Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Philadelphia CineFest it is!

It's official: Philadelphia's annual spring film festival has a new name -- Philadelphia CineFest -- and now has its opening night and closing night titles locked in. Running from Thursday, March 26, through Monday, April 6, the CineFest -- steered by longtime Philadelphia Film Festival artistic director Ray Murray and his crew -- will show over 200 films from 39 countries, bring in busloads and trainloads of stars and filmmakers, and take over at least four Philadelphia screen venues.

Opening night, to be held at the Prince, is (500) Days of Summer, a hit at January's Sundance fest starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel , in what's been dubbed an "anti-romantic comedy." Closing the fest twelve days and nights later is Lymelife , a 1970s family drama with Culkin siblings Kieran and Rory, along with Emma Roberts, Alec Baldwin, Timothy Hutton, Cynthia Nixon and Jill Hennessy.

CineFest came into being thanks (or no thanks) to a litigious rift with the non-profit Philadelphia Film Society that oversees the Philadelphia Film Festival. The Film Society plans to launch its own fest under that name. Society executive director Andrew Greenblatt says there will be a PFF in 2009.

In the meantime, Philadelphia CineFest will bring back the thematic categories long familiar to veteran fest-goers, including American Independents, World Cinema, Danger After Dark, Latino Cinema, Muslim Cinema, and new programs on black cinema, French cinema and international comedies.

Full festival details, dates, ticket options and other information will be forthcoming. Check on the CineFest site.


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