The Susan B. Anthony Award Pin

Photo by Michelle Macirella

Susan B. Anthony lived in Rochester – as did George Eastman, of course – so the founders of the High Falls Film Festival wanted to focus on the achievements of women in the film industry, to do something (as Susan might) to help correct the imbalance of employment for women. Each year, the festival honors selected women in the film industry with the Susan B. Anthony “Failure is Impossible” award. Past winners, who include Rita Moreno, Shirley Knight, Barbara Kopple, Agnieszka Holland, Famke Janssen, Angela Bassett, Christine Lahti, Diane Ladd, Joan Allen, Sally Kellerman, Candice Bergen, Celeste Holm, Lainie Kazan and Pam Grier, were chosen for the consistent quality of their work and the many courageous choices they have made.

Winners of the award receive a striking pin made out of sterling silver and pearls. Designed by Boo Poulin in 2001 at the start of the High Falls Film Festival, Rochester’s renowned artist created a design that incorporated the water of Rochester’s High Falls, and film sprockets. “I think the design reflects both those aspects of the festival,” Poulin says. The pins that pierce the sides of the waterfall have also been interpreted as representing the obstacles that Susan B. Anthony, and, by association, women artists, have had to overcome.

Boo Poulin has maintained a design and production jewelry studio in downtown Rochester since 1983. Her work is very graphic, geometric and precision oriented, incorporating materials such as sterling silver, pearls and steel cable into the context of jewelry. This deliberate use of precious and non-precious materials, combined with industrial technology and standard hand skills is aimed at extending the traditional parameters of the jewelry object as well as expressing a personal and contemporary aesthetic. After studying with Albert Paley at the State University Of New York, College At Brockport, Boo received her M.F.A. From the School For American Craftsmen at Rochester Institute Of Technology. Her work is sold nationally to craft galleries and museum shops.