Due to the on-going pandemic, continued uncertainty for the fall and anticipated funding challenges, the board of directors has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 festival. Thank you for your interest.

The High Falls Women's Film Festival in Rochester, NY celebrates the achievements of women in all aspects of filmmaking through programs that recognize the best work of female cinematic artists. Our focus is inspired by our city’s legacy as the birthplace of film (George Eastman) and the women’s rights movement (Susan B. Anthony).

Since its inception in 2001, the Festival has screened more than 750 films, spotlighting the cinematic works of women and bringing the finest independent motion pictures and film artists to Rochester and Western New York audiences. The Festival includes features, documentaries, shorts, and children's programs, parties, meet & greets and educational panels/workshops.

HFWFF is proud to celebrate and create opportunity for women in film, while informing, engaging and inspiring our local community. We look forward to seeing your work!

Best of the Fest Feature Narrative
Best of the Fest Feature Documentary
Best Director - Narrative
Best Cinematographer - Narrative
Best Director - Documentary
Best Cinematographer - Documentary
Therese DePrez Award for Outstanding Production Design

To be eligible for HFWFF, films must comply with the following:
• Film must be made by at least one woman in a leadership role: Director, Writer, Executive Producer, Producer have preference. Woman cinematographer and/or editor will be considered.
• If selected the festival requires a DCP file and/or Blu-ray for exhibition (2 copies). We do not accept DVD format for screening.
• Premiere status has no bearing on whether a film is selected. HFWFF does not accept films available on streaming services or in theatrical release prior to the event. Any film invited MUST communicate if release plans change.
• Non-English films must be subtitled.
• No honorarium available.
• No works-in-progress please.
• Work completed after January 1, 2019 will be accepted.

By submitting your film for consideration to the High Falls Women's Film Festival, you are telling us that you have full authority to do so, that the film is cleared for potential festival exhibition, and that you accept full legal responsibility for the intellectual property therein. You agree that all necessary rights have been secured, and exhibition will not violate or infringe upon any rights including but not limited to music, images, and content.

Submitting your film to us constitutes permission to exhibit your work at the High Falls Women's Film Festival. If your film is accepted to be part of the program, you will do your best to work with us to have the film’s director and other key personnel (actors, writers, producers, etc) attending the festival to present the film and interact with the Rochester audience. The High Falls Women's Film Festival is also hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival or online for promotional and other non-commercial purposes. You shall also indemnify and hold harmless the High Falls Women's Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

Overall Rating
  • It was an honor to be in your Festival!

    September 2020
  • Jim And Sam

    High Falls Women's Film festival was such a warm and wonderful experience!! The people who run the festival truly care and are always trying to make sure the festival experience is a good one for the filmmaker. The theatre and sound were perfect for our film and it was so great to be able to connect with such a great group of people, audiences, and women!

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks so much! It was great to meet you and screen your wonderful film. I hope your tour brings you back soon!

  • Had the pleasure of being a part of and traveling to Rochester with my film “Bookends” for HFWFF 2019.
    The organizers of the festival were incredibly kind and communicative. Best of all, the community was eager to see good filmmaking and asked great questions during the Q&As.
    The Little, the theater where the films screened, was a fantastic venue for filmmakers and was central to all of the weekends events.

    Fantastic programming-would submit to the festival again.

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Rebecca! It was great to have you here and we hope to see more of your outstanding work in the future!

  • great festival.i'm so honored that my film (hard shadow) was part of your festival.

    November 2019
  • Donna Wheeler

    A truly wonderful and uplifting film festival geared to showcasing women directors and their stories. I saw some of the most remarkable work here too, while also enjoying highly engaged audiences, and film lovers who attended and whowork at the Festival, all making it the true gem it is!

    November 2019
    Response from festival:

    Thanks Donna! It was great to have you here and I hope you will come back with future projects!