News in 2009

PSIFF Talking Pictures program announced
2010 Palm Springs International Film Festival


Directors Lee Daniels, Rob Marshall and Lone Scherfig to Attend Series

PALM SPRINGS, CA (December 31, 2009) – The 21st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Talking Pictures: The Contenders, a series focusing on the films and filmmakers emerging as front-runners leading up to the Academy Award nominations.  Each program will feature a screening of the film under consideration and be followed by an in-depth interview with the director of the film.  Participating in the series are Lee Daniels, Rob Marshall and Lone Scherfig.  In addition four directors of official Foreign Language Oscar submissions will participate in a panel to discuss their careers, work and the ways in which their films reflect current events and issues in their home countries.

Commenting on the program Darryl Macdonald said, “We’re delighted to be hosting a large number of award-worthy directors at this year’s Festival, and have built our 2010 Talking Pictures programs around their work, providing audiences with the opportunity to enrich their movie-going experience through participation in these interactive events.  This is one key element that sets film festivals apart from the everyday film-going experience.”

The schedule for Talking Pictures: The Contenders is below:



Wednesday, January 6, 10:00 a.m.; Regal Cinemas

Rob Marshall’s newest musical concoction, Nine, weds music and magic in an adaptation of Federico Fellini’s seminal ’60s hit 8 ½, which portrayed a dissolute Italian director confronting a creative and personal crisis as he prepares to mount his latest film. Featuring a talented cast of previous Oscar winners and nominees, Marshall repeats the huge success he met with in his 2002 hit, Chicago, winner of six Oscars including Best Picture.



Wednesday, January 6, 1:00 p.m.; Regal Cinemas

Moderated by Adam B. Vary, staff writer at Entertainment Weekly and

Since its emergence and triumph at the Sundance Film Festival last January, Precious has become that rare phenomenon: an indie crossover hit that has captivated critics and filmgoers in equal measure. The film went on to win major awards at a number of key festivals (including Toronto, Deauville, and San Sebastian) and has received multiple awards and nominations ranging from Golden Globes and the Independent Spirit Awards to the Screen Actors Guild and the National Board of Review.  The film, which tells the story of a badly abused, overweight girl who learns to rise above her situation in life with the help of two strong women, is handled with an adroit and masterful command of cinematic skills by Lee Daniels.  Entertainment Weekly is a sponsor of this presentation.



Saturday, January 16, 1:00 p.m.; Regal Cinemas

Since her emergence on the international film scene in 2000 with the surprise hit Italian for Beginners, Lone Scherfig has captivated audiences and critics alike with her ability to master both subtle characterization and unforced plotting.  Her striking new film, An Education, has been a huge success since its first screenings at Sundance, where it won the Audience Award for World Cinema and has gone on to win multiple nominations (including best picture) from the Broadcast Film Critics Awards and the British Independent Film Awards, along with a Golden Globe nod and Best Actress honors from the National Board of Review. 



Sunday, January 10, 10:00 a.m.; Cranberry Raisinets® Palm Canyon Theatre

The Palm Springs International Film Festival partners with Variety to present this candid panel discussion featuring a number of the top directors in consideration for the official Foreign Language Oscar submission.  Moderating the panel will be Variety film critic and features editor Peter Debruge.  Participating filmmakers include:

  • Ursula Meier has been hailed as one of the brightest lights of the emergent European film scene, having won Best Film and Best Screenplay on her home turf as well as a French Caesar nomination for her first film Home, after having won awards at Clermont-Ferrand and Creteil for her previous short films.

  • Yaron Shani and Scandar Copti have garnered major acclaim for their powerful feature debut, Israel’s Oscar® submission Ajami.  Plaudits so far include five awards from the Israeli Film Academy (including best director, screenplay, and film), a Camera d’Or Special Mention from Cannes, and three top prizes (including the Audience Award) from the Thessaloniki Film Festival.

  • Warwick Thornton arrives as one of the most heralded young directors of our time, having won the Camera d’Or at Cannes this year as well as awards for best film, director, and screenplay at the Australian Film Awards for his highly regarded debut feature, Samson & Delilah. His previous shorts won awards at both the AFI and Berlin film festivals.

  • Felix van Groeningen is considered one of the pioneers of well received features Steve + Sky and With Friends Like These, The Misfortunates, which received a Special Mention for the CICAE Award at Cannes and is now Belgium’s Foreign Language Oscar® submission.

Celebrating its 21st anniversary, PSIFF was founded in 1990 by then-Mayor Sonny Bono.  This year’s Festival will include over 400 screenings of more than 200 films from approximately 60 countries.  The Festival presents a majority of the films submitted for consideration in the Best Foreign Language category for the Academy Awards, as well as a large number of American independent and international features and documentaries marking their world, North American or U.S. debuts.  Screenings are held on 15 screens throughout Palm Springs.

The Festival’s 21st Annual Awards Gala is presented by Cartier and sponsored by Entertainment Tonight and Mercedes-Benz.  Renewing sponsors of this year’s Festival are Title Sponsor The City of Palm Springs and Presenting Sponsors The Desert Sun, the City of Indian Wells, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Spencer’s Restaurant and KPSP Local 2. Major Sponsors include Bank of America, Ketel One, Johnnie Walker and Don Julio, Regal Entertainment Group, Wells Fargo, Verizon, Integrated Wealth Management, Guthy-Renker, Wessman Development, Ocean Properties Development, Chihuly Art Glass and Chop House Edit.

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