Chillin' Wit' Josh Goldbloom: NoLibs man lives a life of Awesome
MASKED VILLAINS are milling around yesterday at 12th and Arch streets, lots of tweens dressed like Dr. Who in the same red fez, and one zombie-fighting sheriff heading into Panera Bread.
Josh Goldbloom, 33, of Northern Liberties, looks on and laughs between swigs of coffee and a few pulls from an American Spirit cigarette.
"Welcome to Nerd-vana," he says, sitting at an outdoor table at the bread place. "It's just so much fun to people watch."
Goldbloom is the founder and artistic director of the Awesome Fest, a summerlong festival of independent films, cult classics and some music.
It's been held in all sorts of unusual settings since 2010. He's been screening films at summer camps, city parks, the Piazza at Schmidt's and Parx Casino in Bensalem, to name a few.
"I thought I'd really like to get involved with something that showcases great, unique spaces," he says.
He's teaming up with Wizard World's Comic Con at the Philadelphia Convention Center, too, and it's the last day, which is why he's surrounded by folks in costumes and in need of coffee.
"Yeah, sorry, I'm a little fuzzy-headed," he says, rubbing his head. "It's been nonstop."
Goldbloom, a lifelong Philadelphian and a big Flyers fan, says he became interested in movies as a child, because his dad worked for West Coast Video. His uncle was Larry Fine of the Three Stooges.
He's spent a lifetime talking about films rather than studying them, and says he set out on his own to Willimantic, Conn., where he made the documentary "Heroin Town" in 2004.
Goldbloom also spent time in Austin, Texas, before he returned home and decided to rattle the local indie-film scene.
"I don't know where it's all going to go. It's all a big surprise to me," he says about the future of Awesome Fest.
"It's a labor of love for me, for my love of Philadelphia. This is my baby."
- Jason Nark
On Twitter: @JasonNark
Chillin' Wit' is a regular Monday feature of the Daily News that spotlights a name in the news away from the job.