The big topic around the Cinedelphia offices these days is the number of film festivals that are occurring over the course of the next two months and whether or not local film-goers have the patience and stamina to keep up with them all.  Here’s proof that our city does indeed have a thriving film community, as separated into niches and centralized in the autumn as it may be:

FirstGlance Film Festival : OCT 13 – 16
Philadelphia Film Festival
: OCT 20 – NOV 3
Terror Film Festival : OCT 27 – 29
24 Hour Horror-Thon : OCT 29-30
Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival : NOV 2 – 8
Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival : NOV 5 – NOV 16

There are, of course, a smattering of other Philly-based, topic-specific festivals annually held throughout the other seasons (Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, Israeli Film Festival, Q Fest, to name a few of the larger ones), but they’re spread out enough and of such a manageable length that it’s still difficult to resist complaining about the city’s lack of film outlets.  Could any of the above festivals possibly shift to another season in order to avoid overlapping with others?

The Philadelphia Film Festival are celebrating their 20th year and, despite the likely absence of a Cinefest this coming spring, they’re unlikely to move from their autumnal schedule (though I can easily imagine them holding an additional spring-based festival…).  Both the Terror Film Festival and Exhumed Films’ Horror-Thon are celebrating their fifth anniversaries and heavily rely on their October slots.  The Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival are celebrating their 31st year (yes, they are the longest-running festival in the city) and aren’t bound to November as far as I know.  Same goes for the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, now in their fourth year.  These latter two festivals obviously appeal to their immediate niche audiences while hoping for the attendance of film-lovers of all varieties, hence their relocation from the festival cluster sounds like a smart idea.  But I make these remarks without even the slightest awareness of their ticket numbers, they could already be sold out for all I know.  And as for the FirstGlance Film Festival, well, I’ve never fully understood what the festival is and I find their website difficult to look at.  Best of luck to them in any case.

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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