Here's a pretty staggering fact: The Audience Award winner from the first two runs of the High Falls Film Festival went on to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Film five months later. Croatia's No Man's Land (2001) and Germany's Nowhere in Africa (2002), which toppled favorites like perceived sure-thing Amélie and Zhang Yimou's Hero, may have won the industry's top prize on one magnificent evening in Southern California, but their journeys made an important stop in Rochester first.
This means two things: That the people who attended High Falls are as savvy as you'll find anywhere; and the people who program the festival really know what they're doing.
This year's festival, lovingly dubbed HF3, is no exception in terms of quality. Its slate of documentaries is, as a whole, the best I've ever seen. And the opening night film --- Jim Sheridan's semi-autobiographical fairytale, In America (see review in this issue) --- is sure to be a big player in the various year-end awards races. And speaking of awards, you won't want to miss Osama. It's the only foreign picture in HF3's program selected by its country of origin to compete in this year's Best Foreign Film competition. And you know what that means...Read more about the High Falls Film Festival here.