The US premiere of Helen Hunt's feature directorial debut Then She Found Me will open the 19th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival on January 3 2008.

Festival organisers have lined up international gala screenings of Fatih Akin's The Edge Of Heaven from Germany, Danielle Luchetti's My Brother Is An Only Child from Italy and Jonah Markowitz' US film Shelter.

Joseph Cedar's Israeli foreign language Oscar submission Beaufort is part of the inaugural Israeli cinema showcase New Israeli Cinema: L'Chaim, alongside entries like Eran Kolirin's The Band's Visit, Ayelet Menahemi's Noodle and Amos Gitai's Disengagement.

John Sayles will receive the American Maverick Award on January 6 following the screening of his new feature Honeydripper.

The entire festival programme will be announced on December 17. The 19th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival is scheduled to run from January 3-14, 2008.