Cash could settle Philadelphia Film Festival feud

The Philadelphia Film Festival kicks off Oct. 14 and Ray Murray hopes it's very successful.

Not because the TLA Video president is involved with the event, which he had been for 17 years, but because his group, the Philadelphia Cinema Alliance, is owed about $20,000 from the Philadelphia Film Society (PFS), which puts on the Oct. 14-24 fest, and Murray's hoping to be paid.

Murray is former artistic director of the festival, but, following a feud with the PFS's executive director, J. Andrew Greenblatt, splintered off to stage the CineFest last year, and plans to do so next April.

In January, the American Arbitration Association ruled that the society owed $17,185 to TLA Video, $4,467 to Murray personally, and $13,000 from a grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development that was awarded the society last year but still has not been received.

"It's amazing how long an organization can take to pay a court order," Murray told us yesterday. He said he might ask the sheriff's office to garnish box-office money from the film fest to satisfy the judgment. Murray says he has deposited four checks for $1,000 each from Green-blatt.

Greenblatt told us yesterday he has sent six $1,000 checks and planned to continue paying $1,000 monthly until the debt was settled. "We want to resolve the matter amicably and quickly," Greenblatt said, noting that he has not challenged the court decision and acknowledges the debt. The film festival announced yesterday that Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan," a thriller about ballet dancers starring Natalie Portman, Winona Ryder and Mila Kunis, will open the festival.

A full schedule of films should soon be posted here.