Spain's 'Blancanieves' to Open Palm Springs Film Festival

Blancanieves Still H 2012

"Unfinished Song," starring Terence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave, to serve as closing night film.

Pablo Berger’s Blancanieves has been selected to open the 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, which runs Jan. 3-14. A black-and-white, silent movie, the film, which reworks the tale of Snow White, setting it in Seville in the 1920s, is Spain’s submission for the foreign-language film Oscar.

The fest’s closing night film will be Paul Andrew WilliamsUnfinished Song, starring Terence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave.

The festival will present films, including 61 premieres, from 68 countries.

“We're delighted to once again be offering up such a broad and diverse line up of exceptional international cinema at the festival,” said director Darryl Macdonald. “Best of all, among these 180 accomplished new films are 63 debut features by first-time filmmakers, heralding an injection of fresh, audacious talent into the lifeblood of contemporary world cinema. I'm particularly pleased to be presenting Unfinished Song for our closing night screening. It's a huge crowd-pleaser with a wonderful central performance by Terence Stamp, who will be joining us for the closing night fête, at its core.”

“I'm really excited to be opening this year's PSIFF with Blancanieves, a wildly original, silent movie version of Snow White – updated to the 1920s, and with Blancanieves displaying her natural gifts as a matador,” said artistic director Helen du Toit. “Not only is this Spanish submission for the Foreign Language Oscar a brilliant film (which is, after all, what we're all about), but director Pablo Berger feels like one of our own. His short films Trevor and Truth andBeauty won best comedy here in 1995, and his first feature Torremolinos '73 won our New Voices/New Visions competition in 2004.  So this film in particular highlights two of our greatest strengths and core attributes: showcasing the very best in world cinema and discovering new talent.”

The festival’s world premieres consist of Elephants from France, Molly Maxwell from Canada, and, from the U.S., Smiling Through the Apocalypse – Esquire in the 60s, a documentary featuring Gore Vidal and Nora Ephron. There will also be 21 North American premieres and 37 U.S. premieres.

The festival’s New Voices/New Visions sidebar will feature ten films from emerging international directors. The films are: Juan Carlos Maneglia’s 7 Boxes from Paraguay; Daniela Seggiearo’s Beauty, Argentina; Adrian Saba’s The Cleaner, Peru; Alexander Kasatkin’s The Daughter, Russia; Dan Johan Haugerud’s I Belong, Norway; Manjeet Singh’s Mumbai’s King, India; Brahim Fritah’s Playground Chronicles, France; Dario Nardi’s Sadourni’s Butterflies, Argentina; Catriona McKenzie’s Satellite Boy, Australia; and Anne-Grethe Bjarup RiisThis Life – Some Must Die, So Others Can Live, Denmark.