Palm Springs Film Fest Opens With
David Appleby

“Belle,” directed by Amma Asante, will open the Palm Springs Film Fest on Jan. 3 while Roger Michell’s “Le Week-End” is the closing night film on Jan. 12.

The desert fest will screen 77 premieres for a total of 187 films from 60 countries.

“This year’s lineup is particularly diverse in theme and content, encompassing vintage work by established directors alongside auspicious debuts by a vast number of newly emerging talents,” said festival director Darryl Macdonald.

The fest also announced a program of seven audience favorites from the archives including an outdoor screening of “Cinema Paradiso” and showings of “The Lives of Others” and “Life is Beautiful.”

Asante, who was named one of Variety‘s 10 Directors to Watch, will attend the opening of “Belle” (pictured), a period drama starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sarah Gadon, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson and Miranda Richardson. “Le Week-End,” which preemed in Toronto, stars Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan.

The New Voices/New Visions section features films from emerging international directors that are without U.S. distribution, and titles include France’s “Paris or Perish,” New Zealand’s “Everything We Loved” and South Korea’s “Han Gong-Ju” as well as U.S. titles “Bristel Goodman”and “Medeas.”

The Premieres section will include “3 Nights in the Desert,” starring Amber Tamblyn, Wes Bentley and Vincent Piazza, “Days and Nights,” starring Katie Holmes, William Hurt, Jean Reno, Allison Janney and Ben Wishaw and “Party Central” starring John Goodman, Charlie Day, Bill Crystal, Sean Hayes and David Foley.

U.S. premieres include Ralph Steadman docu “For No Good Reason,” featuring Johnny Depp and Terry Gilliam; “Enemy,” with Jake Gyllenhaal, Melanie Laurent and Isabella Rossellini, “In Secret,” starring Elizabeth Olsen, Oscar Isaac and Jessica Lange and Fred Schepisi’s “Words and Pictures,” starring Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche.

For complete program information, go to the PSFilmFest website.

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