PSIFF Taps David Ansen as Lead Programmer

Cate Blanchett

Palm Springs, CA (September 3, 2015) - The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is pleased to announce that former Newsweek film critic David Ansen is joining the festival team as Lead Programmer. Working with a team of six other programmers under the direction of festival Artistic Director, Helen du Toit, Ansen will be responsible for acquiring films for the upcoming festivals from a number of highly-regarded U.S.-based distribution outlets and international sales companies, in addition to being a key member of the selection committee for films submitted to the festival from a wide variety of sources.

"I'm thrilled to have someone with David's vast scope and depth of knowledge about film join us as a key member of the PSIFF programming team," said Festival Director Darryl Macdonald. "His taste in films has always been impeccable, ranging from the discovery of unheralded works from gifted new international directors to a singular appreciation of films from seasoned filmmakers working in the major studio millieux."

"As a longtime fan of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, I'm very excited to be working alongside Darryl and Helen, who have turned it into one of the country's great festivals," said Ansen. "I love its emphasis on international cinema, its broad, eclectic spirit, and the adventurous and enthusiastic audiences. I'm looking forward to contributing all I can to this wonderful cinematic oasis in my favorite desert city."

A three time winner of the Page One Award for excellence in journalism, Ansen was the top film critic for Newsweek from 1977 to 2008, as well as having written for publications such as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, Interview, Cosmopolitan and many more. He has also written documentaries for networks such as TNT, HBO and PBS on celebrity talents such as Greta Garbo, Groucho Marx, Bette Davis and Elizabeth Taylor. No stranger to the film festival world, from 2010 through 2014 he held the role of Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Film Festival, was a member of the selection committee for the New York Film Festival from 1990 to 1997, and has served as a Jury Member at a large number of esteemed international film festivals including Bermuda International Film Festival, Dallas International Film Festival, Denver Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, Istanbul Film Festival, Montreal World Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival. 

About The Palm Springs International Film Festival
The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming more than 135,000 attendees each year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries.  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. premieres.  Also known for its annual Black Tie Awards Gala honoring the best achievements of the filmic year, celebrated talents in recent years include Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Duvall, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Richard Linklater, Matthew McConaughey, Julianna Moore, David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, David O. Russell, JK Simmons, Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet and Reese Witherspoon.

The Awards Gala of the 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival is sponsored by Mercedes-Benz and Entertainment Tonight. The City of Palm Springs is the Title Sponsor of the Film Festival. Presenting Sponsors as of the date of this release are The Desert Sun and Spencer's. Major sponsors include the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Wessman Development, Bank of America, Wintec, Regal Entertainment Group, Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, Windermere Real Estate, Guthy-Renker,, Chihuly and Telefilm Canada. 

 For more information, call 760-778-8979 or 800-898-7256 or visit

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David Lee