Art & Culture — Travel The World Of Cinema

Explore cultures and storytelling at Palm Springs International Film Festival



Joshua Tree 1951: Portrait of James Dean.

Palm Springs International Film Festival

New talent, returning masters, and a melding of genres mark this year’s Palm Springs International Film Festival, Jan. 3-14.

“We’re seeing a move away from traditional filmmaking with a beginning, middle, and end,” says Festival Director Darryl Macdonald. “Films are more adventurous and more original.”

Macdonald sees this trend in large part as a reaction to blockbuster mega-productions by major studios or, as he calls them, “comic book and tent-pole movies.” Technology has eased access to old films and films from around the world, allowing emerging filmmakers to reinvent films that inspire them and tell stories in their own ways.

“Filmmakers are returning to film as an art form rather than a way to make money,” Macdonald says. “They are turning out films they would like to see.” He cites Una Noche as one of several examples of this fresh approach to storytelling. “It keeps you off balance,” he says about the family drama-turned-true-crime-turned-thriller from Cuba.

Foreign films account for much of submissions, festival programmers choose the top 40. According to Macdonald, films in contention for the foreign film award include Amour (Austria), Blancanieves (Spain), and Rust and Bone (Belgium).

Continuing its emphasis on global cinematic influences, the festival turns far north this year to Scandinavia.

“Remarkable things are happening right now in Scandinavia,” Macdonald says. “It’s culturally busting out all over.” 

The number of films represented reflects the region’s cultural bonanza, which has been fortified in recent years by Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series (including The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) and the popularity of H&M stores. A dedicated Scandinavia Day will feature films such as Call Girl (Sweden) and Jackpot (Norway). Scandinavian films will also screen throughout the festival.

Documentaries again make a sizeable dent in festival offerings. This year, organizers will introduce an award for documentary filmmaking. Macdonald notes that over the last few years, documentaries were often chosen as audience favorites rather than feature films. In 2013,  Love, Marilyn, Koch, Plimpton, and Smiling Through the Apocalypse — Esquire in the 60s about Esquire editor Harold Hayes (presented in partnership with the Palm Springs Modernism Committee) top the documentary list.

Macdonald says that this year’s festival selections “reflect what’s going on today — not just in film, but in the world.”

Palm Springs International Film Festival By The Numbers

12 Days
136,200 In Attendance
73 Countries Represented
88 Films Selected
525 Screenings
2 World Premieres
27 U.S. Premieres
40 Foreign Film Oscar Submissions
5 Foreign Film Oscar Nominations

Statistics courtesy 2012 PSIFF.


FILM SCORE

Screenings to watch:

Blancanieves (Spain)
Una Noche (Cuba)
Rust and Bone (Belgium)
Call Girl (Sweden)
Jackpot (Norway)
Love, Marilyn (USA)
Joshua Tree 1951: Portrait of James Dean (USA)
Smiling through the Apocalypse — Esquire in the 60s. (USA)
The Cleaner (Peru)
The Sapphires (Australia)
7 Boxes (Paraguay)


Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala

One of the largest film festivals in North America, the Palm Springs International Film Festival is known for its black-tie awards gala, honoring the year’s achievements in film. The 2013 gala, Jan. 5 at Palm Springs Convention Center, honors Helen Hunt with the Spotlight Award and Naomi Watts with the Desert Palm Achievement Actress Award. Other awards will be presented, as well. Awardees in the past have included Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron, and Kate Winslet. www.psfilmfest.org

 

Add your comment:
Desert Guide

Related Articles

10 Things to Do in Palm Springs This Weekend

Palm Springs Life helps plan out your weekend in Palm Springs and the desert resort cities with concerts, events, restaurants, nightlife, clubs and the world of entertainment only found in the desert.

Lisa Vanderpump Achieves Star Status in Palm Springs

Lisa Vanderpump, one of the stars of the 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills', will receive the 372nd star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars July 30.

Palm Springs Horoscope - July 2014

Entering Leo on July 16, Jupiter ramps up the social calendar. There will be more summer parties than last year — expect an overbooked schedule.

Star Power

The Palm Springs Walk of Stars honors philanthropic superhero Lynda Carter for shattering stereotypes and blazing new paths for generations of women.

Golden Eye

Capitol Records music video producer and desert resident Danny Lockwood lends his Midas touch to top artists.

Promotions + Contests

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

Experience the beauty, romance and excitement of the Palm Springs area when you enter to be the lucky winner of this romantic couple’s getaway
90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Each month, a first place winner will be selected to win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!And, each month, three additional runners up will be selected to win a wonderful Palm Springs area Dining certificate!
2013/14 Best of the Best

2013/14 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest

Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest

Enter your “Cutest Pet” photo in the Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest. Online users will be able to like the Cutest Pet photos from six (6) categories.