Sneak Peek: Philadelphia Film Festival

What to watch at this year's city-wide movie marathon. (Naturally Bradley Cooper's new flick is on the must-see list.)

This year’s Philadelphia Film Festival (PFF), running October 18 through October 28, will host 100 feature films at seven venues throughout the city. And though the lineup for this year’s Festival will not officially be announced until later this week, here is a sneak peak at things that already have us excited.

PFF will open on Thursday, October 18 with Silver Linings Playbook, written and directed by David O. Russell, the Oscar-nominated director of The Fighter. Recently winning the Audience Award at the Toronto Film Festival, it stars Bradley Cooper as a man trying to put his life back together. When he moves back in with his parents (Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver)—who are obsessed with the Eagles—he meets and falls for a girl (Jennifer Lawrence) with her own problems. The closing film on Saturday, October 27 will be Flight, with special appearance by director by Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Back to the Future). Flight stars Denzel Washington as an airline pilot who miraculously saved (Sully-ed?) his flight from crashing, but falls under scrutiny during the investigation. Both films will take place at the Annenberg Center’s Zellerbach Theater

Other highlights are: the Wachowski’s Cloud Atlas with Tom Hanks and Halle Berry; Stand Up Guys with Al Pacino and Christopher Walken; Not Fade Away from David Chase, the creator of The Sopranos; Clive Owen in Shadow Dancer; and the animated Wreck-It Ralph. For those on Oscar-watch, don’t miss The Sessions with buzzy performances from John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone) and Helen Hunt (As Good As It Gets) or Italy’s Terrafirma and Romania’s Everybody in Our Family. From local filmmakers Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce—who previously helmed the Barnes’ documentary, The Art of the Steal—comes the documentary The Atomic States of America. And on Friday, October 26, don’t miss M. Night Shyamalan at the 10th anniversary screening of Signs at the Prince Theater.

Horror fans will want to catch the free showing of Poltergeist on Friday, October 26, preceded by the documentary The American Scream at Shoemaker Green on Penn’s Campus. And on Sunday, October 21, Philadelphia will have the opportunity to see Room 237, a “subjective documentary” which explores theories surrounding The Shining’s hidden meanings, followed by a rare screening of the iconic film at Ritz East Theater.

New to this year’s festival is “PFF on US,” where individuals can register and receive four free tickets to be used at the seven films in the American Independent track. These films include The Comedy, Gayby, and Somebody Up There Likes Me (starring Parks and Rec’s Nick Offerman). Click here to register now: Tickets are first-come, first-serve. Also new this year will be a VIP lounge in Old City. PFF badge holders can join sponsors, filmmakers, industry professionals, and other invited guests for daily food, wine, and/or other networking events.

Films, screening times and locations, and special appearances are subject to change. Click here  for all up-to-date news and notices.