The Philadelphia Film Festival is an annual 11-day event featuring Philadelphia premieres of international, domestic, and local films, as well as retrospective tributes, Q&As, and parties.
Over the past several years, the festival has grown to become not only a local gem that Philadelphians look forward to every year, but also an important festival within the industry as a whole. The quality of the programming has been stellar, known for scouring submissions and festivals year-round for the perfect lineup for Philadelphia audiences. Past festivals have featured some of the most highly-anticipated and eventual award-winning films, including The Banshees of Inisherin, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Drive My Car, Sound of Metal, Lady Bird, La La Land, and Best Picture Winners Nomadland, Parasite, Moonlight, Birdman, 12 Years a Slave, and The Artist.
Every year, the festival also welcomes a large number of guests, bringing filmmakers, actors, distributors, and industry professionals to experience the festival and Philadelphia. We are excited to continue and expand this year. Past guests have included: Bruce Willis, M. Night Shyamalan, Kevin Smith, Damien Chazelle, Chinonye Chukwu, Rian Johnson, Jason Reitman, Paul Dano, Karen Gillan, Todd Haynes, Lee Daniels, Jonathan Demme, Alexander Payne, Paul Rudd, David O. Russell, and Robert Zemeckis, as well as representatives from distributors or sales agencies such as: Cinetic Media, The Film Sales Company, IFC Films, Kino Lorber FIlms, Magnolia Pictures, Music Box Films, Paramount, Preferred Content, Radius-TWC, Roadside Attractions, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisition Group, Strand Releasing, and Submarine Entertainment.
In total, the festival will consist of over 100 films, screening in person across the city. In addition, we look forward to the return of special events: Opening and Closing Night parties, VIP receptions, and a festival lounge open daily, where ticket holders, badge holders, and special guests can relax between shows and talk movies with patrons and guests.
The Philadelphia Film Festival was named one of Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee in 2020 by MovieMaker Magazine.
The Philadelphia Film Festival gives out the following awards:
Best Narrative Feature
Best Documentary Feature
Best Local Feature
Best Local Short
- Eligible films must have been completed after July 2022.
- Feature films must be Philadelphia-area premieres. A Philadelphia premiere is not required for shorts, though premiere status may be taken into account when making selections.
- Feature films must not have aired on US television prior to the festival, be available for rental or purchase, or be available for online viewing. Shorts may be available online, though online availability may be taken into account when making selections.
- Works in progress can be submitted, though the submitter should note that it is a work in progress. However, we cannot guarantee that the screening committee will be able to re-watch updated versions, so we highly recommend only submitting the finished version.
- Students can apply for a discount by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide information about your film and proof of your student status (such as a photo of your student ID) in order to be considered.
- PFS does not offer criticism on submissions, nor is it our policy to notify submissions of their of acceptance or rejection before the official notification date.
- Submitters will be notified on October 2, 2023 (subject to change).