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Film critic and Los Angeles Film Festival vet David Ansen has joined the Palm Springs Film Festival as lead programmer.

Ansen, who served as artistic director of the Los Angeles Film Festival for five years and critic for Newsweek, will work with Palm Springs artistic director Helen du Toit. He will be responsible for acquiring films from U.S distribution outlets and international sales companies and, working with a team of six other programmers, will also be a key member of the selection committee for films submitted to the festival.

“I’m thrilled to have someone with David’s vast scope and depth of knowledge about film join us as a key member of the PSIFF programming team,” said festival director Darryl Macdonald. “His taste in films has always been impeccable, ranging from the discovery of unheralded works from gifted new international directors to a singular appreciation of films from seasoned filmmakers working in the major studio milieux.”

“I’m very excited to be working alongside Darryl and Helen, who have turned it into one of the country’s great festivals,” said Ansen. “I love its emphasis on international cinema, its broad, eclectic spirit, and the adventurous and enthusiastic audiences.”

The Palm Springs Film Festival runs January 1-11.