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Caitriona Balfe as "Ma", Jamie Dornan as "Pa", Judi Dench as "Granny", Jude Hill as "Buddy", and Lewis McAskie as "Will" in director Kenneth Branagh's BELFAST
(L to R) Caitriona Balfe as “Ma”, Jamie Dornan as “Pa”, Judi Dench as “Granny”, Jude Hill as “Buddy”, and Lewis McAskie as “Will” in director Kenneth Branagh’s BELFAST, a Focus Features release. Credit : Rob Youngson / Focus Features

The 30th Philadelphia Film Festival will showcase more than 130 feature-length and short films, opening on Wednesday, October 20 with Belfast starring Dame Judi Dench and Jamie Dornan. The semi-autobiographical film, written and directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh, tells the story of the life of a working-class family and their young son’s childhood during the tumult of the late 1960s in the Northern Ireland capital.

On Friday, October 29, the festival will close with The Same Storm, written and directed by Peter Hedges. Filmed during lockdown, the film, is an ambitious, open-hearted response to the upheavals of 2020. Taking loose inspiration from the classic structure of the 19th-Century play La Ronde, the film consists of interlocking vignettes, usually featuring one character who also appears in the next sequence.

Additional headliner films include The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy, King Richard, starring Philadelphia native Will Smith as Richard Williams, father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams; and The French Dispatch, written and directed by Wes Anderson with an all-star cast led by Timothée Chalamet.

Screenings for the 30th Philadelphia Film Festival will take place at the following venues:

  • Philadelphia Film Center (1412 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19102)
  • PFS Bourse Theater (400 Ranstead St, Philadelphia, PA 19106)
  • PFS Drive-In at the Navy Yard (Admiral Peary Way & League Island Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19112)

30th Philadelphia Film Festival Full Line-up

*Titles with asterisks will be available virtually via the online virtual screening platform*


Belfast, Director Kenneth Branagh. 2021, UK. (Opening Night Film)
C’mon C’mon, Director Mike Mills. 2021, USA.
The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, Director Will Sharpe. 2021, UK.
Encounter, Director Michael Pearce. 2021, UK, USA.
The French Dispatch, Director Wes Anderson. 2021, USA, Germany.
King Richard, Director Reinaldo Marcus Green. 2021, USA.
The Same Storm, Director Peter Hedges. 2021, USA. (Closing Night Film)
Spencer, Director Pablo Larraín. 2021, UK, Germany.

Special Events

Clerk, Director Malcolm Ingram. 2021, USA, Canada.
– Extended Q&As scheduled at both screenings with Director Malcolm Ingram and Subject Kevin Smith

Masters of Cinema

The latest films by a new generation of acclaimed auteurs and established directors who continue to reshape the cinematic landscape.

Drive My Car, Director Rysuke Hamaguchi. 2021, Japan. (Opening Night Film)
A Hero, Director Asghar Farhadi. 2021, Iran, France.
Huda’s Salon, Director Hany Abu-Assad. 2021, Palestine, Egypt, Netherlands, Qatar.
Memoria, DirectorApichatpong Weerasethakul. 2021, Colombia, Thailand, UK, Mexico, France.
One Second, Director Zhang Yimou. 2020, China.
Paris, 13th District, Director Jacques Audiard. 2021, France.
Petite Maman, DirectorCéline Sciamma. 2021, France.
Red Rocket, DirectorSean Baker. 2021, USA.
The Souvenir Part II, Director Joanna Hogg. 2021, UK.
Vortex, Director Gaspar Noé. 2021, France.
The Worst Person in the World, Director Joachim Trier. 2021, Norway.


This year’s highly anticipated titles featuring some of the biggest names in front of and behind the camera.

Antlers, Director Scott Cooper. 2021, USA, Mexico, Canada.
ClayDream, Director Marq Evans. 2021, USA.
The First Step, Director Brandon Kramer. 2021. USA.
The Humans, Director Stephen Karam. 2021, USA.
Julia, Director Julie Cohen, Betsy West. 2021, USA.
Mayor Pete, Director Jesse Moss. 2021, USA.
Paper & Glue, Director JR. 2021, France, USA, Mexico, Brazil.

World View

Works that demonstrate the diversity and vitality of contemporary international cinema from some of the globe’s most exciting filmmakers.

A Chiara, Director Jonas Carpignano. 2021, Italy.
Amira, Director Mohamed Diab. 2021, Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Saudi Arabia.
Bad Lucky Banging or Loony Porn, Director Radu Jude. 2021, Romania, Luxembourg, Croatia, Czech Rebublic.
A Balance, Director Yujiro Harumoto. 2021, Japan.
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes, Director Junta Yamaguchi. 2021, Japan.
Brother’s Keeper, Director Ferit Karahan. 2021, Turkey, Romania.
Captain Volkonogov Escaped, Director Aleksey Chupov, Natasha Merkulova. 2021, Russia, France, Estonia.
Clara Sola, Director Nathalie Álvarez Mesén. 2021, Sweden, Costa Rica, Belgium.
Copilot, Director Anne Zohra Berrached. 2021, Germany, France, Lebanon.
Drunken Birds, Director Ivan Grbovic. 2021, Canada.
Great Freedom, Director Sebastian Meise. 2021, Austria, Germany.
Last Film Show, Director Pan Nalin. 2021, India.
Let It Be Morning, Director Eran Kolirin, 2021.
Lingui, The SacredBonds, Director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. 2021, France, Germany, Belgium, Chad.
Luzzu, Director Alex Camilleri. 2021, Malta.*
Medusa, Director Anita Rocha da Silveira. 2021, Brazil.
Night Raiders, Director Danis Goulet. 2021, Canada, New Zealand.
NinjaBaby,Director Yngvild Sve Flikke. 2021, Norway.
Perfume de Gardenias, Director Macha Colón. 2021, Puerto Rico, Colombia.
Persian Lessons,Director Vadim Perelman. 2021, Russia, Germany, Belarus.
Terrorizers, Director Ho Wi Ding. 2021, Taiwan.
Unclenching the Fists, Director Kira Kovalenko. 2021, Russia. (Opening Night Film)
Yuni,Director Kamila Andini. 2021, Singapore, France, Indonesia, Australia.


Compelling and provocative, these contemporary docs encourage viewers to see the world through a different lens.

Alien on Stage,Director Lucy Harvey, Danielle Kummer. 2021, UK.*
The First Wave,Director Matthew Heineman. 2021, USA.
Flee, Director Jonas Poher Rasmussen. 2021, Denmark, France, Sweden, Norway.
Mr. Bachmann and His Class, Director Maria Speth. 2021, Germany.
President, Director Camilla Nielsson. 2021, Denmark, USA, Norway.
Searchers,Director Pacho Velez. 2021, USA.*
Procession, Director Robert Greene. 2021. USA.
Storm Lake,Director Beth Levison, Jerry Risius. 2021, USA. (Opening Night Film)
Television Event,Director Jeff Daniels. 2021, USA, Australia.*
Three Minutes – A Lengthening, Director Bianca Stigter, 2021, Netherlands, UK.
Try Harder!,Director Debbie Lum 2021, USA.
Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America, Director Emily Kunstler, Sarah Kunstler. 2021, USA.

After Hours

Bringing together the odd, eerie, thilling, and downright weird, this is the home of cult classics in the making.

Good Madam, Director Jenna Cato Bass. 2021, South Africa.
The Innocents,Director Eskil Vogt. 2021, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, UK.
Limbo,Director Cheang Soi. 2021, Hong Kong.
Mother Schmuckers,Director Harpo Guit, Lenny Guit. 2021, Belgium.
Offseason,Director Mickey Keating. 2021, USA.
The Sadness, Director Rob Jabbaz. 2021, Taiwan.
Saloum,Director Jean Luc Herbulot. 2021, Senegal. (Opening Night Film)

From the Vaults

Film classics come alive as they were meant to be seen – on the big screen!

Assault on Precinct 13, Director John Carpenter. 1976, USA.
– Presented in Restored 4K
Dead Again,Director Kenneth Branagh. 1991, USA.
– Presented on 35MM
Heat, Director Michael Mann. 1995, USA.
– Presented in Restored 4K
Hester Street, Director Joan Micklin Silver. 1975, USA.
– Presented in Restored 4K
A New Leaf, Director Elaine May. 1971, USA.
– Presented on 35MM
Ratcatcher, Director Lynne Ramsay. 1999, USA.
The Souvenir, Director Joanna Hogg. 2019, UK.


Showcasing the most dynamic and talented voices from the Greater Philadelphia area.

All About My Sisters, Director Wang Qiong. 2021, USA.
The Automat, Director Lisa Hurwitz. 2021, USA.
Bill Mauldin: If It’s Big, Hit It, Director Don Argott, Sheena M. Joyce. 2021, USA.*
Krimes, Director Alysa Nahmias. 2021, USA. (Opening Night Film)
Our American Family, Director Hallee Adelman, Sean King O’Grady. 2021, USA.

Made in USA

Lo-fi gems and new indie classics that offer a fresh perspective on today’s America.

Agnes,Director Mickey Reece. 2021, USA.
As Of Yet, Director Taylor Garron, Chanel James. 2021, USA.
Catch the Fair One,Director Josef Kubota Wladyka. 2021, USA.
The End of Us,Director Steven Kanter, Henry Loevner. 2021, USA.*
Jockey,Director Clint Bentley. 2021, USA.
The Novice,Director Lauren Hadaway. 2021, USA.

Cinema de France

Sharing a language with some of cinema’s most revered classics and legendary auteurs, these new films have that certain je ne sais quoi.

The Braves, Director Anas Volpé. 2021, France.
Gagarine, Director Fanny Liatard. 2020, France.
Madeleine Collins, Director Antoine Barraud. 2021, France, Belgium, Switzerland.
Skies of Lebanon, Director Chloé Mazlo. 2021, France.
A Tale of Love and Desire, Director Leyla Bouzid. 2021, France.
The World After Us, Director Louda Ben Salah-Cazanas. 2021, France.
Zero Fucks Given, Director Julie Lecoustre, Emmanuel Marre. Belgium, France.

Green Screen

In Honor of the Philadelphia Film Society’s inaugural year producing the Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival, introducing Green Screen. From animal welfare to the effects of climate change, these thought-provoking films address urgent environmental issues.

Becoming Cousteau, Director Liz Garbus. 2021, USA.
Costa Brava, Lebanon, Director Mounia Akl. 2021, Lebanon, France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Qatar.
Cow, Director Andrea Arnold. 2021, UK.
Whether the Weather Is Fine, Director Carlo Francisco Manatad. 2021, Philippines, France, Singapore, Indonesia, Germany, Qatar.

Visions of Iran

Consistently producing some of the most exciting cinema of our times, Iran’s film industry is showcased in this diverse set of daring and often subversive voices.

The Absent Director, Director Arvand Dashtaray. 2021, Iran.
Ballad of a White Cow, Director Behtash Sanaeeha, Maryam Moghaddam. 2021, Iran, France. (Opening Night Film)
Hit the Road, Director Panah Panahi. 2021, Iran.
Zalava, Director Arsalan Amiri. 2021, Iran.

Sight & Soundtrack

Featuring rockumentaries, musician biopics, and films centered on the unifying power of music.

La Traviata, My Brothers and I, Director Yohan Manca. 2021, France.
Listening to Kenny G, Director Penny Lane. 2021, USA.
Soul Kids, Director Hugo Sobelman. 2021, France.
Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine, Director Sam Dunn, Marc Ricciardelli. 2021, Canada.

Shorts Programs

Animated, Documentary, Filmadelphia, and Live Action

The Affected, Director Rikke Gregersen
BJ’s Mobile Gift Shop, Director Jason Park
City Creatures, Director Michael A Johnston
City Creatures, Director Michael A. Johnston
The Contract Musical, Director Chris Cole
The Criminals, Director Serhat Karaaslan
Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma, Director Topaz Jones
Easter Eggs, Director Nicolas Keppens
The Expected, Director Carolina Sandvik
The Field Trip, Director Mike Attie, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck, Meghan O’Hara
Flex, Director Josefin Malmén, David Strindberg
Ghost Dogs, Director Joe Cappa
GNT, Director Sara Hirner, Rosemary Vasquez-Brown
In the Air Tonight, Director Andrew Norman Wilson
The Criminals, Director Serhat Karaaslan
Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma, Director Topaz Jones, Rubberband.
Easter Eggs, Director Nicolas Keppens
The Expected, Director Carolina Sandvik
The Field Trip, Director Mike Attie, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck, Meghan O’Hara
Flex, Director Josefin Malmén, David Strindberg
Ghost Dogs, Director Joe Cappa
GNT, Director Sara Hirner, Rosemary Vasquez-Brown
In the Air Tonight, Director Andrew Norman Wilson
Joe Buffalo, Director Amar Chebib
Kim, Director Maria Vattimo
KKUM, Director Kang Min Kim
Land of the Free: In the Shadows, Director James Ganiere
Learning Tagalog with Kayla, Director Kayla Abuda Galang
Light Years Apart, Director Mariia Osanova
Little Miss Fate, Director Joder von Rotz
No Dye, Director Yoni Azulay
Normal, Director Julie Caty
Plastic Semiotic, Director Radu Jude
The Rifleman, Director Sierra Pettengill
The Right Words, Director Adrian Moyse Dullin
See Us in the Wildfire, Director Jason Chen
Senior Prom, Director Luisa Conlon
Sisters of the Soil, Director Raishad M. Hardnett, Aidan M. Un
Snowy, Director Kaitlyn Schwalje, Alex Wolf Lewis
Souvenir Souvenir, Director Bastien Dubois
Trade Center, Director Adam Baran

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