When you hear “Lights, camera, action!” in the desert, you know it’s January. You know it’s high time for the Palm Springs International Film Festival (Jan. 3-14), the area’s biggest and most glamorous nongolf event.
In its 19th year, the festival continues to gain importance as the premier pre-Oscar destination for members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — especially for those who will vote for the Best Foreign Language Film Award. Palm Springs never fails to light up the city with all the glitz and glamour befitting the event founded by the city’s late mayor, Sonny Bono.
Peter Bart, editor-in-chief of Variety and part-time Palm Springs resident, has directed coverage of the festival for many years; sees the festival as fertile ground for big dealmaking; and even suggests that Palm Springs, with the right leadership, could steal some of Sundance’s thunder.
In “A Tour de Force” (page 122), writer Keith Bush catches up with Bart and Peter Guber, chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, as they reveal their observations of the festival’s impressive evolution. At the festival, Bart and Guber bring their Shootout AMC television show to Palm Springs. This will be the second time the two Peters are broadcasting from here, emphasizing their feelings about the power of our destination and especially our film festival.
For a full schedule of film festival screenings, programs, parties, and other events, visit www.psfilmfest.org.
Rounding out this month’s de facto movie issue are features about homegrown and transplanted talent in front of and behind the cameras. In “Our Hollywood Connection” (page 110), writer Shellie Karabell introduces us to a couple of generations of film and television personalities who find it easy to live and work outside the realm of Los Angeles and “the biz.”
To underscore just how rich the Coachella Valley is when it comes to entertainment talent, writer Robert Julian— in “Calling All Filmmakers” (page 128) — checks in with Denise DuBarry Hay, president of Palm Springs’ chapter of the nonprofit Women in Film and Television, which created an online database with a mission of employing locals with production skills.
So sit back, butter your popcorn, and enjoy the show!
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