7 highlights of the 32nd Philadelphia Film Festival according to me, Cyndy Drue, MGK’s Event Reporter. The festival took place October 19-29, 2023. I had a chance to check out the films on behalf of the MGK audience.
A Note Before Philadelphia Film Festival Highlights:
Before we get to the highlights, I wanted to mention something that made this 32nd film festival different from all the others before it. Usually at these film festivals, there are quite a few well-known actors who appear on the red carpet before the film or on the stage afterwards to field questions from the audience. That didn’t happen this year. There were no big-name actors at this festival. There were some directors, and executive producers, but no actors.
I’m figuring it’s because of the SAG-AFTRA strike. As part of the strike, actors are not to make any promotional appearances about their work until the strike is settled.
SAG AFTRA stands for Screen Actors Guild / American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. The actors believe they aren’t being paid what they deserve. Essentially, that big movie studios and online companies like Netflix and Amazon Prime are not giving the actors a fair share of the profits. They are seeking a new contract.
There’s also the issue of AI, Artificial Intelligence, which is not currently regulated in any way. There is the threat that AI can copy an actor’s voice, look, actions, etc so that there is no need for the human being, so, jobs will be lost. I’m a member of this union as an actor and broadcaster. I’ve participated in a few protests.
Bradley Cooper would have been a natural to show up at this festival. Philadelphia is his home town (well, he’s from Rydal), and he starred in a film called Maestro, about the first great American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. Bradley most likely didn’t make an appearance because of the strike.
Due to my schedule, I wasn’t able to see Maestro. Bradley directed the film as well as starred in it. He also produced it along with Martin Scorcese and Stephen Spielberg. This will be up for awards, no doubt.