Film festival walking through Northern Liberties

    The Philadelphia Independent Film Festival begins this weekend. For five days films will be screened in nine different venues in Northern Liberties, but most of them are not movie theaters.

    The Philadelphia Independent Film Festival begins this weekend. For five days films will be screened in nine different venues in Northern Liberties, but most of them are not movie theaters. Cafes and storefronts are being used to show films, as the festival is designed to drive customers into local businesses.
    Credit: flickr.com/Lucius Kwok

    Listen:
    [audio: 090625pcfilmfest.mp3]

    It’s called a “walking festival.” Moviegoers are expected to walk between the nine screening spaces spread throughout Northern Liberties, including a brewery, a gym, and this storefront.

    The back of this skateboard shop opens up to a below-ground space with 30-foot ceilings. When the merchandise racks are cleared away it can hold about 75 folding chairs, and owner Steve Miller says he hopes the films will draw in his kind of customers.

    Miller: I told them I was into any of the young, hip, cutting-edge programs that could go hand in hand with a skateboard shop. Anything that could be considered controversial as well. I would like to see them in my shop.

    Organizers say after last year’s inaugural festival many sponsors asked how they could get more involved, and the answer was to turn them into screening sites.

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