Rochester International Film Festival continues its historic run, moves all films to online viewing

Around Town

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — When you’ve been doing something for 62 years, it only makes sense to keep it going.

“It was started by Kodak engineers in 1959,” said Josephine Perini, a boardmember with the Rochester International Film Festival. “We are known as the longest continually running short film festival in the world, which is why we had to go on. We couldn’t take a break.”

Like most things in during the pandemic, the festival has turned virtual. Like in all of the previous festivals, viewers can see all of the movies for free, though donations are always welcome.

Viewers can follow the links on their website to view all of the short films available, and are broken up by program, so viewers can better track their progress through the whole 2020 program.

Perini says that a film moves beyond a short film when it reaches 30 minutes, according to their bylaws, anyway.

“We have a film that’s 29 minutes long, we have a two-minute one, but most are in the 10-to-15 minute range,” Perini says.

What makes a short film festival unique is not only the topics a short film can cover, but the artful way each tackles a subject in such a short timeframe. And because this is an international festival, the film viewers can get a glimpse of a different place’s environment or culture.

“I just want people to get a sense of everything that’s out there,” Perini said.

Some of Josephine’s picks:

The 44 Scarves of Liza Minnelli” (Russell Brown)

44 of Liza Minnelli’s scarves are sent to 43 friends asking them to make images which suggest a “Minnelli metaphor”.

In the Same Direction: Jeff Pifher & Socrates’ Trial,” (Alexander Craven)

From the inception of a musical idea, through the recording process and live performance, this short documentary tells the story of Jeff Pifher (an Eastman School of Music graduate) and his band Socrates’ Trial and their idea of what jazz can be today.

The Important Day” (Olesia Aleinikova)

Ten year old Misha is a violin virtuoso who doesn’t just play music – he sees it.

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