The Palm SpringsInternational Film Festival will focus its Spotlight strand on Bollywood nextmonth, featuring a series of North American premieres that kicks off on Jan 12,2003 with the Indian foreign language Oscar entry, Devdas. The epic tale of star-crossed lovers is due to beattended by director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and star Aishwarya Rai. TheBollywood/Hollywood banner features new releases and work by some of thecountryís leading film-makers and stars.

Included in the programmeare: A Peck on the Cheek - ManiRatman's account of a child's search for her mother in politicallyunstable Sri Lanka, which stars Madhavan, Baby Keerthana, Simran, and NanditaDas; A Tale of a Naughty Girl -Buddhadev Dasgupta's story of a woman who flees her arranged marriage toa new life in Calcutta, starring Samata Das, Rituparna Sengupta, Arpan Basar,Ramgopal Bajaj, and Tapash Paul; and Everybody Says I'm Fine - Rahul Bose's tale of a young boy who becomestelepathic after his parents' death and starring Bose, Pooja Bhatt andRehaan Engineer.

Also screening are boxoffice blockbuster Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham directed by Karan Johar and the critically acclaimedChandni Bar directed by MadhurBhandarkar.

'Given the buzzthat's been building the last few years over Indian and Bollywood films -including our own recent premieres of Monsoon Wedding and Lagaan - we're very excited to be presenting thisprogramme,' festival executive director Mitch Levine said in a statement.'It's a tremendous opportunity for us to not only showcasefantastic movies, but to provide American audiences many new to this type offilm - with the kind of unique experience that is the hallmark of Indian, andparticularly Bollywood, cinema.'

The Palm SpringsInternational Film Festival runs from Jan 9-20, 2003.