Category: Festivals

Harry Potter Film & Cultural Festival Returns To Row House Cinema

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Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix/Warner Bros.

Row House Cinema will cast a spell on local film fans when it presents the 2018 Harry Potter Film & Cultural Festival.

From February 16 – 28, the theater will rollout a host of Potter-themed events on-site and at various venues throughout Lawrenceville. The schedule includes a family-friendly Wizarding Weekend, where adults and children can take part in hands-on activities such as Herbology Classes at Reed&Co, a free Potions Lab in the Bierport taproom (AKA The Leaky Cauldron), and a specially curated, wizard-themed local vendor fair at Belvedere’s Ultra Dive. Grown-up Potterheads can enjoy such adult-oriented fun as live music from the Pittsburgh wizard rock band Muggle Snuggle and butterbeer tasting. There will also be sorting hat ceremonies, trivia nights, fortune telling, and more.

Of course, the theater will also show all eight of the Harry Potter films, with many screenings featuring extra fun twists such as drag queen storytime, a live owl appearance courtesy of Humane Animal Rescue, and Weasley Sweater Night, where guests who wear an ugly sweater and get $1 off concessions.

Tickets for individual films and events are available at the Row House website. Please note that many festival events may already be sold out – check the festival’s Facebook page for more details.

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ASCEND Hosts First Pittsburgh 5Point Film Festival

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For the past 10 years, the 5Point Adventure Film Festival has showcased inspiring outdoor films, art, and performances at events in Colorado, North Carolina, and Washinton. Now, 5Point will inspire local audiences to pursue their own amazing experiences with the first-ever 5Point Film Festival Pittsburgh.

On February 3, 5Point Film Festival Pittsburgh will gather area outdoor enthusiasts for an evening of movies, recreation, refreshments, and more at the ASCEND: Pittsburgh indoor rock climbing gym. The festivities begin at 4 p.m. with fun activities such as slacklining, crate-stacking, and wall climbing, food and beverages, gear, and raffles. Raffle drawings and film screenings begin at 7 p.m. 

Tickets for 5Point Film Festival Pittsburgh cost $5 in advance at Eventbrite, $10 at the door. The event is a collaboration of ASCEND: Pittsburgh, the upcoming gear shop, 3 Rivers Outdoor Company, and Cultivate. Raffle proceeds will go to the Southwestern Pennsylvania Climbers Coalition and First Waves.

Hollywood Theater Offers Chills And Thrills With Janu-Scary Horror Film Festival

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From January 25-February 1, the Hollywood Theater will give horror fans reasons to brave the cold when they present a selection of new and beloved films for its Janu-Scary event. The selections include a previously unreleased cut of Suspiria, a Norwegian horror comedy and a special double feature from Dread Central Presents. See film descriptions and schedule below:

January 25

9 p.m.

Dread Central Presents: Zombiology & Turbo Kid 

the Hollywood Theater joins with the horror blog and entertainment company Dread Central to present a double feature of Zombiology and Turbo Kid.

Zombiology (2017)

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When a monster from a popular animated show appears and starts a zombie outbreak, it’s up to eccentric duo Lung and Chi-Yeung to stand up and fight in this action-packed horror selection from Hong Kong.

Turbo Kid (2015)

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In a post-apocalyptic future, a young solitary scavenger obsessed with comic books must face his fears and become a reluctant hero when he meets a mysterious girl.

January 26-February 1

Mom and Dad (2017)

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Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair star in this pitch-black horror -comedy about a worldwide mass hysteria where, for 24 brutal hours, parents turn violently against their own children.

January 26 & 30

Trench 11 (2017)

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As World War One reaches its bloody climax, a team of Canadian, British and American troops investigate a top-secret underground German base, only to find a highly contagious biological weapon that turns its victims into mindless killers.

January 27

2 p.m.

The Gate (1987)

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A young Stephen Dorff stars in this cult horror classic about a suburban kid who accidentally opens a demonic portal in his backyard. Screens on 35mm.

9 p.m.

Suspiria (1977)

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The Hollywood Theater will screen a newly discovered, uncut 35mm Italian print of Suspiria, courtesy of the Chicago Cinema Society. Widely hailed as the most shocking and hallucinatory horror movie in history, director Dario Argento‘s masterpiece stars Jessica Harper as a young American ballet student who arrives at a prestigious European dance academy and is confronted by a series of bizarre and horrific deaths.

January 28 & 31

The Midnight Man (2016)

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Alex is a typical teenage girl who lives with her sick grandmother, Anna (Lin Shaye). While searching through the attic, Alex finds directions to a game, which played properly, will awaken “The Midnight Man,” an evil being who will make your worst nightmare come true. At first, Alex and her friends think the game is harmless fun. It is—until The Midnight Man comes to play for real. When Dr. Goodberry (horror legend Robert Englund) comes to the house to check on Anna, he can sense The Midnight Man’s presence, and warns the kids that when The Midnight Man comes to play, he plays to win.

January 29 & February 1

Vidar the Vampire (2017)

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Vidar Haarr is a 33-year-old, sexually frustrated bachelor farmer who leads a Christian, monotonous, and strenuous working life on his mother’s farmstead in the Western outskirts of Norway. In a desperate attempt to break free from routine, Vidar prays to a higher power to grant him a life without boundaries. Unfortunately, his prayers are heard, and Vidar wakes up one evening as the Prince of Darkness in sin city, Stavanger.

Tickets for individual films are available for purchase on the Hollywood Theater website or at the door. Guests can also purchase a Janu-Scary festival pass to see five films for $30 (Dread Central Presents: Zombiology & Turbo Kid and Suspiria are not included with the pass).

Hollywood Theater Gets Drawn Into Annual Animation Show of Shows

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From January 19-25, the Hollywood Theater will present the 19th annual Animation Show of Shows, a program that brings new and innovative short films to audiences at animation studios, schools and, since 2015, theaters around the world. Over the years, 36 of the films showcased went on to receive Academy Award nominations, with 10 films winning the Oscar.

The current touring program includes 16 animated shorts from around the world that have a “special resonance, presenting compelling ideas about our place in society and how we fit into the world.”

“Because animation is such a natural medium for dealing with abstract ideas and existential concerns, the Animation Show of Shows has always included a number of thoughtful and engaging films,” states founder and curator Ron Diamond in a press release. “However, more than in previous years, I believe that this year’s program really offers contemporary animation that expresses deeply felt issues in our own country and around the world.”

Included is Niki Lindroth von Bahr‘s Grand Prix-winning The Burden, a film that explores the tribulations, hopes, and dreams of a group of night-shift employees, and David OReilly’s Everything, a procedural, AI-driven simulation inspired by the late philosopher Alan Watts. The show also features selections from Pixar and Disney veterans, a 50-year-old restored short, and other treats from filmmakers working in hand-drawn, stop motion, and 3D animation.

See a list of films below, along with synopses and images courtesy of Animation Show of Shows:

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Can You Do It

Can You Do It (Quentin Baillieux, France): Joyfully mixing incongruous elements from the highbrow world of horse racing and the “mean” urban landscape, this beautifully designed music video explodes preconceptions of race and class as cultures gracefully collide on the streets and freeways of Los Angeles. The infectious track by L.A. artist Charles X, whose music combines strains of hip-hop, soul, and jazz, is perfectly realized in the stylized blend of abstraction and representation, languidness and kineticism, in this evocative nocturnal fantasy.

Tiny Big (Lia Bertels, Belgium): A series of seemingly unrelated vignettes expressed through simple black-and-white line drawings, punctuated with occasional surprising bursts of color. Underscored by a soundtrack featuring the sounds of nature – wind, waves, crickets – the film eschews narrative, challenging viewers to draw their own conclusions about the significance of ritualized actions in a world that’s both hauntingly familiar and decidedly strange.

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Next Door

Next Door (Pete Docter, U.S.): An over-imaginative young girl drives her middle-aged neighbor crazy with her noisy adventures until a shared enthusiasm brings them together. Directed by two-time Oscar-winner Pete Doctor when he was a student at Cal Arts, Next Door is a wonderful evocation of the power of imagination and the possibility of finding common ground.

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The Alan Dimension

The Alan Dimension (Jac Clinch, UK): Sometimes having special powers beyond those of most mortals doesn’t work out all that well (especially for your long-suffering wife), as this very funny tongue-in-cheek fable amply demonstrates. Blessed – or cursed – with the gift of precognition, the eponymous Alan discovers that being “the next step in cognitive evolution” can wreak havoc with your domestic life – and lead to some hard choices.

Beautiful Like Elsewhere (Elise Simard, Canada): As much about light, color, texture, and sound as it is about “story,” Beautiful Like Elsewhere evokes a mysterious dreamscape of shimmering tableaux that seem to exist just on the edge of consciousness. Populated by human and nonhuman organisms, classical images and pure form, this allusive world, which may be a vision of the afterlife, hints at a deeper level of awareness and meanings beyond words.

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Hangman

Hangman (Paul Julian and Les Goldman, U.S.):  Originally produced in 1964 and restored by the Animation Show of Shows, Hangman is an adaptation of a poem by Maurice Ogden about a town that allows its citizens to be executed one by one. With its universal themes of persecution, injustice and personal responsibility, this powerful film speaks to all eras and nations and may be seen to have particular relevance in our own time.

The Battle of San Romano (Georges Schwizgebel, Switzerland): Georges Schwizgebel’s “deconstruction” of a painting by Paolo Uccello (1397-1475) is a meditative and hypnotic exploration of the visual elements that comprise Uccello’s masterpiece, which itself is renowned for the skill with which the artist brings order to the chaos of armed conflict. Yet, with its deliberative pacing and haunting score, the film is more than simply a masterful exegesis of color, form, and space, evoking deeply felt emotions about the nature of conflict and the horrors of war.

Gokurosama

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Gokurosama (Clémentine Frère, Aurore Gal, Yukiko Meignien, Anna Mertz, Robin Migliorelli, and Romain Salvini, France): Channeling the spirit of Charlie Chaplin – or perhaps Jacques Tati – this very funny tale of a series of unfortunate events in a Japanese mall displays both an impressive attention to detail and great comic timing. Even if you’re not a fan of chiropractic, grown men dressed as fuzzy animals, automated conveyances, garish décor, and/or robotic cleaning devices, Gokurosama will show you how, when you put all of these together, it spells highly entertaining animated mayhem.

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Dear Basketball

Dear Basketball (Glen Keane, U.S.): Directed and animated by Disney veteran Glen Keane and scored by legendary composer John Williams, this moving short film brilliantly brings to life a poem written by Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant on the occasion of his imminent retirement from the sport he loves. Chronicling Kobe’s journey from a young boy shooting baskets with rolled-up socks to his arrival at the pinnacle of basketball celebrity, Dear Basketball pays tribute to the ideal of pursuing one’s dream, as well as having the wisdom to know when it’s time to move on to the next challenge.

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Island

Island (Max Mörtl and Robert Löbel, Germany): A host of fanciful flora, fauna, and geological formations go about their daily lives in this engaging and highly imaginative foray into the wilds of a strange and colorful world. Accompanied by hissing, wheezing, whistling and tweeting, the action takes on increasing urgency, ending in a surprising climax that’s as natural as it is unexpected

Unsatisfying (Parallel Studio, France): Unsatisfying is about those frustrating, annoying, disappointing little things of everyday life, those little “not such a big deal, but still…” moments that make you cringe. It was inspired by those “most satisfying” videos, which can be found all over the internet, that relate a series of enjoyable moments to contemplate. The slightly retro design and warm reassuring colors, which seem to come from the end of a nice summer day, contrast with the unpleasant situations and emphasize the frustration of the endings.

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My Burden

My Burden (Niki Lindroth von Bahr, Sweden): If Ingmar Bergman had made stop-motion animations with singing, dancing animals, they might have looked a little like this. Set in a small commercial park, this melancholy and mordantly funny film (which could have been titled “Existential Angst – The Musical”) explores the tribulations, hopes, and dreams of the denizens of this downscale microcosm of Western society. At once bitingly satirical and genuinely moving, “The Burden” is a beautifully realized paean to despair.

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Les Abeilles Domestiques

Les Abeilles Domestiques (Alexanne Desrosiers, Canada): Usually it’s not a good sign when a film opens with death walking in the door; however, in this wry short, the appearance of the Grim Reaper (who exits again as quickly as he arrived) is just one of several intersecting stories that unfold within the hive-like confines of the film’s tranquil universe. Deftly playing with narrative structure – while challenging the viewer to keep up – Les Abeilles Domestiques is a masterful exercise in “deconstruction” that’s both extremely clever and highly entertaining.

Our Wonderful Nature: The Common Chameleon (Tomer Eshed, Germany): The common chameleon is equipped with double-sided vision, a remarkable camouflage ability, and a tongue that can stretch out twice the length of its body. Despite all of its advantages, it has yet to develop appropriate countermeasures against its biggest weakness. This cautionary tale reminds us yet again that sometimes there can be too much of a good thing, especially if our powers of discernment leave something to be desired.

Casino (Steven Woloshen, Canada): This jazzy, impressionistic depiction of the iconography and energy of a gambling casino (a favorite destination of director Steven Woloshen’s late father, to whom the work is dedicated) is all the more impressive for having been created in Woloshen’s signature style of drawing directly onto the film. With Oscar Peterson’s “Something Coming” as its upbeat soundtrack, the film is a breathlessly kinetic and visually dazzling representative of the possibilities of nontraditional animation techniques.

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Everything

Everything (David OReilly, U.S): Based on the work of philosopher Alan Watts, who was instrumental in popularizing Eastern religion in the West, this brilliantly conceived and executed short explores the interconnectedness of the universe and the multiplicity of perspectives that underlie reality. Like Watts himself, the film is both playful and profound, and its unique iconography – from somersaulting bears to interstellar flora – allows it to convey weighty ideas with lightness and lucidity.

Tickets to the Animation Show of Shows are available for purchase on the Hollywood Theater website or at the door.

African Film Festival Brings Seven Powerful Films To Alphabet City

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Sisters In Law (2005, Cameroon)

Alphabet City will play host to the 9th International African Film Festival. Produced by the Sembène Film & Arts Festival, the event will showcase seven films from five countries that cover a variety of important cultural, social and political issues and perspectives in the African Diaspora. The selections include powerful narrative works about the Black experience, profiles of influential musicians, and award-winning documentaries. See below for screenings and details:

January 16

7 p.m.

But Then, She’s Betty Carter (1980, USA)

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An unforgettable portrait of legendary vocalist Betty Carter, one of the greatest living exponents of jazz. Uncompromised by commercialism throughout her long career, she has forged alternative criteria for success—including founding her own recording company and raising her two sons as a single parent.

January 29

7 p.m.

Black Girl (1966, Sénégal/France)

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A young Senegalese woman who moves to France to work for a wealthy white family finds that life in their small apartment becomes a prison, both figuratively and literally. Black Girl is a harrowing human drama as well as a radical political statement—and one of the essential films of the 1960s.

February 12

7 p.m.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk: The Case Of The Three Sided Dream (2014, USA)

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The story of multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk, who went from blind infant to child prodigy, to adult visionary, to political activist, and finally to paralyzed showman. A seemingly superhuman musical force who played literally until the day he died. Kirk was more than a blind musician who could play three horns at once, more than one of the most exciting and amazing sax players who ever lived. Beyond the ability to play multiple melodies at the same time, he was a warrior against racial injustice, fought for people with disabilities, and was a tireless campaigner for a wider appreciation of Jazz. Packed with electrifying archival footage of Kirk and his music, intimate interviews, and inspired animated sequences, Adam Kahan’s film is an absorbing look at the man who wouldn’t even let partial paralysis keep him from pursuing what he called “The Religion of Dreams.

February 26

7 p.m.

Freedom Never Dies: The Legacy of Harry T. Moore (2001, USA)

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This powerful documentary explores the life and times of an enigmatic leader, a distinguished school teacher whose passionate crusade for equal rights could not be discouraged by either the white power structure or the more cautious factions of his own movement. Although Moore’s assassination was an international cause célèbre in 1951, it was overshadowed by following events and eventually almost forgotten. Narrated by Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.

March 5 

7 p.m.

Sisters In Law (2005, Cameroon)

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The award-winning documentary from Kim Longinott and Florence Ayisi follows two feisty and progressive-minded women who dispense wisdom, wisecracks, and justice in fair measure, handing down stiff sentences to those convicted. In the little town of Kumba, Cameroon, there have been no convictions in spousal abuse cases for 17 years. But two women determined to change their community are making progress that could change their country. This fascinating, often hilarious doc follows the work of State Prosecutor Vera Ngassa and Court President Beatrice Ntuba as they help women fight often-difficult cases of abuse, despite pressures from family and their community to remain silent.

March 26 

7 p.m.

The Hero (2004, Angola)

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Grand Prize Winner of the World Dramatic Competition at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, The Hero is the story of a 20-year veteran of the Angolan civil war who finds assimilation into the chaotic life of the capital city of Luanda a challenge in this affecting drama.

April 23

7 p.m.

Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai (2008, Kenya)

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Directors Lisa Merton and Alan Dater tell the inspiring story of the Green Belt Movement of Kenya and its unstoppable founder, Wangari Maathai, who, in 2004, became the first environmentalist and first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Taking Root illustrates the development of Maathai’s holistic worldview and model for sustainable development.

Each screening is free and open to the public and will be followed by a community Q&A with a guest moderator. RSVP at the Alphabet City website.

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Sembène Film & Arts Festival Brings Powerful Documentaries And More To Alphabet City

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Beasts of the Southern Wild

The Sembène Film & Arts Festival launches their 9th season at Alphabet City. From November 2 – 9, the event includes important films and readings. See below for schedule and details:

November 2

7 p.m.

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The Untold Story of Emmet Till

The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till articulates the madness of racism in the South of the 1950s. Combining archival photos and footage with deeply felt interviews, this documentary tells the harrowing story of what happened when a mischievous 14-year-old black boy from Chicago, visiting his relatives in Mississippi, whistled at a white woman in the street. The lynching that followed was so gruesome that a media circus surrounded the trial–and what stunned the nation was not only the crime but the blithe unconcern the citizens of a small Mississippi town felt toward the brutal murder of a black teenager.

Herb Boyd, co-author of Simeon’s story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmet Till, will moderate a post-film discussion. Tickers are free.

November 3

7 p.m.

Journalist and activist Herb Boyd will present a reading and discussion of his latest book, Black Detroit: A People’s History of Self-Determination, a groundbreaking history of the struggles and resilience of African Americans from the city’s birth 200 years ago until the present. Tickets are free.

November 5

11 a.m.

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Kids and Family Event: Beasts of the Southern Wild 

In a forgotten but defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee, a six-year-old girl, Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis), exists on the brink of orphanhood. Buoyed by her childish optimism and extraordinary imagination, she believes that the natural order is in balance with the universe until a fierce storm changes her reality. Desperate to repair the structure of her world in order to save her ailing father and sinking home, this tiny hero must learn to survive unstoppable catastrophes of epic proportions. Tickets are free.

Journalist Herb Boyd will lead a post-film discussion.

November 9

7 p.m.

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Chasing Trane

Set against the social, political and cultural landscape of the time, Chasing Trane brings saxophone great John Coltrane to life, as a man and an artist. The film is the definitive look at the boundary-shattering musician and composer whose influence continues to resonate around the world. Coltrane’s incredible story is told by his children and biographers, the musicians who worked with him (Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath, Reggie Workman), musicians inspired by his artistry and vision (Common, The Doors’ John Densmore, Wynton Marsalis, Carlos Santana, Wayne Shorter, Kamasi Washington), and many others. Narration provided by Denzel Washington.

K. Mensah Wali of Kente Arts Alliance, who followed Coltrane throughout his career, will lead a post-film discussion. Tickets are free.

Dinner at Alphabet City’s in-house Casellula Cheese & Wine Cafe is available for before, after or during events. Advance reservations are recommended.

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August Wilson Center Hosts First Pittsburgh Shorts Film Festival

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Pittsburgh Shorts Film Festival. Image courtesy of Film Pittsburgh.

From October 25-29, the August Willson Center will screen 90 films from 20 countries for the first-ever Pittsburgh Shorts Film Festival. Presented by Film Pittsburgh, the event will feature special programs, visiting filmmakers, parties, and more.

The festival opens with an opening night showcase of eight films, including Rated. The award-winning short follows Maggie, a wife and mother who must find the courage to own up to her behavior when she wakes up to find every adult has received a YELP-like star rating floating above their head. While most everyone has a shining 4 and 5-star rating, Maggie’s got just 2.5.

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Rated

The event also includes an after-party with drinks, schmoozing, and food provided by Big Burrito. Tickets for Opening Night cost $15-25.

From there, the festival includes a diverse array of films, including a family matinee with eight kid-friendly shorts. Among the local films presented are three selections from the annual Pittsburgh 48 Hour Film Project.  The group includes Girl Seeking Wood, the story of a young Amish woman whose life changes forever when she finds a cell phone.

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Girl Seeking Wood

Those looking for a fright should check out the Thrills and Chill Program featuring 10 indie horror shorts, including Great Choice, an Overlook Film Festival selection about a woman who gets stuck in a Red Lobster commercial. There’s also a Halloween bash with a photo booth, food and drinks, and a live DJ.

Purchase tickets for individual Pittsburgh Shorts Film Festival programs or invest in a $50 weekend pass that covers three days, 70-plus films, and the Halloween bash.

Steel City Massacre: Pittsburgh Does Halloween 2017

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Creepshow

It’s that time of year again, and Pittsburgh has tons of movie events to get you in the Halloween spirit. Scare yourself all month long with festive horror screenings, parties, and festivals.

The Indie Horror Drive-In Film Festival – Riverside Drive-In Theatre

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Family Possessions

On October 6-7, the Riverside Drive-In Theatre will present a creepy crop of short and feature-length independent works for the second annual Indie Horror Drive-In Film Festival. See schedule below:

October 6:

7:35 p.m. – The Blood Shed

8 p.m. – Close Calls 

10:30 p.m. – Pool Party Massacre

12 a.m. – 3 Dead Trick or Treaters

October 7:

7:35 – 8 p.m. – The Stylist and Knob Goblins

8 p.m. – Circus of the Dead

10 p.m. – Family Possessions

11:45 p.m. – Shorts Block with John The Carpenter, Born Again, and Gwilliam 

12:20 a.m. – Space Babes from Outer Space

Admission to the Indie Horror Drive-In Film Festival costs $8 per night.

Haunted Oaks Film Festival – Oaks Theater

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Blue Mountain Motel: The Innkeeper

On October 7, the Oaks Theater will showcase 13 locally made short films during the Haunted Oaks Film Festival. Selections include Blue Mountain Motel: The Innkeeper by Nathan King and Seth Smiley and the 2016 48 Hour Horror Film Project film When Madness Creeps In. The event also includes a cocktail hour where guests enjoy $5 and mingle with cast, crew and fellow horror lovers, a directors Q&A, and a chance to cast your ballot for the Audience Award. Films begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10.

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Manor At Midnight – Manor Theatre

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The freaks come out at night when the Manor Theatre presents their latest Midnight at the Manor movie lineup. The schedule includes David Cronenberg’s The Fly (October 7), the horror comedy What We Do In The Shadows (October 14), a restored print of Night Of The Living Dead (October 20 and 21), and The Shining (October 28). All shows will start at midnight, with the exception of Night Of The Living Dead. Please note that there will be two Night Of The Living Dead shows each evening at 10:45 p.m. and 11:45 p.m.

Row House Cinema: Midnight Edition – Row House Cinema

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Row House Cinema will present three horror hits for their Midnight Edition series. Selections include the 2014 indie Goodnight Mommy (October 7), the J-horror classic Ringu (October 21), and the Guillermo del Toro film The Devil’s Backbone (October 28). Tickets to all shows cost $10.

AMC Waterfront 22: Classic Movie Nights – AMC Loews Waterfront 22

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AMC Loews Waterfront 22 will inject some horror into its Classic Movie Nights series with a few spooky selections. On October 6, it’s the 1975 cult musical Rocky Horror Picture Show, followed by the witchy romantic comedy Practical Magic on October 11, Friday the 13th on Friday, October 13 (of course), The Lost Boys on October 18, Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice on October 25, and The Crow on October 30. Tickets cost $5. VIP seating is also available.

Friday the 13th Movie and Beer Tasting – Oaks Theater

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On October 12, enjoy a bloody good time when the Oaks Theater pairs beer with a screening of the slasher classic Friday the 13th. The 1980 film pits a group of teen camp counselors against a killer with a ruthless vendetta. Event begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $8.

The Old Dark House – Hollywood Theater

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From October 13-15, the Hollywood Theater resurrects a lost horror gem when it shows the new 4K restoration of The Old Dark House (1932). Bride of Frankenstein director James Whale added a comic spin to his adaptation of the 1927 J. B. Priestley novel Benighted, which follows a group of lost travelers who take refuge in a gloomy, secluded mansion. The atmospheric thriller features a post-Frankenstein Boris Karloff, Melvin Douglas, Charles Laughton, Raymond Massey and Gloria Stuart of Titanic fame. Tickets cost $5-8.

A Celebration of George Romero – Various venues

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Pittsburgh will come together to honor a late horror master when Row House Cinema and company present A Celebration of George Romero. From October 13-19, the week-long tribute will feature screenings and programming presented by several local businesses. Events include Romero movies at Row House Cinema, the “resurrection” of the Pittsburgh zombie store House of the Dead, a mini Zombie School with The ScareHouse, a #RomeroWasHere Scavenger Hunt at Romero film locations throughout Western Pennsylvania, and a horror-themed trivia night at the Row House Cinema sister store, Bierport. The Douglas Education Center will also present makeup and special effects demonstrations by George A. Romero’s Filmmaking Program and Tom Savini’s Special Makeup and Effects Program. Event dates and times are available at the Row House Cinema website.

Living Dead Weekend – Living Dead Museum

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The Living Dead Museum will once again host a weekend of zombie-themed fun for the whole family in Evans City, PA. From October 20-22, enjoy numerous activities in EDCO Park, including discussion panels and meetups with Living Dead cast and crew members, a pet walk and costume contest, parties, vendors, and more. The event will also honor the late George Romero with a double-feature screening of his films Day of the Dead and Knightriders at the Strand TheaterTicket prices vary.

Row House of Horrors – Row House Cinema

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From October 20-31, Row House Cinema scares up more great movies for Row House of Horrors. Selections include the wacky sequel Evil Dead 2, the 1982 American horror classic Poltergeist, the 1993 comedy Hocus Pocus, and director Dario Argento’s 1977 work Suspiria.

Hollywood Theater Halloween Party with The Lost Boys – Hollywood Theater

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On October 21, vamp it up for the annual Hollywood Theater Halloween Party. The event features a vampire theme in honor of the evening’s screening of The Lost Boys, the 1987 film about two brothers who discover their town is a haven for blood-sucking teens. Don your best vampire look and compete in the costume contest, which includes a category for the best 1980’s-inspired vampire. Transform yourself into a Reagan-era monster at the 1980’s hair bar and vampire makeup station. There will also be vendor tables, a raffle, tasty treats, and other scary fun. Doors open at 7 p.m. The screening takes place at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $15, $12 for Hollywood members, $20 day of event. The event is BYOB.

48 Hour Film Horror Project Festival – Oaks Theater

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The Pittsburgh 48 Hour Film Horror Project challenged 19 teams to write, shoot, edit, and score their own horror shorts over the course of a single weekend. On October 28, the resulting films will premiere at the Oaks Theater and compete for a variety of awards. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $10 and are available at the door.

Silents, Please! Nosferatu with the Andrew Alden Ensemble – Hollywood Theater

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On October 29, the chamber music group Andrew Alden Ensemble will provide live musical accompaniment to the 1922 silent film Nosferatu. Presented as part of Hollywood Theater‘s Silents, Please! series. German director F. W. Murnau‘s adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula follows the blood-thirsty Count Orlok as he relocates from his castle in the Carpathian mountains to a small German town, where he feeds on the unsuspecting populace. Tickets cost $8-10.

Carnegie Screenwriters Launches Script & Screen Festival At Tull Family Theater

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The Tull Family Theater

From August 26-27Carnegie Screenwriters, a nonprofit group of tri-state writers, actors, and filmmakers, will hold their inaugural Script & Screen Festival. Hosted by the Tull Family Theater, the event will highlight scripts and short films from the Pittsburgh region and all over the globe, including works from Argentina, Iran, Russia, and The United Kingdom.

“Pittsburgh is very much a supportive community when it comes to filmmaking,” said festival director Wendy Grube in a press release. “We hope to bring more area film folks together through this event and encourage folks from other parts of the country and world to travel to the area, share their works and connect with our local filmmakers.”

The festival opens with a reception and seated script reading of three short scripts. Representing Pittsburgh is DIG by Robert Brian Taylor of Mount Lebanon. Also being presented are Giancarlo Fusi‘s Hell to Pay: The Legend of Robert Johnson, a story about the famous bluesman who allegedly sold his soul to the Devil, and Edward Santiago’s Western tale The Badge, the Gun and the Hangman’s Noose.

The following day will include a roster of films, all of which are under 20 minutes in length. Screenings will occur in 90-minute blocks followed by a short break and recognition of the attending filmmakers.

The reception and script readings will take place on August 26 at 6 p.m. Screenings will take place from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on August 27. Tickets for the reception and screenings are available online or a the door.

Pittsburgh Underground Film Festival Highlights Area LGBTQ+ Filmmakers

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Image courtesy of Reel Q

For the first time, area LGBTQ+ filmmakers have the chance to screen their short movies in a local film festival created for and by them with the Pittsburgh Underground Film Festival (PUFF). Launched by Reel Q, PUFF celebrates “diverse LGBTQ+ communities through the presentation of overlooked and out-of-the-box films, workshops, lectures, and panels.” See below for event dates and details:

August 4

7 p.m.

Ovarian Psychos (dir. Kate Trumbull LaValle and Joanna Sokolowski, 2012)

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Ovarian Psychos

The event opens with Ovarian Psychos. The documentary follows The Ovarian Psycos Cycle Brigade, a raucous group in Eastside Los Angeles that uses their bicycles to confront the violence in their lives. At the helm of the crew is founder Xela de la X, a single mother and poet M.C. dedicated to recruiting an unapologetic, misfit crew of women of color, yet she struggles to strike a balance between motherhood and activism. Evie, a bright-eyed recruit, joins the crew despite poverty and the concerns of her protective Salvadoran mother. Meanwhile, Andi Xoch, a founding member and street artist, journeys to become a new leader within the crew.

Ovarian Psychos screens at 7 p.m. in the Melwood Screening Room. Doors open at 6 p.m. Cast members from the film will make an appearance.

August 5

12:30 p.m.

Only In Pittsburgh!

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Mama Said (dir. Scott Andrew, 2012)

Presented in cooperation with the Melwood Screening Room’s Film Kitchen series and the Indie Oaks Festival, Only In Pittsburgh! serves as a showcase for LGBTQ+ short films made by the local burgeoning film community. The featured works include the educational film parody How to Find a Man, the Dusty Springfield-inspired Mama Said, and The Toothmans, a documentary about a rural Pennsylvania family and their transgender daughter.

Only In Pittsburgh! begins at 12:30 p.m. in the Melwood Screening Room. Doors open at 12 p.m.

2 p.m.

Lives of Their Own: Pittsburgh Queer History Project Screening

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Still from Lucky After Dark by the Pittsburgh Queer History Project

Join archivist Harrison Apple as she presents video content from the Pittsburgh Queer History Project, an oral history and media archive aimed at preserving a record of LGBTQ nightlife from 1960-1990. The lecture includes a full screening of the 1989 Ms. Pittsburgh Pageant. This event is free and open to the public.

3:30 p.m.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (dir. David France, 2017)

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The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

When Marsha P. Johnson, the beloved self-described “street queen” of Christopher Street, was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992, the NYPD called her death a suicide. Protests erupted but the police remained impassive and refused to investigate. Now, 25 years later, Oscar-nominated director and journalist David France (How To Survive a Plague) examines the death and extraordinary life of a trans icon.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson screens at the Melwood Screening Room. Doors open at 3 p.m. 

6 p.m.

The Revival: Women and the Word (dir. Sekiya Dorsett, 2016)

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The Revival: Women and the Word

Jade Foster recruits a group of five dynamic poets and musicians to become stewards of a movement that builds community among queer women of color, upholds literary arts excellence, and occupies living rooms across the country. The documentary follows their international female-led, salon-styled tour.

The Revival: Women and the Word screens at 6 p.m. the Melwood Screening Room. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Event includes a post-screening poetry performance.

August 6

11 a.m.

Breakfast with Queer PGH

Join Queer PGH for an early lecture about their mission to promote LGBTQ+ voices and perspectives. Created in 2016, the volunteer-run online magazine “made by and for queer folks in Pittsburgh” has become a platform for artists, writers, photographers, and “general queer enthusiasts.”

12:30 p.m.

Get Animated!

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Happy and Gay (dir. Lorelei Pepi, 2015)

Toonseum sponsors a selection of short films from LGBTQ+ animators. The program includes the 1930s-style cartoon musical Happy and Gay, the animated documentary webseries Dating Sucks, A Genderqueer Misadventure, and a look at the work of Jeffrey Krell, an openly gay American cartoonist known for the syndicated comic strip Jayson.

Get Animated! starts at 12:30 p.m. in the Melwood Screening Room. Doors open at 12 p.m. 

2:30 p.m.

JOY! Portrait of a Nun (dir. Joe Balass, 2012)

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JOY! Portrait of a Nun

Spiritual sanctuary, sex, sisterhood and a gathering of faeries. A bearded nun. Through an intimate lens, this feature documentary takes us on a journey with Sister Missionary P. Delight, one of the founders of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. In 1979, Mish, as he is affectionately known by his friends, created an Order of gay male nuns to promote a philosophy of promulgating universal joy and expiating guilt. Both he and the Order have come a long way since then. Today, the Sisters are spread out across the globe, and Mish lives in the middle of the woods of the Deep South, in a community of Radical Faeries. JOY! follows Mish and his community over a seven year period, chronicling the history of the movement and the highs and lows of his own personal journey.

JOY! Portrait of a Nun screens at 2:30 p.m. in the Melwood Screening Room. Doors open at 2 p.m. 

All PUFF events take place at the Melwood Screening Room. Tickets to all screenings cost $10. Lectures and workshops are free.