Event to open with 'Callas,' close with 'Songbook'

LONDON – The Palm Springs Intl. Film Festival will unveil its slate today, including 44 titles from among the record 54 films in the running for a nomination in the foreign-language film category of the Academy Awards.

Fest, which unspools Jan. 9-20, is widely seen as a key opportunity in Southern California to watch the films from which will be culled the final five Oscar selections to be announced Feb. 11.

The screenings are closely followed by foreign-lingo picture marketing and promotion pros as particularly important, given that voters in the category are required to see all five finalists before voting.

‘Callas’ is opener

Fest will open with the North American preem of Franco Zeffirelli’s “Callas Forever,” starring Jeremy Irons and Fanny Ardant, and close with Michael Feinstein pic “The Great American Songbook.”

Touted for fest unspoolings are the following:

“8 Women” (France); “Abouna” (Chad); “Archangel’s Feather” (Venezuela); “Best of Times” (Taiwan); “Broken Wings” (Israel); “Ca-bau-kan” (Indonesia); “City of God” (Brazil); “Clay Bird” (Bangladesh); “Soft Shell Man” (Canada); “The Crime of Father Amaro” (Mexico); “Devdas” (India); “Eldra” (U.K.); “Edi” (Poland); “Gebirtig” (Austria); “Headnoise” (Slovenia); “Hero” (China); “Hold My Heart” (Norway); “House of Fools” (Russia); “Hukkle” (Hungary); “I Am Taraneh, 15″ (Iran); “Invisible Children” (Colombia); “Labyrinth” (Yugoslavia); “Last Train” (Uruguay); “Lilja 4-ever” (Sweden); “Love Your Father” (Switzerland); “Magic Box” (Tunisia); “Man Without a Past” (Finland); “Mondays in the Sun” (Spain); “Monrak Transistor” (Thailand); “Nothing More” (Cuba); “Nine” (Turkey); “Nowhere in Africa” (Germany); “Oasis” (Korea); “Ogu y mampato en rapa nui” (Chile); “Only Journey of His Life” (Greece); “Open Hearts” (Denmark); “Philanthrophy” (Romania); “Pinocchio” (Italy); “Rachida” (Algeria); “The Sea” (Iceland); “Small Voices” (Philippines); “The Son” (Belgium); “Warming Yesterday’s Lunch” (Bulgaria); and “Wild Bees” (Czech Republic).

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