Palm Springs International Film Fest Announces Premieres, New Voices/New Visions, and Modern Masters

The 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (Psiff) has announced its line-up of Premieres, New Voices/New Visions competition and Modern Masters. Films from 60 countries, including 54 premieres (7 World, 17 North American and 30 U.S.), will unspool at the Festival, running from January 1-11, 2016 in Palm Springs, California.

“The line-up this year, while full of unexpected surprises, vividly reflects what is going on in the world around us,” said Festival Director Darryl Macdonald. “There’s a particular focus on stories about displaced people – immigrants, emigrants, refugees, those seeking asylum or shelter. There’s a concurrent trend toward stories revolving around new beginnings and escaping the shackles of the past, whether sexual, cultural, societal or self-imposed. Balancing all of these is a focus on family and romance, along with films involving a healthy dose of magic realism or absurdist comedy, and a plethora of exceptional films dealing with the usual obsessions – music, food, sex and art. All in all, it’s about as well-rounded, as thoughtfully chosen, and as provocative as it’s possible for a smartly curated lineup of new international cinema to be.”

“I am thrilled at the breadth and depth of this year’s program,” said Festival Artistic Director Helen du Toit. “While Modern Masters showcases such widely acclaimed filmmakers as as Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Barbara Kopple and Terence Davies, our New Voices/New Visions program is evidence that new masters are emerging around the world. The range of approaches is extraordinary. Highlights include Raam Reddy's 'Thithi' (India), which skillfully juggles myriad characters in a delightful low key comedy; Yorgos Zois’ 'Interruption' (Greece), which challenges the audience with a complex and highly compelling narrative; and Maris Curran's 'Five Nights in Maine' (USA), featuring David Oyelowo's nuanced and heartbreaking performance as a widower reconnecting with his estranged mother-in-law.”

Showcasing the diversity of international cinema, Festival premieres will include:

World premieres: "50 Days in the Desert" (Luxembourg) directed by Fabrizio Maltese, "Agnes" (Germany/Belgium), the documentary "Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age" (Us) featuring Alec Baldwin, Carol Channing, Dick Van Dyke, Jane Fonda and Robert Redford, "The Carer" (Hungary/UK), "Going Going Gone" (UK), "Searchdog" (Us) and "Set the Thames on Fire" (UK).

North American premieres: "Banat" (Italy/Romania/Bulgaria/Macedonia), "Death By Death" (Belgium/France), "A Decent Man" (Switzerland),"Departure" (France/UK),"Fly Away Solo" (India/France), "Interruption" (Greece/Croatia), "A Korean in Paris" (South Korea/France), "The Memory of Water" (Chile/Spain/Argentina/Germany), "Moor" (Pakistan), "On My Mother’s Side" (Canada), "Paradise Trips" (Belgium/Croatia), "Rosita" (Denmark), "Spy Time" (Spain), "Tanna" (Australia/Vanuatu), "Thithi" (India/Us/Canada), "Utopians" (Hong Kong) and "When a Tree Falls" (Spain).

U.S. premieres: "1944" (Estonia/Finland), "3000 Nights" (Palestine/France/Jordan/Lebanon), "Atomic Falafel" (Israel/Germany/New Zealand), "Belgian Rhapsody" (Belgium), "Beyond My Grandfather Allende" (Chile/Mexico), "Born to Dance" (New Zealand), "Closet Monster" (Canada), "Enclave" (Serbia/Germany), "The Endless River" (South Africa/France), "Endorphine" (Canada),Exotica, "Erotica, Etc." (France), "Fire Song" (Canada), "Five Nights in Maine" (Us), "A Heavy Heart" (Germany), "Home Care" (Czech Republic/Slovakia), "Let Them Come" (Algeria/France), "My Big Night" (Spain), "My Internship in Canada" (Canada), "The Other Side" (Italy/France), "Our Everyday Life" (Bosnia, Herzegovina/Slovenia/Croatia), "The Paradise Suite" (Netherlands/Sweden/Bulgaria), "Parched" (India/Us/UK), "Parisienne" (France), "Sabali" (Canada), "Sleeping Giant" (Canada), "Summer Solstice" (Poland/Germany), "Trap" (Philippines), "The Violin Teacher" (Brazil), "Wedding Doll" (Israel) and " Zubaan" (India).

The New Voices/New Visions competition showcases 12 Us premieres from top emerging international directors marking their feature film debut at the Festival, with the additional criteria that the films selected are currently without U.S. distribution. The winner is selected by a jury of U.S. distributors which include Gary Rubin of Cohen Media, Dan Berger of Oscilloscope and Ryan Kampe of Visit Films/Monument Releasing. The winner will receive use of a $60,000 Panavision camera package and a glass sculpture designed for the Festival by renowned artist Dale Chihuly. Films selected for this year include:

"Banat" (Italy/Romania/Bulgaria/Macedonia), Director Adriano Valerio "Death By Death" (Belgium/France), Director Xavier Seron "Departure" (UK/France), Director Andrew Steggall "Five Nights in Maine" (Us), Director Maris Curran and starring David Oyelowo "A Heavy Heart" (Germany), Director Thomas Stuber "Home Care" (Czech Republic/Slovakia), Director Slávek Horák "Interruption" (Greece/Croatia), Director Yorgos Zois "Let Them Come" (Algeria/France), Director Salem Brahimi "Our Everyday Life" (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Slovenia/Croatia), Director Ines Tanović "Paradise Trips" (Belgium/Croatia), Director Raf Reyntjens "Sleeping Giant" (Canada), Director Andrew Cividino "Thithi" (India/Us/Canada), Director Raam Reddy

The Modern Masters section features 10 films from international directors who set the standards for contemporary cinema. Films selected for this year include:

"Cemetery Of Splendour" (Thailand/UK), Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul "Dheepan" (France), Director Jacques Audiard "Miss Sharon Jones!" (Us), Director Barbara Kopple "Mountains May Depart" (China/France/Japan), Director Jia Zhangke "My Golden Days" (France), Director Arnaud Desplechin "My Mother" (Italy/France), Director Nanni Moretti "Our Little Sister" (Japan), Director Hirokazu Kore-eda "Sunset Song" (UK/Luxembourg), Director Terence Davies "Sweet Bean" (Japan), Director Naomi Kawase "Women He’s Undressed" (Australia), Director Gillian Armstrong

Other Festival films with notable talent and directors include: "45 Years" (UK) directed by Andrew Haigh and starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay, "Anomalisa" (Us) directed by Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman with the voices of David Thewlis and Jennifer Jason Leigh, "Chronic" (Mexico/France) starring Tim Roth, "Closet Monster" (Canada) with Connor Jessup and Isabella Rossellini, "Eisenstein in Guanajuato" (Netherlands/Mexico/Finland/Belgium/France) directed by Peter Greenaway, "February" (Us/Canada) starring Kiernan Shipka and Emma Roberts, "Hello, My Name is Doris" (Us) starring Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Beth Behrs and Stephen Root, "Hitchcock/Truffaut" (France/Us) directed by Kent Jones and featuring Peter Bogdanovich, David Fincher and Richard Linklater, "The Invitation" (Us) starring Logan Marshall-Green and Michiel Huisman, "The Lady in the Van" (UK) directed by Nicholas Hytner and starring Maggie Smith, Jim Broadbent and James Corden, "Louder Than Bombs" (USA) starring Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne and Isabelle Huppert, "Men & Chicken" (Denmark) starring Mads Mikkelsen, "Papa (Cuba)" directed by Bob Yari and starring Giovanni Ribisi, Joely Richardson and Minka Kelly, "A Perfect Day" (Spain) starring Benicio del Toro, Tim Robbins and Olga Kurylenko, "The Seventh Fire" (Us) executive produced by Terrence Malick, Natalie Portman and Chris Eyre, and "Where to Invade Next" (Us) directed by Michael Moore.

The complete line-up will be available on December 18 at
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