By most measures, the 19th Annual Philadelphia Film Festival, which wrapped up last Sunday night, was a success with many screenings sold out. Attendance was in the "low 30,000s," according to executive director Andrew Greenblatt. When the event was held in spring, prior fests posted 60,000. But this one had fewer movies and venues and could have made that number only had every seat been filled at every screening.
And since this one was in Fall, there was some competition from the Fightin' Phils, :On Phillies off nights, screenings sold out," Greenberg says. "On on nights, not so much."
Black Swan, Blue Valentine and Philadelphia-centered titles drew capacity crowds, as did many of the French films shown. Other foreign films, such as Uncle Boonmee, White Material and Certified Copy were crowdpleasers.
The audience award went to Louder than a Bomb, about youth poetry slams in Chicago. The Filmadelphia award for best local feature was bestowed on Lebanon, PA, about the unlikely friendship between a Philly ad exec and his young cousin in smalltown Lebanon. The Archie Award for first-time filmmaker went to Hesher, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an aggressive metalhead. Best documentary went to Life 2.0, about the digital networking site Second Life.