Sony Pictures Classics’ The Last Station (pictured) will open the 21st Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) on January 7 and New Films International’s The Lightkeepers will close the event ten days later.

Helen Mirren, who was nominated this week for a dramatic actress Golden Globe for her portrayal of Sofya Tolstoy in The Last Station opposite Christopher Plummer and James McAvoy, will receive the Career Achievement Award at the awards gala on January 5.

The Lightkeepers is a romantic comedy set in 1912 Cape Cod that stars Richard Dreyfuss, Blythe Danner, Tom Wisdom, Bruce Dern and Mamie Gummer.

The line-up includes Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon, Giuseppe Tornatore’s Baaria, Andre Téchiné’s The Girl On The Train, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Air Doll, Carlos Carrera’s Backyard, Rachid Bouchareb’s London River and Ken Loach’s Looking For Eric.

The three gala screenings are NeoClassics Films’ Belgian comedy The Over The Hill Band, I Love You Phillip Morris starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor, and The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls from New Zealand. Sweden-Denmark-Germany’s European box office smash The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and the UK’s Red Riding Trilogy make up the special presentations.

There are world premieres for Dark Resonance from Bangladesh, the US-Japan-Bahamas entry Dumbstruck. Expecting Mary, Is it Just Me? and Shoot The Hero from the US, the UK-Canada title The Making Of Plus One With Kate, Cate and George: The Story Of A Hollywood Nobody, and Paulista from Brazil.

All in all 189 films from 70 countries will screen, including 76 premieres. The festival will announce films in competition and the rest of the line-up on December 21.

“This year’s selection boasts a wide range of genres including comedies, war stories, political dramas and coming-of-age films, which are made all the more interesting because of the international film-makers’ cultural backgrounds,’” director of programming Helen du Toit said.