Official poster for the 30th Philadelphia Film Festival for 2021

The Philadelphia Film Festival will happen in person this year! All theaters being used are owned by Philadelphia Film Society – the Philadelphia Film Center, the PFS Bourse Theater, and the PFS Drive-In at the Navy Yard.

Official poster for the 30th Philadelphia Film Festival for 2021

You need a vaccination card plus your ID to get in, and to wear a mask throughout the film. Each theater will only seat at 50% capacity. There will be a seat between each person, even someone you are with.

Despite the year of covid, there is no shortage of independent films to show. There will be 140 films spanning 50 countries screening between Wednesday, October 20 through the 31st.

Opening night is always an important, special film. This year it’s Belfast from acclaimed actor and filmmaker Kenneth Branagh. A semi autobiographical – coming of age story about him growing up in Belfast, Ireland. It’s set to open November 12 in theaters but you can see it Opening night at the Philadelphia Film Center, Wednesday, October 20 for two screenings 6pm and 8:30 pm. There will be overflow screenings at the Bourse.

Closing Night will feature The Same Storm – an interwoven heartfelt tale of the year 2020. Starring Mary-Louise Parker, Judith Light, Elaine May and Sandra Oh.  Director Peter Hedges  will make an appearance for a Q&A afterwards.

The festival is also bringing in Kevin Smith for Clerk The Kevin Smith documentary by Malcolm Ingram – Oct 23 PFC – Kevin is always engaging – he will be there for extended Q&As. Two screenings. This is a documentary about Kevin’s successful film “Clerks”

Academy Award nominated Mike Mills wrote and directed  C’mon C’mon that is a Centerpiece film in the festival.

Another Centerpiece film stars Will Smith as the tennis coach and doting father of Venus and Serena Williams in King Richard. Showtimes October 28 8:30pm at the PFS Bourse and Philadelphia Film Center.

The final tense days of Princess Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles are brought to life by the revelatory Kristen Stewart in this searing psychological drama directed by Pablo Larrain. Spencer is showing Oct 23 and Oct 31 at the Philadelphia Film Center.

The Filmadelphia section of films about Philadelphia are free. Visit for the full list of free films. Includes the tale of The Automat – A Philly landmark (Horn and Hardart).

The Philadelphia Film Festival is taking over the Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival. From animal welfare to the effects of climate change, these thought-provoking films address urgent environmental issues.

It will pave the way for what you see in the coming spring. The PFS will produce the Environmental festival in April over a weekend at their venues.

As part of the Sight and Sound category, there is a documentary about the rock band Triumph.

The film schedule, all other events, and guests set to appear are listed at



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