Foreign flavor to Palm Springs

Fest to represent 40 countries

The Nortel Networks Palm Springs Intl. Film Festival, which runs Jan. 13-24, will screen more than 180 films representing 40 countries, including a record number 30 foreign language Academy Award submissions.

The fest boasts visits from more than 100 filmmakers and key cast members, including Spain’s Pedro Almodovar, Argentina’s Hector Babenco and China’s Zhan Zimou.

Opening night pic is Arthur Seidelman’s “Walking Across Egypt,” written by Paul Tamasy and starring Ellen Burstyn, Mark Hamill and Jonathan Taylor Thomas.

Fest highlights include a weekend dedicated to the art of cinematography.

Among foreign-language pics to be screened are: Brazil’s “Orfeu,” directed by Carlos Diegues; India’s “Earth,” directed by Deepa Mehta; Spain’s “All About My Mother,” directed by Almodovar; and Vietnam’s “Three Seasons,” directed by Tony Bui.

“Diamonds” and “Holy Smoke,” among other films, will screen at gala presentations.

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