About Us

The Story of PFS

The Philadelphia Film Society (PFS)’s mission is to utilize film’s unique capacity to engage a broad cross-section of the community, while further providing access to powerful films from around the world in order to increase education and understanding. It does so by annually producing a top-tier film festival featuring the best of American and International cinema, programming the  PFS Theater at the Roxy, thereby providing daily access to films and experiences from which the Philadelphia community can be further engaged and educated, as well as by offering unique and varied screenings and events throughout the year that furthers the awareness of film as an important form of artistic expression and instrument of cultural change.

PFS regularly presents film in a variety of settings, and involves audiences from across the region in thinking and learning about film. PFS fosters unique opportunities for filmgoers to exchange reactions, insights and interpretations with others and create a shared experience around film through post-screening dialogs, at times with visiting filmmakers, film scholars or industry professionals. As a member of the region’s large non-profit arts community, PFS actively collaborates with other film and cultural organizations in order to expand the audience for high quality films, especially those that would not otherwise be seen in Philadelphia. PFS also aims to make a significant portion of its programming available free of charge in order to reach the broadest cross-section of the community.

PFS aims to create experiences that deeply enrich the understanding and enjoyment of film. In doing so, PFS’s goal is to become Philadelphia’s leading resource on film, collaborating and partnering with other institutions while also providing film guidance and expertise.

PFS believes in the power of film to be both educational and transformative. Film is amongst the most accessible of artforms, offering a natural platform not just for entertainment but also for personal exploration and engagement. Through the ideas, voices and images of filmmakers, filmgoers gain new perspectives on the extraordinary diversity of thought, culture, landscape, and experience throughout the world.

In addition to providing Philadelphia access to and education through films from around the world, PFS is likewise committed to building in Philadelphia a strong and vibrant film community. Through its programs, PFS will help create an exciting citywide focus on film and also help bring greater outside attention to Philadelphia as a place where film is flourishing. To this end, although currently using rental and other venues for film presentation, PFS eventually intends to operate out of its own facility. Through the acquisition and operation of a venue, PFS will be even better able to fulfill its mission by providing daily access to films and experiences from which the Philadelphia community can be further engaged and educated.

It is only through the support of our year-round members, donors, volunteers, board members, and sponsors that we can sustain and ensure the continued success of both the organization and our programming, including the annual Philadelphia Film Festival. In addition to thanking each and every member of the Philadelphia Film Society, we would like to recognize the following organizations for their incredible support:

  • AMJ Foundation
  • Barra Foundation
  • Boscia Family Foundation
  • Cozen O’Connor Foundation
  • Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation
  • Green Family Foundation
  • Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation
  • John S. & James L. Knight Foundation
  • Philadelphia Cultural Fund
  • Philadelphia Foundation
  • Robert and Jane Toll Foundation
  • Rittenhouse Foundation
  • Samuel S. Fels Fund
  • Wyncote Foundation

The Philadelphia Film Society is a non-profit tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) organization registered with the State of Pennsylvania. Donations to the Film Society are tax-deductible. Thank you!