NEPA Scene Staff

Jim Thorpe Independent Film Festival screens porn murder movie ‘Mope’ and more at Opera House April 25-28

Jim Thorpe Independent Film Festival screens porn murder movie ‘Mope’ and more at Opera House April 25-28
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From a press release:

The Jim Thorpe Independent Film Festival returns for its third year with 90 new films, including dozens of Pennsylvania and United States premieres from all over the world, on Thursday, April 25 through Sunday, April 28 at the historic Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe.

This years’ films were culled from over 800 submissions of every genre and description – from the gritty underground to the polished Hollywood-level.

“Curating such a unique slate of films into a cohesive program was a definite challenge, but knowing we’ll be bringing these cutting-edge films to a wider audience here in Eastern PA, and pushing buttons in the process, is incredibly satisfying. Like our tagline says – come to JTIFF with your ‘Eyes and Minds Wide Open.’ You’ll soon find out we mean that,” JTIFF director Todd Morris said.

Opening night kicks off with the controversial Sundance premiere “Mope” directed by Lucas Heyne, who will be flying in from Los Angeles to introduce the film and do Q&A afterward. “Mope” is a dark tragic comedy about two friends with dreams of making it big in the porn industry. And despite how shocking the ending is, this film is actually based on a true story and stars Nathan Stewart Jarrett, Kelly Sry, Brian Huskey, and David Arquette.

Other highlights include two-time Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple’s latest documentary “New Homeland,” the Berlin-premiering horror film “Luz,” the hilarious horror/comedy “Camp Wedding,” the twisted Brazilian grindhouse shocker “The Nightshifter,” and the slick Canadian sci-fi thriller “Volition.” The festival closes Sunday with the heart-melting “Supa Modo,” which was Kenya’s official entry for the 2019 Oscars.

In addition to the shocking grindhouse program Saturday at midnight, JTIFF will continue its popular Lehigh Valley student filmmakers block Saturday morning at 11 a.m. and the Local Heroes Block on Sunday at 11 a.m. Both programs provide budding young filmmakers in our own backyard the chance to screen their work alongside bigger, more established filmmakers from around the world.

This year’s grand Filmmakers’ Gala will be held at the Stabin Museum (268 W Broadway, Jim Thorpe) on Friday, right after “Camp Wedding.” There’ll be an open bar from 9 p.m.-10 p.m., music, dancing, hor d’oeuvres, and a free shuttle bus that will take festival-goers from the Mauch Chunk Opera House (14 W. Broadway, Jim Thorpe) to the Stabin Museum. The closing night party will once again be at the Broadway Underground (24 Broadway, Jim Thorpe) following an awards ceremony.

The Jim Thorpe Independent Film Festival has been ranked in the Top 100 International Film Festivals on FilmFreeway. This year, JTIFF is proud to continue its partnership with PBS 39, one of the most important conduits of culture, education, and entertainment for millions of viewers throughout Eastern Pennsylvania and beyond. JTIFF is also supported in part with grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Lehigh Valley Arts Council.

Founded by New York City natives Todd Morris and Jocelyn O’Neil, the couple moved to Jim Thorpe in 2014 after the birth of their first son. O’Neil is an actress, writer, and producer whose films have screened in festivals throughout the country. Morris is an award-winning commercial producer who’s been working in the business for three decades. He has also written and directed two indie features, several shorts, and screened his work in dozens of film festivals around the globe.

For tickets, trailers, the schedule, and more info, visit jimthorpeindiefilmfest.com.