Philadelphia Film Festival

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Posted by pompos 04/03/2009 @ 15:11

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Film Festival is splitting up - Philadelphia Inquirer
By Carrie Rickey In a breakup that will create rival local movie extravaganzas, the cosponsors of the Philadelphia Film Festival are citing irreconcilable differences and going their own ways. TLA and the Philadelphia Film Society are dividing...
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Greenblatt, the executive director of the Philadelphia Film Society, hopes to have the film edited by fall and ready to submit to the Sundance Film Festival. The Ambler native and Germantown Academy grad is also producing "The Best and the Brightest,"...
Lebowski Fest Hits the East Coast - All About Jazz
... Fest will be spreading the gospel of The Dude in Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Toronto, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, the DC area, and Austin. “What do you do for recreation?” Julianne Moore's character Maude Lebowski asks The Dude in the film....
From 'Push' to 'Precious' - Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription)
The Cannes Film Festival, probably the most prestigious annual film festival in the world, opened this week at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in the south of France. When I was completing my undergraduate degree in Film/Communications at...
Gang member Sharif, center, with classmates, 2009 - New Jersey Jewish Standard
The film, which has been screened at both black and Jewish film festivals, has won numerous awards, including Audience Award, Slamdance Film Festival; Jury Award for Best Documentary and Kaiser Permanente “Thrive” Award, Cinequest Film Festival;...
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UF students compete in comedy competition - Gainesville Sun
The current round required both teams to create a video "roasting" the opposing school, which in UF's case is Temple University in Philadelphia. The videos were put online for voting until Monday at 3 pm Eastern time to determine a winner....
West Philly's David Brenner starting tour here - Philadelphia Inquirer
The film's main character is a deaf artist struggling to forgive himself after his girlfriend's daughter dies under his care. It won an award from the Philadelphia Film Festival. * West Chester native Charlie McDermott appears alongside Treat Williams...

Philadelphia Film Festival

The Philadelphia Film Festival is held annually, generally during the first weeks of April in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 16th annual Philadelphia Film Festivial took place from April 5th to April 18th, 2007. Over 200 films from around the world are exhibited in multiple venues in and around center city Philadelphia. The festival has been managed by the TLA Entertainment Group since 2001.

In 2007, the Philadelphia Film Festival added a student component, screening the winners of the Greater Philadelphia Student Film Festival.

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TLA Entertainment Group

TLA Entertainment Group is a privately held corporation based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1981.

Originally formed to operate a repertory movie theater, the company has expanded to catalogs, retail stores and licensing businesses. The catalog began as an adult mail order business and grew to include gay and lesbian non-adult films and is now supplemented by the website

TLA stands for Theater of the Living Arts. Now a concert venue, it was originally founded as an experimental theater group in the 1960s under the direction of Andre Gregory (of My Dinner with Andre fame). The group included Danny DeVito, Judd Hirsch, Sally Kirkland and Ron Leibman who performed exclusively in the Theater of the Living Arts on South Street in Philadelphia. By the mid- to late-60s, funding for the Theater was running out and the theater was converted to a movie house showing an eclectic mix of classic and foreign films.

In 1981, the founding partners of TLA Entertainment Group met and subsequently ran the theater. For the next six years the TLA was a leading repertory art movie theater. In addition, for four of those six years, the partners ran a small, first-run art house, the Roxy Screening Room, also located in Center City Philadelphia.

In 1985, the first video store was opened next door to Theater of the Living Arts and today, there are four TLA Video locations in or near Philadelphia: one in Bryn Mawr, one in Society Hill, one in Chestnut Hill, and one in Rittenhouse Square.

TLA Video stores are known locally for their knowledgeable staff and varied selection of obscure, independent, foreign, and adult films in addition to mainstream titles. The most obscure titles are arranged by genre, actor, director, and country to provide the personalized feel of a neighborhood store as opposed to the more sterile environments found in larger nationwide chains.

A few of the store policies include encouraging customers to put advance reserves on titles that are either out of stock or pending release to ensure that the store will have what the customer wants when they come in and DVD trade-ins for store credit. They maintain a varied stock of VHS tapes, DVD, and Blu-ray discs to cover titles that may not have been released in other formats.

TLA maintains a relationship with The Criterion Collection that sees them stocking many Criterion titles for both rental and purchase. The retail section is, for the most part, as varied as the rental section, and the staff also encourages customers to special order titles from the distributor.

The chain also regularly features monthly sale and rental specials throughout the year in addition to a permanent 3-for-2 rental special that applies to everything in the store. Cash, credit, debit, and check are accepted forms of payment, and rentals can be put on an account balance to be paid at a later date. In addition to standard cash rentals, the store also offers blocks of rentals (referred to as 'punches') and 'sub-plans' that allow customers to rent as many movies as they want over a period of a month without late fees, as long as they have only two or three films out at a time, depending on the type of plan purchased. Similar plans also exist specifically for video games.

TLA keeps an unusual schedule of 10 a.m. to midnight 365 days a year, depending on the store.

TLA Entertainment Group launched in 1997. This is one of the largest video websites in the US, and one of the world's leading retailers of Gay & Lesbian films. It also offers American Independent, International, Hollywood Hits and Adult DVDs. It also offers gay and lesbian books on

In 1994, TLA Entertainment Group President Raymond Murray decided to begin the Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. The 12-day festival is the third largest gay–lesbian film festival in the country.

In 2001, TLA Entertainment Group assumed management of the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema, now called The Philadelphia Film Festival. The two-week festival shows over 100 feature films from around the world. In order to better fund these events, in August 2001 TLA Entertainment Group spun them off and created the non-profit Philadelphia Film Society. In 2002, with a larger staff and more venues, the Philadelphia Film Festival had over 45,000 attendees, up from 17,000 in 2000.

TLA Releasing is the licensing division of TLA Entertainment. It is focused on the acquisition of distribution rights of international, independent, and gay and lesbian films to theaters and on DVD/VHS. TLA Releasing currently releases two films a month for the home entertainment market and has several films playing in theaters. The catalog of films is available online.

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Casi Casi


Casi, Casi (in English, Almost, Almost) is a 2006 Puerto Rican film, written and directed by brothers Jaime and Tony Vallés. It received a theatrical release in Puerto Rico in early 2007.

The film takes place in a Catholic school in Puerto Rico where the main character, Emilio, is infatuated with Jacklynne, the most popular girl in school. In an attempt to win her over, he decides to run for Student Council President to impress her, only to discover that Jacklynne herself will be his adversary. Emilio then devises a plan, together with his friends, to rig the election and lose on purpose. All this without being caught by strict school Principal Richardson (Marian Pabón).

Casi , adv. means: Almost, nearly, somewhat more or less; just. Casi que or casi casi, Very nearly.

Emilio is a normal teenager who somehow finds himself being sent to the principal's office every other week. He has a crush on Jacklynne, the most popular girl in school, so he decides to run for Student Council President in order to impress her. After announcing his candidacy, Emilio discovers, to his horror, that Jacklynne herself will be running for office against him. Emotions fly high as campaign fever intensifies. Not wanting to lose his chance to win her heart, Emilio devises a risky plan that could come to a disastrous end if the tyrannous school principal gets wind of his scheme.

To achieve this, they approached the members of their own family for help, among them Puerto Rican actress, Marian Pabón, and Mario Pabón. Most of the cast are unexperienced actors taken directly from school with the intention of giving naturality and spontaneity to the film .

None of the actors chosen for the parts had any previous experience in films. The directors had some troubles with some of the actors. For example, Ricardo Arias originally didn't want to do the film. The directors, however, managed to persuade him. Also, the role of María Eugenia was given to another actress who left the film a few days after filming began. It was then that Marian Pabon suggested Irene Lucio to audition and play the role.

To minimize expenses, all of the cast had to provide their own wardrobe, except for the school uniform shirts.

Despite being a low-budget film, it has received much critical praise from audiences around the world. Ronnie Scheib (Variety magazine) gave the film a very favorable review . Joe Baltake, of the Philadelphia Film Festival compared it with Mean Girls and Clueless .

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Tobias Segal

Tobias Segal is an American actor, best known for his work on stage and in the independent film The Other American, which appeared at the SlamDance Film Festival and Philadelphia Film Festival in April 2004. In 2002 he became one of the youngest actors to win a Barrymore Award, which he won for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a play for his performance in Equus.

Segal was born and raised in South Philadelphia, and has been active in the theatre community in Philadelphia. In 2004 Segal took a break from Temple University to work with area professional theaters.

Over the past few years Segal has made apprances on Law and Order and in 2006 he appeared in Rocky Balboa. He also made a name for himself in such plays as Merlin's Fire, Twelfth Night, Disco Pigs, and According to Goldman.

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Half Nelson (film)

Half Nelson.jpg

Half Nelson is a 2006 American film that premiered in competition at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, and was released theatrically on August 11, 2006. It is written by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, stars Ryan Gosling, Shareeka Epps and Anthony Mackie and is directed by Ryan Fleck. The film was scored by Juno-Award-winning Canadian band Broken Social Scene. Gosling received an Academy Award nomination for lead actor for his role in the film.

The story concerns an inner-city junior high school teacher who forms an unlikely friendship with one of his students after she discovers that he has a drug habit. The film is based on a 19-minute film made by Boden and Fleck in 2004, titled Gowanus, Brooklyn.

Half Nelson was screened at the Philadelphia Film Festival on April 1, 2006. Director Ryan Fleck and actress Shareeka Epps attended the screening and answered questions from the audience.

Dan Dunne (Ryan Gosling) is a young urban high school teacher whose ideals wither and die in the face of reality. Day after day in his shabby Brooklyn classroom, he finds the energy to inspire his 13 and 14-years-old to examine everything from civil rights to the civil war with a new enthusiasm. Rejecting the standard curriculum in favor of an edgier approach, Dan teaches his students how change works—on both a historical and personal scale—and how to think for themselves.

Though Dan is smart, dynamic and in control of the classroom, he spends his time outside school on the edge of consciousness. Early in the film we see Dan smoking crack in a school locker room after he coaches the school's girls basketball team. While there, one of his players, Drey (Shareeka Epps) catches him getting high. As the plot moves forward, we learn little about how or why Dan got involved with drugs. We find that a former girlfriend has successfully gone through drug rehab, and that the Dunne family has fissures of its own. But Fleck primarily sets moods throughout the film, leaving large ellipses for the viewer to fill in, rather than directly illuminate Dan's story.

Drey's troubles are more plainly spelled out. Her parents are not together, and her father is irresponsible and seemingly uninvolved in her life. Drey's brother, Mike, is in prison for selling drugs for a neighborhood dealer, Frank (Anthony Mackie). And Drey's mother is constantly working as an EMT to keep the family together. Drey's lack of proper adult supervision makes her a target for Frank's operation.

The tension in the film comes from Drey's attempts to save Dan from the consequences of his drug habit, and Dan's efforts to keep Drey from following in her brother Mike's footsteps. These two people are better able to save each other than to save themselves.

The film was greeted with high critical acclaim, found its way on many top ten films of 2006 lists and even calculated an overall average of 85 out of 100 on Metacritic.

On the television show Ebert & Roeper that aired during the weekend of August 13, 2006, Richard Roeper and guest critic Kevin Smith gave Half Nelson a "two big thumbs up" rating. Smith went so far as to say that it was probably one of the ten best films he had seen in the last decade. Jim Emerson, editor of Roger gave the movie four stars out of four.

Many of the nominations were for Ryan Gosling, including the Oscar, for his performance as Dan Dunne.

The soundtrack was released in the USA on August 8, 2006. The Canadian indie collective Broken Social Scene, featured prominently throughout the film, is also included on the soundtrack.

Half Nelson was released on DVD on February 13, 2007 courtesy of ThinkFilm and Sony Pictures. Bonus features include outtakes, deleted scenes, filmmaker commentary, and a music video by Rhymefest.

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The Shame of a City

The Shame of a City is a 2006 feature-length documentary, which premiered at the Philadelphia Film Festival,. Filmmaker Tigre Hill chronicles the 2003 Philadelphia mayoral race between Democrat incumbent mayor John Street and Republican challenger Sam Katz (Philadelphia). Early polls showed Katz with a small lead in this predominantly Democratic city but twenty-seven days before the election, an FBI bug was found in the mayor’s office. The discovery at first seemed like a death knell to the Street campaign and a near certain victory for Katz. Yet this prediction was proven wrong when Street and his supporters successfully polarized the campaign by leveling accusations of instituational racial prejudice and playing on historical skepticism of the Republican-controlled federal government. The result? Street won re-election by a sixteen-point margin.

With exclusive inside access to the Katz campaign, “The Shame of a City” traverses the bizarre final month to Election Day with the losing candidate as he tries in vain to salvage his campaign while his victor succeeds in manipulating voter sentiment in order to thwart it.

The film won numerous awards (most notably “Best Feature-Length Film” at the 2006 Philadelphia Film Festival's Festival of Independents) and generated monumental amounts of press, earning Hill an interview on MSNBC, named references in five successive issues of Philadelphia magazine, and positive reviews by The Philadelphia Inquirer, among others.

The film quickly became a mechanism favored by local politicians, journalists, academics and activists to address the endemic problems of a city once referred to as “corrupt and contented.” The timing of these civic discussions inarguably benefited reformer and former city council member Michael Nutter,, who was by then attempting to succeed Street by securing the Democratic primary vote for mayor against two Street supporters portrayed negatively in Hill’s movie: Congressmen Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah. After receiving Hill’s endorsement, Nutter himself screened “The Shame of a City” five times to sold-out audiences, using it to raise money and awareness of his opponents’ admitted nefarious political techniques. Also, the DVD release was timed to coincide with the primary election cycle, thereby more broadly reminding voters about the previous elections controversies. In the primary of May 2007, Nutter went from underdog to winner then proceeded to statistically annihilate his opponent in the general election. “The Shame of a City” also provided an introduction to a Katz campaign consultant, Carl Singley, whose strongly positive appearance in the movie briefly made him the focus of an early, informal city-wide campaign for him to run for mayor – a municipal conversation legitimized by a feature article in Philadelphia magazine and silenced when Singley declined to run.

Screenings were sponsored by highly respected and diverse institutions ranging from the FBI, Philadelphia Forward, The University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University to Philadelphia magazine and and were held at venerable locations like the National Constitution Center.

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Take Out (short film)


Take Out is a 2007 short film (thriller) written by Screenwriter and Producer Bill Hall, with Jonathan Budine as the Director, Producer and Editor. The short introduces Mary Ann Emerson, appearing in her first lead role, and includes veteran New York City actor Alexis Suarez. Scream Queen Debbie Rochon also appears in a cameo role. "Take Out" features the cinematography of Bud Hayman and Production Design of Jim Welsh who also co-produced, as well as, original music composed by Ray Nissen.

The film revolves around a working woman (Mary Ann Emerson) who travels into a parking garage to retrieve her car. As the film opens, we are introduced to our main character and her friend as they head towards the parking garage in the dark of night. The street sign they pass foreshadows events to come. It reads "Do Not Enter". Our leading lady, whose character name is not revealed, says her goodbyes to her friend, played by Debbie Rochon, as she heads into the garage alone. Inside we travel with her as she makes her way to her car. She pauses and something seems to heighten her senses. Through "point of view" the audience is aware that someone is watching her.

The film was shot in and around a parking garage in West Orange, New Jersey. Shooting commenced September 9, 2006 at 3pm and wrapped the following morning at 6am. With almost no budget the film's shooting schedule was completed in 16 straight hours with a cast and crew of 12. Due to the intensity of shooting a film in such a short period of time, a "mockumentary" was created from it. "Take Over: the horror behind the thriller" is a comedy starring the cast and crew telling their own "somewhat incorrect" stories about the making of "Take Out". The mockumentary, with its own shocking conclusion, premiered in March 2007 as a web film on the "Take Out" official site.

Take Out premiered at the Philadelphia Film Festival on April 11, 2007 followed with official selections from the Montclair International Film Festival in May, 2007 and the Hoboken International Film Festival in June, 2007. The short also screened at Fango Con conventions, including the Burbank edition of Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors, also in May 2007. The official selection to the Fantasia Festival moved "Take Out" international on July 5th, when the short premiered north of the border in Montreal, Canada. In August 2007, The Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films screened the short and in September 2007, Dragon*Con also screened Take Out as part of its independent Short Film Festival. October, of course, was a big month for the short. With 7 different festival screenings from coast to coast, Screamfest screened Take Out at the Grauman's Mann Chinese Theater as well as two separate festivals in NYC including the NYC Horror Film Festival. In the month of November The Big Apple Film Festival screened the short as part of an awards ceremony and screening for Alan Cumming's film, "Suffering Man's Charity". The Miami Short Film Festival also showed the short. The Jersey Shore Film Festival awarded TAKE OUT with 2nd place in the shorts jury prize and the Red Bank Film Festival nominated Take Out for 2 awards. Continuing on in 2008, TAKE OUT was officially selected to the Digital Video + Super 8 Festival, as well as, the Digital Video and High Definition Festival in Los Angeles. Invitations for Take Out to screen came from the Cleveland International Film Festival and the CA Next Gen Festival in Scramento, CA.

The Worldwide Rights were purchased for "Take Out" by the Mini Move Channel, a Beverly Hills based distribution company, in June of 2008. Mini Movie, a distributor of short films via the internet, phone and television, will host the short film for free on their website. Mini Movie is supported by ad sales.

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Source : Wikipedia