The Philadelphia Film Festival is an annual eleven-day event featuring Philadelphia premieres of international, domestic, and local films, as well as retrospective tributes, Q&As, and parties.

The highly anticipated 30th Philadelphia Film Festival (October 21-31, 2021) will mark not only the 30th Anniversary of the Philadelphia Film Festival, but also the 20th Anniversary of its parent organization, the Philadelphia Film Society.

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 Nomadland, Sound of Metal, One Night in Miami, Knives Out, Jojo Rabbit, Marriage Story, Lady Bird, La La Land, and Best Picture Winners Parasite, Moonlight, Spotlight, Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), 12 Years a Slave, and The Artist.

To make 2020 Festival possible, PFF had to debut its first-ever hybrid Festival, consisting of Drive-In screenings and digital screenings. Despite obstacles, we are proud to have presented a program rivaling previous years. For PFF30, we are excited to return to theaters across the city, but look forward to intertwining online screenings with those in-theater, to ensure that PFF30 films are accessible and seen by as many as possible.

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, Damien Chazelle, Alex Winter, 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 and online. 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 & guests.

The Philadelphia Film Festival was named one of 2016’s Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee in 2020 by MovieMaker Magazine.

The Philadelphia Film Festival gives out the following awards:
Audience Award
Best Narrative Feature
Best Documentary Feature
Best First Feature
Pinkenson Award for Best Local Feature Film
Best Short Film

- Works in progress can be considered; but submitter should note that it is a work in progress
- Students can apply for a discount by emailing Please provide information about your film and proof of your student status 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 September 28, 2021 (subject to change)