The new (sort of) 360|365 George Eastman House Film Festival preview

Previously known as the Rochester High Falls International Film Festival, the actual event will be holding its ninth annual incarnation, but it will be the first under the name 360 | 365 George Eastman House Film Festival. It’s a six-day ode to film, full of features, documentaries, shorts and children’s programs, bringing both new and restored old classics to the big screen. According to the press release, this will be the first time a major film archive will have aligned with a contemporary film festival, something that is an amazing coup, especially with its ability to screen a work such as the 1948 British masterpiece The Red Shoes.

The programming expands into panel discussions, master classes from industry professionals, public and private parties, and informal “Coffee With” events for networking purposes. Along with all that is an impressive special guest list including director James Ivory on opening night as he is honored as a George Eastman Honorary Scholar before presenting his newest work, The City of Your Final Destination, starring Anthony Hopkins and Laura Linney. Oscar winning film editor—and Scorsese regular—Thelma Schoonmaker will also be presented with an award, the Susan B. Anthony “Failure is Impossible” Award, directly before the screening of The Red Shoes on Saturday, May 8th, which was directed by her late husband Michael Powell. The festival organization’s strong ties toward showing the achievements of women in all aspects of filmmaking is a driving force behind this honor.

I myself will be getting in on the action by driving up to Rochester Friday afternoon to partake in three films that day and another three or four on Saturday, including Powell’s classic. With three theatres showing films simultaneously, and a fourth room open for panel discussions, there will be no shortage of things to see and experience, all within the George Eastman House complex. I’ll admit that my main driving force is to see Oscar nominated animated film The Secret of Kells, but with Harry Brown also playing, I figured staying for two days would give a chance to see a few more that I may never have another chance to catch again.

The fun all begins on May 5th—with the Ivory presentation at 6:30pm—and continues on until the festival’s completion May 10th. The website, located at has plenty of background information, a downloadable film schedule, and the ability to purchase tickets for individual shows or a multitude of packages. It’s all shaping up to be a pretty great time, held at cinema’s birthplace. My enjoyment of their logo also makes it that much more appealing to me. So I judge some books by their cover; I’m thinking this is one time where it will work out.

360 | 365 George Eastman House Film Festival
May 5-10, 2010


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