The Cinedelphia Film Festival is Philadelphia’s alternative celebration of film that pays tribute to everything from locally shot rarities to video era oddities. The CFF is completely curated in-house by PhilaMOCA’s Eric Bresler and a small team of discerning film lovers. There are also no overlapping programs so CFF badge holders are able to attend all programming, never having to choose between conflicting times. And most important, and most obvious to attendees, the CFF is not a distributor-driven showcase of the same product featured in every other film festival out there, it is a carefully and lovingly curated celebration of worthwhile cinema.
The first annual Cinedelphia Film Festival ran from April 4 – 27, 2013 and featured 40 individual programs, all of which were related to Philadelphia in some manner. Participating venues included PhilaMOCA, International House Philadelphia, Independence Seaport Museum, The Stoogeum, and Viva Video!. CFF media partners included Philadelphia City Paper and Philebrity.com.
The second annual CFF ran from April 10 – 26, 2014 and was guest programmed by Video Pirates, the moniker that regular programmer Eric uses for his found footage-based comedy show. The 2014 edition was based loosely around a theme of “archiving and preservation” with a focus on presenting some of Philadelphia film history’s strangest output including the lost 1983 spy comedy Video Wars.
The seventh annual CFF will run from April 11-20, 2019.
2018 PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS:
Actor Greg Sestero attended two sold out screenings of Best F(r)iends: Volume One as well as two sold out script readings of The Room.
Actress Jessica Harper attended sold out screenings of Phantom of the Paradise and a rare 35mm Italian print of Suspiria.
Eerie, Indiana Retrospective with cast members in attendance.
My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult performed for a sold out crowd to celebrate their 30th Anniversary.
The Satanic Temple hosted a lecture and screening of Alucarda.
2017 PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS:
An Evening with Neil Breen : The outsider filmmaker in attendance for two sold out shows
Alex Cox : First-ever Philly appearance for screenings of Tombstone Rashomon and Repo Man
Night Flight – Born Again : Night Flight retrospective with creator Stuart Shapiro
Punk Rock : 40th Anniversary screening w/ filmmaker Carter Stevens in attendance
Beyond Vaudeville Retrospective/Reunion : All-star episode taping and retrospective for the legendary NYC public access show
Mausoleum Dance Party : 1970s disco icon Laurice’s first-ever Philly performance
2016 PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS:
An Evening with Joe Bob Briggs : Retrospective chat/Q&A
Degrassi Retrospective : Pat “Joey Jeremiah” Mastroianni in attendance
Trent Harris Retrospective : Trent Harris in attendance
DJ Douggpound : Live set from DJ Douggpound w/ comedian Brent Weinbach
Stairway to Stardom Retrospective : Co-host and reunion performance from the band that performed the theme song
Chic-A-Go-Go Live Taping : Live taping of Chicago’s legendary public access show with The Dead Milkmen and Bunny Sigler
Sympathy for the Devil : Philly Premiere of The Process doc with the director and former members in attendance
Chasing Banksy : Philly Premiere with director Frank Henenlotter
An Evening with David “The Rock” Nelson : Legendary Chicago-area no-budget filmmaker, filmed for an episode of Vice’s Outsider series
2015 PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS:
Moron Movies Retrospective : Everything Is Terrible!’s Dimitri Simakis hosted an evening with Len Cella, creator of Carson-favorite Moron Movies.
Best Worst Movie Marathon : 12 hour marathon of our favorite no-budget films from filmmakers of questionable talents.
Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation Director’s Cut : Philly Premiere of the new cut of the homemade cult fave with star Chris Strompolos in attendance.
As-Seen-On-TV Creature Feature : Exhumed Films presented a 16mm horror program with vintage commercials and special guest Stella “The Maneater from Manayunk” of classic local horror show Saturday Night Dead fame.
Mega-Bad Movie Night : A road show edition of the Academy of Natural Sciences’ hit movie mockery series.
Ken Del Vecchio Double Feature : Controversial NJ-based filmmaker/lawyer Ken Del Vecchio hosted two of his twisted horror features.
Rock School Anniversary Celebration : Director Don Argott attended this anniversary screening of his local documentary that was followed by live performances from past and present Rock School students.
Milligan Mania – Held at the International House, Exhumed Films presented a triple feature of Andy Milligan films shot on 35mm.
2014 PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS:
Double Dare Retrospective : A celebration of the beloved game show with original announcer John “Harvey” in attendance and live physical challenges.
Everything Is Terrible! Retrospective : Premiere of a career-spanning EIT! showcase.
Frederick R. Friedel Double Feature : Screening of cult classics Axe (1974) and Kidnapped Coed (1976) with director Friedel in attendance.
Mondo Mausoleum Party : A live episode of PhilaMOCA’s public access show featuring guest hosts Scott and Gary and a live performance by Jan Terri.
Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol. 1 : Philly Premiere with cast, crew, and director Lloyd Kaufman in attendance.
The Shining (1980) Forwards and Backwards : Presented with a live original score by Psychic Teens
Son of the White Mare (1981) : The animated Hungarian classic presented with a live score by Ryan Todd.
Underdog 50th Anniversary Classic : A celebration of the cartoon canine hosted by Suzanne “Underdog Lady” Muldowney.
Video Pirates: Analog Artifacts : A program of VHS-related shorts and features presented at Viva Video.
Video Pirates present Life of Pia : World Premiere of VP’s new feature-length history of the life and career of Pia Zadora.
Video Wars (1983) : Rediscovery of this lost, unlisted-on-IMDB Philadelphia spy comedy screened with the cast and crew in attendance.
The Wizard (1989) : 25th Anniversary screening with a live video game championship.
2013 PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS:
Birdemic 2: The Resurrection Philly Premiere : Director James Nguyen, star Alan Bagh, and producer Jeff Gross in attendance.
David Goodis and The Burglar : A panel of local Goodis experts spoke about the writer followed by a 35mm screening of the great 1971 adaptation of The Burglar, held at the International House.
Exhumed Films presents The Mutations : 16mm screening of The Mutations (1974) preceded by a rare Q&A with the Exhumed crew.
For the Love of Film: The History of TLA : The founders of TLA Entertainment traced their history from repertory theater to video rental and distribution giant.
High School 45th Anniversary Screening : A special screening of Frederick Wiseman’s 1968 doc on Philly’s Northeast High School.
Liquid Sky (1982) w/ a live score by Cheap Dinosaurs : Special screening of Liquid Sky with director Slava Tsukerman in attendance.
The Lost Man (1969) : Ultra rare screening of this Philly-shot Sidney Poitier film.
Loud! Fast! Philly! A visual history of Philly Hardcore Punk : Feature-length video retrospective of Philly’s punk scene curated and hosted by Joseph A. Gervasi.
The Philadelphia Experiment screened at the Independence Seaport Museum : Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the film and the 70th anniversary of the actual incident.
Point Break w/ a live score by Bethlehem, PA’s The Great White Caps : ‘Nuff said, it was as amazing as you picture it.
The Scott & Gary Show 30th Anniversary Retrospective : NYC public access legends Scott & Gary hosted a visual tour through the history of their show followed by a live episode reenactment.
Siegmund Lubin Birthday Celebration : Local musicians provided live scores for a selection of short 16mm films by film pioneer Siegmund Lubin.
The Stoogeum & Larry Fine : Gary Lassin, the founder of local Three Stooges museum, hosted a program about the life of Philly’s favorite Stooge, Larry Fine.
Video Pirates: Philadelphia : World Premiere of VP’s feature-length Philly-themed found footage comedy show.
Video Violence: Redux Deluxe : World Premiere of a new cut of Video Violence 1 + 2 w/ director Gary P. Cohen in attendance, held in the basement of Viva Video!.
COMPLETE 2013 PROGRAM GUIDE AVAILABLE HERE (pdf)
About Eric Bresler:
Eric is the Founder/Program Director of the Cinedelphia Film Festival, the Director/Curator of the multi-award-winning Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA) and the brain behind Video Pirates. He’s served as a Store Manager for TLA Video, Managing Director for the Philadelphia Film Society, and Adjunct Professor in Cinema Studies for Drexel University.