World preems, Oscar hopefuls filling fest

More than 120 films, including 10 world premieres and 16 submissions for the foreign-language Oscar, will comprise the upcoming Nortel Palm Springs Intl. Film Festival. The eighth edition will unspool from Jan. 9-26.

Among the world premieres are such American indies as Duane Clark’s “Soulmates,” “The Irreversible Year” by Steven Olivieri and Nick Veronis’ “Day at the Beach.” Also making a world bow are the Canadian doc “The Call of the Wild,” narrated by Richard Dreyfuss, and the Japanese actioner “Gonin II.”

Oscar’s strong presence

A continuing trademark of the fest is the strong presence of international Oscar contenders. Among the most heavily touted in the program are the Cannes-prized “The Eighth Day” from Belgium; Max Von Sydow in Denmark’s “Hamsun”; Yugoslavia’s “Pretty Village, Pretty Flame”; Australia’s first-ever submission, “Floating Life,” centering on Chinese immigrants; and past winner Bille August’s “Jerusalem,” repping Sweden.

Other highlights of this year’s event include the Cannes competitors “The Quiet Room” from Australia and Andre Techine’s offbeat French thriller “The Thieves.” A trio of fest circuit faves – Portugal’s Manoel de Olivera, Spain’s Carlos Saura and France’s Bertrand Blier – will have their latest features in the program, respectively, “The Party,” “Taxi” and “My Man.” Other pics that have scored on the fest scene include Argentina’s “Wild Horses,” the stark Polish tale “Crows” and Tekeshi Kitano’s “The Kid’s Return” from France.

Box office and program info can be obtained by calling (619) 778-8979.

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