A martial-arts fest, in honor of Ong-bak's Tony Jaa, is also being planned for the Piazza at Schmidts. And Goldbloom plans to use Chinatown's venerable Trocadero to screen midnight movie fare - and take advantage of its bar.
"I really want to focus on the festivities of a festival," Goldbloom adds. "I want to provide a real festival atmosphere. We're going to have a party every single night, based off of pretty much every single film. If you're in the Old City/Northern Liberties area, you're automatically in the festival. We want to be that in-your-face with it."
Although it feels like ancient history now, Philadelphia CineFest, the city's major spring film festival, disappeared last year - short of funds and energy after a long legal battle with board members of the Philadelphia Film Society. In a messy parting of the ways, TLA's Ray Murray, formerly the artistic director of the Philadelphia Film Festival, went off and formed the new, retooled CineFest in 2009. The PFS folks, headed by Andrew Greenblatt, moved the Philadelphia Film Festival to a fall slot. PFF 19 had its successful run in October, opening with a gala screening of a little endeavor called Black Swan.
"I'm very good friends with Andy Greenblatt . . . and all those guys over there," says Goldbloom. "And I think that having two film festivals . . . can only be beneficial to Philadelphia - two major film festivals at two different [time] frames, bringing in so many movies everywhere, everywhere!"
While Goldbloom takes over as CineFest's artistic director, Murray stays on to program the world-cinema slate. The rest of the team, who are busy lining up films and financial and in-kind support, include managing director Steve Saturn, development director Thom Cardwell, film booker Jennifer Arndt-Johns, programmer Mike Dennis, and events organizer Jason Wasley. TLA partners Murray, Claire Kohler, and Eric Moore are also credited as production directors. At deadline, Goldbloom could offer only a few titles as certainties, but he promises 60 to 75 features over the course of the festival, representing "the best of Sundance, the Cannes Film Festival, and other major festivals."
Goldbloom also plans to bring back FestIndies, a festival-within-the-festival focusing on area films and filmmakers. "A lot of the films that we've programmed into it played at the Cannes Film Festival, played at Sundance. It's amazing the ties to Philly that we've been exploring throughout all these larger festivals."
Among the titles locked in for the new CineFest at this point: Incendies, the French-Canadian foreign-language Oscar nominee from director Denis Villeneuve; Two Gates of Sleep, a Cannes entry about two guys' metaphysical slog through Mississippi; Bhopali, an industrial-disaster doc that won both the documentary prize and the audience award at Slamdance; The Greatest Story Ever Sold, Morgan "Super Size Me" Spurlock's examination of product placement in the media (Spurlock will be here to pitch his product); Steve James' The Interrupters, about a Chicago group trying to stanch the violence in its city's streets; The Troll Hunter, a Norwegian horror thriller; Square Grouper, a South-by-Southwest selection about pot smugglers in 1970s Miami; and Fubar: Balls to the Wall, which Goldbloom describes as a kind of Canadian Wayne's World.
Look for announcements of opening- and closing-night films soon. And check www.phillycinema.org, or call 267-765-9800, Ext. 4, for updates.
"We're excited to bring CineFest back," says Goldbloom. "We're just a swarming platoon of film nerds, and we're throwing a bunch of cinema grenades wherever we can."
Short subjects. Variety reports that Martin Scorsese has tapped Leonardo DiCaprio again - it'll be the director and the star's fifth collaboration - for The Wolf of Wall Street, based on Jordan Belfort's living rich/partying wild/falling hard memoir. But first, Scorsese has to finish editing his kid pic, Hugo Cabaret, and then he's committed to do Silence, based on the Shusaku Endo book about two Portuguese Christian missionaries in 17th-century Japan. Benicio Del Toro is in that one. As for DiCaprio, he's playing controversial FBI overlord J. Edgar Hoover in the Clint Eastwood-directed biopic, shooting now. . . . Garry Marshall has another big ensemble rom-com cooking (he's the culpable party behind Valentine's Day). This one's called New Year's Eve and is set in New York on the last day of the year, as a disparate bunch of folks prepares to set out for the night's festivities. Halle Berry, Katherine Heigl, Alyssa Milano, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Michelle Pfeiffer are all part of the crowd.
Fox films. On Saturday, the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival hosts a retrospective on the work of award-winning Philadelphia documentarian Jennifer Fox. Excerpts from four key films - Beirut: Last Home Movie (1988); An American Love Story (1999); Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman (2006); and My Reincarnation (Learning to Swim) (2010) - will be shown. Fox will speak about her work, and Olivia Antsis, Widener University sociology professor, will interview the filmmaker. The event takes place at the Gershman Y, Broad and Pine Streets, at 8 p.m. Info: 215-545-4400, or www.pjff.org.
Contact movie critic Steven Rea at 215-854-5629 or email@example.com.
Read his blog, "On Movies Online," at http://www.philly.com/ philly/blogs/onmovies.