Palm Springs Film Festival to Shine Spotlight on Canadian Cinema


Director: Denis Villeneuve 
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Melanie Laurent 
The Buzz: What's this? Another doppelganger tale! In this psychosexual thriller, Gyllenhaal stars in a dual role as a university teacher who tracks down a man who looks just like him.

The festival, which runs Jan. 3-13, also will screen 45 of the 76 films that have been submitted for the foreign-language Academy Award.

The Palm Springs International Film Festival, which runs from Jan. 3 to 13, will offer a special program focusing on Canadian cinema. And, continuing one of its high-profile traditions, the festival also will screen 45 of the 76 films that have been submitted for Oscar consideration in the best foreign language film category as part of its Awards Buzz section.

“We've selected Canadian films for a special focus at this year's festival for many reasons, not the least of which is the wealth of talent emerging from its relatively small, indigenous film industry, and the depth and richness of story and character portrayal its films exemplify,” festival director Darryl Macdonald said. “Whether it's established auteurs like Denis Cote, Denis Villenueve and Atom Egoyan, gifted actor-directors like Don McKellar and Sarah Polley or newly emerging talents like Chloe Robichaud, Craig Goodwill and Sebastien Pilote, Canadian creative ingenuity is on abundant display in its films.”

The festival’s Spotlight on Canadian Cinema will include a Canadian Film Day, sponsored by Telefilm Canada, and a program of 12 features. The lineup consists of Pilote’s The Auction; Peter Stebbings’ Empire of Dirt; Villeneuve’s Enemy, starring Jake Gyllenhaal; Louise Archambault’s Gabrielle; Bruce LaBruce’s Gerontiphilia; McKellar’s The Grand Seduction, starring Taylor Kitsch; Shawney Cohen’s documentary The Manor; Goodwill’s Patch Town; Robichaud’s Sarah Prefers to Run; Richie Mehta’s Siddarth; Wiebke von Carolsfeld’s Stay; and Cote’s Vic + Flo Saw a Bear.

The festival’s Modern Masters section will screen 10 films from international directors: Agnieszka Holland’s Burning Bush; Claude Lanzmann’s The Last of the Unjust; Hirokazu Kore-edu’s Like Father, Like Son; Francois Dupeyron’s One of a Kind; Vinko Bresan’s The Priest’s Children; Errol MorrisThe Unknown Known; Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises; Avi Nesher’s The Wonders; and Francois Ozon’s Young & Beautiful.

The Awards Buzz section of foreign films includes:

The German Doctor (Argentina), director Lucia Puenzo

The Rocket (Australia), director Kim Mordaunt

The Wall (Austria), director Julian Polsler

The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium/Netherlands), director Felix van Groeningen

An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker (Bosnia), director Danis Tanovic

The Missing Picture (Cambodia/France), director Rithy Panh

Gabrielle (Canada), director Louise Archambault

Gloria (Chile/Spain), director Sebastian Lelio

Back to 1942 (China), director Feng Xiaogang

Halima’s Path (Croatia/Slovenia/Bosnia-Herzegovina), director Arsen Anton Ostojic

The Hunt (Denmark), director Thomas Vinterberg

Winter of Discontent (Egypt), director Ibrahim El Batout

Disciple (Finland), director Ulrika Bengts

Renoir (France), director Gilles Bourdos

In Bloom (Georgia/Germany/France), directors Nana Ekvtimishvili, Simon Gross

Two Lives (Germany/Norway), director Georg Maas

Le Grand Cahier (Hungary/Germany/Austria/France), director Janos Szasz

Of Horses and Men (Iceland), director Benedikt Erlingsson

The Good Road (India), director Gyan Correa

The Past (Iran/Italy/France), director Asghar Farhadi

Bethlehem (Israel), director Yuval Adler

The Great Beauty (Italy/France), director Paolo Sorrentino

The Great Passage (Japan), director Yuya Ishii

The Old Man (Shal) (Kazakhstan), director Yermek Tursunov

Mother, I Love You (Latvia), director Janis Nords

Heli (Mexico/Germany/Netherlands/France), director Amat Escalante

Horses of God (Morocco/France/Belgium), director Nabil Ayouch

Borgman (Netherlands), director Alex van Warmerdam

White Lies (New Zealand), director Dana Rotberg

I Am Yours (Norway), director Iram Haq

Omar (Palestinian Territory), director Hany Abu-Assad

Transit (Philippines), director Hannah Espia

Walesa: Man of Hope (Poland), director Andrzej Wajda

Child’s Pose (Romania), director Calin Peter Netzer

Stalingrad (Russia), director Fedor Bondarchuk

Wadjda (Saudi Arabia/Germany), director Haifaa Al Mansour

Circles (Serbia/Germany/France/Croatia/Slovenia), director Srdan Golubovic

Ilo Ilo (Singapore), director Anthony Chen

Class Enemy (Slovenia), director Rok Bicek

Juvenile Offender (South Korea), director Kang Yi-kwan

15 Years and One Day (Spain), director Gracia Querejeta

More Than Honey (Switzerland), director Markus Imhoof

The Butterfly’s Dream (Turkey), director Yilmaz Erdogan

Metro Manila (United Kingdom/Philippines), director Sean Ellis

Anina (Uruguay/Colombia), director Alfredo Soderguit