The 27th Philadelphia Film Festival will kick off on Thursday, Oct. 18  with the addiction drama Ben is Back, starring Julia Roberts and rising star Lucas Hedges, heading a slate of more than 100 movies that will run 10 days, concluding with the documentary Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don't Know Me.

In between, the festival will feature foreign-language standouts, films featuring Philadelphia talent, documentaries and several movies that have generated Oscar buzz.  The roster includes Widows, from director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), starring Viola Davis as a woman who plots a heist to pay off the debt of her dead husband; and Green Book, starring Mahershala Ali as a pianist touring the Jim Crow South in the 1950s, with a bouncer-turned-driver played by Viggo Mortensen.

Director Jason Reitman will attend the festival with his movie The Front Runner, an account of the scandal plagued presidential campaign of Gary Hart (Hugh Jackman). Festival goers will also get a sneak peek at the Roma, Alfonso Cuarón's big-buzz movie about the disintegration of a middle class Mexican family, seen through the eyes of the housemaid. Paul Dano will appear with his movie Wildlife, starring Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal as a husband and wife adapting to cultural changes in the 1960s.

We'll also get our first look at the long-delayed Kevin Hart film Upside, a remake of the French hit Intouchables, about a streetwise man who provides in home care for a cranky and disabled millionaire (Bryan Cranston). The film has only recently emerged from legal limbo — it had been one of the properties developed by the Weinstein Co., and was caught up in the company's financial collapse.

The festival will once again feature a Filmadelphia program featuring local talent, this year headlined by Her Smell, written and directed by Radnor native Alex Ross Perry. and starring Elizabeth Moss as a talented but abusive rock star.

The line-up includes also What They Had, starring Hilary Swank and Michael Shannon as brother and sister looking after a parent with dementia; Galveston (directed by Melanie Laurent) starring Ben Foster as a hitman on the run from the mob (with Elle Fanning); All  Square a comedy about a gambler with a scheme to get back to even by betting on little league baseball, and You Can Choose Your Family, about a teen who discovers her dad (Jim Gaffigan) is a bigamist with another family.

The selection of foreign language films includes the Cannes Palm D'or winner Shoplifters, from Japan, and Dogman, from Italian director Matteo Garrone, who helmed Gomorrah.

The official festival dates are Oct. 18 through Oct. 28. Screenings take place at Ritz East (125 S. 2nd St), Ritz Five (214 Walnut St.) and Philadelphia Film Center (formerly Prince Theater) (1412 Chestnut St.).

Information on tickets, passes and screenings can be found at

27th Philadelphia Film Festival Full Line-up

Opening Night Film

  • Ben is Back, Director Peter Hedges. 2018, USA.

Closing Night Film

  • Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don't Know Me, Director Olivia Lichtenstein. 2018, UK.

Centerpiece Films

  • Boy Erased, Director Joel Edgerton. 2018, USA.

  • Everybody Knows, Director Asghar Farhadi. 2018, Spain.

  • The Front Runner, Director Jason Reitman. 2018, USA.

  • Green Book, Director Peter Farrelly. 2018, USA.

  • If Beale Street Could Talk, Director Barry Jenkins. 2018, USA.

  • Roma, Director Alfonso Cuarón. 2018, Mexico.

  • Widows, Director Steve McQueen. 2018, USA.

  • Wildlife, Director Paul Dano. 2018, USA.

Masters of Cinema:

  • Ash Is Purest White, Director Jia Zhangke. 2018, China, France, Japan.

  • Burning, Director Lee Chang-dong. 2018, Korea.

  • Cold War, Director Pawl Pawlikoswki. 2018, Poland, UK.

  • Dogman, Director Matteo Garrone. 2018, France, Italy.

  • The Favourite, Director Yorgos Lanthimos. 2018, Ireland, UK.

  • Foreboding, Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa. 2018, Japan.

  • The Image Book, Director Jean-Luc Godard. 2018, Switzerland.

  • Infinite Football, Director Corneliu Proumboiu. 2018, Romania.

  • Monrovia, Indiana, Director Frederick Wiseman. 2018, USA.

  • Non-Fiction, Director Olivier Assayas. 2018, France.

  • Shoplifters, Director Hirokazu Kore-eda. 2018, Japan.

  • Transit, Director Christian Petzold. 2018, Germany, France.


  • All Square, Director John Hyams. 2018, USA.

  • Can You Ever Forgive Me? Director Marielle Heller. 2018, USA.

  • Donnybrook, Director Tim Sutton. 2018, USA.

  • Galveston, Director Mélanie Laurent. 2018, USA.

  • A Private War, Matthew Heineman. 2018, USA.

  • The Upside, Director Neil Burger. 2019, USA.

  • What They Had, Director Elizabeth Chomko. 2018, USA.

  • Wild Nights With Emily, Director Madeleine Olnek. 2018, USA.

  • You Can Choose Your Family, Director Miranda Bailey. 2017, USA.

World Narratives:

  • Amin, Director Philippe Faucon. 2018, France.

  • Anchor and Hope, Director Carlos Marques-Marcet. 2018, Spain, UK.

  • The Angel, Director Luis Ortega. 2018, Argentina, Spain.

  • Asako I & II, Director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi. 2018, Japan, France.

  • Birds of Passage, Director Ciro Guerra, Cristina Gallego. 2018, Colombia, Denmark.

  • Butterflies, Director Tolga Karaçelik. 2018, Turkey.

  • Dead Pigs, Director Cathy Yan. 2018, China.

  • Diamantino, DirectorGabriel Abrantes, Daniel Schmidt. 2018, Portugal, France, Brazil.

  • An Elephant Sitting Still, Director Hu Bo. 2018, China.

  • Girl, Director Lukas Dhont. 2017, Belgium, The Netherlands.

  • Happy as Lazzaro, Director Alice Rohrwacher. 2018, Italy.

  • L'Animale, Director Katharina Mückstein. 2018, Germany.

  • Long Day's Journey Into Night, Director Bi Gan. 2018, Sweden, Germany, France, Denmark.

  • Mug, Director Malgorzata Szumowska. 2018, Australia.

  • The Party's Just Beginning, Director Karen Gillan. 2018, Norway, Sweden, France, Denmark.

  • Pig, Director Mani Haghighi. 2017, Iran.

  • Rafiki, Director Wanuri Kahiu. 2017, Kenya, South Africa, Germany, The Netherlands, France, Norway, Lebanon.

  • Styx, Director Wolfgang Fischer. 2018, Austria Germany.

  • Yomeddine, Director A.B. Shawky. 2018, Egypt, USA, Austria.

New French Films:

  • Mothers' Instinct, Director Oliver Massett-Depasse. 2018, Belgium, France.

  • Sofia, Director Meryem Benm'Barek. 2018, France.

  • To the Ends of the World, Director Guillaume Nicloux. 2018, France.

  • Treat Me Like Fire, Director Marie Monge. 2018, France.

  • Wild, Director Camille Vidal-Naquet. 2018, France.

Nordic Voices: 

  • And Breathe Normally, Director Ísold Uggadóttir. 2018, Iceland, Sweden, Belgium.

  • Border, Director Ali Abbasi. 2018, Sweden, Denmark.

  • The Guilty, Director Gustav Möller. 2018, Sweden, Denmark.

  • The Quake, Director John Andreas Anderson. 2018, Sweden, Norway.

  • Women at War, Director Benedikt Erlingsson. 2018, Sweden, Iceland, France.


  • The Biggest Little Farm, Director John Chester. 2018, USA.

  • Chef Flynn, Director Cameron Yates. 2018, USA.

  • Ramen Shop, Director Eric Khoo. 2018, Singapore, Japan, France.

American Independents:

  • At First Light, Director Jason Stone. 2018, USA.

  • Little Woods, Director Nia DaCosta. 2018,

  • Pet Names, Director Carol Brandt. 2018,

  • Prospect, Director Christopher Caldwell, Zeek Earl. 2018, USA.

  • Simple Wedding, Director Sara Zandieh. 2018, USA.

  • Thunder Road, Director Jim Cummings. 2018, USA.

  • Write When You Get Work, Director Stacy Cochran. 2018, USA.

Documentary Showcase:

  • The Devil We Know, Director Stephanie Soechtig. 2018, USA.

  • Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Alies, Director Alexis Bloom. 2018, USA.

  • General Magic, Director Matt Maude, Sarah Kerruish. 2018, UK, USA.

  • Inventing Tomorrow, Director Laura Nix. 2018, USA.

  • Shirkers, Director Sandi Tan. 2018, USA.

  • They'll Love Me When I'm Dead, Director Morgan Neville. 2018, USA.

  • This One's for the Ladies, Director Gene Graham. 2018, USA.

Greater Filmadelphia:.

  • Egg, Director Marianna Palka. 2018, USA.

  • Empathy, Inc., Director Yedidya Gorsetman. 2018, USA.

  • Her Smell, Director Alex Ross Perry. 2018, USA.

  • The Price of Everything, Director Nathaniel Kahn. 2018, USA.

  • Zeroes, Director Charles Smith III. 2018, USA.

Sight and Soundtrack:

  • Bathtubs Over Broadway, Director Dava Whisenant. 2018, USA.

  • Bodied, Director Joseph Kahn. 2017, USA.

  • Leto, Director Kirill Serenbrennikov. 2018, Russia, France.

  • Studio 54, Director Matt Tyrnauer. 2018, USA.

  • Vox Lux, Director Brady Corbet. 2018, USA.

The Graveyard Shift:

  • Cam, Director Daniel Goldhaber. 2018, USA.

  • Knife + Heart, Director Yann Gonzalez. 2018, France, Mexico.

  • Overlord, Director Julius Avery. 2018, USA.

  • River's Edge, Director Isao Yukisada. 2018, Japan.

  • The Wind, Director Emma Tammi. 2018, USA.

From the Vaults:

  • All About Lily Chou-Chou, Director Shunji Iwai. 2001, Japan.

  • I Am Cuba, Director Mikhail Kalatozov. 1964, Cuba, Soviet Union.

  • The Other Side of the Wind, Director Orson Welles. 2018, USA.

Animated and Live Action Shorts:

  • Agua Viva, Director Alexa Lim Haas. 2018, USA.

  • All Inclusive, Director Corina Schwingruber Ilić. 2018, Switzerland.

  • Careful How You Go, Director Emerald Fennell. 2017, UK.

  • Caroline, Director Logan George, Celine Held. 2018, USA.

  • The Climb, Director Michael Covino. 2018, USA.

  • The Conquerer, Director Timothy Blackwood. 2018, USA.

  • Counterfeit Kunkoo, Director Reema Sengupta. 2018, India.

  • Coyote, Director Lorenz Wunderle. 2018, Switzerland.

  • The Dare Project, Director Adam Salky. 2018, USA.

  • Don't Be A Hero, Director Pete Lee. 2018, USA.

  • The Driver is Red, Director Randall Christopher. 2017, USA.

  • The Earth is Humming, Director Garrett Bradley. 2017, USA.

  • The Happiness Machine, Director Rebecca Blumhagen. 2018, USA.

  • Hula Girl, Director Amy Hill, Chris Riess. 2018, USA.

  • Hybrids, Director Florian Brauch, Matthieu Pujol, Kim Tailhades, Romain Thirion, Yohan Thireau. 2017, France.

  • Intercourse, Director Jonatan Etzler. 2017, Sweden.

  • Magic Alps, Director Andrea Brusa, Marco Scotuzzi. 2018, Italy.

  • Man in the Well, Director HU Bo. 2017, China.

  • My Dead Dad's Porno Tapes, Director Charlie Tyrell. 2018, Canada.

  • Nevada, Director Emily Ann Hoffman. 2017, USA.

  • The Passage, Director Kitao Sakurai. 2017, USA.

  • Sidelined, Director Galen Summer. 2018, USA.

  • This Magnificent Cake! Director Marc James Roels, Emma De Swaef. 2018, Belgium, France, Netherlands.

  • The Tiger, Director Mikko Myllylahti. 2018, Finland.

  • Virgencita, Director Giselle Bonilla. 2018, USA.

  • The Water Slide, Director Nathan Truesdell. 2018, USA.