Awesome Fest at the Race Street Pier

Yup, I’ve assumed the role of Program Director of the Awesome Fest and will thus be programming the bulk of the ongoing series’ film screenings throughout the summer.  Expect great things.

And not to play favorites, but the fourth film listed below, Pilgrim Song, is easily one of my favorites of the year thus far; it has the atmospheric appeal of a Martha Marcy or Winter’s Bone while thankfully lacking the almost cartoon-like twists that characterize those and many other current indie features.



(PHILADELPHIA, PA) May 29, 2012 – The Awesome Fest is partnering with the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation to present a weekly series of free outdoor movie screenings at the Race Street Pier.  Every Saturday at nightfall throughout the summer, The Awesome Fest will be presenting independent features straight out of major festivals including Sundance and SXSW.

“From day one the goal has been to create a premier year-round destination festival, and film-centric landscape in Philadelphia. This is no doubt a giant step in that direction”, said Josh Goldbloom, founder/artistic director of The Awesome Fest. “I’m truly humbled by the dedication, ambition, and heart & soul our team has put into this project. This is not an organization with deep-pockets. We are not funded by grant money. We do not require membership fees to take part in our festivities. We’re simply a grass-roots, DIY community that strongly believes in supporting each other, independent film, and showcasing this city as one of the very finest. This is why for the third year in a row, we’re proud to present our entire summer series, completely free of charge.”

This is the first series curated by new Awesome Fest Program Director Eric Bresler.

“I’ve been a fan and supporter of the Awesome Fest since it started,” said Bresler, a former Managing Director of the Philadelphia Film Society and current Site Editor of, the online center of the Philadelphia film community.  “My goal is to continue Josh’s vision of bringing indie films to the Philadelphia area that wouldn’t otherwise receive screenings around these parts.  Cinedelphia readers are already familiar with my particular taste in movies, expect a fun and classy series.”

The Awesome Fest’s summer film programming slate won’t be limited to the Pier though, additional summertime screening venues will include Liberty Lands (every Thursday beginning June 28th), The Trocadero Theatre, PhilaMOCA, and some very special surprises. The full schedule for the entire series will be released in early June.

The awesomeness doesn’t stop there, as The Awesome Fest team will be debuting their brand new state of the art, 30 foot outdoor screen.

The initial lineup of Race Street Pier screenings is as follows:

Saturday, June 9

With more than 300 hours of film shot during the 2010 tour, NO ROOM FOR ROCK STARS documents the true stories of modern era rock and roll from every possible angle.  From the kids in the van playing parking lots to gain notice, to the veteran stage manager whose life was saved by the tour, to the musician who crosses over to mainstream success while on the road, NO ROOM FOR ROCK STARS is Cinema Vèritè story-telling at its finest.  A historical retrospective or concert film this is not.
Recently screened at Slamdance, SXSW, and Hot Docs (Toronto).

Saturday, June 16
Director Caveh Zahedi (I AM A SEX ADDICT) is commissioned by a Middle Eastern Biennial to make a film on the theme of “art as a subversive act” with the sole stipulation that he cannot make fun of the Sheik who rules the country and finances the Biennial.  Zahedi does just that as he presses every culturally sensitive button he can to both hilarious and unexpectedly serious ends.
Recently screened at SXSW and San Francisco International.

Saturday, June 23
A look back at the capture of famed Milwaukee-based serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.  Interviews with the case’s medical examiner, police detective, and Dahmer’s next door neighbor are interwoven with archival footage and newly created reenactments of the murderer’s seemingly normal day-to-day activities.
Recently screened at SXSW and Hot Docs (Toronto).

Saturday, June 30
Seeking escape from his stalled relationship and unhappy place in the world, a recently pink-slipped music teacher sets out to hike Kentucky’s Sheltowee Trace Trail. Among the verdant hills of Appalachia, he encounters various strange characters and becomes the reluctant companion of a gregarious father and son who ultimately help him rediscover what he’s been missing.
Recently screened at SXSW.


Official site.

Author: Eric Bresler

Eric is the Founder/Site Editor of whose additional activities are numerous: Director/Curator of the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA), founder of Tokyo No Records, the brain behind Video Pirates, and active local film programmer including the Unknown Japan screening series. He’s served as a TLA Video Manager, Philadelphia Film Society Managing Director, and Adjunct Professor in Cinema Studies at Drexel University. He is shy and modest. Email Eric.

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