Sure, we're all sick of film festivals (at least until Sundance in January), but the High Falls Film Festival, which runs November 9-14 in Rochester, New York, is a film festival with a different take: it focuses exclusively on showcasing women in film, both in front of and behind the camera. It might not seem like a natural choice to hold a film festival in November in a city that can get up to 92 inches of snow in a season, but there are two very good reasons to hold a film festival about women there. Rochester was the home of both women's suffrage pioneer Susan B. Anthony and Eastman Kodak founder George Eastman, who invented motion-picture film.
The festival schedule includes Ellie Parker, Holy Girl,Transamerica, Bee Season, Mrs. Henderson Presents, The War Within, and Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic (that one is sure to ruffle some feathers in conservative Rochester). The festival will also offer a series of children's shorts from around the globe, three series of shorts, and films from female film students at Rochester Institute of Technology, and appearances by female film luminaries including Christine Lahti, Angela Bassett, Diane Ladd, and Jane Alexander.
While it's not New York City, Rochester has long been getting great indie and foreign films thanks to Little Theatres, which is one of the main venues for the festival. My only beef is that nobody thought of starting this cool little festival until after we moved away from Rochester six years ago. Thanks, guys - er, gals.