film Festival explores and celebrates artistry and innovation of the most imaginative female cinematic visionaries. Our mission is to feature exceptional 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).
A non-profit organization, the High Falls Film Festival has screened more than 500 films since its inception, spotlighting the cinematic works of women and bringing the finest independent motion pictures and film artists to Rochester and Western New York audiences. The Festival includes features, documentaries, shorts, children’s and young adult programs. The Festival has also offered programs in film education as well as student film making competitions.
In 2010 & 2011, the Festival changed course and adopted a new name and mission. Known as 360|365 George Eastman House Film Festival, the Festival offered programming open to all independent filmmakers regardless of gender. Following a hiatus in 2012, in 2013 the Festival returned to its founding mission and name, High Falls Film Festival, celebrating women’s achievements in film with a highly successful event drawing thousands of people, a record number of women filmmakers in attendance and a record number of film submissions.
Films from past Festivals have gone on to win Academy Awards®, Golden Globe Awards® and recognition at other festivals, from Sundance to Berlin. High Falls Film Festival includes panel discussions and master classes presented by prominent industry professionals who give our filmmaking audience unique access to advance their own talents in all aspects of filmmaking.
Our celebrity and film industry guests have included: Lynn Redgrave, Rita Moreno, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Christine Lahti, Bill Pullman, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster, Mira Nair, Jane Alexander, Candice Bergen, Joan Allen, Gordy Hoffman, Famke Janssen, Faith Hubley, Stuart Craig, Diane Ladd, John Curran, CCH Pounder, Leslie Stahl, Celeste Holm, Lainie Kazan, Sally Kellerman, voice-over actress Nancy “Bart Simpson” Cartwright, producer Lauren Shuler Donner, Richard Donner, Agnieszka Holland, and Shrek director Vicky Jenson.