The organization will present two back-to-back film festivals this month, starting with the Three Rivers Film Festival from Wed., Nov. 10-Wed., Nov. 17, and following that with the Pittsburgh Shorts and Script Competition from Thu., Nov. 18-Sun., Nov. 21. Presented with the tagline "Get Immersed," both events will feature Pittsburgh premieres of films from around the world, as well as selections by local filmmakers.
TRFF will screen 32 feature-length films at the main festival venue, the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty, as well as at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont, The Tull Family Theater in Sewickley, and Waterworks Cinema in Aspinwall. The festival will also include several films screening virtually over the course of the event.
The Pittsburgh Shorts and Script Competition will showcase 11 blocks of in-person short film screenings at Kelly Strayhorn Theater, with six additional film blocks available virtually.
“We’re thrilled to bring audiences back into theaters to see some really special independent films,” says Film Pittsburgh executive director Kathryn Spitz Cohan in a press release. “We have incredible lineups for both Three Rivers and Pittsburgh Shorts and have included virtual offerings for those who can’t make it to theaters yet.”
Kicking off TRFF is Small Town Wisconsin, a 2020 indie comedy about a father who takes his son on a road trip in the midst of a custody battle with his ex. Other highlights include the Pittsburgh premiere of Belfast, actor/director Kenneth Branagh's coming-of-age drama about a boy in late-1960s Ireland, and the world premiere of Cyril, a documentary about famed Pittsburgh forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht.
Other films include the End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock, about a group of Indigenous women protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline; Topowa! Never Give Up, which follows a group of young, orphaned musicians in Uganda; and the Polish drama I Never Cry.
The Pittsburgh Shorts and Script Competition will showcase dramas, comedies, documentaries, and animation, as well as selections from the Pittsburgh midnight movie show Chiller Theater, which aired from 1963 to 1984 on WPXI.
The script competition will feature live readings by professional actors, and a conference for local and international filmmakers with workshops and panel discussions. There will also be a keynote address by Academy Award-winning director, Barry Jenkins.
Along with films, both festivals include Q&As with cast and crew, a chance to vote for favorite films, and more.
Three Rivers Film Festival. Wed., Nov. 10-Wed., Nov. 17. Multiple locations. $15 per screening. $75-175 passes. filmpittsburgh.org/pages/festivals
Pittsburgh Shorts and Script Competition. Thu., Nov. 18-Sun., Nov. 21. Kelly Strayhorn Theater. 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty. $15 general admission. $75-175 passes. filmpittsburgh.org/pages/festivals