In fitting tradition marking its 25th year, the Palm Springs International Film Festival will present the work of emerging and veteran filmmakers, respectively, by opening Jan. 3 with Belle and newcomer director Amma Asante and close Jan. 12 with Le Week-End by Roger Michell.
“This year’s lineup is particularly diverse in theme and content, encompassing vintage work by established directors alongside auspicious debuts by a vast number of newly emerging talents,” says Festival Director Darryl Macdonald. “The overall quality of the films vividly reflects the banner year we’ve seen in Cinema worldwide, with a trend towards more personal, character-driven stories that defy easy genre labels, making for a much richer, more satisfying cinematic experience.”
Belle, a period drama inspired by the life of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate daughter of a Captain in the Royal Navy, stationed in the Caribbean, will make its U.S. premiere followed by a reception at the Palm Springs Art Museum. The film stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sarah Gadon, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Sam Reid, Tom Felton, Matthew Goode, Penelope Wilton and Miranda Richardson. Asante is expected to attend the film screening.
Le Week-End stars Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan as an old married couple looking to rekindle their love affair with Paris and with one another in this spiky, self-lacerating comedy.
The Festival will include187 films from 60 countries, including 77 premieres (8 world, 22 North American and 47 U.S.).
World premieres include: 3 Nights in the Desert (USA) starring Amber Tamblyn, Wes Bentley and Vincent Piazza, Bristel Goodman (USA); Burkholder (USA), Days and Nights (USA) starring Katie Holmes, William Hurt, Jean Reno, Allison Janney, Ben Wishaw; Everything We Loved (New Zealand), Hidden Hills (USA), Lakshmi (India) and Party Central (USA) starring John Goodman, Charlie Day, Bill Crystal, Sean Hayes and David Foley.
North American premieres include: Catch the Dream (Denmark), Class Enemy (Slovenia), Grazing the Sky (Spain), Han Gong-ju (South Korea), Horses of God (Morocco), King Ordinary (Germany), Living is Easy with Eyes Closed (Spain), Magic Men (Israel), The Magnetic Tree (Spain), Medeas (USA), The Mercury Factor (Italy), Monk with a Camera (USA), Montage (South Korea), The Old Man (Kazakhstan), Open Up to Me (Finland), Rabbit Woman (Argentina), Root (Chile), The Searches (Mexico), Stalngrad (Russia), Tattoo (Brazil), Traffic Department (Poland) and Transit (Philippines).
U.S. premieres include: 15 Years and One Day (Spain); Above Dark Waters (Finland); Another House (Canada); The Auction (Canada); Bastardo (Tunisia); Belle (UK); lBlind Dates (Georgia); The Butterfly’s Dream (Turkey); Cupcakes (Israel); Empire of Dirt (Canada); Enemy (Canada) directed by Denis Villeneuve and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Isabella Rossellini; Faith Connections (India), For No Good Reason (UK) featuring Johnny Depp, Terry Gilliam, Richard E. Grant; Gaming Instinct (Germany), Gerontophilia (Canada) directed by Bruce LaBruce; The Grand Seduction (Canada) starring Brendan Gleeson and Taylor Kitsch; Heart of a Lion (Finland), Hotell (Sweden); Hunting Elephants (Israel); I Am Yours (Norway); Ignasi M. (Spain); In Secret (USA) starring Elizabeth Olsen, Oscar Isaac, Jessica Lange; The Italian Character (Germany); Left Foot Right Foot (Switzerland), Longwave (France), Love and Lemons (Sweden), Lovers (France), Marina (Belgium), The Mute (Peru), Nightingale (France), Of Horses and Men (Iceland), One of a Kind (France), Paris or Perish (France), Patch Town (Canada), A Place in Heaven (Israel), Roa (Colombia), Salvation Army (France); Standing Aside, Watching (Greece); Stay (Canada) starring Taylor Schilling, Aidan Quinn and Brian Gleeson; The Summer of Flying Fish (Chile); Tangerines (Estonia); Those Happy Years (Italy); The Venice Syndrome (Germany); White Lies (New Zealand); Words and Pictures (USA) directed by Fred Schepisi starring Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche, and Young & Beautiful (France) directed by François Ozon and Yozgat Blues (Turkey).