Category Archives: Palm Springs International Film Festival

JESSSICA CHASTAIN TO RECEIVE CHAIRMAN’S AWARD AT PALM SPRINGS

Posted by Larry Gleeson

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The 29th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Jessica Chastain with the Chairman’s Award for STXfilms and The Mark Gordon Company’s Molly’s Game at its annual Film Awards Gala.  She will join previously announced 2018 honorees Timothée Chalamet, Gal Gadot, Holly Hunter, Allison Janney, Gary Oldman, Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan and The Shape of Water. The Film Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart, will be held Tuesday, January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 2-15, 2018.

“Jessica Chastain is an incredible actress who has continuously challenged herself with complex roles throughout her career,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In her latest film, Molly’s Game, Chastain brings to life Molly Bloom’s story of a determined woman who goes from being an Olympic skier to making millions running an exclusive high-stakes poker game.  It is our honor to present the Chairman’s Award to Jessica Chastain.”

Chastain received the PSIFF Spotlight Award in 2012, going on to receive an Academy Award® nomination for The Help.  Past recipients of the Chairman’s Award include Amy Adams, Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Richard Gere, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.

Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game is based on the true story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), an Olympic-class skier who ran one of the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans, and finally, unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba), who learned that there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led us to believe.  The film also stars Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Bill Camp, Chris O’Dowd and Brian d’Arcy James. Mark Gordon, Amy Pascal and Matt Jackson produced. STXfilms and the Mark Gordon Company’s Molly’s Game will open in select theaters nationwide December 25, 2017, and everywhere January 5, 2018.

Two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain has received numerous nominations and accolades for her work from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, LA Film Critics, British Academy of Film and TV, Broadcast Film Critics, HFPA, National Board of Review, Screen Actors Guild and Film Independent, to name a few. Her film credits include Crimson’s Peak, The Debt, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, The Help, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Interstellar, Mama, The Martian, Miss Julie, Miss Sloane, A Most Violent Year, Tree of Life, Zero Dark 30 and The Zookeeper’s Wife. She recently finished production for Susanna White’s period drama Woman Walks Ahead opposite Sam Rockwell and Xavier Dolan’s The Death and Life of John F. Donovan with Natalie Portman, Kit Harington and Nicholas Hoult.

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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 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Film Awards Gala, a glamorous, black-tie event attended by 2,500, presented this year by American Express and sponsored by Entertainment Tonight.  The Film Awards Gala honors the year’s best achievements in cinema in front of and behind the camera.  The celebrated list of talents who have been honored in recent years includes Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and Reese Witherspoon.

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(Source: Press release from PSIFF press office)

SAOIRSE RONAN TO RECEIVE DESERT PALM ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, ACTRESS AT 29th ANNUAL PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL FILM AWARDS GALA

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The 29th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Saoirse Ronan with the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress for her performance in Lady Bird at its annual Film Awards Gala.  Ronan joins previously announced 2018 honorees Timothée Chalamet, Gal Gadot, Holly Hunter, Allison Janney, Gary Oldman, Sam Rockwell and The Shape of Water.  The Film Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart, will be held Tuesday, January 2nd at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 2–15, 2018.

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Harold Matzner, PSIFF Festival Chairman

“Saoirse Ronan delivers one of the most outstanding performances of this year as an outspoken high school student growing up in Sacramento in the critically acclaimed film Lady Bird,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “Following her exceptional performances in Atonement and Brooklyn, Ronan is sure to receive her third Academy Award nomination.  It is our honor to present the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress to Saoirse Ronan.”

Ronan received the PSIFF International Star Award in 2016 for her performance in Brooklyn, going on to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for the same role.  Additional past recipients of the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress include Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, Sandra Bullock, Halle Berry, Marion Cotillard, Anne Hathaway, Charlize Theron, and Naomi Watts.

In Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig proves herself a bold new cinematic voice with her directorial debut, excavating the humor and pathos in the turbulent bond between a mother and her teenage daughter.  Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated, strong-willed mom (Laurie Metcalf), a nurse working to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird’s father (Tracy Letts) loses his job.  Set in Sacramento, California in 2002, amid a rapidly shifting American economic landscape, Lady Bird is an affecting look at the relationships that shape us, the beliefs that define us, and the unmatched beauty of a place called home.

For her role in the film, Ronan has already received Best Actress from the Gotham Independent Film Awards and is nominated for Best Female Lead from the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Ronan began her career at just 13 years old with her critically acclaimed performance as Briony Tallis in Atonement, opposite Keira Knightley and James McAvoy. The role garnered her Academy Award, Golden Globe, and BAFTA nominations for Best Supporting Actress. She starred as Eilis in Fox Searchlight’s Academy Award-nominated film Brooklyn, written by Nick Hornby and directed by John Crowley. Her portrayal earned her Academy Award, Golden Globe, and BAFTA nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Her other film credits include The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hanna, The Lovely Bones, and The Way Back. She recently wrapped production on Dominic Cooke’s On Chesil Beach and is currently in production on Focus Features’ Mary Queen of Scots, playing the title character.

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 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Film Awards Gala, a glamorous, black-tie event attended by 2,500, presented this year by American Express and sponsored by Cadillac and Entertainment Tonight.  The Film Awards Gala honors the year’s best achievements in cinema in front of and behind the camera.  The celebrated list of talents who have been honored in recent years includes Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, and Reese Witherspoon.

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(Source: Press release provided by PSIFF)

Palm Springs to honor Holly Hunter with its Career Achievement Award

Posted by Larry Gleeson

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The 29th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Holly Hunter with the Career Achievement Award at its annual Film Awards Gala.  The Film Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart, will be held Tuesday, January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 2-15, 2018.

“Holly Hunter’s career is filled with many memorable performances including her Academy Award-winning role in The Piano as well as other films including Broadcast News, The Firm, The Incredibles and more,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In her recent film The Big Sick, she brings comedy and poignancy as a mother coping with her daughter’s coma, while bonding with her daughter’s ex-boyfriend. It is our great honor to present the Career Achievement Award to Holly Hunter.”

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Holly Hunter, right, will receive the Palm Springs Film Award Gala’s Career Achievement Award, at the Palm Springs Convention Center, on January 2, 2018.

Past recipients of the Career Achievement Award include Annette Bening, Glenn Close, Kevin Costner, Bruce Dern, Robert Duvall, Clint Eastwood, Sally Field, Morgan Freeman, Samuel L. Jackson and Lynn Redgrave. Hunter will join previously announced 2018 honorees Timothée Chalamet, Gal Gadot, Allison Janney, Gary Oldman and Sam Rockwell.

Based on the real-life courtship between writers Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, and directed by Michael Showalter, The Big Sick spotlights Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail (Nanjiani), who connects with grad student Emily (Zoe Kazan) after one of his standup sets. However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing, which complicates the life that is expected of Kumail by his traditional Muslim parents. When Emily is beset with a mystery illness, it forces Kumail to navigate the medical crisis with her parents, Beth and Terry (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) whom he’s never met, while dealing with the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart.

A prominent actor on both stage and screen, Holly Hunter is an Academy and Emmy Award winner who has portrayed a vast array of complex and powerful characters throughout her career. Hunter was nominated for an Academy Award for her performances in Broadcast News, The Firm, Thirteen and The Piano, for which she won the Oscar for Best Actress in 1993. She won Primetime Emmy Awards for her performances in Roe vs. Wade and The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom, and she was nominated for her work in Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her, When Billie Beat Bobby, Saving Grace, and Top of the Lake. In addition to The Big Sick, Hunter was most recently seen in Strange Weather, the story of a mother trying to grieve over the death of her son. Upcoming, Hunter will star in the Alan Ball HBO series Here, Now. Additional film credits include Raising Arizona, Miss Firecracker, Home for the Holidays, Crash, A Life Less Ordinary, Living Out Loud, O Brother Where Art Thou?, The Incredibles, and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

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 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Film Awards Gala, a glamorous, black-tie event attended by 2,500, presented this year by American Express and sponsored by Entertainment Tonight.  The Film Awards Gala honors the year’s best achievements in cinema in front of and behind the camera.  The celebrated list of talents who have been honored in recent years includes Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and Reese Witherspoon.

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(Source: PSIFF Press release)

Allison Janney to receive Palm Springs Spotlight Award – Actress

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The 29th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Allison Janney with the Spotlight Award – Actress at its annual Film Awards Gala for her performance in I, Tonya. The Film Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart, will be held Tuesday, January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 2-15, 2018.

 

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Allison Janney portrays Tonya Harding’s mother, LaVona Harding, in the indie sensationalized portrait of the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan figure skating incident, I, Tonya.

“Allison Janney delivers a knock-out performance as Tonya Harding’s mother LaVona Golden in I, Tonya. The usually charming Janney takes a compellingly dark turn as Tonya’s abusive, alcoholic mother,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “For this outstanding performance, which is sure to garner awards attention, it is an honor to present Allison Janney with the Spotlight Award.”

 

Past recipients of the Spotlight Award include Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cranston, Andrew Garfield, Helen Hunt, Rooney Mara, Julia Roberts and J.K. Simmons. All recipients received Academy Award® nominations in the year they were honored, with Simmons winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.  Janney joins previously announced 2018 honorees Timothée Chalamet, Gal Gadot, Gary Oldman and Sam Rockwell.

Based on unbelievable yet true events, I, Tonya is a darkly comedic tale of American figure skater Tonya Harding and one of the most sensational scandals in sports history. The first American woman to complete a triple-axel in competition, Harding’s legacy was instead defined by her association with an ill-conceived, crudely executed attack on fellow Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan. Featuring an iconic turn by Margot Robbie as the fiery Harding, a mustachioed Sebastian Stan as her impetuous ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, and a tour-de-force performance from Allison Janney as her acid-tongued mother, LaVona, Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya is an absurd, irreverent and piercing portrayal of Harding’s life and career.  NEON/30WEST is releasing the film.

Allison Janney currently stars alongside Anna Faris in the CBS/Chuck Lorre hit comedy Mom. Janney also received rave reviews for her turn as Margaret Scully on Showtime’s Masters of Sex. She won Emmys for both roles in the same year and won a second Emmy for Mom the following year.  Adding the four Emmys she previously won during her run on The West Wing, Janney has a total of seven ATAS statues to her name. Her recently released movies include Tallulah, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, The Girl on the Train, Minions and Spy. Other film credits include The Way, Way Back, The Help, Juno, Hairspray, Finding Nemo, The Hours, American Beauty, Nurse Betty, Drop Dead Gorgeous, 10 Things I Hate About You, Primary Colors, The Ice Storm, The Object of My Affection and Big Night.

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 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Film Awards Gala, a glamorous, black-tie event attended by 2,500, presented this year by American Express and sponsored by Cadillac and Entertainment Tonight.  The Film Awards Gala honors the year’s best achievements in cinema in front of and behind the camera.  The celebrated list of talents who have been honored in recent years includes Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and Reese Witherspoon.

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(Source: PSIFF press release)

GARY OLDMAN TO RECEIVE DESERT PALM ACHIEVEMENT AWARD AT PALM SPRINGS FILM AWARDS GALA

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The 29th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Gary Oldman with the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor at its annual Film Awards Gala for his performance in Darkest Hour. The Film Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart, will be held Tuesday, January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 4-15, 2018.

 

“Gary Oldman brings to screen one of the most powerful performances of this year as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.  Portraying Britain’s steadfast leader during the tumultuous era of World War II, he has already earned rave reviews from critics and is sure to garner awards attention this season,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present Gary Oldman with this year’s Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor.”

 

Oldman received the International Star Award at the 2012 Palm Springs International Film festival.  Past actor recipients of the Desert Palm Achievement Award include Casey Affleck, Jeff Bridges, Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Colin Firth, Matthew McConaughey, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt and Eddie Redmayne. In the years they were honored, Affleck, Bridges, Day-Lewis, McConaughey, Penn and Redmayne went on to win the Academy Award® for Best Actor, while Cooper, Firth and Pitt received Oscar® nominations.

 

From Focus Features, Darkest Hour is a thrilling account inspired by the true story of Winston Churchill’s first weeks in office during the early days of the Second World War. Anthony McCarten’s original screenplay takes a revelatory look at the man behind the icon. The film is directed by Joe Wright and stars Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James, Stephen Dillane, Ronald Pickup, and Ben Mendelsohn.

 

Gary Oldman is known for his iconic characterizations of Sirius Black (Harry Potter’s godfather), Commissioner Jim Gordon (Batman/Bruce Wayne’s crime-fighting partner), Dracula, Beethoven, Pontius Pilate, Lee Harvey Oswald, Joe Orton, Sid Vicious, and George Smiley. The latter portrayal, in Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, brought him accolades worldwide including BAFTA Award, British Independent Film Award, European Film Award and Academy Award nominations for Best Actor. In addition to his work in the Harry Potter franchise and Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, his other credits include Sid and Nancy, Prick Up Your Ears, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, State of Grace, JFK, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, True Romance, Immortal Beloved, The Professional, The Fifth Element, Air Force One, Hannibal, The Book of Eli, Child 44, The Contender and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

 

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 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Film Awards Gala, a glamorous, black-tie event attended by 2,500.  The Film Awards Gala honors the year’s best achievements in cinema in front of and behind the camera.  The celebrated list of talents who have been honored in recent years includes Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and Reese Witherspoon. For more information, call 760-778-8979 or 800-898-7256 or visit www.psfilmfest.org.

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Timothée Chalamet to Receive Rising Star Award at 29th Annual PSIFF Film Awards Gala

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The 29th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Timothée Chalamet with the Rising Star Award – Actor at its annual Film Awards Gala for his performance in Call Me By Your Name. The Film Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart, will be held Tuesday, January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 4-15, 2018. Chalamet joins previously announced honoree Gal Gadot.

“Timothée Chalamet gives a stirring performance as Elio, a 17-year-old on the brink of passion and self-discovery.  It’s an intimate and erotic performance that transports the audience to another time and place and stays with us long after we’ve left the theater,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present Timothée Chalamet with this year’s Rising Star Award – Actor.”

Past recipients of the Rising Star Award include Ruth Negga, Alicia Vikander, Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson, Anna Kendrick, Dakota Fanning, Terrence Howard and Adam Beach.

Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, Call Me By Your Name, the new film by Luca Guadagnino, is a sensual and transcendent tale of first love, based on the acclaimed novel by André Aciman. The film stars Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet and Michael Stuhlbarg.

 

Timothée Chalamet first attracted attention during the second season of Showtime’s “Homeland” as the Vice President’s son, Finn Walden. He received a Drama League nomination, Clive Barnes Award nomination and received the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Actor for his performance in the lead role of Jim Quinn in the play “Prodigal Son”.

Chalamet can currently be see in Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut Lady Bird opposite Saoirse Ronan. Upcoming films for Chalamet include Scott Cooper’s Hostiles and Elijah Bynum’s coming of age drama Hot Summer Nights.  Next fall, he will be seen as the co-lead opposite Steve Carell in Felix Van Groeningen’s Beautiful Boy and the male lead in Woody Allen’s film A Rainy Day in New York opposite Selena Gomez and Elle Fanning. Other film credits include Julia Hart’s Miss Stevens, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, and Jason Reitman’s Men Women & Children.

 

 

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 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Film Awards Gala, a glamorous, black-tie event attended by 2,500.  The Film Awards Gala honors the year’s best achievements in cinema in front of and behind the camera.  The celebrated list of talents who have been honored in recent years includes Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and Reese Witherspoon. For more information, call 760-778-8979 or 800-898-7256 or visit www.psfilmfest.org.

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(Source: press release from bwr, public relations)

Gal Gadot to Receive the Rising Star Award at 29th Annual PSIFF Film Awards Gala

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The 29th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Gal Gadot with the Rising Star Award – Actress at its annual Film Awards Gala for her performance in Wonder Woman. The Film Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart, will be held Tuesday, January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 4-15, 2018.

“Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman showed us a strong, capable, poised, curious and compassionate character, and her performance has been universally praised, resonating with audiences everywhere.  Gal plays the immortal warrior so well, and the film’s themes are especially apt for today, empowering all types of people—women and men, young and old—the world over,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present Gal Gadot with this year’s Rising Star Award – Actress.”

Past recipients of the Rising Star Award include Ruth Negga, Alicia Vikander, Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson, Anna Kendrick and Dakota Fanning.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ Wonder Woman is based on the iconic DC character.  In the film, an American pilot crashes off an island and is rescued by Diana, an Amazonian princess and warrior.  He tells the them about the ongoing World War, and Diana decides she must help, leaving with him to fight, discovering her full powers and true destiny along the way.  Wonder Woman, which earned more than $410 million in the U.S. and over $820 million worldwide, set numerous box office records, including becoming the highest-grossing film directed by a woman, the highest-grossing superhero origin film domestically, and the largest opening for a female-led comic-based film.  The action adventure, starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, was directed by Patty Jenkins from a screenplay by Allan Heinberg, story by Zack Snyder & Heinberg and Jason Fuchs.

Gal Gadot is an actress born in Rosh Ha’ayin, Israel.  In 2004, she was crowned Miss Israel; then, like all Israeli citizens, went on to serve two years in the Israel Defense Forces.  She studied at IDC Herzliya College before pursuing modeling and acting.  While cultivating television work both in Israel and the U.S., Gadot made her film debut in Fast & Furious, as well as its sequels Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6, also performing her own stunts.  She appeared in the 2010 action comedy films Date Night and Knight and Day, the 2014 Israeli film Kicking Out Shoshana, and the 2016 films Triple 9, Criminal and Keeping Up with the Joneses.  Gadot was cast as Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, before playing the title character in the 2017 mega-hit Wonder Woman, which earned Gadot a Teen Choice Award for Action Actress.  She will reprise the character in the DC extended universe film Justice League, to be released on November 17, 2017.

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 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Film Awards Gala, a glamorous, black-tie event attended by 2,500.  The Film Awards Gala honors the year’s best achievements in cinema in front of and behind the camera.  The celebrated list of talents who have been honored in recent years includes Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and Reese Witherspoon. For more information, call 760-778-8979 or 800-898-7256 or visit www.psfilmfest.org.

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(Source: press release from bwr, public relations)

2017 PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL SHORTFEST ANNOUNCES FESTIVAL WINNERS

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Facing Mecca Receives Two Awards Including Best of the Festival;

The Head Vanishes, Dekalb Elementary Receive Top Jury Awards;

Red Light, Coin Operated, Kayayo and Lost Face Receive Audience Awards

PALM SPRINGS, CA (June 25, 2017) –  The 2017 Palm Springs International ShortFest, the largest short film festival and only short film market in North America, announced its Festival award winners on Sunday, June 25, 2017.  338 short films screened throughout the Festival along with more than 4,200 filmmaker submissions available in the film market.  More than $115,000 in prizes, including $20,000 in cash awards were awarded in 21 categories.

Lili-Rodriguez“After spending a week in and out of theaters, and talking with filmmakers and audiences, we close out the festival with such a strong sense of community,” said Festival Director Lili Rodriguez.

“Filmmakers are making movies about the changing world around them. I think our award winners showcase an understanding and compassion for people and it’s a great thing to see.”

The 2017 Palm Springs International ShortFest award winners are:

JURY AWARDS

Jury Awards and awards in the non-student and student competition categories were selected by ShortFest jury members David Ansen (film critic/PSIFF Lead Programmer), Lindsey Bahr (Associated Press), Kate Bosworth (actress/producer), Ian Durkin (Vimeo), Sam Lansky (Time Magazine) and Heidi Zwicker (Sundance).

BEST OF FESTIVAL AWARD – Winner received $5,000 cash prize courtesy of the Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau.  The winner of this award may be eligible to submit their film to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Oscar® consideration.

Facing Mecca (Switzerland), Jan-Eric Mack

Pensioner Roli comes to Fareed’s assistance when the Syrian refugee is faced with a bewildering forest of Swiss bureaucracy before he can bury his Muslim wife.

 

GRAND JURY AWARD – Winner received a $2,000 cash prize.

The Head Vanishes (France/Canada), Franck Dion

Jacqueline, no longer quite in her right mind, still goes on her annual summer trip. This year, she’s followed by some woman who claims to be her daughter.

PANAVISION BEST NORTH AMERICAN SHORT – The use of a camera package valued at $60,000 courtesy of Panavision.

Dekalb Elementary (USA), Reed Van Dyk

Inspired by an actual 911 call placed during a school shooting incident in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

NON-STUDENT COMPETITION AWARDS

All first place winners in the non-student categories received a cash award of $2,000 and may be eligible to submit their film to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Oscar® consideration.

BEST AnimatED short

The Head Vanishes (France/Canada), Franck Dion

Jacqueline, no longer quite in her right mind, still goes on her annual summer trip. This year, she’s followed by some woman who claims to be her daughter.

 

BEST Live Action short over 15 minutes

Retouch (Iran), Kaveh Mazaheri

Maryam’s husband does weightlifting at home. When a weight falls on his throat and puts him near death, Maryam makes a decision.

 

BEST Live Action short 15 MINUTES AND UNDER

Great Choice (USA), Robin Comisar

A woman gets stuck in a Red Lobster commercial.

BEST Documentary short

Edith + Eddie (USA), Laura Checkoway

Ninety-something Edith and Eddie are America’s oldest interracial newlyweds, whose unusual and idyllic love story is disrupted by a family feud that threatens to tear them apart.

 

STUDENT COMPETITION AWARDS

FUTURE FILMMAKER AWARD – Winner received a $2,000 cash prize.

Where You Found Refuge (France), Guillaume Legrand

After Didier finds his daughter living in a cult, he decides to bring her home by force.

Special Mention: Fry Day (USA), Laura Moss

An adolescent girl comes of age against the  backdrop of serial killer Ted Bundy’s execution in 1989.

All first place winners in these categories received a $500 cash prize.

BEST STUDENT ANIMATION

Sog (Germany), Jonatan Schwenk

After a flood, the fish are stuck in trees, in danger of drying out. They scream sharply, disturbing the inhabitants of a nearby cave.

 

BEST STUDENT Live Action short over 15 minutes

Facing Mecca (Switzerland), Jan-Eric Mack

Pensioner Roli comes to Fareed’s assistance when the Syrian refugee is faced with a bewildering forest of Swiss bureaucracy before he can bury his Muslim wife.

BEST STUDENT Live Action short 15 MINUTES AND UNDER

Iron Hands (USA/China), Johnson Cheng

A 12-year old girl tries out for the traditionally all-boys’ Chinese youth Olympic weightlifting team. And makes an unlikely connection with the weightlifting gym’s reclusive groundskeeper.

BEST STUDENT DOCUMENTARY short

Searching for Wives (Singapore), Zuki Juno Tobgye

Male migrant workers from South India living in Singapore send photos back home in the hope of finding suitable and willing marriage partners.

Special Jury Mention: I Made You, I Kill You (Romania/France), Alexandru Petru Badelita

In a remarkable cinematic diary, by turns touching and disturbing, Badelita looks back at his traumatic childhood growing up in rural Romania.

AUDIENCE AWARDS

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

Red Light (Bulgaria/Croatia), Toma Waszarow

A bus stops at a village’s only intersection, where the traffic light is stuck on red. The driver refuses to move forward

BEST ANIMATION SHORT

Coin Operated (USA), Nicholas Arioli

Seventy years pass in the life of one naïve explorer.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Kayayo (Norway), Mari Bakke Riise

Elementary-school-age Bamunu works as a kayayo (a living shopping cart) at the markets in Accra thousands of miles from her village.

SHORTFEST ONLINE AUDIENCE AWARD

Lost Face (Australia/Canada), Sean Meehan

Based on a classic story by Jack London set in mid-1800s Alaska, a man makes a deal with a native chief in hopes to save his life.

ADDITIONAL PRIZES

ALEXIS AWARD FOR BEST EMERGING STUDENT FILMMAKER – The Alexis Award is selected by the Festival’s programming team and was created in honor of Alexis Echavarria, whose talent as a budding filmmaker and gift for inspiring excellence among his fellow students were cut short suddenly in 2005 at age 16.  The recipient received Final Cut Pro X courtesy of Apple.

Chebet (Kenya/USA), Tony Koros

A pregnant woman in the Kenyan highlands decides to take drastic action when she finds her husband passed out in front of their house yet again.

 

HP BRIDGING THE BORDERS AWARD PRESENTED BY CINEMA WITHOUT BORDERS – The award goes to a film that is most successful in bringing and connecting the people of our world closer together. The winner received an HP ZBook 17 Mobile Workstation valued at $3,000.

Pantheon (France), Ange-Régis Hounkpatin

Son of a Beninese immigrant, cut off from his roots, Solomon is about to donate his deceased father’s Voodoo costume to a museum when a young street-dancer reminds him of the ancestral soul.

YOUTH JURY AWARD – The winner received a $500 cash prize.  

Everybody Else is Taken (New Zealand), Jessica Grace Smith

Meet Mika, a girl who refuses to let her gender define her place in one of the harshest environments on Earth-the play-ground.

About Palm Springs International ShortFest

Designated by AMPAS, BAFTA and BIFA as an award-qualifying festival, and accredited by the International Short Film Conference, the Palm Springs International ShortFest & Short Film Market, one of the most acclaimed short film showcases in the world, will take place in Palm Springs on June 20-26.  Now in its 23rd year, ShortFest will showcase 338 short films from 60 countries. The concurrent Short Film Market, the only one in North America, will feature a library of more than 4,200 films available to film buyers, industry and press.  The ShortFest Forum programs are a four-day schedule of seminars, panel discussions, roundtables and master classes staged free of charge for attending filmmakers.

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The Palm Springs International Film Festival will be held January 4-15, 2018 and the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala will be held January 2, 2018.

(Source: Press release provided by Nikki Croney, BWR)

28th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival - After Party
PALM SPRINGS, CA – JANUARY 02: A general view of atmosphere at the after party for the 28th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Film Awards Gala at the Palm Springs Convention Center on January 2, 2017 in Palm Springs, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Palm Springs International Film Festival)

Palm Springs International Shortfest Announces Line-Up

Posted by Larry Gleeson

ShortFest to Showcase Shorts Featuring Edward Asner, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Helena Bonham Carter, Carrie Coon, Idris Elba, Rick Fox, Toby Jones, Tatiana Maslany, Ian McKellen, Matthew Modine, Sam Rockwell, Kate Winslet, Robin Wright and More!

Additional Speakers from AMPAS, Anonymous Content, CAA, Cartoon Network, FX Networks, ICM Partners, NASA, Preferred Content, Seed&Spark, UTA, Vimeo and More!

Palm Springs, CA (June 9, 2017) – Now in its 23rd year, Palm Springs International ShortFest will showcase 338 films including 46 World Premieres, 12 International Premieres, 42 North American Premieres and 16 U.S. Premieres.  The selection of films for screening and competition features star-studded casts and award-winning films from 60 countries around the world.  There are 55 curated programs, which will screen June 20-26, at the Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs.  More than 4,200 of the festival submissions will be available in the Film Market for industry attendees to view.  The complete line-up is available at www.psfilmfest.org.

“Each year, the quality of films we watch for ShortFest keeps getting stronger,” said Festival Director Lili Rodriguez. “It makes our job of narrowing down the final selection that much harder, but also incredibly rewarding. There are so many unique and strong voices and we’re really proud to champion these films at the festival.”

This year’s star-studded shorts feature Academy Award® winners and nominees, as well as film and television stars including Summer Phoenix in Across My Land (USA/France); Thomas Lennon and Lennon Parham in All Exchanges Final (USA); Tatiana Maslany in Apart From Everything (Canada); The Dark of Night (USA) directed by Robin Wright and starring Leslie Bibb and Sam Rockwell; Sir Ian McKellen in Edmund the Magnificent (UK); Toby Jones in The Entertainer (UK); Julian Sands in The Escape (UK); Idris Elba in Five by Five (UK); Rick Fox in Game (USA); Carrie Coon in Great Choice (USA); Kate Winslet in The Lost Letter (Ireland); Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale in Martha Monster (Australia); Valerie Harper in My Mom and the Girl (USA); Helena Bonham Carter in Poles Apart (UK); Show Business (USA) directed by Clark Duke; and Super Sex directed by Matthew Modine and starring Kevin Nealon, Edward Asner, Elizabeth Perkins and Efren Ramirez.

2017 ShortFest Film Line-up

ShortFest jurors include: David Ansen (film critic/PSIFF Lead Programmer), Lindsey Bahr (Associated Press), Kate Bosworth (actress/producer), Ian Durkin (Vimeo), Sam Lansky (Time Magazine) and Heidi Zwicker (Sundance). Over $115,000 in prizes, including $20,000 in cash awards, will be given out in 21 categories to this year’s short films in competition.  The Panavision Best North American Short Award winner will receive the use of a camera package valued at $60,000.  First place winners in five categories will automatically become eligible for consideration by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS®) for a possible Academy Award® nomination.  Over the course of 22 years, the Festival has presented 101 films that have gone on to receive Academy Award® nominations.  Winners will be announced on Sunday, June 25 at a Closing Night screening and reception.

In addition to ShortFest’s award-winning short films, each year the Festival also welcomes a long guest list of filmmakers and industry attendees for the ShortFest Forums of panels and roundtables.  Other prominent industry figures from AMPAS®, Anonymous Content, CAA, Cartoon Network, FX Networks, ICM Partners, NASA, Preferred Content, Seed&Spark, UTA, Vimeo and other organizations will participate in three days of ShortFest Forums covering a wide range of emerging trends and new practices in the global film community.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

 

11:00 a.m.      The Real Deal About Virtual Reality – The future is already here. As virtual reality comes into its own as a new frontier for exploring emotion, narrative and character in thrilling new ways, hear from these experts on the latest trends, tech and storytelling applications in VR, and find out how you can get involved in this unique platform for short films.

Guests: Ian Forester, VRPlayhouse; James Kaelan, WeVR; Sasha Samochina, NASA

Moderator: Rich DeMuro, KTLA

 

12:30 p.m.      Composing for Film (Roundtable) – When you are weary of watching endless cuts of your film, with its ability to change the emotional impact, music can make you fall in love with your film all over again… IF you get the right composer. Using multiple examples, composer and Professor Peter Neff will teach you how to collaborate with composers to make your vision come to life on screen.

 

2:00 p.m.        Funding, Funding, Funding . . . – How do you build your audience, crowdfund, attract a financier, or find a way to get your film off the ground? The industry’s leading experts are here to discuss the realities of independent producing, fundraising and getting your project made. Our panel of experts will walk you through the basics and give you the tools you need to get started.

Guests: Emily Best, Seed&Spark; Natalie Difford, Cinereach; Peter Van Steemburg, ICM Partners; Hailey Wierengo, United Talent Agency

 

3:30 p.m.        Episodic and the Small Screen – We live in a new golden age of television. With more content than ever being produced for the small screen, and opportunities for both established auteurs and fresh voices. In these uncertain times for film, how can you break into the episodic medium?

Guests: Barbara Crawford, FX Networks; Katie Krentz, Cartoon Network; Kim Sherman, Stage 13; Caleb Ward, SeriesFest

Moderator: Katherine Tulich, HFPA/RogerEbert.com

 

Friday, June 23, 2017

 

11:00 a.m.      Short Film Festival Strategy (Roundtable) – So, you have a film and are ready to hit the festival circuit. What festivals do you hit? Do you send a cover letter?  Should you put your film online? Come find out from our festival insiders.

Guests: Kimberley Browning, Hollywood Shorts; Eileen Chiao, USC School of Cinematic Arts; Nancy Collet, Collet Cinema; Paul Sloop, Cleveland Film Fest

 

12:30 p.m.      How to Pitch Like a Pro (Workshop) Do you have an idea you’re ready to pitch? Then you need to know how. Our industry panel will show you the ropes, and share stories on the do’s and don’ts of making your pitch. Perfect training for anyone signed up for Saturday’s speed pitching roundtable. Don’t miss this workshop.

Guests: Emily Best, Seed&Spark; Nick Ogiony, CAA; Peter Trinh, ICM

Moderator: Liz Marion, Palm Springs ShortFest

 

2:00 p.m.        All About the Docs After all these years, short-form documentary filmmaking is still a thriving art form and tool for change and justice. The right length and topic in skilled hands can be just as transformative as a feature length or televised counterpart. Learn the ins and outs of short-form documentary filmmaking, and how to get your work seen by those who need to see it.

Guests: Hussain Currimbhoy, Sundance Film Festival; Abby Davis, Preferred Content; Raegan Hodge, CARE; Tom Oyer, Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences; AJ Schnack, Bonfire Films of America
Moderator: Jeremy Kay, Screen International

3:30 p.m.        In Conversation with . . . Kate Bosworth – Moderated by Gregg Kilday from The Hollywood Reporter, join us in conversation with actress/producer Kate Bosworth and get some insight into navigating a hyphenated career path and making the move from the spotlight to behind the camera with her new production company Make Pictures Productions.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

 

10:00 a.m.       Speed Pitching  Have a feature script up your sleeve? If you’re ready to venture out into the world, our collection of industry professionals – agents, studio executives, financiers, producers and filmmakers – are ready to meet with you one-on-one. You pitch. They respond. After 10 minutes it’s musical chairs.

                         Guests: Emily Best, Speed&Spark; Kimberly Browning, Hollywood Shorts; Abby Davis, Preferred Content; Adam Galen, Preferred Content; Kate Hurwitz, Cinetic Media; Matthew Lessall, Lessall Casting; Nick Ogiony, CAA; Linda Olszewski, Shorts HD; Morgan O’Neil, Southland Productions; Michael Polish, Director, The Astronaut Farmer; Luke Rivett, Anonymous Content; Peter Trinh, ICM; Peter Van Steemburg, ICM Partners

 

12:30 p.m.      Meet the Programmers – Navigating the festival circuit can be challenging, but with a cool head and a strategic plan, you can maximize your film’s visibility, make amazing connections and drive your filmmaking career forward. A group of programmers from top U.S. festivals will provide candid insights into the programming process, deciding which festivals are best for your project, and making sure you make the most of your festival experience.

Guests: Sarah Harris, Denver Film Festival, Dallas Intl. Film Festival, Seattle Intl. Film Festival; Adam Piron, Sundance Institute; Amanda Salazar, San Francisco Intl. Film Festival; Paul Sloop, Cleveland Film Festival

Moderator: Sudeep Sharma

 

2:00 p.m.        Meet the Press – Who is behind film and festival reviews? Learn from industry pros about how to catch the attention of the top writers and get your films reviewed.

Guests: Jeremy Kay, Screen International; Malina Saval, Variety; Anne Thompson, Indiewire

Moderator: Lili Rodriguez, Festival Director

 

3:30 p.m.        Short Film Postpartum So you’ve made a short, or maybe a few, and perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to play the festival circuit. What happens next? And where do you go from here?  Learn about the many paths your short can take beyond film festival screenings and how to make the most of your audience and future opportunities from a panel of experienced industry experts here to help keep the dream alive.

Guests:Jeff Deutchman, NEON; Ian Durkin, Vimeo; Kate Hurwitz, Cinetic; Linda Olszewski, Shorts HD

Moderator: Malina Saval, Variety

About Palm Springs International ShortFest

Designated by AMPAS, BAFTA and BIFA as an award-qualifying festival, and accredited by the International Short Film Conference, the Palm Springs International ShortFest & Short Film Market, one of the most acclaimed short film showcases in the world, will take place in Palm Springs on June 20-26.  Now in its 23rd year, ShortFest will showcase 338 short films from 60 countries. The concurrent Short Film Market, the only one in North America, will feature a library of more than 4,200 films available to film buyers, industry and press.  The ShortFest Forum programs are a four-day schedule of seminars, panel discussions, roundtables and master classes staged free of charge for attending filmmakers.

For more information and tickets, call (760) 778-8979 or visit the website: www.psfilmfest.org.

(Source: Press release provided by Nikki Croney)

 

PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2018 DATES

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Palm Springs, CA (April 28, 2017) – The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) has announced the dates of its 29thedition.  Festival dates will be January 2-15, 2018.  Highlights include:

 *On Tuesday, January 2, the annual Film Awards Gala will kick off the festival at the Palm Springs Convention Center.  Last year’s star-studded event, hosted by Mary Hart, honored Amy Adams, Andrew Garfield, Annette Bening, Casey Affleck, Mahershala Ali, Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman, Ruth Negga, Tom Hanks, and the cast of Hidden Figures and the creative ensemble of La La Land.

*The festival’s “Power of Words: Book to Screen” program will be held Wednesday, January 3.

The screening portion of the festival will run Thursday, January 4 through Monday, January 15.  Opening Night screening will take place at Richards Center for the Arts on Thursday, January 4, with a party to follow at the Palm Springs Art Museum.

 The festival will close on Sunday, January 14, with Best of the Fest screenings taking place Monday, January 15.

 For additional information visit www.psfilmfest.org.

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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 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Film Awards Gala, a glamorous, black-tie event attended by 2,500 people, which last year was presented by Chopard and sponsored by Mercedes Benz and Entertainment Tonight.  The Film Awards Gala honors the year’s best achievements in cinema in front of and behind the camera.  The celebrated list of talents who have been honored in recent years includes Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Natalie Portman, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon and more.  PSIFF is organized by The Palm Springs International Film Society, a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization with a mission to cultivate and promote the art and science of film through education and cross-cultural awareness.

For more information, call 760-778-8979 or 800-898-7256 or visit www.psfilmfest.org.

(Source: Press release provided by NikkiCroney, BWR)