Rochester film fest draws Bill Pullman, Rita Moreno

Jessica Pierce

Big-time actors Rita Moreno and Bill Pullman will be in Rochester in a few weeks for the High Falls International Film Festival.

Moreno has a long list of Broadway credits, including “The Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” “Gantry,” “The Ritz” and the female version of “The Odd Couple.” She won a Tony in 1975 for “The Ritz,” and years earlier had won an Academy Award for her performance as Anita in the film adaptation of “West Side Story.” She has appeared on several television shows, from “The Muppets” to the HBO hit “Oz.”

Pullman, a native of Hornell, Steuben County, has been in several movies, from “Ruthless People” and “Spaceballs” in the 1980s to “While You Were Sleeping” and “Independence Day” in the 1990s to the more recent films, “Scary Movie 4” and “The Grudge.”

The film festival, which takes place at various venues around Rochester, will run from April 30 to May 5. It is now in its seventh year.

On Friday, May 2, Pullman will introduce his own film, “Phoebe in Wonderland,” at the Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman House. It stars Felicity Huffman, Patricia Clarkson, Campbell Scott and Elle Fanning. He and Moreno will be at the screening of “Fermat’s Room” at the Little Theatre the following day; Moreno will receive the Susan B. Anthony Failure is Impossible award.

Artistic Director Catherine Wyler said organizers are “delighted” Moreno and Pullman will be part of the festivities. “Each year, we strive to bring the best-quality films, artists and directors to Rochester,” she said.

The festival this year will include some 90 features, documentaries, shorts, childrens’ and young adult programs as well as student filmmaking contests, panel discussions, classes and informal “coffee with” sessions including visiting filmmakers and actors.

Screenings have been expanded this year to now only include the Little Theatre and Dryden Theatre but also the Memorial Art Gallery and the Cinema Theatre.

For more information or tickets, visit or call (585) 383-0380. 

Jessica Pierce can be reached at (585) 394-0770, Ext. 250, or at