- Film Festival
Dear Friend of the Film Society,
With the year’s end upon us, I wanted to take a moment of your time to both thank you for your continued support of the Philadelphia Film Society and Philadelphia Film Festival, as well as to provide you with a brief update on what the upcoming year will entail for PFS and the Festival.
As you know, the Philadelphia Film Society (PFS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization known principally for its production of the annual Philadelphia Film Festival, as well as for the presentation of three year-round screening series, frequent advance preview screenings, and multiple other film events throughout the city. The Festival is the centerpiece of our commitment to the presentation of film as a powerful form of artistic expression and a unique force for promoting the understanding of cultural, social and economic diversity. Both the Festival and our other year-round initiatives are designed to further this goal, by engaging and educating the diverse communities of the Greater Philadelphia region.
This past October, we presented the 19th Philadelphia Film Festival, which featured our strongest and most critically lauded line-up of films to date, with a total of over 250 screenings of 132 world-class domestic and international narrative, documentary and short films on 10 different screens in 5 venues over eleven days. Amongst these films, we hosted the Philadelphia premieres of such Oscar buzz-worthy films as “Black Swan,” our Opening Night film with director Darren Aronofsky in attendance; “127 Hours,” our Closing Night film; “Blue Valentine,” “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,” and many others.
We also featured some fantastic special presentations, such as the 10th Anniversary screening of “Unbreakable” followed by a post-screening discussion with writer/director M. Night Shyamalan, as well as an incredible local section of Philly-produced films such as “Lebanon, PA,” “Café,” and “The Best and the Brightest.”
In addition to our films, we welcomed a number of guests from the industry, including filmmakers, producers and distributors, transforming the Philadelphia Film Festival into an industry event. We also hosted several fantastic receptions and parties throughout the Festival, including the Opening Night party at City Tap House, the Closing Night party at Sigma Sound Studios, and the very special Kerry Washington/”Night Catches Us” party in conjunction with Philadelphia Style Magazine at the Chestnut Club. And, of course, we welcomed over thirty thousand filmgoers like you to the festival, truly turning it into a citywide event. With the 19th Philadelphia Film Festival now in the books, however, we turn our attention to 2011, and what we expect will be a monumental year for PFS and the Festival. As I’ve previously mentioned, 2011 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Philadelphia Film Festival, as well as the 10th Anniversary of PFS itself. Needless to say, we’re excited and thrilled to be able to mark these milestones with you. Programming has already begun on the
20th Philadelphia Film Festival-
mark your calendars for October 13- 23, 2011
as our curators have already begun to identify some spectacular films for potential inclusion. We expect that the 20th Anniversary will be the best Festival yet, with incredible films from around the world along with accompanying filmmakers and industry guests galore.
Likewise, leading up to the Festival, we are also commemorating our milestone anniversaries by featuring screenings of the top 10 films shot in or featuring Philadelphia (as voted by you on filmadelphia.org) as part of our filmadelphiaCLASSICS screenings series. Beginning in February, we will show 1 of these selected films per month, with the final 2 screenings shown as part of the 20th Philadelphia Film Festival. Each screening will be followed by a moderated discussion. Be on alert for surprises, such as special guests and accompanying events.
In addition, we will resume our filmadelphiaINDEPENDENT and filmadelphiaDOCUMENTARY screening series in February, which will serve to extend the Festival year-round by bringing important independent and documentary films to Philadelphia in a traditional theatre setting, often followed by a moderated group discussion exploring the ideas behind the film.
We also continue to offer our sneak preview screenings of upcoming studio releases, the most popular benefit of membership. In 2010, members were invited to up to 70 screenings over the course of the year, including such special events as “Cyrus,” which featured a Q&A with actor John C. Reilly, “City Island,” which included a pre-reception with actor/producer Andy Garcia, “Conviction,” which included a Q&A with director Tony Goldwyn and actor Sam Rockwell, “Jack Goes Boating” which included a Q&A with actor Amy Ryan, and “127 Hours,” which featured a Q&A with director Danny Boyle. While not guaranteed, we feel very strongly that we should be able to offer similar numbers of invitations to sneak preview screenings in 2011, as well as hosting additional high profile screenings with talent in attendance.
As I mention at every screening, it is only through your continued support as members and contributors to PFS that we are able to sustain the annual Philadelphia Film Festival and offer our year-round programming. Membership is the lifeblood of our organization, providing us not only with the financial support to handle day-to-day operating costs, but also with an important sounding board for new programming initiatives as well as the success of our organization. We rely heavily upon your generosity as supporters of PFS to continue to provide the exceptional year-round services you have come to expect. We also rely on you as promoters of PFS, so please, tell your friends, bring guests with you to our events, and help us grow PFS together.
I once again thank you for your generosity in helping to make the 19th Philadelphia Film Festival such an enormous success and in helping to support and sustain PFS’ year-round programming. 2011 has been a year of growth and development for PFS, and we look forward to our continued growth together in the future.
I wish you a happy new year and look forward to seeing you at the movies.
J. Andrew Greenblatt