I have only been writing about film for a little over two years now and writing about all things entertainment closer to 5. Last year, I was lucky enough to do press for the Philadelphia Film Festival. While it was so cool to interview Rian Johnson, it also was really special for me to attend to event. This years festival takes place between on October 19-29, 2023.
I’m really lucky that I attend a lot of screenings and I always feel out of place because I have never seen myself as a fancy critic or anything like that. Some people are writing notes during the films and have really nuanced takes while I more so lead with my heart in my writing. But attending the film festival last year gave me a chance to really take a moment and realize how wonderful film is. I stood around in lobbies before and after movies just chatting with people about the films, our experiences, and all of that. It made me remember that film is for everyone and everyone brings something to the experience. It made me realize that I bring something different and that I was as much as a “critic” as everyone else in my own right. So I am overjoyed to go again this year.
But it was also a chance to see how the Philadelphia Film Society celebrates how diverse the art coming from our wonderful city is by highlighting creators making their work locally. They are premiering STAND UP & SHOUT: SONGS FROM A PHILLY HIGH SCHOOL at the festival this year which I am SO excited about because it’s going to show so many people what comes from this city. Saltburn is the closing night film which is one I am very much looking forward to as well!
Below is the press release for the event and the schedule. If you are local, I hope you get tickets and come see these movies. I will 1000% listen to your every thought on whatever you see as well! I just want to celebrate film!
The Philadelphia Film Society (PFS) is proud to announce the full line-up for the 32nd Philadelphia Film Festival (PFF), spanning from October 19 – October 29. This year’s Festival will offer in-person screenings at all PFS venues (Philadelphia Film Center, PFS Bourse Theater, and PFS East).
“We are incredibly excited and eagerly looking forward to the 32nd Annual Philadelphia Film Festival. It’s not only a vibrant platform for showcasing a wide diversity of global and local cinema but also acts as a convergence for film enthusiasts to share, learn and indulge in the magic of storytelling,” said J. Andrew Greenblatt, CEO & Executive Director of the Philadelphia Film Society. “We believe that every film has the power to affect and inspire, and we can’t wait to share this year’s selection with our devoted audience.”
The program for the 32nd anniversary encompasses an array of extraordinary films spanning numerous genres. The line-up includes the world premiere of STAND UP & SHOUT: SONGS FROM A PHILLY HIGH SCHOOL. Directed by Emmy® winner Amy Schatz and executive produced by Get Lifted Film Co.’s Emmy® and Tony® Award-winning producer Mike Jackson, EGOT recipient John Legend and Emmy® Award-winning producer and CEO of management and social-impact company Friends at Work Ty Stiklorius, the HBO documentary features Hill-Freedman World Academy (HFWA), a Philadelphia public high school, and their program that encourages students to channel their thoughts, feelings, and dreams into an album of electrifying original songs. Taking place on Friday, October 20th, the Film Center will host a Special Event that will include an exclusive Q&A post-premiere hosted by Fox29’s Anchor & Host Alex Holley with director Amy Schatz, executive producers Jackson and Legend of Get Lifted Film Co. The Festival line-up is curated by the PFF programming team who carefully selects each film from multiple international festivals throughout the year.
“As our audience continues to evolve in a post-lockdown world, so does our programming and I’m excited that our team is able to present one of the most diverse, thoughtful, and exhilarating lineups we’ve ever had,” shared Michael Lerman, Artistic Director & Senior Director of Programming of the Philadelphia Film Society. “We are thrilled to share a repertoire of remarkable storytelling that transcends borders and prompts conversation.”
The Opening Night film will be Cord Jefferson’s hilarious directorial debut and 2023 Toronto International Film Festival People’s Choice Award winner AMERICAN FICTION which confronts our culture’s obsession with reducing people to outrageous stereotypes and stars an exceptional cast including Jeffrey Wright, Issa Rae, Tracee Ellis Ross, Sterling K. Brown, Erika Alexander and Leslie Uggams on Thursday, October 19th.
The Closing Night film will be SALTBURN on Friday, October 27th. From the Academy Award winning filmmaker Emerald Fennell,the film stars THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN breakthrough actor Barry Keoghan and tells a beautifully wicked tale of privilege and desire featuring an all-star cast of Jacob Elordi, Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant, Alison Oliver, Archie Madekwe and Carey Mulligan.
Centerpiece screeningsinclude Bradley Cooper’s widely anticipated MAESTRO, a towering and fearless love story chronicling the lifelong relationship between Leonard Bernstein and Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein starring Cooper, Carey Mulligan, Matt Bomer, and Maya Hawke; RUSTIN starring Philadelphia-native and Academy Award nominee Colman Domingo and directed by DGA Award and five-time Tony Award winner George C. Wolfen which shines a long overdue spotlight on the extraordinary man who, alongside giants like the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr., and Ella Baker, dared to imagine a different world; and THE HOLDOVERS,director Alexander Payne’s New England prep school comedy, reuniting Payne and film star Paul Giamatti.
Additional Festival highlights include the North American premiere of Takeshi Kitano’s KUBI, a story of honor, treason and violence; the United States premiere of Nanni Moretti’s A BRIGHTER TOMORROW; FOE, directed by LION filmmaker Garth Davis that stars Oscar nominees Saoirse Ronan & Paul Mescal in a sci-fi epic that is a haunting exploration of marriage and identity set in an uncertain world; 76th Cannes Festival Award winning films FALLEN LEAVES directed by Aki Kaurismäki (Sakamoto Yugi for BEST SCREENPLAY) and PERFECT DAYS directed by Wim Wenders (Koji Yakusho for BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR);
The From The Vaults category features five iconic films Jacques Tati’s PLAYTIME (1967), presented in 35MM, Chen Kaige’s FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE (1992), presented in an uncut 4K restoration, John Ford’s THE SEARCHERS (1956), presented in 35MM, Akira Kurosawa’s SEVEN SAMURAI (1954), presented in 35MM, as well as William Friedkin’s TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. (1985).
The Filmadelphia Category and Filmadelphia Shorts Program emphasize the Philadelphia Film Society’s ongoing commitment to film in Greater Philadelphia, featuring brilliant films from the region’s most captivating filmmakers.
Screenings for the 32nd Philadelphia Film Festival will take place at the below venues:
● Philadelphia Film Center (1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102)
● PFS Bourse (400 Ranstead Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106)
● PFS East (125 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106)
Tickets will go on-sale for Philadelphia Film Society members on Monday, October 9, 2023 at 5:00pm ETand to the general public beginning Tuesday, October 10, 2023 at 5:00pm ET. Tickets may be purchased in-person at the Box Office at the Philadelphia Film Center.
During the Festival tickets will be available for purchase in-person at the Box Offices at the Philadelphia Film Center, PFS Bourse Theater, or PFS East.
32nd Philadelphia Film Festival Full Line-up
Opening Night Film
○ American Fiction, Director Cord Jefferson. 2023, USA.
Closing Night Film
○ Saltburn, Director Emerald Fennell. 2023, United Kingdom.
○ Dream Scenario, Director Kristoffer Borgli. 2023, USA.
○ The Holdovers, Director Alexander Payne. 2023, USA.
○ Maestro, Director Bradley Cooper. 2023, USA.
○ Rustin, Director George C. Wolfe. 2023, USA.
○ Sly, Director Thom Zimny. 2023, USA.
○ Art Dealers, Director Roy Power, Director Adam Weiner. 2023, USA.
○ Stand Up & Shout: Songs from a Philly High School, Director Amy Schatz. 2023, USA.
Masters of Cinema – The latest films by a new generation of acclaimed auteurs and established directors who continue to reshape the cinematic landscape.
○ The Book of Solutions, Director Michel Gondry. 2023, France.
○ A Brighter Tomorrow, Director Nanni Moretti. 2023, Italy.
○ Evil Does Not Exist, Director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi. 2023, Japan.
○ Fallen Leaves, Director Aki Kaurismäki. 2023, Finland, Germany.
○ Green Border, Director Agnieszka Holland. 2023, Poland, France, Czech Republic, Belgium.
○ In Our Day, Director Hong Sang-soo. 2023, South Korea.
○ Kidnapped, Director Marco Bellocchio. 2023, Italy.
○ Kubi, Director Takeshi Kitano. 2023, Japan.
○ La Chimera, Director Alice Rohrwacher. 2023, Italy.
○ Monster, Director Hirokazu Kore-eda. 2023, Japan.
○ The Old Oak, Director Ken Loach. 2023, United Kingdom, France, Belgium.
○ Perfect Days, Director Wim Wenders. 2023, Japan, Germany.
Spotlights – This year’s highly anticipated titles featuring some of the biggest names in front of and behind the camera.
○ Bucky F*cking Dent, Director David Duchovny. 2023, USA.
○ Eileen, Director William Oldroyd. 2023, USA
○ Fingernails, Director Christos Nikou. 2023, USA.
○ Foe, Director Garth Davis. 2023, Australia.
○ Lousy Carter, Director Bob Byington. 2023, USA.
○ The Promised Land, Director Nikolaj Arcel. 2023, Denmark.
World View – Works that demonstrate the diversity and vitality of contemporary international cinema from some of the globe’s most exciting filmmakers.
○ 20,000 Species of Bees, Director Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren. 2023, Spain.
○ The Breaking Ice, Director Anthony Chen. 2023, China.
○ Chronicles of a Wandering Saint, Director Tomás Gómez Bustillo. 2023, Argentina, USA.
○ The Delinquents, Director Rodrigo Moreno. 2023, Argentina.
○ Goodbye Julia, Director Mohamed Kordofani. 2023, Sudan, Egypt, Germany, France, Saudi Arabia, Sweden.
○ If Only I Could Hibernate, Director Zoljargal Purevdash. 2023, Mongolia, France, Switzerland, Qatar.
○ The Monk and the Gun, Director Pawo Choyning Dorji. 2023, Bhutan, France, USA, Taiwan.
○ Omen, Director Baloji. 2023, Belgium, Netherlands, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
○ The Settlers, Director Felipe Gálvez. 2023, Chile, Argentina.
○ Smoking Tigers, Director So Young Shelly Yo. 2023, USA.
○ The Teachers’ Lounge, Ílker Çatak. 2023, Germany.
○ Tótem, Director Lila Avilés. 2023, Mexico, Denmark, France.
○ Upon Entry, Director Alejandro Rojas, Director Juan Sebastián Vásquez. 2023, Spain.
Non/Fiction – Compelling and provocative, these contemporary docs encourage viewers to see the world through a different lens.
○ Art for Everybody, Director Miranda Yousef. 2023, USA.
○ Bad Press, Director Rebecca Landsberry-Baker, Director Joe Peeler. 2023, USA.
○ Break the Game, Director Jane M. Wagner. 2023, USA.
○ Caterpillar, Director Liza Mandelup. 2023, USA.
○ Fantastic Machine, Director Axel Danielson, Director Maximilien Van Aertryck. 2023, Sweden, Denmark.
○ Four Daughters, Director Kaouther Ben Hania. 2023, France, Tunisia, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus.
○ Kim’s Video, Director David Redmon, Director Ashley Sabin. 2023, USA, Italy.
○ Silver Dollar Road, Director Raoul Peck. 2023, USA.
○ A Still Small Voice, Director Luke Lorentzen. 2023, USA.
○ Stamped from the Beginning, Director Roger Ross Williams. 2023, USA.
Cinema de France – Sharing a language with some of cinema’s most revered classics and legendary auteurs, these new films have that certain je ne sais quoi.
○ The (Ex)perience of Love, Director Raphaël Balboni, Director Ann Sirot. 2023, Belgium, France.
○ The Animal Kingdom, Director Thomas Cailley. 2023, France.
○ The Taste of Things, Director Trân Anh Hùng. 2023, France.
○ The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan, Director Martin Bourboulon. 2023, France.
This Animated Life – Creating new worlds or transforming our own in imaginative ways, these films show the endless possibilities and future of animation in cinema through varying mediums.
○ Deep Sea, Director Xiaopeng Tian. 2023, China.
○ Robot Dreams, Director Pablo Berger. 2023, Spain, France.
○ They Shot the Piano Player, Director Roger Fernando Treuba, Director Javier Mariscal. 2023, Spain, France.
○ White Plastic Sky, Director Tibor Bánóczki, Director Sarolta Szabó. 2023, Hungary, Slovakia.
Made in USA – Lo-fi gems and new indie classics that offer a fresh perspective on today’s America.
○ All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt, Director Raven Jackson. 2023, USA.
○ Fancy Dance, Director Erica Tremblay. 2023, USA.
○ The Feeling That the Time for Doing Something Has Passed, Director Joanna Arnow. 2023, USA.
○ I Used to Be Funny, Director Ally Pankiw. 2023, USA.
○ Late Bloomers, Director Lisa Steen. 2023, USA.
○ The Sweet East, Director Sean Price Williams. 2023, USA.
Green Screen – From animal welfare to the effects of climate change, these thought-provoking films address urgent environmental issues.
○ Between the Rains, Director Andrew H. Brown, Director Moses Thuranira. 2023, Kenya, USA.
○ Food and Country, Director Laura Gabbert. 2023, USA.
○ Razing Liberty Square, Director Katja Esson. 2023, USA.
○ Richland, Director Irene Lusztig. 2023, USA.
Sight & Soundtrack – Featuring rockumentaries, musician biopics, and films centered on the unifying power of music.
○ American Symphony, Director Matthew Heineman. 2023, USA.
○ Going Varsity in Mariachi, Director Sam Osborn, Director Alejandra Vasquez. 2023, USA.
○ It’s Only Life After All, Director Alexandria Bombach. 2023, USA.
○ Pianoforte, Director Jakub Piatek. 2023, Poland, Germany.
○ Scream of My Blood: A Gogol Bordello Story, Director Eric Weinrib, Director Nate Pommer. 2023, USA.
Filmadelphia – Showcasing the most dynamic and talented voices from the Greater Philadelphia area.
○ Bad Things Happen in Philadelphia, Director Kyra Knox. 2022, USA.
○ Bravo, Burkina!, Director Walé Oyéjidé. 2023, Burkina Faso, Italy.
○ Chestnut, Director Jac Cron. 2023, USA.
○ I Think I’m Sick, Director Danny Gevirtz. 2023, USA.
○ This Closeness, Director Kit Zauhar. 2023, USA.
After Hours – Bringing together the odd, eerie, thrilling, and downright weird, this is the home of cult classics in the making.
○ Infested, Director Sébastien Vanicek. 2023, France.
○ Late Night with the Devil, Director Colin Cairnes, Director Cameron Cairnes. 2023, USA, Australia, UAE.
○ Red Rooms, Director Pascal Plante. 2023, Canada.
○ Riddle of Fire, Director Weston Razooli. 2023, USA.
○ Sleep, Director Jason Yu. 2023, South Korea.
From the Vaults – Film classics come alive as they were meant to be seen – on the big screen!
○ Farewell My Concubine, Director Chen Kaige. 1992, China, Hong Kong.
● Newly restored 4K
○ Playtime, Director Jacques Tati. 1967, France.
● Presented in 35MM, Part of PFS’ Sight and Sound 100 series
○ The Searchers, Director John Ford. 1956, USA.
● Presented in 35MM, Part of PFS’ Sight and Sound 100 series
○ Seven Samurai, Director Akira Kurosawa. 1954, Japan.
● Presented in 35MM, Part of PFS’ Sight and Sound 100 series
○ To Live and Die in L.A., Director William Friedkin. 1985, USA.
● In memory of William Friedkin
○ 27, Director Flóra Anna Buda.
○ A Kind of Testament, Director Stephen Vuillemin.
○ Between Earth & Sky, Director Andrew Nadkarni.
○ The Big Idea: Birth Without Bias, Director Sarah Klein, Director Tom Mason.
○ Blue Square Heart, Director William Means.
○ Breaking Silence, Director Amy Bench, Director Annie Silverstein.
○ Dog Apartment, Director Priit Tender.
○ Every House is Haunted, Director Bryce McGuire.
○ Fár, Director Gunner Martinsdóttir Schlüter.
○ Fuck Me, Richard, Director Lucy McKendrick, Director Charlie Polinger.
○ The Herp, Director Fern Poppy.
○ It Turns Blue, Director Shadi Karamroudi.
○ La Perra, Director Carla Melo.
○ Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó, Director Sean Wang.
○ Nothing Left Undone: The Art of G, Director Matthew Ober.
○ Nun or Never!, Director Heta Jäälinoja.
○ Our Uniform, Director Yegane Moghaddam.
○ Padre, Director M.L. Post.
○ Primetime Mother, Director Sonny Calvento.
○ Puffling, Director Jessica Bishopp.
○ Street of Dreams, Director Alexander Paul Biscardi.
○ Tripping, Director Amelia Xanthe Boscov.
○ Untitled Floating Mom Short, Director Aidan Guynes.
○ When You Left Me on That Boulevard, Director Kayla Abuda Galang.
○ The World Takes, Director Tommy Butler.
Please see individual film listings, screening schedule and guests anticipated to attend on https://filmadelphia.org/festival.