The Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival (PUFF) will be digitalized for the first (and hopefully last) time in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis of 2020. After much consideration, PUFF has made this decision in regard to the safety of its staff, volunteers, and attendees.
The festival will be held over two days, October 2nd and 3rd, on the innovative Euro-based service Festhome.TV. Friday’s screenings will focus on feature films, while Saturday’s screenings will consist of four unique blocks of short films. Q&As with directors, producers, and actors are expected to occur over a dedicated Zoom server, which will also act as a “festival lounge.” Tickets to the festival are $5 USD for any individual film or shorts block and $10 USD for an all-access festival pass.
The features run two nights with powerful storytelling like the Argentinian dark drama entitled The Silent Party, from Filmmakers Federico Finkielstain and Diego Fried to kick off the 2020 PUFF. It is followed by the skateboarding, docu-style crime film Poser, from Filmmaker Jake Striebel. Following that, we are welcome the latest intense folk story from Filmmaker Skip Shea entitled Seeds. Friday night closes with the acclaimed, Evil Dead fan-focused documentary Hail to the Deadites from Filmmakers Steve Villeneuve and Martin Bruyère. This documentary will feature interviews with Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness cast, crew, critics, and most importantly the die-hard fans of the franchise. All features will have short films and Q&As to follow the screening.
Saturday’s short blocks kick off with PUFF’s infamous Bizarre Block, which will be followed by International shorts, local shorts, and the return of the popular horror block. Those who are not interested in watching local films can instead screen the South Korean feature crime drama, Beasts Clawing at Straws, from Artsploitation Films at 8 pm.
“PUFF has always been a flexible festival that can be held in almost any space,” said festival director Alex Gardner. “This year we are 100% virtual for the safety of everyone involved. We tried our best to return to our home, the 2223 Theater in Fishtown, but even with all the precautions in place we did not feel it was worth putting our staff and attendees in harm’s way. Once again, our assistant director Jay Kay has done a great job of selecting an eclectic selection of visions from around the world.”
For five years, PUFF has been the leading genre film festival in the city of Philadelphia and was founded as an alternative festival to bring new and undiscovered films to cinema fans in the region. PUFF works to connect upstart filmmakers with distribution outlets by working with local independent film distributors and to offer a place for filmmakers to gain exposure and network with as many industry professionals as possible.