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Previews and Features

18 Dec 2019
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Every January, the desert gets a dose of Hollywood-awards-season glamour with the Palm Springs International Film Festival. This will be its 31st year, and the event is larger than ever, boasting estimated audiences of more than 135,000 and attracting cinephiles from all over the globe. This year, screenings begin on Friday, Jan. 3, and go through Monday, Jan. 13—and the 2020 version of the festival will have a little more of a local flair. The reason: The festival’s first-year artistic director, Liliana Rodriguez, is a Coachella Valley native, and she’s making sure the festival’s local roots remain interwoven into its DNA. “Recently, I’ve been focusing on injecting more of a local feel into the festival with more films in Local Spotlight, as well the new local jury,” she said. The Local Spotlight film program has expanded this year to feature three films: The 11th Green, House of Cardin and Iconicity.…
10 Oct 2019
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David Graves is really passionate about horror films—so passionate, in fact, that he has convinced the Camelot Theatres at the Palm Springs Cultural Center to present horror-film double-features most Friday nights through the end of the year. The Art of Darkness series debuts this Friday, Oct. 11, with The Innocents at 6 p.m., and A Tale of Two Sisters at 8 p.m. I had to ask Graves: Why so passionate about horror? “Well, I’m basically a very fearful person,” he said with a laugh. “My passion for horror films started very early, and it may be because that’s just a familiar space for me, but I find that (horror) sharpens all of your senses. … You know, fear is the oldest, deepest emotion that we have; it’s a lizard-brain thing. It was part of our survival. Watching horror movies is sort of the modern equivalent of cavemen setting around a…
27 Aug 2019
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Cinema Diverse, Palm Springs’ LGBTQ film festival, is celebrating its 12th anniversary this year as it returns over two September weekends, featuring dramas, documentaries, themed sets of sorts and even web series. The festival, a production of the Palm Springs Cultural Center, is being presented a little differently this year, according to Cultural Center spokesman Tim Rains. “(In the past), we had a second weekend for the Best of Fest, where we’d show some of the films again at the Mary Pickford Theatre, but this year, we did all original content,” he said. “It allows us to show a lot more films.” During the first, extended weekend—Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 19-22—screenings will take place at the Cultural Center. During the second weekend—Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27 and 28—the festival will move to the Mary Pickford Is D’Place in Cathedral City. This year’s festival features a number of trans stories and…
15 Aug 2019
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The town of Idyllwild on one September weekend will be taken over by a film festival that emphasizes diversity. The inaugural Women Under the Influence Goes Idyllwild film festival, according to founder Tabitha Denholm, will be a lot like a music festival … just with movies. “Think Coachella on a smaller scale, but without the feathers and bikinis,” said Tabitha Denholm with a laugh. “I am obsessed with the idea of diversity. This year, we have legendary documentary director Barbara Kopple, who perhaps will be next to a first-time director, who is next to someone who rocks a mean air bass guitar. Everyone is included and welcomed.” Women Under the Influence is a community founded by Denholm in 2015 with this goal: “By sharing the stories of cinema directed by women, through events and media, WUTI pushes back against the industry’s bias.” The festival is the brainchild of Denholm, creative…