happy friends watching movie in theater

The Philadelphia Film Festival will celebrate its 25th anniversary this fall with an impressive lineup of independent and foreign cinema.


Venues throughout the city will host dozens of features for the 11-day festival. Those venues include:

AKA – 834 Chestnut Street
Ritz Five – 214 Walnut Street
Festival Lounge – 126 Chestnut Street, downstairs
Ritz East – 125 S. 2nd Street

Short films, feature-length films, animated movies, and a plethora of genres will be screened from October 20th-30th.


Check out a roundup of our favorite films that are coming the Philadelphia Film Festival:

Manchester by the Sea – Directed by Kenneth Lonergan, Casey Affleck plays a man returning to his seaside hometown to grieve the death of his brother. Becoming the appointed guardian to his 16-year-old nephew forces Affleck’s character to overcome his self-induced isolation and connect with the world outside of himself.

SHOWING: October 22nd, 7:30 p.m.

Arrival – Amy Adams stars as renowned linguistics expert Dr. Louise Banks in a science-fiction drama focusing on extraterrestrial encounters. Twelve alien spacecrafts land around the globe, and international ties are tested as humans traverse how to handle earth’s visitors. Both the classic components of a science fiction film and a unique take on the genre make this film unforgettable.

SHOWING: October 28, 8:00 p.m.

The Handmaiden – Chan-Wook Park weaves an intricate plot in this period piece thriller about an elaborate con. Japanese-occupied, 1930’s Korea unfolds from scene to scene, and audiences follow Sook-Hee Nam, a pickpocket hired as a servant at a lavish estate. The testing of allegiances, buried secrets, and shocking revelations create a gothic melodrama.

SHOWINGS: October 22nd, 10:15 p.m.; October 30th, 8:35 p.m.


Here are our tips for navigating ten days of fantastic film:

Get your tickets early – Screenings like the opening, closing, and centerpiece films are popular events that sell out.
Be on time – There are no previews, and no one is guaranteed a seat once the screenings start. There will also be lines, so get there early.
Some shows are free – A handful of the festival’s screenings are free admission thanks to PFS ON US presented by PNC ARTS ALIVE. Check out the full list of films to see admission prices.