Palm Springs International Film Festival

NAME OF FESTIVAL: Palm Springs International Film Festival





2013 Palm Springs International Film Festival Announces Nordic And Award Winning Films on Lineup

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The 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival(PSIFF), scheduled January 3-14, 2013, has begun to release its film lineup including a new program: Nordic Light, highlighting films from Scandinavia, and the films selected to compete for the FIPRESCI Award in the Awards Buzz section and Modern Masters.  The Festival will screen 42 of the 71 official submissions to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Best Foreign Language Film.


The Awards Buzz section will feature 42 of the 71 official submissions to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Best Foreign Language Film, selected by Festival programmers as the strongest entries in this year’s race.  A special jury of international film critics will review these films to award the FIPRESCI Award for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year, Best Actor and Best Actress.  The following films selected, in alphabetical order by country, are:

All 2013 Palm Springs International Film Festival Acting Honorees Nominated for a SAG Award

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The Palm Springs International Film Festival can really pick them. All of the 2013 Palm Springs International Film Festival acting honorees have been nominated for a SAG Award. 

BRADLEY COOPER (PSIFF Desert Palm Achievement Award for Acting) received a SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for his role in “Silver Linings Playbook”.

HELEN MIRREN (PSIFF International Star Award) was nominated for a SAG Award as Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for her portrayal of Alma Reville in “Hitchcock”.

NAOMI WATTS (PSIFF Desert Palm Achievement Award for Acting) was also nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Feale Actor in a Leading Role for her role in “The Impossible”.

SALLY FIELD (PSIFF Career Achievement Award) received a SAG Award nomination in the category of Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role for her performance as Mary Todd Lincoln in “Lincoln”.

HELEN HUNT (PSIFF Spotlight Award) was also nominated in the category of Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role for her performance in “The Sessions”.

The cast of “ARGO” (PSIFF Ensemble Performance Award) was also recognized with a SAG Award nomination as Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

The 2013 Palm Springs International Film Festival will run January 3 - 14, 2013 in Palm Springs, California


Palm Springs International Film Festival to Honor Bradley Cooper, Sally Field, and Argo

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The 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will honor actor Bradley Cooper, actress Sally Field and the cast of Argo.  The Festival runs January 3-14, 2012.

Bradley Cooper will be presented with the Desert Palm Achievement Award for acting, Academy Award® winning actress Sally Field with its Career Achievement Award, and the film Argo with its Ensemble Performance Award.  

Bradley Cooper is currently starring in the Weinstein Company's Silver Linings Playbook, a family drama, comedy and love story based on the bestselling novel by Matthew Quick, written and directed by David O. Russell.  Pat Solution has lost everything -- his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother and after spending 8 months in a state institution on a plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife, despite the challenging circumstances of their separation.  All Pat’s parents want is for him to get back on his feet - and to share their family’s obsession with their favorite Philadelphia football team.  When Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own, things get complicated. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but only if he'll do something very important for her in return. As their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form between them, and silver linings appear in both of their lives.  Cooper served as an executive producer on the film and stars in it along with Jennifer Lawrence, Robert Demuro, Jackie Weaver, Anuran Khmer and Chris Tucker.

Cooper received Best Actor from the National Board of Review and is nominated for a Best Male Lead Independent Spirit Award.  Past honorees of the Desert Palm Achievement Award include Jeff Bridges, Daniel Day-Lewis, Colin Firth, Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and John Travolta.

Palm Springs International Film Festival to honor Robert Zemeckis, Naomi Watts and Helen Hunt

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Director Robert Zemeckis, along with actresses Naomi Watts and Helen Hunt at the Awards Gala will be honored at the 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festivalwhich runs January 3-14, 2013.

PSIFF will present Academy Award® winning director Robert Zemeckis with the Director of the Year Award for Flight, Naomi Watts with the Desert Palm Achievement Actress Award and Academy Award winner Helen Hunt with the Spotlight Award.

Zemeckis directed Paramount Pictures’ dramatic thriller Flight, starring Denzel Washington currently in theaters.

Watts stars in the Summit Entertainment film The Impossible, based on the true story of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.  Directed by J.A. Bayona, The Impossible also stars Ewan McGregor and newcomer Tom Holland, with a screenplay by Sergio G. Sánchez adapted from the story by María Belon based on her experiences.

Hunt co-stars in Fox Searchlight Pictures’ The Sessions, based on the poignantly optimistic autobiographical writings of California–based journalist and poet Mark O’Brien.  The Sessions tells the story of a man who lived most of his life in an iron lung who is determined – at age 38 – to lose his virginity.  With the help of his therapist and the guidance of his priest, he sets out to make his dream a reality.  John Hawkes and William H. Macy also star in a film written for the screen and directed by Ben Levin.  The Sessions will be released wide on Friday, November 16.

Canadian Film Starbuck Takes Top Honors at 2012 Palm Springs International Film Festival

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The 23rd Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) wraps today Monday with the Best of the Fest screenings but announced this year’s award winners at a luncheon on Sunday, January 15, 2012.

This year’s Festival attendees selected Starbuck (Canada) directed by Ken Scott, as the Mercedes-Benz Audience Award Best Narrative Feature. The past comes back with a vengeance in this Canadian comedy about a class action suit against prolific sperm donor David Wozniak, aka Starbuck. Twenty years after his successful moneymaking scheme, all David’s 142 children want to know is, “Who’s my Daddy?”

The runner-up film was Come As You Are (Belgium) directed by Geoffrey Enthoven. The other narrative films in alphabetical order include: The Flowers of War (China), If I Were You (Canada), In Darkness (Poland), Monsieur Lazhar (Canada), Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (UK), Simon and the Oaks (Sweden), A Simple Life (Hong Kong), Sonny Boy (Netherlands), War of the Buttons (France) and Wunderkinder (Germany).

The Girls in the Band (USA) directed by Judy Chaikin and Wish Me Away (USA) directed by Bobbi Birleffii and Beverly Kopf tied for the Audience Award Best Documentary Feature. The Girls in the Band is about the hidden history of women jazz musicians in this glorious celebration of some of our greatest musicians, period. Wish Me Away is the inspiring, award-winning documentary about courageous singer-songwriter Chely Wright, a devout Christian who also happens to be a lesbian.

The runner-up documentary films in alphabetical order include: First Position: A Ballet Documentary (USA), Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story (USA), Shakespeare High (USA), The Story of Film: An Odyssey (UK) and Vito (USA).

Both winners will receive the John Kennedy Statue (“The Entertainer”) specially designed for the Festival.

A special jury of international film critics reviewed 40 of the 63 official Foreign Language submissions to the Academy Awards® screened at this year’s Festival to award the FIPRESCI Award for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year. The jury selected The Turin Horse, Hungary’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, directed by Béla Tarr, “for the power of its austerity and radical commitment to its vision.” The film is an unforgettable end-of-days parable largely confined to an ascetic shack shared by an old man and his daughter as a terrible blight takes hold outside.

Matthias Schoenaerts received the FIPRESCI Award for Best Actor for his role in Bullhead (Belgium) directed by Michaël R. Roskam, “for his superb portrayal of an innocent and sensitive man trapped in a truculent body.” The ensemble female cast (Leila Hatami, Sareh Bayat and Sarina Farhadi) from A Separation (Iran) received the FIPRESCI Award for Best Actress, “for their naturalistic, powerful and fully interdependent portrayals of three women grappling with complex questions of guilt and morality.” The film is directed by Asghar Farhadi.

The 2012 FIPRESCI jury members were Mario Abbade from Almanaque Virtual, Correio Braziliense and Globo (Brazil) and President and Curator of the Rio de Janeiro Association of Film Critics; Nathan Lee, former film critic for the New York Times, Village Voice, and NPR, currently contributing editor of Film Comment magazine (US); and Boyd van Hoeij, critic for Variety, Winq (Netherlands), Mate (US/UK), Filmkrant (Netherlands) and Indiewire (US).

The New Voices/New Visions competition includes ten new international talents making their feature film debut at the Festival, with the additional criteria that the films selected are currently without U.S. distribution. The jury selected The House (Slovak Republic) directed by Zuzana Liová. The winner receives a sculpture designed by famed glass artist Dale Chihuly.

The jury stated “Although the story told in The House is not a new one, we felt that the direction and performances took the film to the next level, and made us understand why a father may not be able to let go of his children, and also why they would want to leave. The motivations behind the characters felt real and made for a compelling film about a girl’s journey to adulthood.” The film is about contemporary Eastern Europe’s divisions – between generations, genders, economic strata, city and country – are given incisive treatment in this affecting family drama about an ambitious teen, her disowned elder sister and their dour, controlling father.

The films were juried by Jeff Lipsky, Co-Managing Executive Adopt Films; Paul Hudson, Co-Founder Outsider Films; Tom Quinn, Co-President The Weinstein Company/New Label. The winner will receive a Chihuly award and $60,000 Panavision camera rental package

The Tiniest Place (Mexico), directed by Tatiana Huezo Sanchez, received The John Schlesinger Award, which is presented a first-time documentary filmmaker. The Tiniest Place is the heartbreaking yet hopeful story of Cinquera, a small town in rural El Salvador that was completely depopulated during the Civil War, as told by the survivors who have returned with astonishing resilience to rebuild their lives on their native soil. The winner receives the John Kennedy Statue (“The Entertainer”).

The films were judged by Mark Jonathan Harris, three-time Oscar-winning documentary director of Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport, The Long Way Home, and The Redwoods; Oliver Ike, director of theatrical and non-theatrical sales at Seventh Art Releasing; and Michael Lumpkin, Executive Director of the International Documentary Association (IDA).

Terraferma (Italy), directed by Emanuele Crialese, received the HP Bridging the Borders Award presented by Cinema Without Borders and Hewlett Packard, which honors the film that is most successful in exemplifying art that promotes bringing the people of our world closer together. In Italy’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar submission, an elderly Sicilian fisherman who rescues a boatload of African immigrants, must decide whether to do what the law demands or what he knows to be right. The prize includes an HP 8560w Elitebook Mobile Workstation with a built-in HP DreamColor display, valued at $4000.

The runner-up was Le Havre (Finland) directed by Aki Kaurismäki, Finland’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar submission.

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Variety Will Honor actress Charlize Theron and 10 Directors to Watch at Palm Springs International Film Festival

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Variety will present actress Charlize Theron with the Indie Impact Award, at the 2012 Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF). The Indie Impact Award celebrates a performer and filmmaker for her outstanding contributions to the art and business of cinema.

“Charlize Theron continues to make an impact by committing herself to films that exemplify the best in independent cinema,” stated Variety Executive Editor Steven Gaydos.  “She notably won an Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, SAG Award and Independent Spirit Award for the independent film ‘Monster,’ and contributed unforgettable performances to films such as ‘The Burning Plain,’ ‘In the Valley of Elah’ and ‘North Country.’  Her recent acclaimed work in ‘Young Adult,' for which she was recently nominated for a Golden Globe® Award, demonstrates Theron's characteristic edge and verve.”

Previous recipients of the Indie Impact Award include Philip Seymour Hoffman and Mark Wahlberg.

“Young Adult” will also be honored the evening before at the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s Awards Gala with the prestigious Vanguard Award, recognizing its outstanding creative ensemble.

Variety will also honor its “10 Directors to Watch” spotlighting the most exciting new talents in the fields of directing, writing, producing, acting, cinematography and comedy.   This year’s “10 Directors to Watch” include: Zal Batmanglij (“Sound of My Voice”); Valerie Donzelli (“Declaration of War”); Gareth Evans (“The Raid”); Philippe Falardeau (“Monsieur Lazhar”); Mike “Mouse” McCoy & Scott Waugh (“Act of Valor”); Gerardo Naranjo (“Miss Bala”); Matt Piedmont (“Casa de mi Padre”); Michael Roskam (“Bullhead”); Lynn Shelton (“Your Sister’s Sister”); and Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”).  “Sound of My Voice,” “Declaration of War,” “Monsieur Lazhar,” “Miss Bala” and “Bullhead” will be shown at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Past “10 Directors to Watch” honorees have included Ben Affleck (“Gone Baby Gone”), Wes Anderson (“Bottle Rocket”), Scott Cooper (“Crazy Heart”), Marc Webb (“500 Days of Summer”), Catherine Hardwicke (“Thirteen”) and Christopher Nolan (“Memento”), among others.

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Palm Springs International Film Festival to honor Actress Jessica Chastain and Composer Howard Shore

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The 23rd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will honor Jessica Chastain with the Spotlight Award and composer Howard Shore with the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing.

Jessica Chastain will receive the Spotlight Award.  The Spotlight Award honors an actor or actress for their extraordinary performances in the current cinematic year.  Chastain will receive the award for her roles in The Help, The Tree of Life, Take Shelter, The Debt and Coriolanus.

Her work in Take Shelter earned a Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Female.  Her other honors this year include a New York Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Tree of Life, The Help and Take Shelter and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s award as Best Supporting Actress for all of her movies this year.  Additionally, Chastain’s role in The Help led her to several acclamations including a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role and a Critics’ Choice Movie Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Howard Shore will receive the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing.  He previously received the same honor at the Festival’s Awards Gala in 2005 for composing the score in The Aviator.  His collaboration with director Martin Scorsese also includes composing the scores for “Gangs of New York” and “The Departed.”  This year he will be receiving the award for his 'exceptional' work in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo.

PSIFF recipients of the Frederick Loewe Music Award include T Bone Burnett, Alexandre Desplat, Danny Elfman, James Newton Howard, Randy Newman and Diane Warren.

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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen to Open and Almanya, Welcome to Germany to Close 2012 Palm Springs International Film Festival

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The 23rd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will launch on Thursday, January 5 with CBS Films’ Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and wraps on Sunday, January 15 with Almanya, Welcome to Germany.  The festival,  running from January 5-16 in Palm Springs, California announced its Galas, Premieres, Modern Masters and a Special Presentation.

The Festival will open with the screening of CBS Films’ Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (UK.  Directed by Oscar©-nominee Lasse Hallström, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is an extraordinary, beguiling tale of fly-fishing and political spinning, of unexpected heroism and late-blooming love and of an attempt to prove the impossible, possible. Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt star in the feature film alongside Oscar©-nominee Kristen Scott  Based on Paul Torday’s acclaimed novel, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is written by Oscar-winner Simon Beaufoy and produced by Paul Webster and executive produced by Jamie Laurenson, Stephen Garrett, Paula Jalfon, Zygi Kamasa and Guy Avshalom.  CBS Films will open the film in US theaters on March 9, 2012.

Closing the Festival is Almanya, Welcome to Germany (Germany), neatly structured into two interwoven time frames, this charming, colorfully styled comedy centers on multiple generations of a German-Turkish clan, and derives its touching, laugh-out-loud humor from cultural misunderstandings and the question of what constitutes national identity.  The film has received many accolades including two 2011 German Film Awards including Best Film (Silver) and Best Screenplay and winner of the Audience Award at the Chicago Film Festival.  The film is directed by Yasemin Samdereli and stars Vedat Erincin, Fahri Yardim, Lilay Huser, Demet Gul, Aylin Tezel, Denis Moschitto. {jathumbnail off}

Palm Springs International Film Festival to Honor Director Stephen Daldry

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The 23rd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present three time Academy Award nominee Stephen Daldry with the Director of the Year Award for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.

Daldry is an award-winning director of both stage and screen.  His first feature film, Billy Elliot, won more than 40 awards worldwide and received three Oscar® nominations, including Best Director.  His second feature The Hours received nine Oscar® nominations including Best Picture and Director, 11 BAFTA nominations and won Best Picture (Drama) at the Golden Globes.  His other recent feature, The Reader, earned five Oscar® nominations, including Best Director and Best Picture.

Past Director of the Year honorees include Ang Lee, Anthony Minghella, Alexander Payne, Sean Penn, Jason Reitman and David O. Russell.

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Palm Springs International Film Festival Unveils New Program highlighting Arab Cinema for 2012

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The 2012 Palm Springs International Film Festival announced a new program highlighting Arab Cinema as well as films selected to compete for the FIPRESCI Award, New Voices/New Visions Award and John Schlesinger Awards.  The Festival will screen 40 of the 63 official submissions to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Best Foreign Language Film. 

This program will premiere 11 new films made in the Middle East.  The showcase reflects the dramatic upsurge of film production and the concurrent emergence of exciting new filmmaking talents across the region.  The films selected in the Arabian Nights program include:

Asma’a (Egypt) – Devout, careworn widow Asma’a has a secret.  She is HIV-positive in a world where the disease is still stigmatized.  Ultimately, the host of a daring TV show inspires Asma’a to speak out and fight back – both against her illness and social ignorance.  Director: Amr Salama.  Cast: Hend Sabry, Maged El Kedwani, Hani Adel, Ahmad Kamal, Sayed Ragab, Botros Ghali.

Cairo 678 (Egypt) – Tackling the issue of sexual harassment, which continues to plague Egyptian society, this social issues drama focuses on three women from different backgrounds.  Director: Mohamed Diab Bushra.  Cast: Nelli Kareem, Nahed El Seba’i, Maged El Kedwany, Bassem Samra.

Habibi (Palestinian Territories/USA, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates) – The first fiction feature set in Gaza in over 15 years offers a story of forbidden love.  Can Qays, a poet from the refugee camp, build a future with Layla, the daughter of a traditional, religious family?  Director: Susan Youssef.  Cast: Kais Nashif, Maisa Abd Elhadi, Yussef Abu-Warda, Amer Khalil.

How Big is Your Love (Algeria/Morocco) – A heartwarming examination of childhood and love in modern Algiers.  With his parents breaking up, 8-year-old Adel is sent to live with his grandparents.  Soon it’s like he’s lived there forever, he’s so intimately wrapped up in their lives.  Director: Fatma Zohra Zamoum.  Cast: Racim Zennadi, Adbelkader Tadjer, Louiza Habani, Loubna Boucheloukh, Zahir Bouzrar, Nadjia Debbahi-Laaraf.

Love in the Medina (Morocco) – In this colorful melodrama, a young man from a conservative Moroccan family infuriates his father when he decides to become a butcher.  Soon he discovers that there is only one thing that he loves more than choice cuts…Women.  Director: Abdelhaï Laraki.  Cast: Omar Lotfi, Ouidad Elma, Driss Rokh, Amal Ayouch.

Man Without a Cell Phone (Palestinian Territories/France, Belgium, Qatar) – An Arab-Israeli village's new cell-phone tower quickly goes from minor annoyance to symbol of oppression.  In turn, charming slacker Jawdat abandons youthful aimlessness for activism.  Tempering its pointed politics with gentle humour, Sameh Zoabi's dramedy is an old-fashioned crowd-pleaser.  Director: Sameh Zoabi.  Cast: Razi Shawahdeh, Basem Loulou, Louay Noufi, Ayman Nahas.

On The Edge (Morocco/France, Germany) – In the demimonde of nocturnal Tangier, four street-smart young women struggle to escape their poverty turning tricks and pawning stolen valuables.  The film won Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress at the Taormina Film Festival.  Director: Leila Kilani.  Cast: Soufia Issami, Mouna Bahmad, Nouzha Akel, Sara Betioui.

The Rif Lover (Morocco/France, Belgium) – A bold, visually ravishing tale of women struggling against the bonds of tradition as a beautiful but naïve 20-year-old falls into the clutches of a drug baron.  Director: Narjiss Nejjar.  Cast: Nadia Kounda, Mourade Zeguendi, Nadia Niazi, Omar Lofti, Siham Assif.

Sea Shadow (United Arab Emirates) – Set in a small seaside town in the Emirates, this gentle coming-of-age story follows two teenagers on the road to adulthood.  Bound by tradition and deeply rooted values, Mansoor and his pretty cousin Kaltham must find the courage to forge their own paths.  Director: Nawaf Al-Janahi.  Cast: Omar Al Mulla, Neven Madi, Abrar Al Hamad, Khadeeja Al Taie, Aisha Abdulrahman, Ahmad Iraj.

The Three Disappearances of Soad Hosni (Lebanon) – Beautifully conceived and expertly edited, this playful documentary uses a wealth of clips from Egyptian star Hosni's films to explore the iconic actress’s screen image and shed light on the Arab world’s most popular cinema.  Director: Rania Stephan.

Transit Cities (Jordan) – A 36-year-old divorcee returns to Amman after 14 years in the U.S., but finds her hometown, family and friends much changed. This affecting drama strikes enough universal notes pertaining to cultural estrangement to resonate with expats of any stripe.  Director: Mohammad Hushki.  Cast: Saba Mubarak, Mohammad Al-Qabbani, Shafika Al Til, Ashraf Farah, Manal Seihmeimat. {jathumbnail off}


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