Fall in the city brings many different seasonal experiences, but none quite as glamorous, star-studded or even moving as some of the film festivals in Philadelphia. With the chillier weather comes the opportunity to catch a few flicks — local, national and even international — hit a red carpet or two, or even just spend your time being back in the world of movie theaters.
Here’s your guide on some of the best and the brightest opportunities to check out festival season here in the City of Brotherly Love.
The Philadelphia Film Festival
Now in its 31st year, the Philadelphia Film Festival is returning to the city with a full line-up of programming from Oct. 19-30. And for the first time in a few years, the festival will offer in-person screenings at all PFS venues (Philadelphia Film Center, PFS Bourse Theater, and the newly acquired PFS East).
As a release states, the 31st anniversary line-up features a multitude of films from a wide range of genres. In total, the festival will showcase more than 130 feature-length and short films with highlights including the world premieres of two films, North American premieres of two films and the United States premieres of five films. The festival line-up is curated by the PFF programming team who carefully selects each film from multiple international festivals throughout the year. So, everything that plays is there for a reason.
“This year’s program is one of our largest to date which only further solidifies the strength of the state of cinema today,” remarks Michael Lerman, Artistic Director and Senior Director of Programming of the Philadelphia Film Society in a statement. “Not only is the quality of film extremely high, we are thrilled to be able to bring new, bold, diverse, and rebellious stories to Philadelphia.”
Opening night will feature a film written and directed by Academy Award winner Martin McDonagh, ‘The Banshees of Inshirin’ starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. Other highlights of the festival include the highly awaited sequel ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ with a festival appearance by Director Rian Johnson, the North American premiere of ‘Rebel,’ and the closing film from Venice Film Festival Golden Lion winner, ‘All the Beauty and the Bloodshed.’
A full list of the multitude of offerings, screenings and more can be found online at filmadelphia.org
First Glance Film Festival
Heading to Phoenixville this month, the First Glance Film Festival is the accumulation of entertainment industry judges selecting over 50 independent films from professional, emerging and student filmmakers. In total, there are 20 nominating categories including international films from Canada, the Czech Republic, the Russian Federation, Finland, the Netherlands, Japan, France, and China, as well as, from across the United States and the Tri-State Area, a release states.
Some highlights included in the First Glance Film Festival programming—which will take place from Oct. 14-16— includes different facets such as a “Shot in Philly” category, plus other showings spanning different blocks for date nights, female produced/directed, horror, comedy and more.
“I can’t believe that what started as a one-time indie film screening event in a Philadelphia basement has continued to bring filmmakers and film-lovers together for 25 years, Founder and Festival Director Bill Ostroff said in a statement. “We’re so proud of the programs, networking events, and panels that we have produced over the years and we couldn’t be more pleased with our home at The Colonial Theatre. We look forward to our biggest and best event ever.”
The weekend will also feature interviews with filmmakers, partnerships and specials with local restaurants, after parties, and a live awards ceremony on closing night presented virtually by award-winning director/filmmaker and FirstGlance alum Raphael Sbarge from the TV series ‘Once Upon a Time.’
For more information on everything surrounding First Glance and to purchase tickets, visit firstglancefilms.com
The Annual Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival
In early November, one of the longest-running Jewish film festivals in the country – The Annual Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, presented by Philadelphia Jewish Film and Media (PJFM) – is back for its 42nd year.
Known as one of the first film festivals in Philadelphia, the event is said to bring the best in Jewish international cinema and new media content. Taking place from Nov. 12-19, the PJFM will premiere seven international feature films, one shorts program, an in-depth discussion of Hollywood’s Jewish New Wave of the 60s and 70s – presented by FilmShul – and an exclusive brunch screening of Funny Girl, which celebrates its 55th anniversary next year.
As a release states, all screenings will be in-person and take place at venues in Center City and the surrounding suburbs. General Admission tickets for films will be $15, with $13 discounts for seniors and $10 discounts for students. (‘Funny Girl’ will be $15 flat, while the closing night film, ‘America’, will be $20, as the film will be followed by a reception for all guests.) Individuals may also purchase a $180 All-Access Pass for the festival, granting them front-of-the-line access to all events. In addition, anyone who purchases a pass will have the opportunity to stream the films on PJFM’s digital platform from Jan. 7-9, 2023.
More information and complete programming can be found online phillyjfm.org