Turn off the Lights

The Philadelphia Film Festival opened Thursday with “Parasite” and “Just Mercy”

"The festival runs from October 17 to October 27."
Courtesy of the Philadelphia Film Society.

The 28th year of the Philadelphia Film Festival is set to screen over 100 films and is expected to generate more than 25,000 attendees of avid film lovers.  In addition to film screenings, the festival will offer additional exclusive events with industry guests, actors, and directors to create an even more immersive experience between filmmakers and attendees.

This festival takes a different approach from year's past and has organized itself into separate categories, each with an opening and closing film.  The categorical approach is aimed to further tailor the film festival experience for attendees.

Categories of films include: Galas, Spotlights, After Hours (for those films that lean horror but do not necessarily fit a specific mold), Masters of Cinema, Made in the USA, Visions of China, Cinema de France, and World Views.  Locally-grown films will be shown under the Filmadelphia category.  The festival also will offer screenings free to the public under its PFS on Us category.  The number and quality of films offered free to our local crowd is quite remarkable.  It is evident that the Philadelphia Film Festival caters to the city of Philadelphia.

The festival opened Thursday at the newly revamped Philadelphia Film Center.  Opening night offered a double feature for the electric crowd. The Masters in Cinema category opened with Parasite, from masterful director Bong Joon Ho.  Parasite (a review is forthcoming), coming off of its Palme d'Or win at Cannes, is an early Oscars contender.  The festival’s opening night film was the courtroom thriller, Just Mercy, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and starring Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, and Jamie Foxx.

Other films that you should look out for: Waves, a paternal drama from Trey Edwards Shultz; Terrence Malick's upcoming film, A Hidden Life;  The Two Popes from Fernando Meirelles (City of God) and starring Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce; Marriage Story, another Oscars contender starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson; Martin Scorsese's unfairly talented, The Irishman; Edward Norton's Feature debut, Motherless Brooklyn; and the closing night film from Rian Johnson, Knives Out, a murder mystery that is an ode to the Hitchcock era.

The Philadelphia Film Festival is presented by the Philadelphia Film Society.  For further information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.filmadelphia.org/festival.


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