Roxy re-opens with Children’s Film Fest and “Caucus” doc

The Roxy Theatre at 2023 Sansom Street in Philadelphia. ( DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer )

It’s been shuttered for more than a year, but this Friday, November 15, the Roxy Theater on Sansom Street is scheduled to re-open for business, its twin houses spruced up, with new projection and sound systems installed, and a new programming entity -- the Philadelphia Film Society -- at the helm. Officially dubbed the PFS Theater at the Roxy, the Rittenhouse Square area venue kicks off with the weekend-long International Children’s Film Festival, a mix of animated and live-action features and shorts aimed at kids and their grown-up tagalongs. Zarafa, a French feature about a boy and a giraffe, and the giraffe’s  travels from Africa to France in the 1820s, is the Friday night opener. A fanciful retelling of a true story, the Gallic ‘toon was released in its homeland last year, winning over audiences  with its traditional animation style – rich colors, widescreen landscapes – and tales of exotic derring-do. The kid fest continues Saturday and Sunday, with programs of shorts, with animated features from Italy (a new Pinocchio) and  Japan (Wolf Children, Welcome to the Space Show) and live-action features from China (Starry Starry Night) and Belgium (the closing night kid-detective caper, The Zigzag Kid).

Also on the docket in the PFS’ inaugural run: Caucus, AJ Schnack’s well-received doc about the 2012 Republican Party presidential primary season -- and specifically the all-important Iowa caucus campaigns. Who doesn’t want to re-live the thrilling days of yesteryear, as eight starry-eyed presidential wannabes -- Michelle Bachman, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum  among them -- troop around the state trying to curry favor with Tea Party zealots and the Republican faithful? Spoiler alert: some guy named Mitt Romney wins. Oops, actually, it's Santorum who wins when the ballots are all tallied!

For Children’s Film Festival tickets and times, go to For “Caucus” screening info: