Philadelphia’s First Music Film Festival? UPDATED

The Philadelphia Film Society just sent out a press release about their partnership with WXPN for “Philadelphia’s First Film Festival Dedicated Solely to Music”…but didn’t the Philly F/M Festival already do that this past fall?  Yes, they did.  It reminds of another press release the PFS sent out last summer in which they basically claimed that they were the originators of the idea of hosting screenings at Eastern State, something that Secret Cinema beat them to by a long shot.  In any case, they have an interesting lineup of films planned though all of the venues aren’t locked down as of yet.  Here’s the press release:

WXPN Hosts Philadelphia’s First Film Festival Dedicated Solely to Music in Partnership with the Philadelphia Film Society

Initial slate includes more than 10 films all about music

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. March 19, 2012- Philadelphia’s only film festival dedicated to music is coming soon to theaters near you! WXPN, the nationally-recognized leader in Triple A (Adult Album Alternative) music and noncommercial radio service of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Philadelphia Film Society today announced that the XPN Music Film Festival produced by the Philadelphia Film Society will run from Thursday, April 26 to Sunday, April 29. The initial slate features more than 10 films including rockumentaries, biopics about musicians and movies that are defined by great soundtracks.

“We are proud and excited to create a festival that will put Philadelphia on the leading edge of the often glorious union of music and film,” Roger LaMay, WXPN General Manager. “Not only does this further XPN’s mission of connecting artists and audiences, but our collaboration with the Philadelphia Film Society potentially creates a new signature cultural event here in Philadelphia.”

The XPN Music Film Festival is sponsored by the Annenberg Center for Performing Arts and the University of Pennsylvania. The festival will take place at the Annenberg Center and other theater locations throughout Philadelphia. Ticket information and the official festival schedule will be released in the upcoming weeks. The final schedule will include the festival’s opening and closing films, special events and screening locations. The initial slate of films can be found below and online at

“We are thrilled to expand Sight & Soundtrack, the music film section featured at the annual Philadelphia Film Festival, and co-present the XPN Music Film Festival,” said Michael Lerman, Philadelphia Film Society Artistic Director and programmer for the inaugural event. “We know there’s an eager audience of film and music lovers in Philadelphia and we think they’re going to enjoy the latest offerings of what is being seen and heard.”


California Solo

Director: Marshall Lewy, 2012

Cast: Robert Carlyle, Alexia Rasmussen, Kathleen Wilhoite, A. Martinez, Michael Des Barres, Danny Masterson

General Information: Robert Carlyle gives the performance of his career as a washed up Scottish rocker trying to give himself one more shot at a clean life as an organic farmer in the suburbs of Los Angeles.

Charles Bradley: Soul of America

Director: Poull Brien, 2012

General Information: Poull Brien’s touching documentary tells the incredible tale of a 62-year-old aspiring soul singer and his journey from poverty to Rolling Stone’s top 50.

Daylight Savings

Director: Dave Boyle, 2012

Cast: Goh Nakamura, Michael Aki, Yea-Ming Chen, Lynn Chen, Ayako Fujitani

General Information: After a devastating breakup, musician Goh Nakamura hits the road with his irresponsible cousin to pursue a promising rebound with fellow musician Yea-Ming Chen. This pseudo-sequel to the 2011 SXSW hit SURROGATE VALENTINE stands on its own as a hilarious new adventure.

Hi My Name is Ryan

Directors: Paul Eagleston and Stephen Rose, 2008

General Information: A hilarious look into the life of Ryan Avery, a teenage expert in all things from punk rock performance art to fake moustaches, whose countless bands help him navigate the challenges of growing up.

No Room for Rockstars

Director: Parris Patton, 2012

Cast: Mike Posner, Chris Drew, Mitch Lucker, Joe Candelaria, Kevin Lyman, Fletcher Dragge, Kenny Leath

General Information: Culled from over 300 hours of footage throughout the 2010 Warped Tour, NO ROOM FOR ROCKSTARS provides an inside look behind the annual tour, documenting the lives of the crew and the incredibly diverse bands that perform in the beloved, yet grueling event.

Of All the Things

Director: Jody Lambert, 2008

General Information: Documentarian Jody Lambert follows his father Dennis, a famous songwriter/producer from the 1960s and 70s who’s credits include “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “We Built This City,” and “Nightshift,” through the Philippines on one of the biggest tours of his career. This heartfelt portrait of an amazing comeback proves that some lives deserve an encore.

Of Love, Death and Beyond – Exploring Mahler’s “Resurrection’ Symphony

Director: Jason Starr, 2011

General Information: Featuring symphonic extracts of Gustav Mahler’s initially loathed but now revered Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection,” as performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra and New York Philharmonic, OF LOVE, DEATH AND BEYOND examines the foundations and ideas critical to the composition, while placing it in historical context.

Surrogate Valentine

Director: Dave Boyle, 2011

Cast: Goh Nakamura, Chadd Stoops, Lynn Chen, Mary Cavett, Joy Osmanski, Parry Shen, Calpernia Addams, Dan “Damage” Bjornson, Di Quon, Joe Polhemus

General Information: Lovable and underrated musician Goh Nakamura is jolted out of his social and professional inertia by the actor cast to play him in a film in this smartly written and beautifully shot example of indie done right. SURROGATE VALENTINE was an Official Selection of the 20th Philadelphia Film Festival in 2011.

Tonight You’re Mine

Director: David Mackenzie, 2011

Cast: Luke Treadaway, Natalia Tena, Sophie Wu, Ruta Gedmintas, Kari Corbett

General Information: Shot on location over a three day period at the world famous music festival ‘T in the Park,’ TONIGHT YOU’RE MINE is a compelling rock-and-roll romantic comedy about rival musicians who accidentally get handcuffed together. TONIGHT YOU’RE MINE was an Official Selection of the 20th Philadelphia Film Festival in 2011.

Uprising: Hip Hop & The LA Riots

Director: Mark Ford, 2012

Cast: Narrator, Snoop Dogg

General Information: Utilizing reams of amazing footage and celebrity interviews, this exhilarating documentary portrays a 20th anniversary recount of the Los Angeles riots and the role that hip hop music played in the chaos.

The Wrecking Crew

Director: Denny Tedesco, 2012

General Information: An incredible documentary about “The Wrecking Crew,” a group of studio musicians in the 1960s who were responsible for recording more number one singles than The Beatles, and cut classic hit records with Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys, Sonny and Cher, Frank Sinatra, and the Monkees among many others.

Official site.


The always friendly Andrew Greenblatt of the PFS sent over the following note in reference to the above:

Thanks for posting on your site about the XPN Music Film Festival, produced by the Philadelphia Film Society.  I read your article, and did want to clarify that we certainly are not discounting the Philly F/M Festival.  There are, however, differences between the events.  Whereas the Philly F/M Festival focuses largely on the music side, and has several events that are not related to film, the XPN Music Film Festival is solely dedicated to films about music, be it documentaries or narratives.  Any live music performances at the XPN Music Film Festival would be directly related to that.  From that distinction, I believe the wording of our press release is correct, and I don’t think it is offensive to the Philly F/M Festival.

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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