Palm Springs International Film Festival Off to a Rave Start

Red carpet event attracts big crowd



PSIFF Festival Director Darryl Macdonald, Artistic Director Helen du Toit and Honorary Chair Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet at opening night.

Sherri Breyer photos

Opening night of the 25th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival sponsored by Wells Fargo and Gunthy-Renker reflected the independent and international nature of what is one of the premier U.S. film festivals.

Walking the red carpet were Medeas director/co-writer Andrea Pallaora, star Catalina Sandino Moreno and producers Kyle Heller and Gina Resnick.

The opening night film Belle wowed the sold out audience of 1,100 at the Palm Springs High School auditorium. Marking her second feature film, director/writer Amma Assante spoke eloquently about the journey to make the film and thanked Fox Searchlight Pictures for their help.

The buzz at the after party at the Palm Springs Art Museum was all praise for this moving portrait based on the life of Dido Elizabeth Belle (1761-1804). Festival Chairman Harold Matzner thanked everyone for coming and remarked on how far the Film Festival has come in only 10 years.

“Ten years ago we had trouble getting two people from Hollywood, but at this Saturday’s Gala, we’ll have 200, including most studio heads,” Matzner says.

Sony even chartered an extra airplane to bring stars to walk the red carpet, even if they are not being honored – because of The Red Carpet exposure to the international media.

Of special note was Matzner’s mention of the late Agua Caliente Tribal Chief Richard Milanovich, one of this year’s Honorary Chairs.

Seen at the film and at the after party at Palm Springs Art Museum were Festival Board members JoAnn McGrath, Donna MacMillan, Patrick Mundt, Fritz Frauchiger and Sidney Craig.

Desert Scene

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.

Wesley Eure Will Co-Emcee at Desert AIDS Project Benefit

Chelsea Lane Bodywear presents Under & Out 3, a fashion show and poolside party on Oct. 5 as part of a benefit for the Desert AIDS Project.

Explore Palm Springs: 139 Club

Opened in the early 1930s, the 139 Club was housed in what was a private residence in Cathedral City, and the name was derived from its numerical address.

Villa Royale Inn Reflects Palm Springs History, Ambiance

What began as film star and Olympic figure skater Sonja Henie’s estate in the 1940s has been preserved and developed into a hidden gem as Villa Royale Inn.

Desert Staycations

The Palm Springs area is filled with resorts offering packages in the summer months to help people unwind and have fun.

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.
Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival performances.