Philadelphia Film Festival salutes Jonathan Demme

October 10, 2017 GMT

Tickets are now on sale for the 26th Philadelphia Film Festival, taking place Oct. 18-29 on four theater screens in Center City.

The diverse film fest will present over 110 feature-length and short films films from 45 countries, opening with “I, Tonya,” a dramatic re-enactment of the bizarre, yet riveting Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan “knee-bashing” incident that became a delicious international scandal just before the 1994 Winter Olympics and ironically sparked an interest explosion in the sport of figure skating, which was declining in popularity at the time.

A centerpiece of the festival will be Richard Linklater’s “Last Flag Flying” starring Laurence Fishburne, Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell and Yul Vazquez as Navy vets who reunite to escort a young soldier’s body up to the Eastern seaboard. The film screens Friday, Oct. 20 at 7:15 p.m. at the Prince Theater.

Other highlights include “Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me” (Thursday, Oct. 26 and Sunday, Oct. 29) and “Living On Soul,” featuring performances by the electrifying Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. (Monday, Oct. 23 and Tuesday, Oct. 24)

The Philadelphia Film Festival will also present “Demme in Philly,” a Jonathan Demme retrospective featuring “Beloved,” “Philadelphia” and “Neil Young Trunk Show.”

“Coming off our 25th anniversary, we entered this year with a certain amount of trepidation as to how we could match what was arguably our strongest festival program ever built upon one of the best years for film in recent memory. After traveling the festival circuit and watching a record number of submissions, we’re thrilled with this year’s lineup, which again represents the best of film from around the world,” executive director, J. Andrew Greenblatt said in a statement. “From crowd pleasers like our opening night film ‘I, Tonya’ to award contenders like the closing-night film, ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’; from thought-provoking documentaries like ‘The New Radical’ to cutting-edge foreign films like ‘The Square’ and experimental indies like ‘Flesh and Blood’ from Philly-born director Mark Webber, there’s something for everyone in this year’s Philadelphia Film Festival.”

For a complete screening schedule, Festival events, and ticket information, visit filmadelphia.org/festival.