The fifth annual High Falls Film Festival, held in Rochester, N.Y., has announced its 2005 lineup. The festival, which focuses on the achievements of women working in film and video, will feature over 50 narrative and short films and documentaries. Stephen Frears's ("Dirty Pretty Things") "Mrs. Henderson Presents" will open the festival on Nov. 9. "The World's Fastest Indian," by Roger Donaldson ("Thirteen Days"), will close the festival on Nov. 13.
"Mrs. Henderson Presents" is based on the real-life story of London society figure Laura Henderson (Judi Dench). Prior to the start of World War II, Henderson opened the Windmill Theater, which became known for its all-nude revue.
Some films from the Screening Women: Recent Films from the New Europe series will be presented at the festival. Alice Nellis's "Some Secrets," from the Czech Republic, examines mother-daughter bonds. Teona Strugar Mitevska's "How I Killed a Saint," from Macedonia/Slovenia/France, focuses on the relationship between a brother and sister in a war-torn country.
Feature films screening at the festival include actor Scott Coffey's feature directorial debut, "Ellie Parker," starring Naomi Watts as an aspiring Hollywood actress; Michael Haneke's ("The Piano Teacher") "Hidden," about a TV host who anonymously receives videos of himself interacting with his family, and Shaohong Li's "Stolen Life," which follows a peasant girl in China who enters college.
Jessica Sanders's "After Innocence," about the Innocence Project; Barbara Koppel, Bob Eisenhardt and Marijana Wotton's "Bearing Witness," about female war journalists, and Marion Lipschutz and Rose Rosenblatt's "The Education of Shelby Knox," about a Texas teenager fighting for comprehensive sex education in the schools, are among some of the documentaries that will screen at High Falls.
Actors Angela Bassett, Diane Ladd, Christine Lahti and Jane Alexander, writer Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal and producer Norma Heyman will be honored at the festival for their career accomplishments.
Anthony Hopkins stars as New Zealander Burt Munro in "The World's Fastest Indian." Munro rebuilt a 1920 Indian Scout motorcycle and then set a land-speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. In 1967, he achieved the fastest officially recorded speed on an Indian, a record that has never been broken.
[For a full film and event schedule, visit the festival website.]