Philadelphia doesn’t find itself in the conversation about film much, but the FirstGlance Film Festival continues to spread the word that Philadelphia has a wide breadth of talent that deserves attention. FirstGlance, one of the most revered national independent film festivals, marks its 19th run when it comes home Nov. 11-13 at the Painted Bride Art Center.
FirstGlance enters its 19th year, debuting in 1996 in Philadelphia. Since then, it has expanded to hosting two festivals a year, premiering a schedule of films in both Los Angeles in the spring and Philadelphia in the fall. With over 35 film festivals produced, 2000 films screened and over 150,000 attendants, FirstGlance rolls along to help build momentum in the Philadelphia film community.
Bill Ostroff, the founder and director of the FirstGlance Film Festival, is a proud Temple University alum. Speaking with him in an interview, Ostroff noted that the festival was founded by Temple alum “that had a dream to create a little indie film fest, and now 20 years later we are growing into one of the indie fests with the best reputation in the country.” As a filmmaker himself, he expressed the value and importance of filmmaking from the local level to the international level, stating, “Creating truly indie films is a labor of love. We empower local filmmakers and bring together the Philadelphia indie film community from students to professionals every year.”
FirstGlance is an opportunity for not only movie lovers who appreciate independent film, but is a chance for filmmakers in Philadelphia to share their hard work, meet and connect with other filmmakers, and become acquainted with new perspectives in narrative. Veteran and first-time filmmakers will be competing in this year’s festival, contributing movies that both challenge and entertain audiences. The bill includes psychological and supernatural thrillers, romantic comedies, dramas and documentaries. Entries like "Immoral" offer insight into actors with disabilities, while "Writers Matter" documents the significance of self-expression in inner-city schools. Extra School promises wit in its mischievous portrayal of life as a background actor. "Virtual Revolution" features a beautiful sci-fi backdrop that is convincingly big budget.
Tickets are on sale now here. First night and closing night screenings are $20. All other screenings are $15. All-access passes are $125.