26th Philadelphia Film Festival to honor 'Philadelphia' director Jonathan Demme with retrospective

Next month, the Philadelphia Film Festival will honor Jonathan Demme, director of the Academy Award-winning 1993 film Philadelphia, with a retrospective of the late filmmaker’s career as part of the event’s 26th run.

Demme died in April at age 73  of complications from heart disease and cancer.

The retrospective  “Demme in Philly”  will focus on movies the director filmed, at least partially, in Philly. According to organizers, the list slated for the festival includes Philadelphia,  1998’s Beloved, and the 2009 Neil Young concert doc Neil Young Trunk Show.

Philadelphia stars Tom Hanks as a gay Philadelphia lawyer with AIDS and Denzel Washington as his attorney. The film earned Hanks an Academy Award for best actor, and Bruce Springsteen one for best original song, “Streets of Philadelphia.”

Demme returned to town several years later for Beloved, starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover. Based on Toni Morrison’s novel of the same name, the film, set shortly after the Civil War, follows a former slave as a poltergeist haunts her Cincinnati home.

The director was back in Philly a decade later to film the Young documentary, one in a trilogy. The other works in the series, Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006) and Neil Young Journeys (2012).

Aside from his Philadelphia-shot films, Demme is known for such movies as 1988’s Married to the Mob, 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs, and 2004’s remake of  The Manchurian Candidate.

The Philadelphia Film Festival

Oct. 19 to 29

filmadelphia.org