28th Palm Springs International Film Festival Announces Line-up

Fest to Open with World Premiere of “The Sense of an Ending”; “The Comedian” to Close Fest; Festival Announces Complete Line-up of Premieres, New Voices/New Visions, Modern Masters, True Stories, After Dark and more!

Palm Springs, California ( December 15, 2016 ) -

The 28th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) announced that the festival’s opening night will be the World Premiere screening of “The Sense of an Ending”, directed by Ritesh Batra on Thursday, January 5.  The festival will close with “The Comedian”, directed by Taylor Hackford on Sunday, January 15. The Festival will screen 190 films from 72 countries, including 58 premieres (9 World, 5 International, 20 North American and 24 U.S.) from January 2-16, 2017.  The complete line-up including a focus on cinema from Poland, Premieres, New Voices/New Visions competition, Modern Masters, True Stories, After Dark and more were also announced, in addition to the Awards Buzz program released last week.

PSIFF will open with the World Premiere of the CBS Film “The Sense of an Ending”, directed by Ritesh Batra.  The film stars Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling who team up with the director of “The Lunchbox” in this mesmerizing adaptation of Julian Barnes’s acclaimed novel about time, memory, jealousy, and the lies we tell ourselves to survive. The film also stars Harriet Walter, Freya Mavor, Emily Mortimer, Michelle Dockery, Matthew Goode and Billy Howle. The film opens in NY and LA on March 10th.

Closing the festival will be the Sony Pictures Classics film “The Comedian”, directed by Taylor Hackford.  Robert De Niro stars as Jackie Burke, a bitter, angry insult comic who was once the popular star of a TV sitcom, and is now trying to claw his way back on the stand-up circuit, one scabrous joke at a time.  The film’s supporting cast features Leslie Mann, Danny Devito, Cloris Leachman, Harvey Keitel, Patti LuPone and Edie Falco.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this year’s lineup. The programming team has managed to pull together a plethora of different viewpoints in storytelling from around the world in hopes of generating great discussion sorely needed in these divisive times,” said Artistic Director Michael Lerman.  “Between the 42 Foreign Language Oscar submissions, each selected to represent their own country in a year that’s more competitive than ever, to the poignant work being made by Modern Masters like Kim Ki-Duk, Ken Loach, Feng Xiaogang and Steve James, to the ever-surprising first and second features in our New Voices/New Visions competition like the unmissable “Zoology” and “Kati Kati”, the festival is jam-packed with gems. Along with that, I have to say what a pleasure it is to present the World Premiere of Ritesh Batra’s second feature film, “The Sense of an Ending” for Opening Night. We were all massive fans of his first feature, “The Lunchbox”, and we can’t wait to welcome him to Palm Springs.”

World premieres:

  • “The Beautiful Fantastic” (UK/U.S.), Director Simon Aboud
  • “Breakable You” (U.S.), Director Andrew Wagner with Holly Hunter, Tony Shalhoub and Alfred Molina
  • “The Concessionaires Must Die! (U.S.), Director America Young
  • Do It or Die!” (U.S), Director Jørn Winther
  • “Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends)” (U.S./France), Director Colin Hanks
  • “Everybody Loves Somebody” (Mexico), Director Catalina Aguilar Mastretta with Karla Souza
  • “Poorna” (India), Director Rahul Bose
  • “The Sense of an Ending” (UK/U.S.), Director Ritesh Batra
  • “Take Me Home Huey” (U.S.), Directors Alicia Brauns and Christine Steele

International premieres:

  • “The 4th Company” (Mexico/Spain), Directors Amir Galván Cervera and Mitzi Vanessa Arreola
  • “Call Me Thief” (South Africa), Director Daryne Joshua
  • “Julie and the Shoe Factory” (France), Directors Paul Calori and Kostia Testut
  • “Tonio” (Netherlands), Director Paula van der Oest
  • “Xamou” (Greece), Director Clio Fanouraki

North American premieres:

  • “At the End of the Tunnel” (Argentina/Spain), Director Rodrigo Grande
  • “Bad Influence” (Chile), Director Claudia Huaiquimilla
  • “Dark Skull” (Bolivia/Qatar), Director Kiro Russo
  • “The Day Will Come” (Denmark), Director Jesper W. Nielsen
  • “Ethel & Ernest” (UK/Luxembourg), Director Roger Mainwood with the voices of Brenda Blethyn and Jim Broadbent
  • “Half Ticket” (India), Director Samit Kakkad
  • “The Hippopotamus” (UK), Director John Jencks with Roger Allam, Matthew Modine and Fiona Shaw
  • “A Jew Must Die” (Switzerland), Director Jacob Berger
  • “King of the Belgians (Belgium/Netherlands/Bulgaria), Director Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth
  • “The Liberation of Skopje” (Macedonia/Croatia/Finland), Directors Rade Šerbedžija and Danilo Šerbedžija
  • “Mellow Mud” (Latvia), Director Ren?rs Vimba
  • “Mercenary” (France), Director Sacha Wolff
  • “Mountain Cry” (China), Director Larry Yang
  • “No Dress Code Required” (Mexico), Director Cristina Herrera Bórquez
  • “The Spy and the Poet” (Estonia), Director Toomas Hussar
  • “Tommy’s Honour” (U.S.), Director Jason Connery
  • “The Turkish Way” (Spain), Director Luis González
  • “Vincent and the End of the World” (Belgium/France), Director Christophe Van Rompaey
  • “When We Rise” (U.S.), Director Gus Van Sant with Guy Pearce, Mary-Louise Parker, Rachel Griffiths and Rosie O’Donnell
  • “The Winter” (Argentina/France), Director Emiliano Torres

U.S. premieres:

  • “Barakah Meets Barakah” (Saudi Arabia), Director Mahmoud Sabbagh
  • “Behind the Clouds” (Belgium), Director Cecilia Verheyden
  • “Blessed Benefit” (Jordan/Germany/Netherlands), Director Mahmoud al Massad
  • “Brimstone” (Netherlands/Germany/France/Belgium/Sweden/UK), Director Martin Koolhoven with Guy Pearce and Dakota Fanning
  • “Center of My World” (Germany/Austria), Director Jakob M. Erwa
  • “Daguerrotype” (France/Japan/Belgium), Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa
  • “The Distinguished Citizen” (Argentina/Spain), Director Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat
  • “In Between” (Israel/France), Director Maysaloun Hamoud
  • “It’s Not the Time of My Life” (Hungary), Director Szabolcs Hajdu
  • “J: Beyond Flamenco” (Spain), Director Carlos Saura
  • “King of the Dancehall” (U.S./Jamaica), Director Nick Cannon with Louis Gossett, Jr., Whoopi Goldberg and Busta Rhymes
  • “The King’s Choice” (Norway), Director Erik Poppe
  • “KONEL?NE: our land beautiful” (Canada), Director Nettie Wild
  • “Little Wing” (Finland/Denmark), Director Selma Vilhunen
  • “Ma’ Rosa” (Philippines), Director Brillante Mendoza
  • “Memories of Summer” (Poland), Director Adam Guzi?ski
  • “Noces” (Belgium/France/Luxembourg/Pakistan), Director Stephan Streker
  • “Past Life” (Israel), Director Avi Nesher
  • “Pihu” (India), Director Vinod Kapri
  • “Souvenir” (Belgium/Luxembourg / France), Director Bavo Defurne with Isabelle Huppert
  • “The Stopover” (France/Greece), Director Delphine Coulin and Muriel Coulin
  • “A United Kingdom” (UK), Director Amma Asante with Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo
  • “White Sun” (Nepal/US/Qatar/ Netherlands), Director Deepak Rauniyar
  • “X500” (Canada/Colombia/Mexico), Director Juan Andrés Arango

The festival’s country focus this year offers new works by contemporary Polish filmmakers, each evoking a specific time and place in their country’s history and examining politics both personal and institutional. The section also honors Andrzej Wajda, one of the greats of European cinema, with screenings of his final work Afterimage as well as an archival print of his 1958 masterpiece Ashes and Diamonds.  The films in the program include:

  • “Afterimage” (Poland), Director Andrzej Wajda
  • “Ashes and Diamonds” (Poland), Director Andrzej Wajda
  • “Memories of Summer” (Poland), Director Adam Guzi?ski
  • “The Last Family” (Poland), Director Jan P. Matuszy?ski
  • “United States of Love” (Poland/Sweden), Director Tomasz Wasilewski
  • “Zacma: Blindness” (Poland), Director Ryszard Bugajski

The New Voices/New Visions competition showcases ten films from emerging international directors bringing their first or second narrative features to the Festival. The winner is selected by a jury of festival programmers and U.S. distributors. Films selected for this year include:

  • “Barakah Meets Barakah” (Saudi Arabia), Director Mahmoud Sabbagh
  • “Boundaries” (Canada), Director Chloé Robichaud
  • “In Between” (Israel/France), Director Maysaloun Hamoud
  • “Julie and the Shoe Factory” (France), Director Paul Calori, Kostia Testut
  • “Kati Kati” (Kenya/Germany), Director Mbithi Masya
  • “Little Wing” (Finland/Denmark), Director Selma Vilhunen
  • “Mellow Mud” (Latvia), Director Ren?rs Vimba
  • “The Winter “(Argentina/France), Director Emiliano Torres
  • “White Sun” (Nepal/U.S./Qatar/Netherlands), Director Deepak Rauniyar
  • “Zoology” (Russia/France/Germany), Director Ivan I. Tverdovsky

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

  • “A Quiet Passion” (UK/Belgium), Director Terence Davies
  • “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” (U.S.), Director Steve James
  • “After the Storm” (Japan), Director Hirokazu Kore-eda
  • “The Commune” (Denmark/Sweden/Netherlands), Director Thomas Vinterberg
  • “Daguerrotype” (France/Japan/Belgium), Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa
  • “Frantz” (France/Germany), Director François Ozon
  • “I Am Not Madame Bovary” (China), Director Feng Xiaogang
  • “I, Daniel Blake” (UK/France/Belgium), Director Ken Loach
  • “J: Beyond Flamenco” (Spain), Director Carlos Saura
  • “The Net” (South Korea), Director Kim Ki-duk
  • “Past Life” (Israel), Director Avi Nesher
  • “Personal Shopper” (France), Director Olivier Assayas
  • “The Teacher” (Slovakia/Czech Republic), Director Jan Hrebejk
  • “The Unknown Girl” (Belgium/France), Director Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

There’s a film for every interest in True Stories, and many of the documentaries in this year’s section place a particular focus on the arts – from music and dance, to fashion and Hollywood.

  • “Aida’s Secrets” (Israel/U.S./Germany/Canada), Directors Alon Schwarz, Shaul Schwarz
  • “Alive and Kicking” (U.S./Sweden), Director Susan Glatzer
  • “Beauties of the Night” (Mexico), Director María José Cuevas
  • “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds” (U.S.), Director Alexis Bloom, Fisher Stevens
  • “Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends)” (U.S./France), Director Colin Hanks
  • “Forever Pure” (Israel/UK/Ireland/Norway), Director Maya Zinshtein
  • “Franca: Chaos and Creation” (Italy/U.S.), Director Francesco Carrozzini
  • “Gun Runners” (Canada), Director Anjali Nayar
  • “I Am Not Your Negro” (U.S./France/Belgium/Switzerland), Director Raoul Peck
  • “I Called Him Morgan” (Sweden/U.S.), Director Kasper Collin
  • “Jewel’s Catch One” (U.S.), Director C. Fitz
  • “Karl Marx City” (U.S./Germany), Directors Petra Epperlein, Michael Tucker
  • “Kedi” (Turkey/U.S./Germany), Director Ceyda Torun
  • “Keep Quiet” (UK/Hungary), Directors Sam Blair, Joseph Martin
  • “KONEL?NE: our land beautiful”, (Canada), Director Nettie Wild
  • “Magicians: Life in the Impossible” (U.S.), Directors Christoph Baaden, Marcie Hume
  • “No Dress Code Required” (Mexico), Director Cristina Herrera Bórquez
  • “Obit.” (U.S.), Director Vanessa Gould
  • “Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan” (U.S.), Directors Adam Schlesinger, Linda Saffire
  • “Take Me Home Huey” (U.S.), Directors Alicia Brauns, Christine Steele
  • “The Turkish Way” (Spain), Director Luis González
  • “Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?” (Israel/UK), Directors Barak Heymann, Tomer Heymann, Alexander Bodin Saphir
  • “Wrestling Alligators” (U.S.), Director Andrew Shea

After Dark films are the mysterious strangers in town, films that lurk in the shadows and tempt you into the unknown. The festival’s youngest section comes of age in 2017, as it includes the UK’s Oscar® entry in Under the Shadow, as well as films featuring Guy Pearce, Dakota Fanning, and Glenn Close. The films selected include:

  • “Brimstone” (Netherlands/Germany/France/Belgium/Sweden/UK), Director Martin Koolhoven
  • “The Girl with All the Gifts” (UK/U.S.), Director Colm McCarthy
  • “Under the Shadow” (UK/Jordan/Qatar), Director Babak Anvari
  • “The Untamed” (Mexico/Denmark/France/Germany/Norway), Director Amat Escalante

Additional programming for the festival includes:

  • The festival will screen two of the films selected as part of Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch which include Aquarius (Brazil/France), directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho and “The Eagle Huntress “(UK/Mongolia/U.S.), directed by Otto Bell.
  • Two films will screen in the Dinner & A Movie section which are “Insatiable: The Homaro Cantu Story” (U.S.), directed by Brett A. Schwartz and “Tampopo” (Japan), directed by Juzo Itami.
  • The festival’s Gay!La screening will be the North American Premiere of ABC’s “When We Rise” directed by Gus Van Sant.
  • Four Special Presentations including the World Premiere of “Breakable You” (U.S.), the U.S. Premiere of “King of the Dancehall” (U.S./Jamaica) directed by Nick Cannon, “Old Money” (Austria) directed by David Schalko and starring Udo Kier, and the North American Premiere of “The Hippopotamus”.
  • Other Festival films with notable talent and directors include “After Love” (Belgium/France) starring Bérénice Béjo, “Camera Store” (U.S.) starring John Larroquette, John Rhys Davies and Cheryl Ladd, “The Girl with all the Gifts” starring Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine and Glenn Close, “Everything Else” (Mexico/US/France) starring Adriana Barraza, “Paint It Black” (U.S.) directed by Amber Tamblyn and starring Alia Shawkat, Janet McTeer and Alfred Molina, and “Youth in Oregon” (U.S.) directed by Joel David Morre and starring Frank Langella, Billy Crudup, Christina Applegate, Mary Kay Place and Josh Lucas.

The complete line-up will be available online on December 16 at www.psfilmfest.org.  Attached is a complete list of films selected for the festival. The festival will announce the Books to Screen line-up the week of December 19.

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, an upscale black-tie event attended by 2,500, honoring the best achievements of the filmic year by a celebrated list of talents who, in recent years, have included Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, David O. Russell, Meryl Streep, and Reese Witherspoon.

For more information, call 760-322-2930 or 800-898-7256 or visit www.psfilmfest.org.