It’s a big deal to suddenly rename a nearly 40-year-old film program. But we realized that even as our hidden gem of a cinema was steadily growing with new funding, more ambitious projects, and partnerships with many of the region’s top cultural institutions, many people in Philadelphia still had no idea who we were or what we offered. We knew it was time to give “film at International House” a stronger identity. With our new name, Lightbox Film Center, and a dedicated Advisory Group made up of local arts luminaries, we hope to shed a little more light on the unparalleled film and moving image programs we offer year-round in our dedicated venue.
“The film program at Lightbox is essential in exposing all that cinema can be and in a time when there’s no diversity in mainstream movies, it’s not to be taken for granted,” member and filmmaker Maxwell di Paolo says. “I’m excited to see it reach a wider audience with the new name.”
We’ll be celebrating the official launch of Lightbox Film Center with a film event and party on Thursday, May 18. The evening begins with a 25th anniversary screening of the seminal indie film Gas Food Lodging with Director Allison Anders in conversation with filmmaker Elisabeth Subrin (A Woman, a Part) in attendance. To me, this film perfectly embodies both the indie aesthetic that activated my personal interest in cinema when I first came to International House as a volunteer in the 1990s, and a moment in our cultural history when quiet, thoughtful works were becoming readily accessible in mainstream spaces in a way they hadn’t been before. Of course, Lightbox Film Center is here to ensure that filmgoers have access to content just like this—a rich, varied selection of works they can’t find anywhere else in the region.
The screening will be followed by a reception featuring music by DJ Liz Bot, plus food and drinks from some of Philly’s finest establishments. Our sponsors include:
We hope you’ll join us.
—Jesse Pires, chief curator
RSVP to this free event here.