This week, music and film clash to produce Philadelphia’s first film festival dedicated to films focused on music–or, more particularly, the people behind the music. The 2nd XPN Music Film Festival, organized by Philadelphia’s WXPN radio station and the Philadelphia Film Society, will kicks off today and runs through Sunday, April 14.
The festival opens with “Good Ol’ Freda,” directed by Ryan White, a documentary on Freda Kelly, who became the Beatles’ loyal friend and secretary at age 17. Kelly’s story, never before told to the public, spans over the eleven years she worked for the Beatles—even though the band was only together for ten. Kelly is notorious for being one of the most loyal friends of the Beatles as she was unaffected by their rise to fame. Following the film will be an Opening Night Party featuring Philadelphia native AfroDJiak.
The rest of the lineup focuses largely on rock-n-roll, featuring mostly American and British films, as well as one Belgian film. Marc-Henri Wajnberg’s “Kinshasa Kids” is a multimedia film that melds animation and documentary styles to tell the story of Congolese children who form a band to fight off accusations of witchcraft. Beth Toni Kruvant’s “David Bromberg: Unsung Treasure” tells about the comeback of David Bromberg, a musician who collaborated with the likes of Bob Dylan and George Harrison but still remains obscure in the eyes of the public.
On April 14, the festival closes with “Twenty Feet from Stardom,” directed by Morgan Neville, a film that spotlights “some of the greatest artists you’ve never heard of”—back-up singers. The documentary centers on back-up singers from different eras and different genres, and features interviews with artists from Bruce Springsteen to Bette Midler. After the film, there will also be a Closing Night Party at World Café Live with special guests Lisa Fischer and Darlene Love. Those interested in a multi-dimensional look at the music industry should head down to see these films.XPN Music Film Festival
Annenberg Center Box Office
3680 Walnut Street
Dates: April 11-14, 2013
Individual Tickets: $8 XPN and PFS Members; $8 Students with ID; $12 General Public
4-Day Access Badge: $100 XPN and PFS Members; $125 General Public
Phone: (267) 239-2941