Film Fest News: ImageOUT, High Falls and More.

We love our festivals around here. If you like onions or grapes, garlic or Greeks, jazz or lilacs, we’ve got something that’s right up your alley. And if you’re a movie fan … well, buckle up, because October has two regional film festivals coming up this year, starting this weekend.

imageout copyThe ImageOUT Film Festival (October 10-19) began in 1993 with a mission to celebrate the cultural contributions and experiences of the LGBT community. Today it’s one of the most accomplished and respected LGBT film fests in the country, and the next 10 days will give audiences something to talk about all over again. I’ll be looking at some of the fest’s standout films over the next week – it’s really something special.

HF3_Logo_FINALWhen it debuted in 2001, the High Falls Film Festival (October 23-26) was a woman-themed autumn event; later it moved to the spring, then later still it shifted focus to general-interest programming. Now it’s back to its roots, with a fall focus on films made by women or that reflect women’s stories. An earlier report that Oscar nominee Virginia Madsen would be in attendance has been updated – Madsen has cancelled due to a scheduling conflict – but her mother, Elaine Madsen, will be in town to promote I Know a Woman Like That, the doc she directed (and her daughter produced). I’ll have more details on other films in the next couple of weeks, or visit their site for ticket info.

It’s six still months away, but yet another new film festival was announced this month: the Fast Forward Film Festival (April 17-18, 2015) is a planned short-film event that will consist exclusively of original films from our region, telling stories with a focus on environmental awareness. (The Greentopia | FILM fest, currently gearing up for its third year, has a similar mission but with films submitted from around the world as well as a program of locally sourced programming.) Organizers plan a juried event that will assess submissions and bestow cash awards to winners on the basis of three categories. Submissions are due February 27.