Foreign films in Palm Springs fest
At last year’s Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Japanese movie “Departures” won the audience award before going on to take home the foreign-language Oscar statuette.
The Mojave Desert event (running January 5-18), founded in 1989 by then-Mayor Sonny Bono, has become a screening shop for most of the foreign-language Oscar hopefuls. During its two-week run, in fact, 195 films from 60 countries will screen on 15 screens at five venues.
With its blend of glitz and star power — an opening-night awards gala will honor Helen Mirren (“The Last Station”), Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”), Morgan Freeman (“Invictus”) and Mariah Carey (“Precious”), among others — the festival has developed a Cannes-like glamour.
This year it will also feature directors Lee Daniels (“Precious”), Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”), Rob Marshall (“Nine”) and Tom Ford (“A Single Man“), all of whom will participate in a Q&A/screening series.