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Bridget Regan will attend Philadelphia Film Festival!

Posted by Confessed4Life on Friday, October 15, 2010 Under: Bridget Regan

Philadelphia Film Festival offers an early glimpse at buzzworthy movies

 By Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News (

Oct. 15--Unleashed this week in Philadelphia is a force so powerful it can summon Pete Rose, M. Night Shyamalan and even one of the "Legend of the Seeker" gals.

It is the 19th Philadelphia Film Festival, drawing dozens of actors and filmmakers and some 100 movies to the city in the next two weeks.

The 19th is the first full-size festival to commence in its new fall slot. After a management revamp last year, organizers moved the spring event to October, hastily putting together a free festival they called "18 1/2," resulting in a few ticketing glitches.

This year, it's a full slate of movies with all systems go -- with new ticketing and six venues, including traditional outlets like the Ritz theaters and the Rave in University City.

The goal this year: improved programming. Even amid the hurly-burly of '09, the festival gave us early looks at Oscar-worthy movies and performances -- "Precious," "The Messenger," for instance.

The 19th opened yesterday with Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan" (it screens again tomorrow evening). The movie's already generating awards buzz for star Natalie Portman. The movie, which won't be released until December, was hailed in Variety as a "wicked, sexy, devastating study of a young dancer's all-consuming ambition."

There are more big-buzz movies that played well and won awards at major festivals -- part of a new emphasis on substance, said executive director J. Andrew Greenblatt.

"We have more significant films, more highly regarded films, films that come out of Cannes or Toronto or Sundance with well-deserved attention," Greenblatt said.

The closing-night film, for instance, is Telluride hit "127 Hours," the fact-based movie directed by Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire") starring James Franco as a man trapped in an avalanche who must amputate his own arm to escape and survive.

The festival gives Philadelphians a chance to see these films early, before the hype. It also offers a chance to see them in their original form -- before they're cut down to suit the marketplace.

For example, the sexually candid Ryan Gosling-Michelle Williams movie, "Blue Valentine," has been tagged with an NC-17 rating, meaning there's a chance it may be trimmed before its commercial release.

"We may be the only way in Philadelphia you get to see the original, as the director intended," Greenblatt said.

There are also oddities like Joseph Gordon-Levitt's "Hesher" -- purchased after a rough-cut screening at Sundance, then completed on its way here.

"No one's seen the finished film before," Greenblatt said.

He noted that "Blue Valentine," filmed in Scranton and King of Prussia, is one of several titles with a local pedigree, an ongoing booking priority.

Philadelphia native Tanya Hamilton returns with her Sundance favorite, "Night Catches Us," featuring Kerry Washington and Anthony Mackie as former Black Panther activists living in Philadelphia in the waning days of the movement. The Roots provide the score. Mackie, Washington and Hamilton will all attend the festival.

One of the movies in competition is "The Best and the Brightest," a comedy about a couple going to absurd lengths to get their daughter into a coveted preschool. The movie stars Bonnie Somerville and Bridget Regan, also known as Kahlan on "Legend of the Seeker." Her obsessive fan base will be pleased to know that Regan will attend the festival.

The list of celebrities at the 19th includes Shyamalan, who'll host a 10th-anniversary screening of "Unbreakable," at 7:20 p.m. Thursday at the Prince Music Theater.

Pete Rose will be in town for a screening of "4192: The Crowning of the Hit King."

There are fewer special events this year, but Stieg Larsson fans should take note of the consecutive screenings of the "Dragon Tattoo" series.

The festival runs through Oct. 24 and features 112 movies from more than 30 nations. Printed programs are available at venue sites, which include the Prince Music Theater, International House, Annenberg Center and Bryn Mawr Theater. There is also information online at

Tickets are $10-$12, excluding special events, and can be purchased online at the website or by phone at 267-519-3214.


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Tags: "bridget regan" "film festival" 
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