The last few weeks have been grueling... for me.
Oh, I'm sure the hardworking people over at the High Falls Film Festival offices have been logging an inhuman amount of hours putting the finishing touches on the festival dedicated to women in film. But I'm really more concerned with myself. Would it kill you programmers to choose lackluster movies that I can fast-forward through? Why does everything have to be so interesting?
Artistic Director Catherine Wyler and Managing Director Ruth Cowing, the programmers at High Falls, selected 39 feature-length films and 49 short films for unspooling during the festival's 2005 incarnation. Wednesday's opening night presentation is Stephen Frears' latest, Mrs. Henderson Presents, starring British acting titans Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins, and the festival closes on Sunday with The World's Fastest Indian, starring Anthony Hopkins. Saturday night's gala celebration screening is Hidden, by edgy German director Michael Haneke.
A number of filmmakers will be in attendance at High Falls with their films and conducting Q&A sessions after the screenings, but the most standout feature of High Falls might be the peripheral events scheduled to coincide with the festival. Panels on screenwriting, making documentaries, and the business of independent film are all planned, as well as parties, receptions, and the popular "Coffee With..." series at the Crowne Plaza.
Jane Alexander, award-winning actress and former chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, has been tapped to receive the 2005 Web of Life Award, while Susan B. Anthony "Failure Is Impossible" honorees this year include actresses Angela Bassett, Diane Ladd, and Christine Lahti, plus screenwriter Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal and producer Norma Heyman. Each of these great ladies is scheduled to be in attendance at various points during the festival.
Though High Falls 2005 officially ends on Sunday, the audience picks for best feature film and documentary will show on Monday evening at the Little Theatre, so make sure you vote. I was able to check out a good portion of the High Falls selections, and I've already chosen my favorite, and handed out a few other awards of my own design.
The "50 is the new 30" award: When the Sea Rises
Thursday, November 10, 6:55 p.m.; Q&A with Yolande Moreau
Yolande Moreau --- probably best known to English-speaking audiences as the closure-deprived downstairs neighbor in Amélie --- makes her filmmaking debut with When the Sea Rises, an affectionate mash note to traveling players everywhere. Moreau also stars as Irène, a woman who dons a grotesque mask, slathers her arms in crimson greasepaint, and shoves a leek in her purse to stage a one-woman show in various towns. A chance meeting with a floppy-haired puppet maker leads to a charming romance, but frequent phone calls to discuss floor tile selections suggest that Irène may not be as free as her unusual lifestyle seems to indicate. Moreau, with the apple cheeks and impish smile of Vivien Leigh (you'll see it) won the 2005 César for Best Actress for this role, which was prompted by her own experiences as a touring comic. Cinematographer Gilles Porte co-directed and co-wrote Sea with Moreau, and the results showcase a courtship between adults of a certain age... something that's all too rare in today's films.
Best use of a former "Friend": Duane Hopwood
Thursday, November 10, 7 p.m.; appearance by Jane Alexander
David Schwimmer can relax in the knowledge that his post-Friends acting career is secure, thanks to his skillful performance in the title role of writer-director Matt Mulhern's look at an alcoholic and the havoc he wreaks on his world. Duane's disease shattered his marriage to Linda (Janeane Garofalo) and now jeopardizes his relationship with their daughters as well as his job at an Atlantic City casino. Schwimmer doesn't try to make his character likable, though it's obvious that Duane's heart is in the right place. Garofalo's awful hair color in no way detracts from the fact that she's got decent acting chops, and the enchanting Irish actress Susan Lynch (from The Secret of Roan Inish and Waking Ned Devine) pops up to play Duane's tentative new love interest. (Dick Cavett's hanging around, too, for some reason.) Hopwood unfortunately employed a feel-good montage to come to what seemed like an abrupt and easy end, but there certainly was pleasure in getting there.
Hippest sound bites: Punk: attitude
Thursday, November 10, 9:10 p.m.; Q&A with Krysanne Katsoolis
"All you need is one guy or girl to stand up and say, 'Fuck this,'" quoth documentarian's dream Henry Rollins. The former Black Flag frontman --- and ubiquitous go-to guy when the subject is music --- weighs in on the evolution of a genre in Don Letts' Punk: attitude, which also features insights from some of punk's finest, including Jello Biafra, Thurston Moore, Mick Jones, Glenn Branca, and David Johansen, to name a few, as well as filmmakers Jim Jarmusch and Mary Harron, and journalist Legs McNeil. We get to see classic footage featuring fallen icons like Joe Strummer and Johnny Thunders prowling the stage in their ultra-sexy prime, and we learn that Siouxsie Sioux thought Nancy Spungen was a "horrible girl," Chrissie Hynde was in an early version of The Damned, and safety pins weren't so much a fashion statement as a way to keep ratty duds from completely falling apart. But perhaps Rollins best sums it up by invoking the words of John Lennon: "Say what you mean, mean what you say, put a beat to it. Go."
The fly-on-the-wall award: Sketches of Frank Gehry
Friday, November 11, 7 p.m.; Q&A with Suzanne Weil
The subject of filmmaker Sydney Pollack's first documentary is also his friend, and it's this level of access that makes Sketches of Frank Gehry such a fascinating treat. Sketches offers viewers an insider's look at the art and science behind the madness of acclaimed architect Frank Gehry, who combines shapes and light to form structures with both beauty and function. Gehry cops to the same doubt that plagues us all ("I'm always scared that I'm not going to know what to do"), but it's abundantly clear as the camera caresses the curves of his astonishing Guggenheim outpost in Bilbao, Spain, that he's found a way to let go. Refreshingly, the film also allows Gehry's critics to have their say, but as perpetually bathrobed artist and filmmaker Julian Schabel observes about the Guggenheim, "If it does compete with the art, then maybe the art isn't good enough."
Best performance using the worst accent: Love, Ludlow
Friday, November 11, 8:55 p.m.; Q&A with Adrienne Weiss
Myra (Alicia Goranson) is a stubborn office temp who has spent the five years since her mother's death avoiding entanglements because of the detrimental effect it may have on Ludlow (Brendan Sexton III), her mentally challenged brother. So when sweetly naïve rube Reggie (David Eigenberg) begins to woo her, he finds that the only way to Myra's heart is through the clever and sarcastic Ludlow, who is in no mood to share. Adrienne Weiss' directing debut, written by David L. Paterson and based on his play called Finger Painting in a Murphy Bed, is your basic romantic push-pull, but Weiss gets bonus points for finding something to do with the underused Sexton and for often going with the more affecting reaction shots rather than training the camera on whoever happens to be speaking. Goranson (you know her as Becky No. 1 from Roseanne) turns in a surprisingly accomplished performance as the conflicted Myra, though her Queens accent achieves the same aural effect as a sack of angry cats.
Loosest interpretation: Midnight Movies
Friday, November 11, 11:15 p.m.; Q&A with Ben Barenholtz and Stu Samuels
This engaging documentary focuses on the six seminal films that birthed the late-night cult movie phenomenon of the 1970s --- Alexander Jodorowsky's El Topo, George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead, John Waters' Pink Flamingos, Perry Henzell's The Harder They Come, Jim Sharman's Rocky Horror Picture Show, and David Lynch's Eraserhead --- and checks in with the inventive minds behind both the films and their often seat-of-the-pants exhibition strategies. Truthfully, I tried for days to find the reasoning behind the stellar but decidedly male-centric Midnight Movies' inclusion in a festival designed to spotlight women in film, then I read that this film gives notice of High Falls' desire to launch a midnight movie program of its own next year, "without regard to the gender of the participants before or behind the camera." What? Think twice before you start chipping away at your original vision, High Falls. If you want to have a film festival, then just have a film festival. The work will always speak for itself.
Toughest chicks: Sisters In Law
Saturday, November 12, 1 p.m.
Judge Beatrice Ntuba and prosecutor Vera Ngassa lay down the law in Kumba Town, Cameroon, a place where a wife can be obtained for a pig and some cash. Co-directors Kim Longinotto and Florence Ayisi follow these formidable women over the course of three cases: A 6-year-old girl suffering from abuse at the hands of her aunt, a battered wife, and a pre-adolescent rape victim. Ntuba and Ngassa are forceful but fair advocates for women and children in a poverty-stricken Muslim society that doesn't always have the best interests of females at heart. Understandably, it's difficult to hear a 10-year-old matter-of-factly recount her sexual assault and see a little girl covered in both old and new scars. But while Sisters might sound depressing and sad, it's actually extremely uplifting, and the sight of these gorgeous African women dispensing justice in the old-timey powdered wigs is a surreal hoot.
My most favorite High Falls film yet: Stolen
Saturday, November 12, 1 p.m.; Q&A with Rebecca Dreyfus
You can't make this stuff up: A daring heist of $300 million worth of art, including the world's most valuable stolen painting, Vermeer's The Concert. A dapper fine-art detective who sports an eyepatch and a fake nose. A dogged news reporter who was blindfolded, driven to a secret location, and afforded a tantalizing glimpse of one of the missing paintings. A trail leading to master art thieves, cocky gangsters, the Irish Republican Army (!), and the US Senate (!!). Director Rebecca Dreyfus' crackerjack documentary Stolen plays like an edge-of-your-seat narrative and fascinating biography all in one. The film explores the life and legacy of great American art collector Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840-1924) and her eponymous Boston museum, which was robbed in March of 1990 of five Degas, one Manet, three Rembrandts, and the Vermeer. Dreyfus and co-cameraman Albert Maysles follow Harold Smith, a 75-year-old man whose body has been ravaged by skin cancer for the last 50 years, as he tracks the stolen masterpieces, pursuing leads that only seem outlandish and often hitting dead ends but never, ever giving up.
Best argument for the rebirth of silent film: Somersault
Saturday, November 12, 7:30 p.m.
Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland's feature-film debut is a pretty yet flawed tale of a young woman trying to figure out how to harness her powerful allure. After Heidi (Abbie Cornish, looking like a sad, elfin Charlize Theron) gets caught snogging her mother's mulleted boyfriend, she hits the road and winds up in a small ski resort town that seems to be populated exclusively by alcoholics and predatory jerks. Heidi obviously has major daddy issues, but Somersault's male specimens are carelessly drawn, which leads to no resolution for anyone. Robert Humphreys' sumptuous cinematography is almost enough to divert a viewer's attention from the fact that Somersault's well-intentioned story lacks any real depth or maturity. It's not the fault of the actors, however: Cornish handles her part admirably, and the men of the film do what they can with their thankless and slightly insulting roles.
Least politically correct (but funniest) film: Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic
Saturday, November 12, 10 p.m.
Last seen making the audience extremely uncomfortable during her bit in The Aristocrats, Sarah Silverman's one-woman show gets the big-screen treatment with the help of director Liam Lynch ("Whatever!"). It's not so much comedy, she says, as "learn-medy": Silverman weighs in on topics from mixed religious upbringings ("Mommy is one of the chosen people and Daddy believes that Jesus is magic") to bathing with your boyfriend ("Your breasts will be sparkling clean. Sparkling!") to HIV ("When God gives you AIDS... make lemonaids!"). Not all the jokes hit their marks, and her let's-put-on-a-show musical interludes falter slightly, though she's got strong pipes. Silverman's brand of humor is juvenile, scatological, shrewdly subversive, and screamingly offensive (to everyone), but it's also undeniably funny: "I don't care if you think I'm racist. I just want you to think I'm thin."
Coolest filmmaker name: Ballet Russes
Sunday, November 13, 2 p.m.; Q&A with Raven Wilkenson
Delightful footage, from the 1920s to the present day, make Dayna Goldfine and Daniel Geller's documentary Ballet Russes a must-see for any fan of the ballet. The film traces the evolution of the groundbreaking Russian dance troupe from its various inceptions to its eventual dissolution to a reunion of the troupe in 2000, where the dancers were still elegant, playful, and active, despite being well into their 80s. Names like Balanchine, Markova, Diaghilev, and Nijinsky are all checked, and the film sandwiches interviews with the troupe's former stars between gorgeous clips to tell stories about the triumphs and failures that went into creating an art form whose nature was "to exist for but a moment." To be honest, if you're not into ballet, you may find yourself zoning out during the endless barrage of names and dates. But the vintage recordings of the troupe are breathtaking, and the co-director's name is Dayna, which is always a sure sign of quality.
The "courage despite convictions" award: Sir! No Sir!
Sunday, November 13, 3 p.m.; Q&A with Evangeline Griego
Narrated by actor Troy Garity, the compelling documentary Sir! No Sir! uses the recollections of numerous Vietnam veterans --- as well as Garity's folks, infamous protestors Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden --- to shine a light on the anti-war movement that took place within the armed forces during the war in Southeast Asia. Interviewees include Susan Schnall, a Navy nurse who was jailed for dropping anti-war leaflets onto the Presidio army base, and Dr. Howard Levy, also incarcerated for refusing to train Special Forces troops. As one former GI says, "I knew what was happening in country was not what was being told to the United States," and this growing realization among servicemen after the 1968 Tet Offensive started an underground peace movement that led to court martials and massive desertion. Ironic, really, when you consider that the United States was fighting halfway around the world for freedoms it wasn't willing to allow its best and brightest.
The "if you think it's tough now..." award: The Education of Shelby Knox
Sunday, November 13, 3:15 p.m.; Q&A with Shelby Knox and Rose Rosenblatt
There's no sex education program in the schools of Lubbock, Texas, so it's not a surprise that that city has one of the highest teen pregnancy and STD rates in the nation. We meet 15-year-old Shelby Knox just as she's beginning to question everything she thought to be true, and her gradual edification appears as though it might mark the beginning of a life of service. Documentary filmmakers Marion Lipshutz and Rose Rosenblatt chronicle Shelby's path from sheltered Christian... to informed Christian. She's at ease with her own personal choices, pledging abstinence until marriage through her church, but Shelby's liberal leanings compel her to serve on Lubbock's Youth Commission and battle the powers-that-be over misguided policies that are endangering many of Shelby's peers. Especially entertaining is Shelby's ongoing dialogue with her pastor, Ed Ainsworth, a condescending wolf in sheep's clothing who will never admit that he's met his match in a teenage girl. I can't imagine anyone witnessing Shelby's turmoil and mourning their lost youth, but Shelby's bravery and drive may make you a little wistful that you can't go back again and try a little harder.
Best use of a Kennedy: The World's Fastest Indian
Sunday, November 13, 6:45 p.m.; Q&A with Diane Ladd
It's nothing you haven't seen before --- a guy realizes his dream against odds that would deter a person with any sense --- but the passion surrounding Roger Donaldson's labor of love about the true story of Burt Munro is crowd-pleasing and infectious. Anthony Hopkins redeems years of overacting with his adorable turn as the eccentric Munro, who traveled to the United States in the mid '60s in hopes of breaking land speed records with his motorcycle, a souped-up 1920 Indian. The World's Fastest Indian also contains elements of a road movie, as the friendly Kiwi journeys from New Zealand to Utah and meets up with people as unique as he is. Watch for Diane Ladd's satisfying cameo as an indomitable desert widow, and check out the man playing Burt's fellow speedster Jim Moffet. That's Chris Lawford, who previously worked with Donaldson on the Cuban missile crisis drama Thirteen Days. He's the son of actor Peter Lawford and Patricia Kennedy, and he's got the charisma and teeth to prove it.
The close to home award: Christa McAuliffe: Reach for the Stars
Sunday, November 13, 7 p.m.; Q&A with Mary Jo Godges and Renee Sotile
The first citizen passenger on the space shuttle was a gregarious social studies teacher from New England who beat out a number of applicants for a chance of a lifetime. This honor would eventually turn into one of our country's saddest tragedies, but Reach for the Stars chronicles, through interviews and archival footage, the life of a woman who realized early on the great power she had to make a difference. This documentary by Mary Jo Godges and Rochester native Renée Sotile is essentially a video canonization of the Teacher in Space --- no one comes forward to talk about the time Christa McAuliffe cut in line or jaywalked --- and as such it plays more like an educational film than an insightful character study. Still, her story is inspirational to anyone who would like to matter, and it particularly struck a chord with me: At the time of her death, McAuliffe was the same age that I am now, and we share a birthday. Spooky.
Award-winning actress Christine Lahti's diverse and successful career makes her a natural choice for the High Falls Film Festival's Susan B. Anthony "Failure is Impossible" Award. She'll be in attendance at the Dryden Theatre on the festival's opening night, Wednesday, November 9, to accept this much deserved honor.
Lahti recognizes the value of the High Falls Film Festival and other organizations that bring attention to the contributions of women behind, in front of, and even nowhere near the camera.
"Women still are underrecognized," she says. "They're certainly underemployed, and I think that anytime one can spotlight the achievements of women, it's good for everybody. The more you recognize the achievements, perhaps the more opportunities will come."
Probably best known for her Emmy-winning role on the TV series Chicago Hope, Lahti is also a director with both a short (Lieberman in Love, for which she won an Oscar) and feature-length film (My First Mister, starring Albert Brooks) under her belt. She's been lauded with a number of Golden Globe nominations and received an Oscar nomination for 1984's Swing Shift. Pretty impressive for someone who began her career as a Central Park mime.
So while failure might be impossible, the fear of failure is very real, and it's one that drives Lahti to take the chances that she does.
"I've always tried to take risks," she says. "As much as I may be kicking and screaming, I really like that fear of failing. The satisfaction is so much greater when you do something that is scary."
The High Falls Film Festival's Web of Life Award is designed to recognize an individual's understanding of the power art has to entertain and connect with an audience and the responsibility that comes with that power. The 2005 honoree is acclaimed actress and producer Jane Alexander, who is scheduled to accept the award at the Dryden Theatre on Thursday, November 9.
Alexander hits Rochester hot on the heels of her Emmy win last month as Sara Delano Roosevelt in the HBO film Warm Springs. Mainstream moviegoers in recent years have seen Alexander in such films as The Cider House Rules and The Ring and can look forward to catching her next year in Fur, Steven Shainberg's eagerly awaited biopic of photographer Diane Arbus, which features Nicole Kidman in the main role.
The four-time Oscar nominee has actually been to Rochester before and specifically remembers a certain Greek Revival mansion. "You don't visit Rochester without visiting George Eastman," says Alexander, who recalls having stopped by 900 East Avenue on two previous occasions, once during her four-year stint under President Clinton's appointment as chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. Alexander stepped down as head of the NEA in 1997and later wrote Command Performance, a memoir recounting her fierce and frustrating battles with bureaucracy. "I am done with politics, but I am not done getting people elected," she says.
Alexander believes in the spirit behind a festival like High Falls, in which women specifically get their day in the klieg light.
"If there were parity between men and women in media and entertainment, then we wouldn't have to do this," Alexander says. "It calls attention to the fact that there are pretty swell women out there doing things, and that's why I applaud it."
"There are two sexes on the planet but you wouldn't know it to look at Hollywood movies."
The honey-soaked drawl doesn't mask the import of the words. Actress Diane Ladd throws down the gauntlet when talking about the disparity between men and women in the entertainment industry, and it's no doubt because of this outspokenness that the Oscar-nominated Ladd --- also a writer, director, and producer --- is being honored at this year's High Falls Film Festival with the Susan B. Anthony "Failure Is Impossible" Award. Ladd will be in town on Sunday, November 13, for the festival's closing night to receive her award and present her latest film, The World's Fastest Indian, in which she stars with Sir Anthony Hopkins.
The Susan B. Anthony Award is an accolade that Ladd calls "very inspiring," and she's looking forward to attending High Falls. "In this day and age, film festivals are more important than ever," she says, "because festivals help people's awareness of culture, awareness of film, awareness of good work, and this makes the world a better place to live in. Films breed understanding."
A tireless activist for her profession, Ladd sits on the national board of the Screen Actors Guild and spends a great deal of her time working to ensure that her fellow actors are taken care of, whether it's by securing medical coverage for retirees or fighting for tax breaks to keep productions in the United States.
"When these actors are not working, then good films are not being made," Ladd says. "And if good films are not being made, then culture is receding."
Ladd is currently hard at work on her pet project, Woman Inside, about the life of Watergate spouse Martha Mitchell, and plans to direct the film from a script that she co-wrote. Her executive producer is Martin Scorsese, the man who directed Ladd to her first Oscar nomination for Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. Ladd, who wields a Master's in esoteric psychology, also has a collection of stories scheduled for release in April of 2006about metaphysical and spiritual discovery. The book's called Spiraling through the School of Life.
"I have a joke I like to make," she says. "When Shirley MacLaine went out on a limb, I was already out on a branch."
Movie venues: Little Theatre, 240 East Avenue; Dryden and Curtis Theatres are in the George Eastman House, 900 East Avenue.
For more information, www.highfallsfilmfestival.com, 258-0480
Wednesday, November 9
On the Outs, 6:45 p.m., Little Theatre A
Mrs. Henderson Presents, Christine Lahti in person, Q&A Norma Heyman, 7 p.m., Dryden Theatre
Czech Dream, 7:05 p.m., Little Theatre 1
Ellie Parker, 8:55 p.m., Little Theatre 1
Bearing Witness, 9 p.m., Little Theatre A
Thursday, November 10
When the Sea Rises, 6:55 p.m., Little Theatre 1
Duane Hopwood, Jane Alexander in person, 7 p.m., Dryden Theatre
Little Jerusalem, 7:05 p.m., Little Theatre B
Duck Season, 7:15 p.m., Little Theatre A
Shorts Program #1, 9 p.m., Little Theatre B
Punk: attitude, Q&A with Krysanne Katsoolis, 9:10 p.m., Little Theatre 1
The Holy Girl, 9:15 p.m., Little Theatre B
Transamerica, Q&A with Linda Moran, 9:15 p.m., Dryden Theatre
Friday, November 11
Live-In Maid, Q&A Marcela Bazzano, 6:45 p.m., Little Theatre A
The Future of Food, Q&A Deborah Koons Garcia, 6:55 p.m., Little Theatre 1
Sketches of Frank Gehry, Q&A Suzanne Weil, 7 p.m., Dryden Theatre
Love, Ludlow, Q&A Adrienne Weiss, 8:55 p.m., Little Theatre A
The War Within, Q&A Joana Vicente, 9:15 p.m., Little Theatre 1
Stoned, Q&A Finola Dwyer and Monet Mazur, 9:30 p.m., Dryden Theatre
Midnight Movies, Q&A Ben Barenholtz and Stu Samuels, 11:15 p.m., Little Theatre A
Saturday, November 12
Into the Fire, Q&A Julia Newman, 11:05 a.m., Little Theatre A
Children's Shorts From Around the World, 11:15 a.m., Little Theatre B
Sisters in Law, 1 p.m., Little Theatre 1
Stolen, Q&A Rebecca Dreyfus, 1 p.m., Dryden Theatre
The Grace Lee Project, Q&A Grace Lee, 1:10 p.m., Little Theatre A
How I Killed A Saint, Q&A Wanda Bershen, 3:15 p.m., Little Theatre B
Stolen Life, 3:30 p.m., Little Theatre 1
Classic Film: The Lovemaker and Animated Shorts by Mary Ellen Bute, Q&A Margaret Parsons and Betsy Blair, 3:30 p.m.
Women of SoFA: Short Films by RIT Students, 5 p.m., Little Theatre A
Shorts Program #2, 5:15 p.m., Little Theatre B
Czech Dream, 5:30 p.m., Little Theatre 1
Hidden, gala night awards and film, Angela Bassett in person, 7:15 p.m., Dryden Theatre
Somersault, 7:30 p.m., Little Theatre 1
Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic, 10 p.m., Little Theatre 1
Sunday, November 13
Bee Season, 11:15 a.m., Little Theatre 1
Being Caribou, Q&A Diana Wilson, Dryden Theatre, 1 p.m.
Ballets Russes, Q&A Raven Wilkenson, 2 p.m.
Sir! No Sir!, Q&A Evangeline Griego, 3 p.m., Little Theatre A
Shorts Program #3, 3:15 p.m., Little Theatre B
The Education of Shelby Knox, Q&A Shelby Knox, Rose Rosenblatt, 3:15 p.m., Dryden Theatre
After Innocence, Q&A Jessica Sanders, 4:45 p.m., Little Theatre 1
Some Secrets, Q&A Wanda Bershen, 5:15 p.m., Little Theatre A
The World's Fastest Indian, closing night ceremony, Diane Ladd in person, 6:45 p.m., Dryden Theatre
Christa McAuliffe: Reach for the Stars, Q&A Mary Jo Godges & Renee Sotile, 7 p.m., Little Theatre 1
Monday, November 14
Audience Award winner: narrative, 7 p.m., Little Theatre A
Audience Award winner: documentary, 9:30 p.m., Little Theatre A
Wednesday, November 9
Opening night party, 9:30 p.m., Inn on Broadway, 26 Broadway
Thursday, November 10
Coffee With... , 11 a.m., Crowne Plaza, 70 State Street, free
Sponsor and passholder reception, 5:30 p.m., Studios at Linden Oaks, 170B Linden Oaks
Filmmaker party, 10:30 p.m., Java's Café, 16 Gibbs Street
Friday, November 11
Coffee With... , 11 a.m., Crowne Plaza, 70 State Street, free
Red Hat Night, 6:30 p.m., Little and Dryden Theatres
Filmmaker party, 10:30 p.m., Veneto, 318 East Avenue
Saturday, November 12
What's the Deal? The Art of Business in Filmmaking, panel, 10 a.m., Curtis Theatre
Screenplay Live!, 10:30 a.m., Geva Theatre, 75 Woodbury Boulevard
Movies in the 21st Century, panel, 12 p.m., Curtis Theatre
The Screenwriter's Hollywood, panel, 2 p.m., Curtis Theatre
The Alexander Technique, master class, 4 p.m., Curtis Theatre
Gala party, 9:30 p.m., Artisan Works, 565 Blossom Road
Sunday, November 13
Documentary Filmmaking, panel, 11 a.m., Curtis Theatre
Wallace, Gromit, Chickens, Raisins and Me: Teresa Drilling, 12 p.m., Little Theatre A
Gallery Talk: Mania Akbari, 1 p.m., Curtis Theatre
Video Artby Mania Akbari, Little Theatre
Photos by Robin Holland, Little Theatre Café and Dryden Theatre lobby
Tickets ($8.50 general admission, $10-$20 opening and gala night films, $6.50 seniors and students, $6 children's programs) are available through Ticketweb (www.ticketweb.com or 866-468-7619), an hour before the show at the venues' box offices. Admission to the opening night party is $20, $25 for the gala night party. All-access passes are $150; a book of 10 screening passes is $75. Rush tickets may be available to sold-out shows 10 minutes before screening time.