NAME OF FESTIVAL: Palm Springs International Film Festival





The Sapphires (Australia) directed by Wayne Blair, and based on the real-life story of an all-female Aboriginal singing group in 1960’s Australia that went from folk to soul with unexpected success, received the Mercedes-Benz Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the 24th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey (USA) directed by Ramona Diaz received the Audience Award Best for Documentary Feature.  This documentary is about the dilemma the rock band Journey faces to replace their lead singer Steve Perry after he quits the band. They eventually find the perfect solution via YouTube: a street kid who fronted a Filipino cover band.

The FIPRESCI Prize for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year jury selected Fill the Void (Israel), directed by Rama Burshtein, “for portraying a culture usually depicted in stereotypical terms, with subtlety, sympathy and sensuality and employing a style that is intimate, but not intrusive.”  In the film, an 18-year-old in Tel Aviv’s Hassidic community must choose between her heart’s desire and familial duty in a drama that make the conventions of the marriage plot feel brand new.

The New Voices/New Visions selected The Cleaner (Peru) directed by Adrian Saba.   The film tells the story of a mysterious and deadly epidemic in Lima, Perù, where a depressed and isolated man cleans up after the dying. When he takes in a frightened young boy who has lost his mother, he’s quietly transformed by the experience of caring for another human being.

The Cine Latino Award was presented to Blancanieves(Spain), directed by Pablo Berger, which was the Opening Night film of the Festival.   This silent movie is an adaptation of Snow White, where the daughter of a famous bullfighter is mistreated by her wicked stepmother.  When she runs away and joins a band of dwarfs, her natural bullfighting talent is discovered, but her stepmother plots to bring her down.

Stolen Seas (Somalia/Kenya/UK/Italy), directed by Thymaya Payne, received The John Schlesinger Award, which is presented to a first-time documentary filmmaker.  Stolen Seas presents the inside story of Somali piracy.  The filmmakers spent three years in some of the world’s most dangerous places, talking to pirates, hostages, hostages’ relatives, and the shipping company executives caught up in this deadly culture clash. 

Jump (Ireland/UK), directed by Kieron J. Walsh, 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 the film, a fateful New Year’s Eve throws half a dozen characters into cross-purposes in this complex, wildly inventive and occasionally giddy mix of crime caper, romance and moral tale from Northern Ireland. 

The Palm Springs International Film Festival, held from January 3-14, 2013, screened 182 films from 68 countries.

The complete list of award winners are:

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The 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival(PSIFF) announced the new Cine Latino Award, which will be presented to the best Iberoamerican film screening at the Festival scheduled to run January 3-14, 2013.  Sponsored by the Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG) and the University of Guadalajara Foundation/USA, the winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize.  

This year’s eligible films are:

7 Boxes (Paraguay), Director: Juan Carlos Maneglia, Tana Schémbori

After Lucia (Mexico), Director: Michel Franco

Beauty (Argentina), Director: Daniela Seggiaro

Blancanieves (Spain/France), Director: Pablo Berger

Checkmate (Dominican Republic), Director: José María Cabral

Clandestine Childhood (Argentina/Brazil/Spain), Director: Benjamín Ávila

The Cleaner (Peru), Director: Adrian Saba

The Clown (Brazil), Director: Selton Mello

The Dead Man and Being Happy (Spain), Director: Javier Rebollo

Drought (Mexico), Director: Everardo González

The Girl (USA/Mexico), Director: David Riker

Here and There (Spain/USA/Mexico), Director: Antonio Méndez Esparza

La Playa D. C. (Colombia/Brazil/France), Director: Juan Andrés Arango García

Multiple Visions (The Crazy Machine) (Mexico/France/Spain), Director: Emilio Maillé

The Passion of Michelangelo (Chile/France), Director: Esteban Larraín

Sadourni’s Butterflies (Argentina), Director: Darío Nardi

The Sleeping Voice (Spain), Director: Benito Zambrano

The Snitch Cartel (Colombia), Director: Carlos Moreno

Tabu (Portugal/Brazil/France/Germany), Director: Miguel Gomes

The End (Spain), Director: Jorge Torregrossa

Una Noche (Cuba/UK/USA), Director: Lucy Mulloy

White Elephant (Argentina/Spain/France), Director: Pablo Trapero

The 24th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will screen eight of the nine films selected to advance in the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 85th Academy Awards® and in partnership with Telefilm Canada will screen 12 Canadian features.  The 24th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is scheduled from January 3-14, 2013.

The foreign language films on the Oscar shortlist, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:

Amour (Austria), Director Michael Haneke
War Witch (Canada), Director Kim Nguyen
A Royal Affair (Denmark), Director Nikolaj Arcel
The Intouchables (France),Director Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache
The Deep (Iceland), Director Baltasar Kormákur
Kon-Tiki (Norway), Director Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg
Beyond the Hills (Romania), Director Christian Mungiu
Sister (Switzerland), Director Ursula Meier

The Canadian film line-up includes: 

Camion (Canada) - Refreshingly honest and precisely observed, this Quebecois drama examines the lives of a trucker and his two estranged sons after the former is involved in a terrible crash.  Director: Rafaël Ouellet. Cast: Julien Poulin, Patrice Dubois, Stéphane Breton, Jacob Tierney, Noemie Godin-Vigneau.

The End of Time (Canada/Switzerland) - A meditative, free-associative but entirely engrossing contemplation of the nature of time by the innovative non-fiction filmmaker Peter Mettler. Director: Peter Mettler. Cast: George Mikenberg, Jack Thompson, Richie Hawtin, Rajeev Agrawal, Julia Mettler.

The Final Member (Canada/Iceland/Italy/USA) - Forget Hollywood, the funniest comedy of the year may be this documentary about the Icelandic Phallological Museum.  That’s right, a penis museum.  Join “Siggi” Hjartarson on his quest to find the one thing that will make his museum complete – a human penis. Director: Jonah Bekhor, Zach Math.

The Fruit Hunters (Canada) - Environmental docs come in all shapes and sizes, but you won’t have seen any as appetizing as this sensual, seductive tribute to nature’s sweetest bounty.  Join Bill Pullman and the fruit detectives in their quest for a wider world of taste sensation. Director: Yung Chang. Cast: Bill Pullman.  US Ppremiere.

Inch’Allah (Canada) - Every day young Canadian obstetrician Chloe crosses the checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah, fraternizing with locals on both sides of the border but increasingly pushed towards taking a stand of her own.  A thoughtful, humane take on the Israel/Palestine divide. Director: Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette.Cast: Evelyne Brochu, Sabrina Ouazani, Sivan Levy, Yousef Sweid. International Premiere.

Inescapable (Canada/South Africa) - Rubba Nadda follows her hit Cairo Time with this timely thriller about a father returning to Syria to try to find his missing daughter. Director: Ruba Nadda. Cast: Alexander Siddig, Marisa Tomei, Joshua Jackson, Oded Fehr, Saad Siddiqui. International Premiere.

Laurence Anyways (Canada/France) - Xavier Dolan’s terrifically stylish love story is set in 1990s Montreal and stars Melvil Poupaud as a transgender man whose decade-long relationship with his lover Frédérique makes for a dazzling and entertaining mini-epic. Director: Xavier Dolan. Cast: Melvil Poupaud, Suzanne Clément, Nathalie Baye, Monia Chokri.

Margarita (Canada) - A cash-strapped middle-class Toronto family reluctantly fires their Mexican-born nanny Margarita, only to discover just how indispensable she really is.  Unfortunately she is also illegal, which makes everything that much stickier in this quirky lesbian-themed comedy-drama. Director: Laurie Colbert, Dominique Cardona. Cast: Nicola Correia Damude, Patrick McKenna, Christine Horne, Claire Lautier, Maya Ritter, Marco Grazzini.

Midnight’s Children (Canada/UK) - Salman Rushdie adapts his own monumental novel – a picaresque that doubles as a history of modern India – into a rich, sprawling, unruly movie, full of romance, satire, magic and anger. Director:  Deepa Mehta. Cast: Satya Bhabha, Shahana Goswami, Rajat Kapoor, Seema Biswas, Shriya Saran, Siddharth, Rahul Bose, Ronit Roy, Shabana Azmi, Irrfan Khan, Charles Dance.

Molly Maxwell (Canada) - Molly Maxwell is a precocious 16-year-old who attends an alternative school where every student is perceived to be a prodigy. Molly develops a close relationship with a young teacher who opens her world but the relationship potentially threatens her future. Director: Sara St. Onge. Cast: Lola Tash, Charlie Carrick, Krista Bridges, Rob Stewart. World Premiere.

Still (Canada) - An exquisite love story wrapped in a classic tale of modernity versus tradition. James Cromwell plays a farmer who is determined to provide a comfortable home for his ailing wife and is confronted by the realities of their situation. Director: Michael McGowan. Cast: James Cromwell, Genevieve Bujold, Campbell Scott, Julie Stewart. US Premiere.

War Witch (Canada) – Canada’s Foreign Language Oscar submission, this award-winning, harrowing tale of a young African girl’s kidnap by rebel soldiers features an astonishing performance by its non-professional lead.  Punctuated with moments of magic and wonder, this is a powerful testament to human resilience in the darkest of times. Director: Kim Nguyen. Cast: Rachel Mwanza, Alain Bastien, Serge Kanyinda, Ralph Prosper, Mizinga Mwinga.


The 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) announced its complete line-up including Galas, Premieres and New Voices/New Visions.  The Festival will launch on Thursday, January 3 with a screening of the Foreign Language Oscar submission from Spain Blancanieves directed by Pablo Berger and wraps on Sunday, January 13 with the US premiere of Paul Andrew Williams’ Unfinished Song starring Terence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave.  180 films from 68 countries, including 61 premieres (3 world, 21 North American and 37 U.S.), will unspool at the Festival, running from January 3-14 in Palm Springs, California.

The Festival will open with the screening of Blancanieves (Spain/France), the Best Foreign Language Oscar submission from Spain.  Directed by Pablo Berger, Blancanieves is the spectacular silent movie adaptation of Snow White, where the daughter of a famous bullfighter is mistreated by her wicked stepmother.  When she runs away and joins a band of dwarfs, her natural bullfighting talent is discovered, but her stepmother plots to bring her down.  The film stars Maribel Verdú, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Pere Ponce, Sofía Oria,  Macarena Garcia, Ángela Molina, José María Pou and  Inma Cuesta.  Berger will attend the film screening.

Closing the Festival is The Weinstein Company’s Unfinished Song (UK), directed by Paul Andrew Williams and starring Terence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave, Gemma Arterton, Christopher Eccleston and Anne Reid.  Marking its US premiere, the film is about a curmudgeonly pensioner who takes his ailing wife’s place in their unconventional local choir, with hilarious results.  Terence Stamp will attend the film’s screening.

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The 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) which runs January 3-14, 2013, will honor Richard Gere with the Chairman's Award.  

Richard Gere stars in Arbitrage from Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions.  Gere plays New York hedge-fund magnate Robert Miller, who on the eve of his 60th birthday is desperate to complete the sale of his trading empire and makes an error that forces him to turn to an unlikely person for help.  The film is written and directed by Nicholas Jarecki and stars Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth, Brit Marling, Laetitia Casta and Nate Parker.  For Arbitrage, Gere received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama.


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:

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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


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.

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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.

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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