Even after years of independent filmmakers emerging from all over the country, it can be astonishing how some important local scenes are neglected. The city of Philadelphia is currently in the midst of the first annual run of its festival called “Cinedelphia,” a showcase for lesser known area talent that began last Thursday and will run until April 27. Screenings will be had primarily at PhilaMOCA, the “Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art.”
The festival is the brainchild of Eric Bresler and features all manner of examples of underground works from throughout the medium’s history, from 60s Japanese gangster movie “Massacre Gun” to the 90s Patrick Swayze/Keanu Reeves classic action film “Point Break,” which will be backed by a live band. Perhaps the spirit of the event is summed up best in the choice of the closing feature, to be played at 10 p.m. on the final night: “Birdemic 2: The Resurrection,” an undoubtedly hotly anticipated sequel to the infamous cult horror flick. With a schedule like that, it’s clear that Bresler and the event organizers wish to draw in a varied crowd and offer a love letter to a wide range of different movies. Naturally, “The Philadelphia Experiment” is also on the schedule.
In an article for Philly.com, Bresler highlighted this as one of the defining aspects of the festival.
“I think that in this modern age of film exhibition you have to get a little more creative,” he said. “I much prefer events where there’s this audience interaction and people in the audience will stand up and talk about what we just saw.”
A massive, long-running festival such as this can be a great way to draw attention to a community and incorporate different types of talent. Organizers interested in such an effort for their own area may consider using outdoor movie screens to increase attendance.