Bethlehem, Pa. – Celebrating its sixteenth year, Bethlehem’s SouthSide Film Festival (SSFF) kicks off at 6:30pm on Tuesday, June 11th with an opening night party at WLVT PBS39 on the Steelstacks campus. Following the celebrations, the festival will screen The Weight of Water, a gripping tale about a blind kayaker who embarks on a solo trek down the harrowing rapids of the Grand Canyon, at the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts. The movie is the first of over 75 movies to be screened in four venues throughout South Bethlehem over the course of the festival.
The festivities continue through Saturday, with films screening at the National Museum of Industrial History, Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts, and Touchstone Theatre. “We’re very excited about this year’s slate of films,” said SSFF director Glenn Koehler. “They represent a diverse array of movies that not only provoke thought and conversation, but talk about important issues facing our society today.” The films include both features and blocks of shorts, spanning documentaries to animations, with filmmakers coming from as far as Mexico to attend the festival. Patrons have the unique ability to interact with the filmmakers during Q&A sessions following their films.
The week also includes a special free screening of When Voices Meet, a documentary recounting the time after Nelson Mandela is released from prison, when South African musicians formed a 500-voice choir to break through Apartheid’s barriers. The screening will take place at the legendary Godfrey Daniels on Bethlehem SouthSide at 7pm on Thursday, June 13th. The always-popular late night horror screening returns to Touchstone Theatre on Friday, June 14th at 11pm with DeadTectives, a horror comedy that follows a team of hapless paranormal investigators on a reality TV series who go on a quest to Mexico’s most haunted house in the pursuit of better ratings.
The closing night film, Gay Chorus Deep South, wraps up the festival on Saturday, June 15th at 7:20pm at the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts. A heartfelt and emotional film, Gay Chorus Deep South chronicles the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus tour that came about in response to a wave of discriminatory and anti-LGBTQ laws, and the divisive 2016 election. Members of the Lehigh Valley Gay Men’s Chorus will be performing following the screening. The festival ends with the closing night party at 9pm at Color Me Mine, located at 25 E. Third Street.
Tickets for screenings and parties are $10 per block, or only $50 ($40 for students/seniors) for an all-access pass that includes every screening, party, and activity. To find out more information about films, screening times, tickets, and more, please visit the SouthSide Film Institute’s website at SSFF.org.
About the SouthSide Film Festival
The SouthSide Film Festival is an annual five-day event featuring international films, guest filmmakers, juried selections, locally produced films, seminars, and networking opportunities for filmmakers and fans of independent film. The SouthSide Film Festival is a program of The SouthSide Film Institute, a not-for-profit volunteer-run organization promoting the art of the independent filmmaker. For more information visit ssff.org.
Glenn Koehler – Director
SouthSide Film Institute