From July 27–August 2, Row House Cinema will present the 2018 Pittsburgh International Children’s Film Festival, a celebration featuring a curated selection of international movies and short films, storytimes, treats, craft activities, and more.
The event includes works from the Czech Republic, Russia, Japan, and 11 other countries, as well as classic and new kid-friendly films.
“This year’s selections include artful and beautiful animation and thoughtful storylines that are engaging for adults and children,” said festival director Brian Mendelssohn in an official press release. “We’re so excited to bring them to Pittsburgh.”
The festival opens with Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the acclaimed documentary about children’s television pioneer and Pittsburgh hero, Fred Rogers. For over 30 years, Rogers, an unassuming minister, puppeteer, writer, and producer, was beamed daily into homes across America. In his beloved television program, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, he and his cast of puppets and friends spoke directly to young children about some of life’s weightiest issues, in a simple, direct fashion. In Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet from Stardom) looks back on the legacy of Rogers, focusing on his radically kind ideas. The screening includes a special guest speaker and Mr. Rogers themed t-shirts from Steel City on sale in the lobby.
The lineup showcases compilations of the best short films from the 2018 New York International Children’s Film Festival, the narration-free insect documentary Microcosmos, and The Oddsockeaters, a Czech film about strange sock-stealing creatures. Also included are the classic 1971 fantasy film Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory and the 2018 Disney/Pixar blockbuster Incredibles 2.
The festival will also host the premiere of Joana and the Bad Guys, a 25-minute stop-motion film written, filmed, and produced by kindergarten students at the Kentucky Avenue School in Shadyside.
Row House Cinema will play movies at a lower volume to protect young ears and provide kid-friendly snacks at storytime screenings and sock puppet making. In the spirit of the festival, children are welcome to move around the theater, chat, and just be kids.
Movie tickets can be purchased individually, or a pass is available to see unlimited films for the entire week.
Early Man – Row House Cinema
Set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures roamed the Earth, the latest stop-motion animated feature from Nick Park tells the story of courageous caveman hero Dug (Eddie Redmayne) and his best friend, Hognob, as they unite their tribe against a mighty enemy — Lord Nooth (Tom Hiddleston) and his Bronze Age City — to save their home. Early Man opens on June 8 at Row House Cinema. The film is part of Row House’s New Animated Films week.
Hereditary – Manor Theatre
When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited. The horrific feature debut from writer-director Ari Aster stars Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, and Milly Shapiro, with Ann Dowd and Gabriel Byrne. Hereditary opens on June 8 at the Manor Theatre.
Oh Lucy! – Harris Theater
Setsuko (Shinobu Terajima), a single, emotionally unfulfilled woman, is seemingly stuck with a drab, meaningless life in Tokyo. At least until she’s convinced by her niece, Mika (Shioli Kutsuna), to enroll in an unorthodox English class that requires her to wear a blonde wig and take on an American alter ego named Lucy. The new identity awakens something dormant in Setsuko, and she quickly develops romantic feelings for her American instructor, John (Josh Hartnett). When John suddenly disappears from class, Setsuko travels halfway around the world in search of him, and in the outskirts of Southern California, family ties and past lives are tested as she struggles to preserve the dream and promise of Lucy. Oh Lucy! opens on June 15 at the Harris Theater.
In celebration of Ladyfest Pittsburgh, an annual three-day festival featuring all-female and female-fronted bands and acts, Row House Cinema will present a benefit screening of Here to be Heard: The Story of The Slits, a documentary about the world’s first all-girl punk band.
Formed in London in 1976, The Slits are considered the pioneering godmothers of the musical movement known as “Punky Reggae.” The film tells the story of the band and the lives of the women involved, from the band’s inception to its end in 2010 coinciding with the death of lead vocalist Ari Up. The documentary – originally a project started by Ari and Slits tour manager and friend Jennifer Shagawat – includes previously unseen footage of the band and interviews from Slits members Viv Albertine, Ari, Palmolive, Tessa Pollitt, Bruce Smith, and Hollie Cook, fellow musicians like Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook and Raincoats bass played Gina Birch, and much more.
Here to be Heard: The Story of The Slits screens at 6:30 p.m. on May 15 at Row House Cinema. The event includes an introduction from the film’s director, William Badgely, and a performance by Brazilian Wax. Tickets cost $13, $11 for Row House Film Club members. $3 from every ticket sold goes directly to Ladyfest Pittsburgh 2018, which will take place from June 15-17 at various venues.
Row House Cinema will offer two weeks of great Japanese cinema with the third annual Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival (JFFPgh). The event strives to strengthen the general understanding of Japanese culture by providing audiences in Pittsburgh with cutting-edge, original films depicting authentic representations of Japan.
“The festival is growing so fast, we had to expand it to two weeks this year, making it one of the largest Japanese film festivals in the country,” festival director Brian Mendelssohn said in an official statement.
The festival opens on April 6 with the Pittsburgh premiere of Neko Atsume House. Based on the mobile game sensation Neko Atsume, it follows a struggling novelist who develops a special relationship with a cat that has an unusual way of easing his anxieties. VIP guests will get to cuddle kittens in the Bierport Tap Room before the film.
The festival schedule will focus on four selections that push gender roles and sexual boundaries in Japan, including Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter, Urotsukidoji, and Antiporno. Also included are the classic samurai films Yojimbo and Sanjuro from Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa, as well as a brand new restoration of Ishiro Honda’s 1954 monster masterpiece Godzilla.
The festival schedule will focus on four selections that push gender roles and sexual boundaries in Japan, including Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter, Urotsukidoji: Legend Of The Overfiend, and Antiporno. Also included are the classic samurai films Yojimbo and Sanjuro from Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa, as well as a brand new restoration of Ishiro Honda’s 1954 monster masterpiece Godzilla.
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: The Musical – Le Mouvement Final (2018)
In this filmed version of the Japanese musical, Usagi Tsukino says farewell to Mamoru Chiba as he is set to leave for school in America. As Usagi says goodbye, she faints, and a super idol group called the Three Lights appear to catch her fall. Meanwhile, new groups calling themselves Sailor Guardians appear, but are they friend or foe?
The Day Of The Western Sunrise (2018)
A film expertly animated and produced by local Pittsburghers, The Day of the Western Sunrise tells a true story of a surprise atomic bomb test from the perspective of fishermen on the sea nearby – and in the path of danger.
Wandering samurai Sanjuro finds himself in a rough gambling town run by two warlords and their hired thugs. While Sanjuro sets out to rid the town of all these pestilences by playing the two warlords off against each other, his efforts are complicated by the arrival of the son of one of the gangsters, who owns a revolver.
This sequel to Yojimbo draws wandering samurai Sanjuro into the local politics of a group of young men determined to clean up corruption in their town. However, the town’s evil Superintendent is determined to kill off anyone standing in his way, so it’s up to Sanjuro’s cunning and swordcraft to ensure that the Superintendent’s plan does not come to fruition.
Your Name (2016)
The fourth highest-grossing film of all time in Japan and the fifth highest-grossing non-English film worldwide tells the story of a high school girl in rural Japan and a high school boy in Tokyo who swap bodies. They build a connection by leaving notes for one another until they wish to finally meet, but something stronger than distance may keep them apart.
Director Sion Sono takes on the Japanese movie studio Nikkatsu’s Roman Porno (romantic pornography) works of the 1970s and 80s in this film-within-a-film. Fashion star Kioko is bored in her apartment, waiting for a meeting with Watanabe, a chief-editor who’s interviewing her. In the domination and humiliation game between her and her assistant, the roles will slowly invert. Unless it’s all fiction?
See the monster movie that spawned a multimedia franchise, including 32 feature films and that has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the longest-running film franchise in history. Created by the H-bomb, a 164-foot-tall dinosaur-like monster begins a rampage that threatens to destroy Japan and the rest of the world. Can the monster be destroyed before it’s too late?
Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter (1970)
The third in a series of five films which depict a gang of vicious teenage schoolgirls who get their kicks from gang fights, street muggings, and rock and roll. This time Mako and her gang The Alleycats clash with racist macho pigs The Eagles after Mako starts dating an Afro-Japanese man. Row House will screen a new restoration of the film.
Urotsukidoji: Legend Of The Overfiend (1989)
The precursor to the infamous genre of tentacle porn, this complicated horror/fantasy/erotica tells of parallel realms of demons and man-beasts and a 3000-year-old legend that foretells the coming of the Overfiend—a being of unimaginable power that will unite all three realms into a land of eternity.
* Please note that some films in the festival contain graphic sexual imagery or sexual violence and may not be suitable for everyone.
The Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival takes place from April 6-19 at Row House Cinema. Tickets cost $9 general admission, $7 for matinees before 6 p.m. Opening night event tickets cost $15-30 and $10 for closing night. Discounts apply to college students, Lawrenceville residents, and guests who come in costume. You can also purchase a full festival pass for $36.
If It didn’t satisfy your appetite for creepy clowns, Row House Cinema has just what you need. On March 16, the theater will present an exclusive midnight screening of the 2017 horror indie Terrifier.
Directed by Damien Leone, the spinoff to the 2013 horror film All Hallows’ Eve follows a maniacal clown named Art as he terrorizes three young women on Halloween night and everyone else who stands in his way. The film stars Jenna Kanell (The Bye Bye Man), Catherine Corcoran (Return to Nuke ‘Em High), and David Howard Thornton as Art the Clown.
Tickets for the Terrifier midnight screening cost $9 and are available for purchase at the Row House website.
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.
Faces Places – Row House Cinema
89-year old Agnes Varda, one of the leading figures of the French New Wave, and acclaimed 33-year-old French photographer and muralist JR teamed up to co-direct this enchanting documentary/road movie. Kindred spirits, Varda and JR share a lifelong passion for images and how they are created, displayed and shared. Together they travel around the villages of France in JR’s photo truck meeting locals, learning their stories and producing epic-size portraits of them. The photos are prominently displayed on houses, barns, storefronts and trains revealing the humanity in their subjects, and themselves. Faces Places documents these heart-warming encounters as well as the unlikely, tender friendship they formed along the way. Faces Places opens on January 5 at the Row House Cinema and will screen as part of the theater’s New Documentary Showcase.
Call Me By Your Name – Manor Theatre
In the summer of 1983, in the north of Italy, Elio Perlman, (Timothée Chalamet) a 17-year-old American spends his days in his family’s 17th-century villa lazily transcribing music and flirting with his friend Marzia (Esther Garrel). One day Oliver (Armie Hammer), a 24-year-old graduate student working on his doctorate arrives as the annual summer intern tasked with helping Elio’s father (Michael Stuhlbarg), an eminent professor specializing in Greco-Roman culture. Soon, Elio and Oliver discover a summer that will alter their lives forever. Directed by Luca Guadagnino and written by James Ivory, is based on the novel by André Aciman. Call Me By Your Name opens on January 19 at the Manor Theatre.
Mary and the Witch’s Flower – Row House Cinema
From Academy Award-nominated animator Hiromasa Yonebayashi comes a dazzling new adventure about a young girl named Mary, who discovers a flower that grants magical powers, but only for one night. Mary is an ordinary young girl stuck in the country with her Great-Aunt Charlotte and seemingly no adventures or friends in sight. She follows a mysterious cat into the nearby forest, where she discovers an old broomstick and the strange Fly-by-Night flower, a rare plant that blossoms only once every seven years and only in that forest. Together the flower and the broomstick whisk Mary above the clouds, and far away to Endor College – a school of magic run by headmistress Madam Mumblechook and the brilliant Doctor Dee. But there are terrible things happening at the school, and when Mary tells a lie, she must risk her life to try to set things right. Mary and the Witch’s Flower opens on January 19 at the Row House Cinema.
Lover for a Day – Regent Square Theater
After a devastating breakup, the only place 23-year-old Jeanne has to stay in Paris is the small flat of her father, Giles. But when Jeanne arrives, she finds that her father’s new girlfriend has moved in too: Arianne, a young woman her own age. Each is looking for their own kind of love in a city filled with possibilities. Directed by Philippe Garrel, Lover for a Day premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, where it was awarded the SACD prize from the French Writers and Directors Guild, and is an Official Selection of the 2017 New York Film Festival. Lover for a Day opens on January 19 at Regent Square Theater.
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
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:
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
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
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.
Manor At Midnight – Manor Theatre
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 Theater. Ticket prices vary.
Row House of Horrors – Row House Cinema
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
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
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
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.
Skipping stones usually conjures images of lazy summer afternoons spent by the lake. But for one very specific subculture, the act means so much more. On August 17, Row House Cinema explores how a fun pastime became a sport with the Pittsburgh premiere of Skips Stones For Fudge.
The documentary from directors Ryan Seitz and Daniel Skaggs capture the drama that occurs when the Zen art of stone skipping meets the competitive nature of mankind. Although the sport is relatively unknown to the masses, it is steeped in tradition, bitter rivalries and the constant pursuit for the Guinness World Record.
For over a decade, Russ “Rock Bottom” Byars and Kurt “Mountain Man” Steiner have endured a rivalry that lifted competitive stone skipping to unthinkable heights. Tested by physical ailments, emotional hardships and the rise of young talent, these obscure legends fight to cement their place in the record books. [Synopsis courtesy of Highway Goat Productions]
Skips Stones For Fudge screens at 7 p.m. Event includes an interview with special guests Kurt “Mountain Man” Steiner, Dave “Spiderman” Ohmer, and Russ “Rock Bottom” Byars. Tickets cost $9.
After the film, join Steiner, Ohmer, and Byars as they demonstrate their skills on the Allegheny River under the 40th Street Bridge. The post-screening event begins at 8:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Last year, Row House Cinema launched the Pittsburgh International Children’s Film Festival, a full week of animated and live-action films from around the globe, accompanied by a diverse schedule of family-friendly events. From July 28-August 3, the festival returns with plenty of fun for kids and adults.
Throughout the week, the theater will screen the 1995 adventure film Jumanji, Hayao Miyazaki’s imaginative tale My Neighbor Totoro, Don Bluth’s dinosaur journey The Land Before Time, and Jim Henson’s The Muppets Take Manhattan. The schedule will also feature two age-specific Best of the Fest short film showcases, one for ages 3-7 and one for older children and teens ages 8 and over.
The event kicks off on July 28 with a screening of The Muppets Take Manhattan and Drag Queen Storytime with local performer Cherri Baum. On July 30 from 12-4 p.m., the theater will host a Family Day with local vendors like Nine Stories Bookstore, Songbird Artistry, and 2468 Kids providing free activities and crafts and selling kid-friendly items from books to gender-neutral clothes.
Other festival happenings include Cereal Cinema with My Neighbor Totoro, which includes an all-you- can-eat cereal bar, and a Morning Storytime show specially designed for ages 3-7, including complimentary snacks from Peanut Butter Jelly Time.