Known as a desert oasis to the Hollywood moguls who sought after a quiet home away from home in the 1930s, the city of Palm Springs is bustling with cinematic history. Industry players and golden age stars cemented an artistic culture that still presents itself to this day, most notably in the famous Palm Springs International Film Festival.
Established by former mayor Sonny Bono, the first Festival was held in 1990 with an enthusiastic response from the public and notable media outlets. Transitioning from a five-day event with 17,000 filmgoers to a world-renowned film market attracting the likes of Kate Winslet, Brad Pitt, Naomi Watts, John Travolta, Nicole Kidman, and Johnny Depp, the Palm Springs International Film Festival enters its 28th year with much anticipation.
The 2017 Festival kicks off on January 2 with a Film Awards Gala to honor this year’s breakthrough achievements and performances in cinema. Honorees of the 28th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival include Amy Adams receiving the Chairman’s Award for Arrival, Casey Affleck receiving the Desert Palm Achievement Award for Manchester by the Sea, and Mehershala Ali to be given the Breakthrough Performance Award for his role in Moonlight.
Other notable honors are the Spotlight Award to be awarded to Andrew Garfield for Hacksaw Ridge, the Icon Award for Tom Hanks’ role in Sully, and the International Star Award to be given to Nicole Kidman for Lion.
Hundreds of films from various countries will be showing until January 16. Genres range from psychological dramas to animated coming-of-age stories, with some standout features including Studio Ghibli’s silent fable, The Red Turtle, and Jørn Winther’s action-packed thriller Do It or Die based on the real-life kidnapping of a Palm Springs socialite in the ‘70s. Throughout the years, the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s vision has been to strive “for a world in which enlightenment, knowledge, and tolerance prevail…[and] believe film as an art form has the power to bridge cultures and illuminate the universality of the human experience.” This star-studded film symposium has accomplished just that, while unifying lovers of cinema together within a cross-cultural landscape.
For more information about the Festival or to see a full list of the films being screened, visit psfilmfest.org.