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The Palm Springs International Film Festival is hosting a gathering you won’t find anywhere else.
The directors of all nine films that the Academy has chosen for its best foreign language film Oscar shortlist — five of which will soon become Oscar nominees — will join yours truly at 6 p.m. on Jan. 6 at the Palm Canyon Theatre for a 90-minute conversation about their films entitled, appropriately enough, “Oscar-Shortlisted Foreign Filmmakers in Conversation.”
Footage of the full conversation will appear on this blog shortly after it takes place.
The panelists will be Jaco Van Dormael for Belgium’s The Brand New Testament (still seeking U.S. distribution), Ciro Guerra for Colombia’s Embrace of the Serpent (Oscilloscope), Klaus Haro for Finland’s The Fencer (still seeking U.S. distribution), Guilio Ricciarelli for Germany’s Labyrinth of Lies (Sony Classics), Deniz Gamze Erguven for France’s Mustang (Cohen Media Group), Laszlo Nemes for Hungary’s Son of Saul (Sony Classics), Naji Abu Nowar for Jordan’s Theeb (Film Movement), Paddy Breathnach for Ireland’s Viva (Magnolia) and Tobias Lindholm for Denmark’s A War (Magnolia).
All of the aforementioned films will be screened during the fest, which is well-known for two things above all else: (1) always having a great selection of foreign-language films, and (2) always attracting a great number of Academy members to its offerings, since many live or have second homes in the resort desert city.
From Jan. 8-10, specially invited committees of Academy members — 20 in Los Angeles, 10 in New York and 10 in London — will view three of the shortlisted films each day and then whittle the list down to five, which will be announced as Oscar nominees on Jan. 14.
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