The lineup for the 25th annual Philadelphia Film Festival was announced last week, and as usual there is cause for great excitement over this year’s selections. The festival opens on October 20th with Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, a film that many predict will be a front runner at the Oscars, and closes on October 30th with another highly anticipated film, Arrival, from Denis Villeneuve. Damien Chapelle, the Oscar-nominated director of Whiplash, will be in attendance opening night.
The festival has a very strong track record of debuting future Oscar winners in Philadelphia, but the pedigree of the opening and closing films should not detract from the excellent selection of shorts, foreign, and independent films that will be showcased over the nearly two week festival run. Some of my favorite films of 2015 included the French drama Mustang and the Japanese animated feature The Boy and the Beast, which both had their Philly premieres at the festival last year. Personal Shopper, a polarizing film from director Olivier Assayas that revolves around ghosts and the fashion world is a film I’m looking forward to seeing this year, as is Jackie which supposedly features a stellar performance from Natalie Portman as the titular Jacqueline Kennedy.
The festival is also featuring “The Graveyard Shift,” with programing promising “horror, action, suspense, and the downright weird,” just in time for Halloween. The Autopsy of Jane Doe, an unconventional horror film about a father/son team who try to solve a murder through the course of an autopsy is one of the three announced films in the program. A secret fourth screening has yet to be announced!
The full list of programming at this year’s festival plus information on how to purchase tickets can be found here, on the festival website. Complimentary tickets to films in the American Independents and Documentary film categories are available to the public again this year through the PFS On Us program.
We hope to see you there!
Author: Jill Malcolm
Jill is happiest attending midnight screenings with other crazy film fans at her local theater. Her other passions include reading, traveling to faraway places, cat videos, pugs, and jalapeño peppers. She is co-founder of the blog Filmhash.