FirstGlance Film Festival

About us

!! SCROLL DOWN FOR TICKET OPTIONS!!! FirstGlance Film Festivals are the world's longest running, twice yearly, bi-coastal film festivals, started in 1996 in Philadelphia, and in 2000 a sister festival in Los Angeles Hollywood. In 2020, the 23rd FirstGlance Philadelphia Film Festival will be virtual and physical due to the ongoing pandemic. Join "One of the Top 100 Indie Film Festivals in the World" this Fall for a wide array of award-winning films from Philadelphia and across the globe. From Features to web series, join us for amazing screenings, panels and an awards show, you can watch right from your couch.


Dates & Deadlines

Normal is a short documentary, that follows Garren, a 23-year-old, black male who has set out to redefine what it means to be “normal” in this society, as we reexamine his neighborhood in South Central LA, where various pre-existing conditions prevent young men from having control over their fate.
In September 1945, in spite of anonymous phone calls to pageant judges warning them not to let a Jew win, Bess Myerson – the daughter of struggling immigrants from Russia – became the first and only Jewish Miss America. The only college graduate among the contestants, Bess won the swimsuit competition, tied for first in talent, and was top-ranked in interviews and evening wear. Heartbroken, Bess returned to her family’s one-bedroom apartment in a Jewish housing project in the Bronx mid-year.


Director: Jules Lipoff

When Derek shares a racist slur with his Black co-workers, he is fired but given the option to keep his job if he participates in an experimental trial for a pill that cures racism.
Rabah is forced to take over custody of his son Cédrick. The boy has been mute since losing his mother. Despite the financial strain caused by his immigrant status and undeterred by his fraught relationship with his son, Rabah will manage to rebuild Cédrick’s trust so they can be a family again.
A suburban basketball star struggles to impress the uncompromising coach of his new inner-city school
Meet Doug Harper, an Ivy League educated, uptown therapist forced to move his practice to Kensington, the roughest blue collar section of Philadelphia. It's a place where therapy is foreign and the people eat lightning, shit thunder and thrive on confrontation.
Tom, a young skater, roams with its board in an outer-urban environment. He penetrates into a carnival closed to the public and stops in front of a punchball in working order. He gets hooked and after several fruitless attempts typing of all his strengths then manages to activate the jackpoT
The U.S. is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic. Once upon a time the nation’s homeless and drug user was connected to poverty or “poor character.” Today all of society shares in its deadly path. Kensington, a Philadelphia neighborhood lingers in its wake.


Director: Nora M

As Nazis separate children from their parents in the Warsaw Ghetto, a gang of women risks everything to smuggle their friend’s three-month-old baby to safety. Inspired by true events. Starring Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development, Search Party), Edin Gali (Mad Men), Rebeca Robles (Better Things), Erika Soto (Vida), and Mark McCullough (Logan Lucky).
FRANK JAMES is a gritty journey into an emotionally fraught Los Angeles police detective's efforts to capture a reviled crime boss responsible for a teenager's killing.
In In the hectic world of children’s party entertainment, an overly positive and well-meaning “princess” must win over a practical feminist writer who is doing a story on female role models.
Bad Candy follows local Halloween stories of both myth and lessons learned in the community of New Salem. With its annual Psychotronic FM Halloween show, re-enactment radio DJs Chilly Billy and Paul weave the tales of the supernatural of years gone by. In this small town it’s a grimy ending for most, but will a few good souls survive? ​
In the style of Black Mirror, It's Okay follows a couple as their life takes an unexpected turn. Cam and Alex live a simple life, until one day, it gets turned upside down as reality bends in their search for truth.
A pair of detectives pursue an elusive predator kidnapping women in the San Fernando Valley when they stumble across a victim uncertain she wants to be saved.
Music Video for the song Said No Lover by Aaron Gibson & Nahuel Bronzini. A song about leaving everything you love, and the demons that follow you.

How Long

Director: Les Stroud

As an artist, my favourite projects are when I can combine art with a message that goes beyond style and mood—compelling the viewer to ponder, question, confront, and most importantly, take action. In ‘How Long,’ Les uses his musical powers to challenge citizens of the planet to take responsibility to do their part to protect the future of a beloved earth.
When a blue-collar man is forcibly implanted with his alien boss's parasitic offspring, he asks his wife to help him remove the parasite -- a dangerous and forbidden act that puts their marriage -- and their lives -- at risk.


Director: Dekel Berenson

Living in war-torn Eastern Ukraine Anna is an aging single mother who is desperate for a change. Lured by a radio advertisement, she goes to party with a group of American men who are touring the country, searching for love.


Director: Mark Brennan

Squall is a story all about the power of human connection, especially between strangers, and how sometimes that power can help us in the most unexpected way right when we need it the most.
A group of women, fed up and on the cusp of middle age, turn their book club into a punk band.
A nineteen year old struggling with her mental health is contemplating ending her life. On the train to her Nan’s, her journey is interrupted by another young woman’s death.
BKS is a short fiction film using A.S.M.R. video codes to unfold.
Based on a true story. When a corporate executive, Monika, is threatened by her estranged friend and protégé with a resignation, she’s forced to confront a mysterious past. Across town, a social worker at a women’s shelter struggles to make the right decisions for a young girl under his supervision. What is the connection between the two stories?


Director: Marvin David

There will be moments in life that will leave you emotionally scared... friend and family will offer encouragement but honestly your healing process is a solo mission. Coming to grips with you new reality...
This is the story of a day in the life of Aspiya. A 10-year-old girl living with her younger brother, older sister and parents in a one-room-shack in New Delhi near Asia's biggest landfill. Aspiya is the main supporter of her family. Every single day she walks up the landfill in order to collect trash that then will later be sold to companies that reuse the materials for their products.   While the subtext is pollution, child labor, our modern lifestyle of waste the main thing is that you can be happy no matter the circumstances.
A documentary short about grief and the aftermath of neighborhood gun violence from the perspective of teenagers.
Set against the stunning backdrop of one of Australia’s World Heritage-listed National Parks; a first-time killer is about to be shown what it really takes to pull off the perfect crime. Inspired by the true story of a killer that stalked the Barrington Tops, eluding police and the army in the huge National Parks of the Hunter Valley NSW. We shot this film at locations where the killer was sighted and campsites where the killer stole supplies.
During the summer of '66, a former rodeo champion and cattle auctioneer from Oklahoma bonds tightly with his young grandson from suburban Pennsylvania while teaching him a few tricks from his previous trades.
Inspiring story of Contralto Marian Anderson the first African American to sing at Carnegie Hall
Stunning footage captures the intimate and personal moments of French chef Blaise Durrant as he becomes an Egg Auteur. Dry and wry in humor, Egg On Your Face doesn't flinch in the face of ridicule but prefers a slow sizzle. As we watch the evolution of Durrant's culinary legacy, one thing becomes apparent—the only thing actually holding him back is a regional breakfast chain.


Director: Viren Shinde

Luna, a new, artificially intelligent robot, takes a mind of her own for the supposed greater good.
A deep dive into the eclectic world of Philadelphia street art and public art. Philadelphia is the mural capital of the world, but murals are not the only art occupying Philly's unique streets. Whether it be "graffiti", "street art", or "muralism", one thing remains true... in this city art is everywhere. Our film consults some of the best authorities on public art/street art, thoroughly exploring this eclectic, ever-changing, and exciting art scene.
ELSEE is a woman who can have it all, and she does. Seemingly on a whim, she takes two strangers, both on the verge of life changing decisions, on the road trip of their lives. The strangers have no idea what Elsee's true intentions are, their real relationship, or how she plans on ending the trip.


Director: Eymeric Jorat

In the twilight of the 21st century, the Earth subsists in a post-apocalyptic era. Animals and plants are dying. Humanity is in decay. A man is wandering alone in this place. He travels the roads by day and hides from dangers at night. His sole purpose : surviving
A light-hearted comedy about the sweetest fiancé giving her boyfriend the best present ever.
An animated film based on the renowned children's book that has been educating young children about the Holocaust for generations. Over the last three decades, the beloved children’s book by Marvell Ginsburg, "The Tattooed Torah," has been a powerful resource for Holocaust education for children all over the world.