More than 50 films will make premieres at the 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, which runs Jan. 1-11.
In addition, a New Voices/New Visions competition showcases 12 U.S. premieres from top emerging international directors marking their feature film debut at the festival, while Modern Masters features 10 films from international directors who set the standards for contemporary cinema.
“The line-up this year, while full of unexpected surprises, vividly reflects what is going on in the world around us,” said Festival Director Darryl Macdonald. “There’s a particular focus on stories about displaced people – immigrants, emigrants, refugees, those seeking asylum or shelter. There’s a concurrent trend toward stories revolving around new beginnings and escaping the shackles of the past, whether sexual, cultural, societal or self-imposed. Balancing all of these is a focus on family and romance, along with films involving a healthy dose of magic realism or absurdist comedy, and a plethora of exceptional films dealing with the usual obsessions – music, food, sex and art. All in all, it’s about as well-rounded, as thoughtfully chosen, and as provocative as it’s possible for a smartly curated lineup of new international cinema to be.”
There will be seven World premieres, 17 North American, and 30 U.S.
World premieres: 50 Days in the Desert (Luxembourg) directed by Fabrizio Maltese, Agnes (Germany/Belgium), the documentary Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age (US) featuring Alec Baldwin, Carol Channing, Dick Van Dyke, Jane Fonda and Robert Redford, The Carer (Hungary/UK), Going Going Gone (UK), Searchdog (US) and Set the Thames on Fire (UK).
North American premieres: Banat (Italy/Romania/Bulgaria/Macedonia), Death By Death (Belgium/France), A Decent Man (Switzerland), Departure (France/UK), Fly Away Solo (India/France), Interruption (Greece/Croatia), A Korean in Paris (South Korea/France), The Memory of Water (Chile/Spain/Argentina/Germany), Moor (Pakistan), On My Mother’s Side (Canada), Paradise Trips (Belgium/Croatia), Rosita (Denmark), Spy Time (Spain), Tanna (Australia/Vanuatu), Thithi (India/US/Canada), Utopians (Hong Kong) and When a Tree Falls (Spain).
U.S. premieres: 1944 (Estonia/Finland), 3000 Nights (Palestine/France/Jordan/Lebanon), Atomic Falafel (Israel/Germany/New Zealand), Belgian Rhapsody (Belgium), Beyond My Grandfather Allende (Chile/Mexico), Born to Dance (New Zealand), Closet Monster (Canada), Enclave (Serbia/Germany), The Endless River (South Africa/France), Endorphine (Canada), Exotica, Erotica, Etc. (France), Fire Song (Canada), Five Nights in Maine (US), A Heavy Heart (Germany), Home Care (Czech Republic/Slovakia), Let Them Come (Algeria/France), My Big Night (Spain), My Internship in Canada (Canada), The Other Side (Italy/France), Our Everyday Life (Bosnia, Herzegovina/Slovenia/Croatia), The Paradise Suite (Netherlands/Sweden/Bulgaria), Parched (India/US/UK), Parisienne (France), Sabali (Canada), Sleeping Giant (Canada), Summer Solstice (Poland/Germany), Trap (Philippines), The Violin Teacher (Brazil), Wedding Doll (Israel) and Zubaan (India).
In the New Voices/New Visions competition showcases, emerging international directors marking their feature film debut at the Festival, with the additional criteria that the films selected are currently without U.S. distribution. The winner is selected by a jury of U.S. distributors which include Gary Rubin of Cohen Media, Dan Berger of Oscilloscope, and Ryan Kampe of Visit Films/Monument Releasing. The winner will receive use of a $60,000 Panavision camera package and a glass sculpture designed for the Festival by renowned artist Dale Chihuly.
Films selected for this year include:
• Banat (Italy/Romania/Bulgaria/Macedonia), Director Adriano Valerio
• Death By Death (Belgium/France), Director Xavier Seron
• Departure (UK/France), Director Andrew Steggall
• Five Nights in Maine (US), Director Maris Curran and starring David Oyelowo
• A Heavy Heart (Germany), Director Thomas Stuber
• Home Care (Czech Republic/Slovakia), Director Slávek Horák
• Interruption (Greece/Croatia), Director Yorgos Zois
• Let Them Come (Algeria/France), Director Salem Brahimi
• Our Everyday Life (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Slovenia/Croatia), Director Ines Tanović
• Paradise Trips (Belgium/Croatia), Director Raf Reyntjens
• Sleeping Giant (Canada), Director Andrew Cividino
• Thithi (India/US/Canada), Director Raam Reddy
The Modern Masters section features 10 films from international directors who set the standards for contemporary cinema. Films selected for this year include:
• Cemetery Of Splendour (Thailand/UK), Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul
• Dheepan (France), Director Jacques Audiard
• Miss Sharon Jones! (US), Director Barbara Kopple
• Mountains May Depart (China/France/Japan), Director Jia Zhangke
• My Golden Days (France), Director Arnaud Desplechin
• My Mother (Italy/France), Director Nanni Moretti
• Our Little Sister (Japan), Director Hirokazu Kore-eda
• Sunset Song (UK/Luxembourg), Director Terence Davies
• Sweet Bean (Japan), Director Naomi Kawase
• Women He’s Undressed (Australia), Director Gillian Armstrong
Other Festival films with notable talent and directors include:
• 45 Years (UK) directed by Andrew Haigh and starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay.
Anomalisa (US) directed by Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman with the voices of David Thewlis and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Chronic (Mexico/France) starring Tim Roth, Closet Monster (Canada) with Connor Jessup and Isabella Rossellini.
Eisenstein in Guanajuato (Netherlands/Mexico/Finland/Belgium/France) directed by Peter Greenaway.
February (US/Canada) starring Kiernan Shipka and Emma Roberts.
Hello, My Name is Doris (US) starring Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Beth Behrs and Stephen Root.
Hitchcock/Truffaut (France/US) directed by Kent Jones and featuring Peter Bogdanovich, David Fincher and Richard Linklater.
The Invitation (US) starring Logan Marshall-Green and Michiel Huisman.
The Lady in the Van (UK) directed by Nicholas Hytner and starring Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent and James Corden.
Louder Than Bombs (USA) starring Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne and Isabelle Huppert.
Men & Chicken (Denmark) starring Mads Mikkelsen.
Papa (Cuba) directed by Bob Yari and starring Giovanni Ribisi, Joely Richardson and Minka Kelly.
A Perfect Day (Spain) starring Benicio del Toro, Tim Robbins and Olga Kurylenko.
The Seventh Fire (US) executive produced by Terrence Malick, Natalie Portman and Chris Eyre.
Where to Invade Next (US) directed by Michael Moore.
Visit www.psfilmfest.org for the complete lineup starting Dec. 18.