On Sunday, April 25, 2021 the Philadelphia Film Society held a fabulous Oscars Party at Cira Green. We are talking about a real life event outdoors! This was the 8th Annual Oscars Party & Screening but one unlike any other that had been held previously. With the arrival of Spring and more vaccinations available the Philly social scene is returning but of course covid still exists and precautions were taken. Party committee member Jennifer Su discussed some of their primary goals, "We went into detailed planning to make sure all the COVID safety protocols were in place. Selecting an outdoor venue with Cira Green was perfect in terms of space, plenty of fresh air, and a fabulous big screen for the Oscars broadcast." An Oscar-worthy selection of gourmet food stations were available in individual single food portions as well as all-night signature artisan cocktails. I opted for some yummy crinkle fries and a delicious cheeseburger. Guests also had the option of purchasing a virtual event ticket and could enjoy the event from home. The virtual guests received an Oscars Watch Box with treats dipped in ‘Oscar Gold.'
The event raised funds for the year-round educational programming at the Film Society and included a silent auction with items such as VIP access to Eagles Training Camp, an overnight stay at the Four Seasons Philadelphia and even a pizza making party at High Street Restaurant. All proceeds from this annual fundraiser support the Philadelphia Film Society’s mission of creating opportunities for diverse communities to experience film through initiatives that inspire, educate, challenge and entertain. Jennifer Su told the crowd all about it while wearing an incredible red gown. Here's the skinny on the gown deets: "My gorgeous red gown was designed by Philly Fashion Week’s Prajjé Oscar. He also designed all the Oscar-inspired dresses on the mannequins displayed throughout the party. I love his attention to detail and luxurious fabrics in his creations — the side slit was all the way up to my waist, but fortunately there was a matching red lace panty...and the wind was a lot gentler in the evening!"
All attendees really brought out their best Hollywood looks. I personally really enjoyed getting dressed up and socializing in person again. Philly Chit Chat Founder HughE Dillon expressed the sentiment of the evening best, "Sunday night was nothing short of spectacular as the Oscar viewing party was the first large scale event to happen during the pandemic. Sunset Social at Cira Green was the perfect location to ease us back into a large party to celebrate the Philadelphia Film Society, people could mingle inside the tent or about the grounds. It's exciting to see friends again, and the evening was full of joyous moments." Joyous indeed!
Guests enjoyed the Oscars on the largest outdoor screen in Philadelphia located in Philadelphia's Park in the Sky. I was most excited to see Nomadland win several Oscars including Best Director Chloe Zhao. This was only the second female-directed film to win (the other was The Hurt Locker). When I spoke with party committee member, TV & Radio Presenter Jennifer Su she shared that she was most excited to see Chloe Zhao win as well. Award-winning journalist, Editor at Large for Philadelphia Magazine and President of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists Ernest Owens was most excited to see Daniel Kaluuya win for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Judas and the Black Messiah. Another favorite of mine with his incredible portrayal of Fred Hampton. Kate Marlys, Founder of Philly PR Girl was "super excited to see H.E.R. win for Best Original Song (for Fight For You, Judas and the Black Messiah). She's so talented and I'm such a fan of her work. Plus, her outfit was EVERYTHING." I'm a big fan too Kate-and her purple ensemble throwback tribute to Prince was incredible.
In other Film Society news, they just took over operations at The Bourse Theater which will re-open as PHS Bourse Theater with an anticipated opening of May 2021. The Philadelphia Film Festival SpringFest will follow shortly after opening. Expanded from its typical 3-day weekend-only format in order to account for reduced seating capacities and featuring a more extended screening schedule instead of the traditional back-to-back screening format, the PFF SpringFest will mark a return to in-person Festival screenings exclusively at the PFS Bourse this June. Dates to be announced in the coming weeks. A Welcome Weekend for the PFS Bourse, which will include a community day and member exclusives is also planned for the summer.