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First-time spotlight on Canadian Films planned

The Palm Springs Film Festival has announced the 45 foreign language Oscar submissions in the Awards section, a new program on Canadian cinema and the Modern Masters films. The  foreign language submissions that will compete for the FIPRESCI Award include “The Past,” “Wadjda,” Italy’s “The Great Beauty,” Israel’s “Bethlehem,” Denmark’s “The Hunt” and Romania’s “Child’s Pose.”

Artistic director Helen du Toit pointed out an “exciting group of dark horses” among the Awards Buzz films such as Iceland’s “Of Horses and Men” (pictured), Romania’s “Child’s Pose,” The Palestinian Territories “Omar,” Mexico’s “Heli,” Georgia’s “In Bloom,” and Morocco’s “Horses of God.”

The Canadian showcase will include a reception and Canadian Film Day, featuring actors including Brendan Gleeson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Taylor Kitsch, Melanie Laurent, Aidan Quinn, Isabella Rossellini and Taylor Schilling. Films include “Enemy,” foreign language Oscar entry “Gabrielle,” “The Grand Seduction” and “Sarah Prefers to Run.”

“We’ve selected Canadian films for a special focus at this year’s festival for many reasons, not the least of which is the wealth of talent emerging from its relatively small, indigenous film industry, and the depth and richness of story and character portrayal its films exemplify,” said festival director Darryl Macdonald.

The Modern Masters program feature films from notable directors worldwide including  Agnieszka Holland, Claude Lanzmann, Hayao Miyazaki, Errol Morris, Avi Nesher and Francois Ozon.

Additional titles will be announced soon for the festival that runs Jan. 3-13.

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