The Puff Boy, from advertisement poster for the Unnamed Film Festival / Vladislav Solomakhin
Philadelphia is not known for its nightlife or its movie industry. Everyone knows that the casinos are in Las Vegas, the night clubs are in Miami, and that movies are filmed in Los Angeles and New York. Historically, the impact of the movie industry on Philadelphia has been significant. According to the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, over 85 major movies have been filmed in Philadelphia. These include some of the most iconic movies in American history such as the “Rocky” series and “Philadelphia.” However, over the years, the amount of movies filmed in Philadelphia has significantly declined. This has not stopped local film makers from making movies and loyal fans from watching them.
Over the weekend, Philadelphians who love to go out at night and watch movies attended Philadelphia’s second annual Unnamed Film Festival or “PUFF.” Not to be confused with Portland’s Unknown Film Festival, which shares the same acronym, this event took place at the Proscenium theater at the Drake and attracted many movie buffs. As the name suggests this underground film festival showcases Indie films from Philly and around the country. It creates a platform for lesser known filmmakers around the country to showcase their talent. The films showcased this year included attention grabbing titles such as “Assholes” and “Imitation Girl.”
The festival started on Thursday September 28 and went all the way through Sunday October 1st. Each day had a special theme and attendents were encouraged to dress up accordingly. For example, Friday’s theme was a prom party. People were encouraged to show up wearing prom dresses and were served jello shots. At around 10:30 p.m. The lobby of the Proscenium theater was full of vendors selling t-shirts, artists showcasing their art, and lots of alcohol. Excited fans stood around, drinking and mingling, anxiously waiting to be let inside the theatre. Gina Daddi has been a fan of Indie movies her entire life. She said that she was really excited for that night’s lineup. “I always love coming to these festivals to watch these kinds of movies.” she said. She admitted she was especially excited to see “Tragedy Girls,” a horror comedy about two teenage girls who live in a small midwestern town and enjoy killing people.
Tim Wu, the producer of “Imitation Girl,” was one of the filmmakers at the event. He directed the film along with Iranian American filmmaker Natasha Kermani. He said that he has never worked in Philly but thinks that it’s a beautiful city and he would love to shoot a movie here someday. “It’s a gorgeous city with fantastic scenery . . . there is definitely a lot of material to work with.” he said. At the end of the night it was clear that the event had been a great success. Everything was organized very well and yet it still had that “do it yourself” kind of vibe. “I just love how it’s grown . . . I was here last year and there are so many more people here this year,” Daddi said with a smile on her face.