The 27th annual Philadelphia Film Festival kicks off this week with the screening of Ben is Back starring Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges as mother and son who are grappling with a history of addiction.
The story is ripped from the headlines as Philadelphia struggles to deal with the opioid drama unfolding on the streets of Kensington.
Executive Director J. Andrew Greenblatt said in a statement:
From our powerful, socially relevant and incredibly timely Opening Night screening of Ben is Back to the definitive look at Philadelphia music legend Teddy Pendergrass for our Closing Night selection, and the incredibly diverse line-up in-between, the films premiering in this year’s Festival will be discussed and remembered for a long time to come.
Artistic Director Michael Lerman added:
Andrew and I have been doing this together for ten years and I love that we continue to find fresh, unique films that delight and challenge audiences. I’m so proud of the program the team has put together and I can’t wait to share the adventure we have in store for you.
What’s in store is a lineup of more than 100 films over 11 days. As a curator of art, technology and social change content, my must-see films include:
- Studio 54
- If Beale Street Could Talk
- The Price of Everything
- General Magic
- Empathy, Inc.
- Green Book
The film is based on a true friendship. Art also imitates life. Before passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, African American motorists used the “Green Book” travel guide to vacation without humiliation.
The Closing Night film, Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don’t Know Me, tells the untold story of Philadelphia’s legendary R&B singer whose “For Women Only” concerts were the stuff of, well, legends.
To view the full schedule and purchase tickets, go here.