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7 Can’t-Miss Films of the 26th Philadelphia Film Festival

October 16, 2017

(Still from Faces Places, photo courtesy of Cohen Media Group)

It’s nearly time for the 26th Philadelphia Film Festival (October 19-29,) and today I’m excited to tell you that I’ll be partnering with the Philadelphia Film Society to share with y’all my seven can’t-miss selections of the festival and to host a panel discussion related to one of my picks!

One of the things I love about this festival, and something I honestly didn’t know until I met with the a couple of the organizers, is that there are many films that are screened for free. And as a blog concerned with the accessibility of art, I’m not sure how it’s never occurred to me to promote more films that are offered for free. Is this something y’all might be interested in seeing more of?

While not all of my selections are offered for free, those that are, I’m told, go quickly so if you’re interested get your tickets asap!

Now, in no particular order, here’s my seven can’t-miss picks of the 26th Philadelphia Film Festival:

1) Faces Places
“Although generations apart, it is readily apparent that Faces Places co-directors Agnès Varda, 89, and street artist JR, 34, are kindred spirits who share a love for the world and each other. The pint-sized, fashionably coiffed French New Wave director and ultra-hip young artist take to the road in a specially outfitted mobile photo truck, creating larger-than-life street murals.” -Philadelphia Film Society
TICKETS ($15): 10/22 at 12:15pm, 10/23 at 6:20pm

And, if you get tickets to the Monday, October 23rd showing at 6:20pm, you’re invited to join me for a short Talkback Panel Discussion after the screening with two Philly-area creators of art in the public space (to be announced shortly!)

2) 11/8/16
“Directed by 16 diverse filmmakers, this intimate documentary gives the viewer the chance to view the events of 2016’s historic election day through the experiences of real Americans.” -Philadelphia Film Society
TICKETS (Free!): 10/21 at 7:30pm, 10/28 at 2:10pm

3) Oh Lucy!
“Try to picture a Japanese remake of Hello, My Name Is Doris, shot through with an undertow of quiet desperation that wouldn’t be out of place in a Cristian Mungiu film, and you’re halfway toward grasping the strange appeal of director Atsuko Hirayanagi’s feature debut, Oh Lucy! Like a chocolate trifle with an arsenic core, this quirky portrait of a lonely Tokyo woman who follows her English teacher to California offers a skewed take on American indie tropes, effectively gesturing toward broad comic appeal while offering peeks at a profound darkness just beneath.” –Variety
TICKETS (Free!): 10/22 at 12:20pm, 10/24 at 6:10pm

4) Alaska is a Drag
“Dreaming of trading small-town Alaska for the bright lights of Hollywood, aspiring drag queen Leo (Philly-native Martin L. Washington, Jr.) prepares for two very different competitions: a drag pageant and a boxing match.” -Philadelphia Film Society
TICKETS ($15): 10/25 at 6:10pm, 10/28 at 9pm

5) Ghost Hunting
“30 years ago, Palestinian filmmaker Raed Andoni was once imprisoned in Moskobiya interrogation centre in Jerusalem. Now in his new documentary Ghost Hunting, he comes to terms with that memory by addressing his fears head on with the help of former prisoners. In the new film, he invites a group of survivors from the same system to help recreate their experiences. Andoni and the rest of the ex-prisoners rebuild their prison cells and re-enact their interrogations from memory, all the while confronting their deepest fears and starting the path towards healing. ” –IndyWire
TICKETS (Free!): 10/26 at 4:50pm, 10/29 at 6:30pm

6) The Divine Order
“The long-fought battle for women’s suffrage in America ended in 1920, but it wasn’t until 1971 that Switzerland granted its female population the right to vote. The Divine Order revisits this fight for equality through the fictional lens of a housewife in one of the country’s remote villages, where her mounting desire for autonomy and actualization is opposed by backward-thinking cretins of both genders.” –Variety
TICKETS ($15): 10/28 at 5pm

7) Most Beautiful Island
“A short, stressful, and utterly spellbinding debut that transforms the immigrant experience into the stuff of an early Polanski psychodrama, Writer/Director Ana Asensio’s Most Beautiful Island is a worthy winner of the SXSW Grand Jury Prize for best narrative feature, and — more importantly — strong evidence of a cinematic juggernaut in the making.” –IndyWire
TICKETS (Free!): 10/22 at 8:50pm, 10/23 at 3:45pm

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