Sunday, January 10, 2010

Major Film Festivals in January 2010

SERIES: Major Film Festivals

Twenty-First PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (PSIFF), Palm Springs, California, 5 - 17 JANUARY 2010.

About Elly, Iran, 2009. In years past, this festival was a big party in the desert for the celebrity crowd but last year the PSIFF goers chose Japan's DEPARTURES by director Yojiro Takita as the Audience Award winner. It went on to win the Oscar® for Best Foreign Language Film, and this festival's standing among U.S. festivals was immediately elevated. This year, the Festival offers 41 foreign films, including the acclaimed ABOUT ELLY, submitted by Iran for Oscar nomination consideration in the Best Foreign Language Film category. See full list. Will this year's audience award be an Oscar portend?

The PSIFF opened last Tuesday, 5 January, with an awards gala, usually held the last night of a festival. As do the people in Utah's Sundance FF, they do things differently in Palm Springs.

The festival will close 17 January with another gala and the screening of THE LIGHTKEEPERS, directed by Daniel Adams, starring Richard Dreyfuss, Blythe Danner, Tom Wisdom, Bruce Dern and Mamie Gummer. The next day, the Festival will screen "The Best of the Fest." The list will be announced on the 17th.

Yesterday was Australian Film Day but if you missed it, there will be repeat screenings of new Australian films throughout the festival. http:// Also, there will be more about the festival on this blog as news from the PSIFF warrants.

Twenty-Sixth SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL (SFF), Park City, Salt Lake City, and Ogden, Utah, 21 - 31 January 2010, sponsored by the Sundance Institute.

I'M PAT, director: Amir Bar-Lev, screenplay: Mark Monroe, USA, 2009. In the U.S., Sundance is the first festival of prominence at the beginning of each year. Sorry, Palm Springs, it is a fact. It is also one of the best showcases for independent movies and documentaries in the U.S.

With an emphasis on feature documentaries as well as being a launching pad for independent art-house titles, it has always focused on filmmaking outside the commercial mainstream. The festival's commitment to documentary has been driven by the personal connection that President and Founder Robert Redford feels for the genre.

First of all, there are passes still for sale, but you better hurry! Second there's an iPhone App for Sundance. It is available through iTunes Store for $4.99+.

The 2010 Sundance Film Festival will open with our annual celebration as filmmakers and festival friends reunite or meet for the first time, Thursday, 21 January 2010, 10:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m., Legacy Lodge,1310 Lowell Ave. The opening screening will be director Aaron Schneider's GET LOW, and will be held in Salt Lake City, Friday, 22 January 22, 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, and screening tickets required.

Closing Night Screening, 29 January, director Joel Schumacher's TWELVE, 9:30 p.m., Eccles Theatre.

Awards Ceremony, Saturday, 30 January 30, Time TBA, Park City Racquet Club, 1200 Little Kate Rd. Among the most anticipated, the Audience Awards, which are decided by the festival attendees and awarded to films in each of the four competition categories. The ceremony will be followed with the closing night gala party.

Here's access to the festival film guide:

If widget doesn't work for you, download (PDF) Competition Film Guide, and other guides:

There will be more about the festival on this blog as news from the SIFF warrants. The last week of this month watch for SERIES: Major Film Festivals, "Major Film Festivals in February," with the upcoming Santa Barbara IFF (SBIFF) as lead festival.

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