The organizers of the city’s mainstream and LGBT film festivals announced this week that they will officially separate — this time for real.
TLA Entertainment Group and the Philadelphia Film Society had been in an ongoing dispute over management issues and, although the two collaborated on this spring’s mainstream festival, they will now be headed in different directions.
TLA will produce QFest, the LGBT festival, this summer, as well as CineFest next spring, while PFS will launch its Philadelphia Film Festival in fall 2010.
TLA originally took over production of the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema, founded in 1992, in 2001 and renamed it the Philadelphia Film Festival two years later. The agency also founded the Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival in 1995, and created the Philadelphia Film Society in 2002 to oversee production of both festivals.
A statement from TLA in January announced that “recent disagreements between PFS board leadership and TLA over the management and artistic vision of the festivals has necessitated a breakup of the business relationship.”
The following month, however, the two agencies said they had resolved their differences and would collaborate on the newly named Philadelphia Film Festival/CineFest.
That partnership is now over.
TLA, under the name The Philadelphia Cinema Alliance, will run QFest, formerly PIGLFF, July 9-20, and CineFest, April 8-19, 2010, while PFS will stage the Philadelphia Film Festival in October 2010.
Matthew Ray, director of media relations for The Philadelphia Cinema Alliance, said that while his agency could work on collaborative efforts with PFS in the future, the film festivals will be independent productions.
“There is no cooperative involvement on the table at this point,” Ray said. “I don’t think that should ever be completely ruled out, as we’ve done joint programming and co-promotional things with a lot of different organizations, so we’re always looking to work with other partners. But right now, we’re no longer working on these festivals with PFS; we’re both moving in separate directions.”
Ray noted that audiences will see virtually no differences between this year’s LGBT festival and last year’s, except for the name.
“All of the programmers, logistical people and support staff that put on PIGLFF last year will be involved in QFest,” Ray said. “Any changes that happen will just be changes in people’s tastes, changes in Hollywood or trends in the industry.”
J. Andrew Greenblatt, PFS executive director, said the agency will not pursue its own LGBT festival.
“TLA is well-experienced and fantastic at running PIGLFF, now retitled QFest, and we plan on supporting their efforts with that,” Greenblatt said.