'Chance' encounter at PS fest


Joel Hopkins' "Last Chance Harvey," starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson, will screen as the opening-night film at the 20th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival.

The Jan. 8-19 fest will screen 210 films from 73 countries. The lineup includes 14 world premieres, 48 U.S. debuts and 16 North American bows. The program includes 50 of the 67 films submitted in the Academy Awards' best foreign-language film category.

In addition to "Harvey," gala screenings include Nigel Cole's "$5 a Day," a father-son tale starring Christopher Walken and Alessandro Nivola; R.W. Goodwin's "Alien Trespass," a sci-fi film starring Eric McCormack and Jenni Baird; Nacho Velilla's "Chef's Special," a Spanish feature starring Javier Camara and Lola Duenas; and, as the closing-night film, Guillermo Arriaga's drama "The Burning Plain," starring Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger.

The New Voices/New Visions sidebar will shine its light on 12 features from new international talents, represented by their first or second films. The films will be judged by a jury composed of Senator Entertainment's Orly Ravid, National Geographic Films' Kattie Evans and Neoclassics Films' Michael Kananack.