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Philadelphia Independent Film Festival Preview

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Tomorrow, the second annual Philadelphia Independent Film Festival will take over Northern Liberties for four days. The festival features more than 150 films from 20 international communities. Begun under the guidance of former Media Bureau director Benjamin Barnett, and recently taken over by Steve Greenbaum and local filmmaker Leilani Goode, the festival promises to be even bigger and better this year.

It’s in Northern Liberties, which means you’ll be viewing the films and munching refreshments in Philly’s premier hipster neighborhood, full of veggie food, craft beers, and irony. Most films will be screened everywhere except movie theaters (a brewery, skate shop, gym, etc.) Below are the Top 10 most anticipated films of the festival (at the discretion of this writer), times, and locations.

 

10. Oldmeal

10 minutes/Videosmith, June 28, 6:27pm

An artsy short film telling the story of an elderly couple, living their last days in a small house while simultaneously losing their minds.

 

9. Red Hot Chili Peppers

75 minutes/Exit Skate Shop, June 25, 8:00pm; Arbol Café, June 26, 9:00pm

A documentary following the history of legendary rock/funk band, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Director David Hausen follows their artistic collaboration with several music video directors. Featured directors include Tony Kaye, Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton, and Chris Rock.

 

8. Sex, Drugs, Guns

83 minutes/Philadelphia Sounstages, June 27, 4:32pm

In Director Adrian Selkowitz’s first feature film, he takes on the horrors of the three title vices. The trailer for Sex, Drugs, Guns begins with a young man on top of a woman. He says, “It’s not enough anymore.” We move along to two grade school children – a boy and girl – with open tubes of pills. The young girl asks, “What are these?” In response, the young boy swallows a handful and says, “I don’t know.” Then we’re in a desert where a little person pulls a pistol on a young boy. Yikes.

 

7. The Alley

26 minutes/Videosmith, June 27, 7:52pm

In the tradition of real time documentaries like The Bridge, The Alley uses security camera footage to give a picture of a downtown Toronto alley. The alley, close to a low-income housing development, is used for drug deals, drug use, and toilet necessities. Director Phillip Maglieri attempts to create “discourse between a city and its dwellers” in this short film.

 

6. The Perfect Cappuccino

82 minutes/City Fitness, June 26, 1:46pm

“Those six little ounces of espresso and milk have led me to question my community, my country and my entire way of life.” This documentary explores coffee and its effects on society in a seeming humorous way. In the end, the Starbucks corporation and global capitalism is taken on by filmmakers, with exclusive interviews with several high level Starbucks officials.

 

5. Twoyoungmen, UT

17 minutes, Philadelphia Sound Stage, June 27, 10:08pm

The story of a high school senior who sneaks into Salt Lake City’s only gay bar. He meets a bartender his own age who invites him to a party. Sam McDonnell directs this short story about young men on a trip in a place they don’t always belong.

 

4. Like Dandelion Dust

90 minutes/Yards Brewery, June 25, 9:09pm

Exploring the lives of a blue-collar family and a contrasting privileged family, Like Dandelion Dust, based on the best-selling novel of the same name, takes a realistic look at adoption and family life. Starring Mira Sorvino, Like Dandelion Dust is a nationally-looked-at film directed by Jon Gunn.

 

3. Keeping The Peace

89 minutes/Yards Brewery, June 27, 2:04pm

“Nick Berg died for the sins of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld,” says Michael Berg in the trailer of this documentary, over images of an infamous still photo of his son handcuffed in front of masked Islamic militants moments before his 2004 beheading. This documentary follows Michael Berg, who, after his son’s public death in Iraq, runs for Congress in Delaware during the 2006 midterm elections.

 

2. ZIFT

90 minutes/City Fitness, June 26, 12:00pm

Presented by IFC films, Bulgarian film-noir ZIFT calls itself “a story of lust, revenge, and one man’s journey towards freedom.” We follow Moth as he’s freed from prison after a wrongful conviction. Jailed in 1955, shortly before the country’s communist coup, he finds himself thrown into the 1960s where he confronts “decaying neighborhoods, gloomy streets, and a bizarre parade of characters.” And that’s just on his first night of freedom. Variety called ZIFT, “An instant midnight fest fave that will find true cult status.”

 

1. Spoiler Alert

85 minutes/941 Theater, June 26, 3:23pm

In Spoiler Alert, Brad is a Perez Hilton-esque blogger focusing on movie scoops. Harrison is a film director who believes Brad had a part in ruining his career. One night, Harrison decides he wants to confront Brad at his home. According to its official description, “Chinese food, movie geek talk and murder ensue.”

 

Screening Locations:

Arbol Café (909 N. 2nd St.)

Philadelphia Sound Stages (1600 N. 5th St.)

Yards Brewery (901 N. Delaware Ave.)

The Piazza at Schmidts (2nd and Germantown Ave.)

Exit (825 N. 2nd St.)

941 Theater (941 N. Front St.)

City Fitness (200 Spring Garden St.)

Dave and Buster’s (325 N. Columbus Blvd.)

Videosmith (200 Spring Garden St.)

 

For more information, including social events, roundtable discussions, more movies and times, visit www.PhiladelphiaIndependentFilmFestival.com.