Top brass at the 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) have announced a new programme on Canadian Cinema as well as the traditionally strong roster of foreign-language films eligible for the FIPRESCI Award in the Awards Buzz section, and Modern Masters. 

The festival will screen 45 of the 76 official foreign-language Oscar submissions under the umbrella of Awards Buzz.

“We’ve selected Canadian films for a special focus at this year’s festival for many reasons, not the least of which is the wealth of talent emerging from its relatively small, indigenous film industry, and the depth and richness of story and character portrayal its films exemplify,” said festival director Darryl Macdonald.

“Whether it’s established auteurs like Denis Coté, Denis Villenueve and Atom Egoyan, gifted actor-directors like Don McKellar and Sarah Polley or newly emerging talents like Chloé Robichaud, Craig Goodwill and Sébastien Pilote, Canadian creative ingenuity is on abundant display in its films. All of this makes our spotlight on Canadian cinema the perfect match for the 25th anniversary of a festival that has focused on that attribute since its inception.”

“This is an exceptionally strong year for the foreign language Oscar competition, as evidenced by the 45 films we have selected for our Awards Buzz competition in Palm Springs,” said artistic director Helen du Toit.

“In years past there have usually been five to seven films that were considered obvious choices from countries whose films often make the shortlist.

“But this year there are more obvious choices than usual as well as very exciting group of dark horses emerging from countries whose entries rarely make the shortlist – such as Iceland’s Of Horses and Men, Romania’s Child’s Pose, The Palestinian Territories’ Omar, Mexico’s Heli, Georgia’s In Bloom, and Morocco’s Horses Of God. This bodes extremely well for the health and diversity of world cinema.”

Awards Buzz

A jury of international critics will award FIPRESCI prizes for best foreig- language film of the year, best actor and best actress. The following 45 films in alphabetical order by country are:

The German Doctor (Argentina), Dir Lucía Puenzo

The Rocket (Australia), Dir Kim Mordaunt

The Wall (Austria), Dir Julian Pölsler

The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium-Netherlands), Dir Felix van Groeningen

An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker (Bosnia), Dir Danis Tanovic

The Missing Picture (Cambodia-France), Dir Rithy Panh

Gabrielle (Canada), Dir Louise Archambault

Gloria (Chile/Spain), Dir Sebastián Lelio

Back To 1942 (China), Dir Feng Xiaogang

Halima’s Path (Croatia-Slovenia-Bosnia-Herzegovina), Dir Arsen Anton Ostojic

The Hunt (Denmark), Dir Thomas Vinterberg

Winter Of Discontent (Egypt), Dir Ibrahim El Batout

Disciple (Finland), Dir Ulrika Bengts

Renoir (France), Dir Gilles Bourdos

In Bloom (Georgia-Germany-France), Dirs Nana Ekvtimishvili, Simon Gross

Two Lives (Germany-Norway), Dir Georg Maas

Le Grand Cahier (Hungary-Germany-Austria-France), Dir János Szász

Of Horses and Men (Iceland), Dir Benedikt Erlingsson

The Good Road (India), Dir Gyan Correa

The Past (Iran-Italy-France), Dir Asghar Farhadi

Bethlehem (Israel), Dir Yuval Adler

The Great Beauty (Italy-France), Dir Paolo Sorrentino

The Great Passage (Japan), Dir Yûya Ishii

The Old Man (Shal) (Kazakhstan), Dir Yermek Tursunov

Mother, I Love You (Latvia), Dir Janis Nords

Heli (Mexico-Germany-Netherlands-France), Dir Amat Escalante

Horses Of God (Morocco-France-Belgium), Dir Nabil Ayouch

Borgman (Netherlands), Dir Alex van Warmerdam

White Lies (New Zealand), Dir Dana Rotberg

I Am Yours (Norway), Dir Iram Haq

Omar (Palestinian Territory), Dir Hany Abu-Assad

Transit (Philippines), Dir Hannah Espia

Walesa. Man Of Hope (Poland), Dir Andrzej Wajda

Child’s Pose (Romania), Dir Calin Peter Netzer

Stalingrad (Russia), Dir Fedor Bondarchuk

Wadjda (Saudi Arabia-Germany), Dir Haifaa Al Mansour

Circles (Serbia-Germany-France-Croatia-Slovenia), Dir Srdan Golubovic

Ilo Ilo (Singapore), Dir Anthony Chen

Class Enemy (Slovenia), Dir Rok Bicek

Juvenile Offender (South Korea), Dir Kang Yi-kwan

15 Years and One Day (Spain), Dir Gracia Querejeta

More Than Honey (Switzerland), Dir Markus Imhoof

The Butterfly’s Dream (Turkey), Dir Yilmaz Erdogan

Metro Manila (UK-Philippines), Dir Sean Ellis

Anina (Uruguay/Colombia), Dir Alfredo Soderguit

Spotlight on Canadian Cinema

Included in the showcase will be an opening weekend reception and Canadian Film Day highlighting Canadian film-making guests, sponsored by Telefilm Canada. Films in this programme feature actors Brendan Gleeson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Taylor Kitsch, Mélanie Laurent, Aidan Quinn, Isabella Rossellini and Taylor Schilling. The 12 films selected in the programme are in alphabetical order:

The Auction, Dir Sébastien Pilote 

Empire Of Dirt, Dir Peter Stebbings

Enemy, Dir Denis Villeneuve

Gabrielle, Dir Louise Archambault 

Gerontophilia, Dir Bruce LaBruce 

The Grand Seduction, Dir Don McKellar

The Manor, Dir Shawney Cohen

Patch Town, Dir Craig Goodwill

Sarah Prefers To Run, Dir Chloé Robichaud

Siddharth, Dir Richie Mehta

Stay, Dir Wiebke von Carolsfeld 

Vic + Flo Saw A Bear, Dir Denis Côté


Ten films from international directors “who set the standards for contemporary cinema.”

Burning Bush (Czech Republic), Dir Agnieszka Holland

Enemy, Dir Denis Villeneuve

The Last Of The Unjust (France), Dir Claude Lanzmann

Like Father, Like Son (Japan), Dir Hirokazu Kore-eda

One Of A Kind (France), Dir François Dupeyron

The Priest’s Children (Croatia), Dir Vinko Bresan 

The Unknown Known (USA), Dir Errol Morris 

The Wind Rises (Japan), Dir Hayao Miyazaki

The Wonders (Israel), Dir Avi Nesher 

Young & Beautiful (France), Dir François Ozon. 

The 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will run from January 3-13 2014.