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Sing along Hairspray to be Honored at Palm Springs

You can’t stop the beat as the 19th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) celebrates the film Hairspray with an outdoor sing-along screening and a key Festival award. On Friday, January 4, 2008, Netflix, Inc., the world’s largest online movie rental service, will host a free public screening as part of the film festival’s program lineup. The special print of the film will include lyric subtitles for each song, so audiences can join in the singing. The Festival’s first-ever outdoor screening will be held in Palm Spring’s Sunrise Park at 6:00 p.m. On Saturday, January 5, 2008 the film will be honored with the Ensemble Performance Award at the Festival’s Awards Gala held at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Cast members from the film including John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Allison Janney, Zac Efron, Nikki Blonsky and others are expected to attend the Festival.

Festival Chairman Earl Greenburg said, “Featuring Hollywood’s biggest names and its hottest young stars, the ensemble of Hairspray is truly an all-star cast and we’re honored to reunite them here in Palm Springs for this outdoor screening and award.”

City Manager David H. Ready's commented, “As the Film Festival Title Sponsor, the City of Palm Springs is appreciative to Netflix for hosting the film in our park and we encourage all residents and visitors to join us for this exciting, new event.”

“Netflix is pleased to be a part of the Palm Springs Film Festival experience as it continues to take a greater role as a source for showcasing some of the most enjoyable and innovative films of the year,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer. “It is with that in mind, and our penchant for doing great live productions, that we look forward to doing a sing-along screening of Hairspray for Palm Springs residents and visitors who can enjoy this movie in such a high-energy and participatory way.”

As previously announced, the Awards Gala, which will be held on Saturday, January 5, 2008 at the Palm Springs Convention Center hosted by “Entertainment Tonight’s” Mary Hart, will also honor the film Juno with the Chariman’s Vanguard Award, Sean Penn with Director of the Year Award, Jerry Weintraub with the SAG Foundation Patron of the Arts Award, Marion Cotillard with the Breakthrough Performance Award and Emile Hirsch and Nikki Blonsky with the Rising Star Awards.

Based on the 1988 John Waters cult classic film and the critically-acclaimed, Tony Award-winning Broadway hit musical, New Line Cinema’s Hairspray features the all-star ensemble of John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Amanda Bynes, James Marsden and Queen Latifah, as well as Brittany Snow, Zac Efron, Elijah Kelly, Allison Janney, Jerry Stiller, Paul Dooley and introducing Nikki Blonsky. The film is directed and choreographed by Adam Shankman and produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron from a screenplay by Leslie Dixon. Hairspray is available on DVD November 20, 2007.

Founded in 1990 by then Mayor Sonny Bono, the PSIFF is one of the largest film festivals in North America. The Festival has an attractive film sales and distribution record and is seen by American distributors as one of the best Academy Award campaign marketing tools. The Festival also features cultural events, filmmaker tributes, industry seminars and an annual black-tie gala award presentation.

Renewing their support of this year’s Festival is Title Sponsor, The City of Palm Springs along with Presenting Sponsors, Spencer’s Restaurant, The Desert Sun, the City of Indian Wells, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Entertainment Tonight and Wessman Development. Major sponsors in addition to Netflix include Integrated Wealth Management, Bank of America, Regal Entertainment, Ciroc/Johnnie Walker/Don Julio, Wells Fargo, Agua Caliente Casino and Spa Resort Casino.

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