The Philadelphia Film Festival is all set to run April 3-16 with over 300 feature films, documentaries, animated features, and shorts from 40 countries.
The 2003 Festival also expands its presence in Philadelphia with a total of seven venues: the Independence Seaport Museum on Penn’s Landing; one screen in Ritz Five and both screens of Ritz East in Old City; the Prince Music Theater in Center City; and International House and the new Bridge: cinema de lux in West Philadelphia.
As in previous years, festival programming has been arranged into nine thematic focuses. Among the new elements this year are a survey of Italian Cinema Today, and a showcase of experimental and surrealist films, “Beyond the Frame.” The Festival’s distinctive celebration of the genre film, Danger After Dark, offers a retrospective of the legendary Hong Kong Shaw Brothers studio with rare screenings of five of the studio’s best action films from the 1960s and 1970s. This year’s Festival also sees a dramatic increase in short films, with over a dozen separate programs.
Returning this year are surveys of films from American Independents, Eastern European Cinema Today and – of particular interest given the current global tensions – Cinema of the Muslim Worlds. The annual Documentary Tradition series has two films nominated for 2003 Academy Awards, Winged Migration and Spellbound, a fascinating look into the pressure-filled national spelling bee, featuring a finalist from the Philadelphia area.
For more information, visit the Philadelphia Film Festival website.