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The 2019 Palm Springs Film International Festival kicks off today

The Palm Springs Film International Festival kicks off today with a morning screening of “Cinema Paradiso” which it featured in its first installment 30 years ago. To celebrate the Festival’s 30 year Anniversary, 30 retrospective films that were highlighted at the festival and helped put the festival on the map as one of the top film festivals in America, and the world. Will be shown free of charge to the public. 


The festival has continued to grow with its world famous Gala, which precedes the other  key Hollywood awards shows in Los Angeles.  So many famous directors, actors, composers, have received awards and started their award campaigns in the convention center in Palm Springs.  Festival Chairman Harold Matzner truly has put his all into making these galas expand their scope as national and international press clamor to cover this diversified and glamorous event each year. This year the Festival Gala is honoring Bradley Cooper, Glen Close, Alfonso Cuaron, Olivia Coleman, Rami Malek, Melissa McCarthy, Timothee Chalamet, and Spike Lee, whose film premiered in Cannes to critical praise. Regina King will receive the Festival Chairman’s award, given by Harold Matzner.  


All nine of the Oscar Best Foreign Language short listed films will be shown at the festival and  films submitted last year, are now here as contenders. Head programmer, David Ansen, says this is why our audiences come each year. They love having the opportunity to see these films from around the world with theatres filled with passionate film lovers.  There are stories being told that don’t always make it to their local theatres.   This year David  has been programming a lot of the documentaries.  He is particularly excited about "What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael" (U.S.) by Director Rob Garver, a documentary about fellow film critic Pauline Kael.   


Other highlights are the Variety: 10 Directors to Watch Brunch. There is a huge World Cinema Now section, as well as a selection of films by Modern Masters. This year’s Three spotlight countries are Mexico, France, and India. There’s a Talking Pictures section with award worthy movies and talent on hand to discuss these movies in depth, as well as a New Voices, New Visions Award and the annual John Schlesinger Doc Award.


The latest award addition is a competition named in honor of  the late actor Ricky Jay called “The Magic of Cinema Award” and there will be a new jury. When David was Artistic Director at the LA Film Festival he moderated a special event night with Ricky Jay and writer/director David Mamet.


As an actor Ricky Jay appeared in Mamet films: “House of Game”, “Homicide”, “Things Change”, “Spanish Prisoner,” “State and Main”, and “Heist.”  He also appeared in New Line films “Boogie Nights”, and “Magnolia”.


Disclosure:  Marc Halperin, Editor/Publisher of The Global Film Village, worked on the theatrical distribution of “Cinema Paradiso,” “State and Main,” both mentioned in the article.


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About MarlaLewinGFV

Lewin Marla
(Global Film Village)

Marla is a producer, playwright, screenwriter, publicist and now a journalist. She attends 12 to 20 film festivals per year. She has spoken on filmmaking at many festivals including Cannes and SXSW.


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