The 31st annual Philadelphia Film Festival begins this Wednesday, October 19, 2022 and goes through October 30th. Over 100 films will be shown on three theaters in center city Philadelphia: The Philadelphia Film Center at 1412 Chestnut Street, PFS (Philadelphia Film Society) Bourse at 400 Ranstead Street, and the newly acquired by the PFS, “East” formerly the Ritz East at 125 South 2nd Street. (between Chestnut and Walnut).
All access badges are on sale now online. You can also buy a ticket for one film or more. The program guide is only available online, there are no paper copies this year.
The Opening night film and party will be on Wednesday October 19 at the Philadelphia Film Center at 7 pm. There will be a DJ, food and dancing following the film. Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell star in The Banshees of Inisherin that is set in Ireland.
Closing night film is All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, a documentary that won this year’s prize at the Venice Film Festival. Friday October 28 at 7pm at the Philadelphia Film Center.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery will be featured as a Centerpiece film on Friday Oct 21 at 7pm at the PFC.
Always of interest is the Filmadelphia category of films made in or about Philadelphia.
Sam Katz, who ran for Mayor and almost won against John Street, has a film production company called History Making Productions. He co-directed and produced a film about Detroit is in this category called Gradually, then Suddenly: the Bankruptcy of Detroit.
Your friend, Memphis is a documentary about a 24 year old man named Memphis with cerebral palsy. The Philly connection is, the director David Zucker grew up in Bala Cynwyd and went to Lower Merion schools.
A Woman on the Outside is another documentary about a Philadelphia woman fighting to keep people connected to loved ones in prison.
Not for Nothing was filmed in South Philly about a man trying to find out how his girlfriend died.
Rittenhouse Square is a drama set in this iconic location and stars Nick Nolte as a homeless man. Directed by local Brandon Eric Kamen who also directed “The Nomads” that played at the 2019 PFF and won the Audience award in the Filmadelphia category. This just in: Nick Nolte and the director Brandon Eric Kamen are expected to appear on Sunday October 23 when the film makes its world premiere at the Philadelphia Film Center. A second screening will happen on Sunday, October 30 at 7:30 pm at Philadelphia Film Center.
This 2022 film is not to be confused with Rittenhouse Square by Robert Downey, Sr that came out in 2005. This will be part of the festival in the “From the Vaults” category. This documentary is described as a year in the life of an American park. You can see this on Sunday, October 30 at 3:15 pm at the Philadelphia Film Center. A new film about Robert Downey Sr will be shown after that at 5:00, also at PFC. Called “SR” this film takes a look at the late underground filmmaker (father to the famous actor Robert Downey, Jr). Then – stick around at the same place (PFC) for the final screening of the 2022 film Rittenhouse Square.
This is my Black is a musical documentary about the students at Philadelphia’s Pine Forge Academy.
Land of Gold deals with a first-generation Punjabi truck driver who discovers an undocumented girl in his cargo. Nardeep Khurmi (director) is from Downingtown. I’m particularly curious about this one because the screenplay written by the director won a million dollar prize from AT&T. See story here. The money was used to produce the film and it will be on HBO Max. Nardeep Khurmi is scheduled to be at the screening here in Philly on Saturday, October 29 at 6:15 pm at the Bourse. He will be on stage to field questions from the audience afterwards. Land of Gold will have a second screening on Sunday, October 30 at 5 pm at the Bourse.
PFS on Us is a category of films that you can see for free but you have to secure a ticket. That list is here.
Unlike last year, there is no vaccination card necessary in 2022, and no masks need to be worn in the theaters.
I will post a review once the festival ends so stay tuned! #PFF31