World Meeting of Families Announces Film Festival, Mobile App

A 4-day film festival will focus on families during the WMOF Congress.

The World Meeting of Families is really embracing the culture Philadelphia has to offer.

In a press release today issued by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, it was announced that the World Meeting of Families (WOMF) will host a film festival during the week of the WMOF Congress (Sept. 22-25). A partnership with IBM has also led to a mobile application designed to improve visitor experience for those coming to Philadelphia for the WMOF Congress and papal visit (Sept. 26-27).

Donna Crilley Farrell, the WMOF’s Executive Director, announced the app and film festival in a press conference this morning. The film festival is being organized by the Greater Philadelphia Film Office. The app was also demonstrated at the presser.

Joan Bressler, the media contact for the film office, spoke to Philly Mag about the film festival. The exact dates are September 22nd-25th, and Bressler said there will be a “film cutting” (which she likens to a ribbon cutting) at 3:30 pm on Tuesday the 22nd. One of the billed highlights of the festival — of which Bressler said there are many — will be the screening of M. Night Shyamalan’s Wide Awake on Thursday, Sept. 25th at 8 pm, which he will introduce. Other highlights include The Mighty Macs (7 pm, Sept. 22nd, Kimmel Center) filmed in Philly in 2009, and Rudy (3 pm, Sept. 23rd, Kimmel Center).

On Friday, Sept. 25th at 6 pm, the festival will close with a family-friendly sing-along to The Sound of Music, while Vince Papale will be in attendance at a screening of Invincible at the same time at the Kimmel Center, for an obviously much different audience.

One of the big features Bressler spoke about is actually not open to the public. In conjunction with the curricula of Philly’s Catholic and public schools, the Film Office will show Schindler’s List — inspired by Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day, which falls during the WMOF — to a select audience of 1,400. Schools will have to register for the event, which will be held at Congregation Rodeph Shalom on September 24th.

A full list of screenings, times, and appearances will be available soon.

[Update, 3:15 p.m.] Other feature films will include:
Finding Saint Anthony: A Story of Loss and Light (4 pm, Sept. 22nd, Kimmel Center)
Diary of a City Priest (6 pm, Sept. 23rd, Kimmel Center)
The Urban Trinity: The Story of Catholic Philadelphia (8 pm, Sept. 23rd, Kimmel Center)
A Man For All Seasons (1 pm, Sept. 24th, Kimmel Center)
The Way (4:30 pm, Sept. 24th, Kimmel Center)
The Wizard of Oz (1 pm, Sept. 25th, Kimmel Center)
– and The Francis Effect (4:30 pm, Sept. 25th, Kimmel Center).

The schedule and films played are subject to change, and any updates can be viewed on the “Go Philadelphia!” application.

The app is designed to be, in essence, a visitor’s guide to Philadelphia during that week’s events. It will feature easily accessible information, locations and details for Philadelphia’s many cultural institutions, feature exhibits, events and other attractions across the Philadelphia area.

A press release about the app states that it will “provide information about the region’s cultural institutions and family-friendly events taking place between September 18-29 to accommodate visitors who will arrive early or stay after the Papal visit.” The app will also feature 20 different groupings of information, all presented on an interactive map, as well as translation and captioning features in eight languages for Pope Francis‘s Parkway mass on the 27th. The app is available on the Apple and Google Play app marketplaces today, the release said.

“Smartphones have transformed the way we live our lives, especially when attending major events,” said Farrell in the press release. In addition, after the WMOF conference, IBM will turn the app over to the City of Philadelphia for use during other major events, such as 2016’s Democratic National Convention, the release said.

“The World Meeting of Families and the Papal visit will be a defining moment that shines a spotlight on our city to the world. With our captivating art, inspiring culture, and intriguing history, Philadelphia is ready for its close up. We are thrilled to launch the Go Philadelphia!’ app with IBM, which will allow visitors and residents to create their own Philadelphia experience, this September and beyond,” Levitz said in the release.

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.