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Palm Springs Festival line up

The 16th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival has announced its roster of 190 films, culled from more than 65 countries for the 2005 Festival. The selection of films for screening includes a total of 80 premieres (14 World, 45 U.S. and 21 North American). Also 41 of the 50 films submitted for consideration in the Best Foreign Language Film category for the Academy Awards will be screened at this year’s Festival, held from January 6-17, 2005. (For a complete list of this year’s films see the attached.)

“This year’s line-up is especially auspicious, featuring, as it does, a number of major premieres from both well-established auteurs and promising emerging filmmakers based in America and abroad,” said Darryl Macdonald, Festival Executive Director. “The breadth and depth of the talent encompassed by the line-up is truly heartening, and we’re especially delighted to have such a strong line-up of films from current cultural hotbeds of world cinema such as Argentina, Israel, China, Italy and Germany – all of whom are undergoing a resurgence, of sorts, of their national cinemas.”

Seven films will screen in the Gala category including opening night film Coach Carter, starring Samuel L. Jackson, and the U.S. Premiere of closing night film Ladies in Lavender, starring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. The Awards Buzz section will feature the Best Foreign Language Film submissions as well as the films being discussed for consideration in the Best Documentary categories of the Academy Awards. Thirty-one films from Latin America, Spain and Portugal will screen in the Festival’s Ciné Latino program, which will highlight emerging talent from the Latino film world. New this year is the Super-Charged Cinema, a late-night series featuring four genre films from the field of action, martial arts, comedy or horror for the more adventurous filmgoer.

Documentaries have emerged as a major force in the theatrical marketplace and now reach a much broader audience, rivalling the draw of traditional narrative features. The Non-Fiction Features section of the Festival highlights a select overview of the best new contemporary non-fiction cinema. In addition, the World Cinema Now program is a wide-ranging overview of contemporary international cinema, which provides a sampling of the essential new films from around the world, including a number of World and U.S. Premieres, and prize-winners from major festivals worldwide.

“I’m particularly proud of the quality and diversity of the line-up this year,” stated Programming Director Carl Spence. “Our Ciné Latino series showcases the strongest new films and upcoming talent from the current renaissance in South American filmmaking, while our World Cinema Now section provides a particularly incisive overview of current trends in international film. Each of the Gala and Special Presentation screenings in the Festival’s program are especially worthy of the spotlight we’re providing them.”



GALA SCREENINGS:
This year’s festival will open on Thursday, January 6, 2005 with Paramount Pictures’ Coach Carter, directed by Thomas Carter (Save the Last Dance), starring Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Ri’Chard, Rob Brown, Debbi Morgan and Ashanti. Coach Ken Carter and the film’s director are expected to attend the screening. The film’s star Samuel L. Jackson will be honored at the Festival’s Awards Gala on Saturday, January 8, 2005 with the Career Achievement Award for Acting. Based on a true-life story, Coach Carter is an inspirational account of controversial high school basketball coach Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson), who received high praise and staunch criticism when he made national news for benching his entire undefeated team for poor academic performance.

The Festival will close on Sunday, January 16, 2005 with the U.S. premiere of Ladies in Lavender (United Kingdom), directed by Charles Dance, starring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. The film follows two spinster sisters whose emotions are unleashed after a dapper young foreigner washes ashore on their beach on the eve of World War II.

Other International Gala Screenings include the World Premiere of The Thing About My Folks (USA), directed by Raymond De Felita, starring Peter Falk, Paul Reiser and Olympia Dukakis; the North American Premiere of Roma (Argentina/Spain), directed by Adolfo Aristarain; and the U.S. Premieres of Prom Queen (Canada), directed by John L’Ecuyer; The Story of My Life (France), directed by Laurent Tirard; and Red Dust (South Africa/United Kingdom), directed by Tom Hooper, starring Academy Award winner Hilary Swank.



SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS:
Five films have been selected as Special Presentations featuring acclaimed films marking their U.S. or World Premieres, including the World Premieres of the controversial documentary on Lew Wasserman, The Last Mogul (USA/Canada), directed by Barry Avrich, and Life of the Party (USA), directed by Barra Grant, starring Eion Bailey. Other films selected in this program include the U.S. Premieres of 5 X 2 – Five Times Two (France), directed by Francois Ozon; Millions (United Kingdom/USA), directed by Danny Boyle; and Summer Storm (Germany), directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner.

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