31st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Announces Festival Line-Up

Palm Springs International Film Festival logo

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — The 31st annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) announced that the festival’s opening night will be the screening of An Almost Ordinary Summer, directed by Simone Godano, on Friday, January 3.  The festival will close with Military Wives, directed by Peter Cattaneo on Sunday, January 12. Both Godano and Cattaneo are expected to attend. The festival will screen 188 films from 81 countries, including 51 premieres (7 World, 6 North American, 5 International and 33 U.S.) from January 2-13, 2020.  The line-up includes a focus on cinema from Italy, Talking Pictures, International Feature Film Oscar® Submissions, New Voices New Visions, Modern Masters, Queer Cinema, True Stories, World Cinema Now, and more.


PSIFF will open with An Almost Ordinary Summer on Friday, January 3.  In this delightful and big-hearted Italian farce, a seaside summer vacation erupts into class and sexual warfare when two middle-aged grandfathers – the rich, cosmopolitan Tony and the hunky, blue-collar Carlo – announce to their big, shocked families their plan to marry. 

The film stars  Alessandro Gassmann, Jasmine Trinca, Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Filippo Scicchitano, and is directed by Simone Godano.   The festival will close with Military Wives on Sunday, January 12. This charming ensemble dramedy is based on a true story about the wives of deployed British soldiers who find harmony in a new base camp choir, where Tears for Fears is part of their repertoire, and become a global sensation. The film stars Kristin Scott Thomas, Sharon Horgan, Jason Flemyng and is directed by Peter Cattaneo.    

“It’s an extraordinary pleasure to be sharing this year’s festival lineup with the world, my first as Artistic Director,” said PSIFF Artistic Director Lili Rodriguez.  “In tradition with previous years, we’ve looked back at an excellent year of international cinema and cherry-picked some of the best in the circuit, as well as some undiscovered gems. From award-winners and hopefuls to smaller, independent stories that stick with you, this year’s lineup showcases an exciting group of diverse and powerful voices.”   


The Talking Pictures program includes in-depth discussions with directors, writers and actors from the year’s top titles. The following films selected for this year’s program with guests attending are: 

  •  Hustlers (USA) with director Lorene Scafaria and “The Hustlers at Scores” author Jessica Pressler
  • JoJo Rabbit (USA) with Caging Skies author Christine Leunens
  • Motherless Brooklyn (USA) with author Jonathan Lethem and writer/director/producer/actor Edward Norton


This section is selected by Festival programmers as the strongest entries in this year’s Academy Awards® race and will screen 51 official submissions from the Best International Feature Film category. A special jury of international film critics will review these films to present the FIPRESCI Award for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year, as well as Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay in this category. ·        

  • 1982 (Lebanon), Director Oualid Mouaness    
  • Adam (Morocco), Director Maryam Touzani 
  • Ága (Bulgaria), Director Milko Lazarov 
  • And Then We Danced (Sweden), Director Levan Akin
  •  Antigone (Canada), Director Sophie Deraspe 
  •  Atlantics (Senegal), Director Mati Diop 
  • The Awakening of the Ants (Costa Rica), Director Antonella Sudasassi Furnis
  • Beanpole (Russia), Director Kantemir Balagov 
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (UK), Director Chiwetel Ejiofor
  •  Buoyancy (Australia), Director Rodd Rathjen
  • The Chambermaid (Mexico), Director Lila Avilés 
  •  Commitment (Turkey), Director Semih Kaplanoğlu (North American Premiere)
  • Corpus Christi (Poland), Director Jan Komasa 
  • The Delegation (Albania), Director Bujar Alimani 
  • Finding Farideh (Iran), Director Azadeh Moussavi, Kourosh Ataee
  •  Gaza (Ireland), Director Gary Keane, Andrew McConnell
  • Gully Boy (India), Director Zoya Akhtar 
  •  Heroic Losers (Argentina), Director Sebastián Borensztein (U.S. Premiere)
  •  Honeyland (North Macedonia), Director Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska
  • Incitement (Israel), Director Yaron Zilberman (U.S. Premiere)
  • Instinct (Netherlands), Director Halina Reijn 
  • Invisible Life (Brazil), Director Karim Aïnouz
  •   It Must Be Heaven (Palestine), Director Elia Suleiman
  • Les Misérables (France), Director Ladj Ly
  • Let There Be Light (Slovakia), Director Marko Skop 
  • M for Malaysia (Malaysia), Director Dian Lee, Ineza Roussille
  • Monos (Colombia), Director Alejandro Landes
  • The Mover (Latvia), Director Dāvis Sīmanis
  • Our Mothers (Belgium), Director Cesar Diaz
  • Out Stealing Horses (Norway), Director Hans Petter Moland 
  • Pain And Glory (Spain), Director Pedro Almodóvar 
  • The Painted Bird (Czech Republic), Director Václav Marhoul 
  • Papicha (Algeria), Director Mounia Meddour 
  • Parasite (South Korea), Director Bong Joon-Ho
  • The Perfect Candidate (Saudi Arabia), Director Haifaa Al-Mansour
  • Queen of Hearts (Denmark), Director May el-Toukhy
  • The Red Pigeon (Pakistan), Director Kamal Khan
  • Retablo (Peru), Director Alvaro Delgado Aparicio
  • Spider (Chile), Director Andrés Wood
  • The Steed (Mongolia), Director Erdenebileg Ganbold
  • System Crasher (Germany), Director Nora Fingscheidt
  • Tel Aviv on Fire (Luxembourg), Director Sameh Zoabi
  • Those Who Remained (Hungary), Director Barnabás Tóth
  • Truth and Justice (Estonia), Director Tanel Toom (North American Premiere)
  • Tu Me Manques (Bolivia), Director Rodrigo Bellott
  • Verdict (Philippines), Director Raymund Ribay Gutierrez
  • Weathering With You (Japan), Director Makoto Shinkai
  • When Tomatoes Met Wagner (Greece), Director Marianna Economou
  • The Whistlers (Romania), Director Corneliu Porumboiu
  • A White, White Day (Iceland), Director Hlynur Palmason
  • Zana (Kosovo), Director Antoneta Kastrati (U.S. Premiere) 


From the land of beautiful art, rich history, and mouth-watering cuisine, join us as we highlight exceptional Italian cinema.     

  • The Champion (Italy), Director Leonardo D’Agostini (North American Premiere)
  • The Disappearance of My Mother (Italy), Director Beniamino Barrese
  • Martin Eden (Italy/France/Germany), Director Pietro Marcello
  • Simple Women (Italy/Romania), Director Chiara Malta (U.S. Premiere)
  • Sole (Italy), Director Carlo Sironi
  • A Soul Journey (UK/Italy), Director Marco Della Fonte (World Premiere)
  • The Traitor (Italy), Director Marco Bellocchio                               


New films, classic auteurs.

  • About Endlessness (Sweden/Germany/Norway), Director Roy Andersson (U.S. Premiere)
  • Desert One (USA), Director Barbara Kopple
  • First Love (Japan), Director Takashi Miike
  • Mr. Jones (Poland/UK/Ukraine), Director Agnieszka Holland
  • Nomad: In The Footsteps Of Bruce Chatwin (UK), Director Werner Herzog
  • So Long, My Son (China), Director Wang Xiaoshuai
  • The Truth (France), Director Hirokazu Koreeda
  • Varda By Agnès (France/Germany), Director Agnès Varda


Unique viewpoints from first- and second-time directors.

  • Arab Blues (France/Tunisia), Director Manele Labidi
  • Blow the Man Down (USA), Director Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy
  • The Good Intentions (Argentina), Director Ana García Blaya (U.S. Premiere)
  • Hearts and Bones (Australia), Director Ben Lawrence
  • Lara (Germany), Director Jan-Ole Gerster
  • Lina from Lima (Chile/Peru/Argentina), Director Maria Paz González (U.S. Premiere)
  • Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (Bhutan), Director Pawo Choyning Dorji (U.S. Premiere)
  • Murmur (Canada), Director Heather Young (U.S. Premiere)
  • Patrick (Belgium), Director Tim Mielants
  • A Son (France/Tunisia/Lebanon/Qatar), Director Mehdi M. Barsaoui (U.S. Premiere)
  • Song Without A Name (Peru/Spain/USA/Chile), Director Melina León
  • A Thief’s Daughter (Spain), Director Belén Funes
  • Workforce (Mexico), Director David Zonana (U.S. Premiere)


Non-fiction filmmaking at its most urgent and illuminating.

  • Advocate (Israel/Canada/Switzerland), Director Rachel Leah Jones, Philippe Bellaiche
  • Ara Malikian. A Life Among Strings (Spain), Director Nata Moreno (U.S. Premiere)
  • The Australian Dream (Australia), Director Daniel Gordon
  • Billie (UK), Director James Erskine
  • The Capote Tapes (UK), Director Ebs Burnough
  • Coup 53 (UK/USA/Iran), Director Taghi Amirani
  • David Foster: Off the Record (Canada), Director Barry Avrich (U.S. Premiere)
  • The Dog Doc (USA), Director Cindy Meehl
  • The Donut Dollies (USA/Vietnam), Director Norman Anderson
  • Forman vs. Forman (Czech Republic/France), Director Helena Třeštíková, Jakub Hejna
  • Free Color (USA/Venezuela/France), Director Alberto Arvelo (World Premiere)
  • I Am Not Alone (Armenia), Director Garin Hovannisian
  • The Kingmaker (USA), Director Lauren Greenfield
  • Leftover Women (Israel), Director Shosh Shlam, Hilla Medalia
  • Maxima (USA/Peru), Director Claudia Sparrow
  • The New Bauhaus (USA), Director Alysa Nahmias
  • Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (Canada), Director Daniel Roher
  • Our Time Machine (China/USA), Director Yang Sun, S. Leo Chiang
  • Paris Stalingrad (France), Director Hind Meddeb, Thim Naccache
  • Red Penguins (USA/Russia), Director Gabe Polsky
  • Rewind (USA), Director Sasha Joseph Neulinger
  • Romantic Comedy (UK), Director Elizabeth Sankey
  • Searching for Mr. Rugoff (USA) Director Ira Deutchman
  • The Seer and the Unseen (Iceland/USA), Director Sara Dosa
  • Stevenson – Lost and Found (USA/France/Germany/New Zealand), Director Sally Williams
  • Talking About Trees (France/Sudan/Germany/Chad/Qatar), Director Suhaib Gasmelbari
  • This Is Not a Movie (Canada/Germany), Director Y​ung Chang
  • We Are the Radical Monarchs (USA), Director Linda Goldstein Knowlton
  • Zero Impunity (Luxembourg/France), Director Nicolas Blies, Stéphane Hueber-Blies (U.S. Premiere)   


Poignant, heartfelt and insightful stories from the LGBTQ community.

  • Born to Be (USA), Director Tania Cypriano
  • Changing the Game (USA), Director Michael Barnett
  • GAYLA Screening – Gay Chorus Deep South (USA), Director David Charles Rodrigues
  • Lingua Franca (USA/Philippines), Director Isabel Sandoval
  • Moffie (South Africa), Director Oliver Hermanus (North American Premiere)
  • Oliver Sacks: His Own Life (USA/UK), Director Ric Burns
  • GAYLA Screening – Portrait Of A Lady On Fire (France), Director Céline Sciamma
  • Second Star on the Right (Colombia), Director Ruth Caudeli
  • Sequin in a Blue Room (Australia), Director Samuel Van Grinsven
  • Stage Mother (USA), Director Thom Fitzgerald (World Premiere)
  • Straight Up (USA), Director James Sweeney
  • Two of Us (France/Luxembourg/Belgium), Director Filippo Meneghetti (U.S. Premiere)


Travel the world without leaving your seat.

  • 14 Days, 12 Nights (Canada), Director Jean-Philippe Duval (U.S. Premiere)
  • 37 Seconds (Japan), Director HIKARI
  • Adventures of a Mathematician (Germany/Poland), Director Thorsten Klein (International Premiere)
  • And the Birds Rained Down (Canada), Director Louise Archambault (U.S. Premiere)
  • The Artist’s Wife (USA), Director Tom Dolby
  • Babyteeth (Australia/USA), Director Shannon Murphy
  • Bacurau (Brazil/France), Director Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles
  • Baghdad in My Shadow (Switzerland/Germany/UK), Director Samir
  • Balloon (China), Director Pema Tseden
  • The Barefoot Emperor (Belgium/Netherlands/Croatia/Bulgaria), Director Jessica Woodworth, Peter Brosen (U.S. Premiere)
  • Bellbird (New Zealand), Director Hamish Bennett
  • The Burnt Orange Heresy (UK/Italy), Director Giuseppe Capotondi (U.S. Premiere)
  • Certified Mail (Egypt), Director Hisham Saqr (U.S. Premiere)
  • Clemency (USA), Director Chinonye Chukwu
  • The County (Iceland/Denmark/Germany/France), Director Grímur Hákonarson
  • Disclosure (Australia/UK), Director Michael Bentham (World Premiere)
  • Dogs Don’t Wear Pants (Finland/Latvia), Director J-P Valkeapää
  • Douze Points (Israel/France), Director Daniel Syrkin (International Premiere)
  • Easy Land (Canada), Director S​anja Zivkovic (International Premiere)
  • Echo (Iceland/France/Switzerland), Director Rúnar Rúnarsson (U.S. Premiere)
  • The Elder One (India), Director Geetu Mohandas (U.S. Premiere)
  • Extracurricular (Croatia), Director Ivan-Goran Vitez
  • Forgiveness (Israel), Director Guy Amir, Hanan Savyon
  • A Girl Missing (Japan/France), Director Kôji Fukada
  • Greed (UK), Director Michael Winterbottom (U.S. Premiere)
  • Hope (Norway/Sweden), Director Maria Sødahl (U.S. Premiere)
  • The Humorist (Russia/Latvia/Czech Republic), Director Michael Idov
  • The Innocence (Spain), Director Lucia Alemany (North American Premiere)
  • Judy & Punch (Australia), Director Mirrah Foulkes
  • Litigante (France/Colombia), Director Franco Lolli
  • Lucky Grandma (USA), Director Sasie Sealy
  • Made in Bangladesh (France/Bangladesh/Denmark/Portugal), Director Rubaiyat Hossain
  • Mafia Inc. (Canada), Director Daniel Grou (North American Premiere)
  • Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (Australia/Morocco), Director Tony Tilse (World Premiere)
  • Oleg (Latvia/Belgium/Lithuania/France), Director Juris Kursietis
  • Ordinary Love (UK/Ireland), Director Lisa Barros D’Sa, Glenn Leyburn (U.S. Premiere)
  • The Orphanage (Denmark/Germany/France/Luxembourg/Afghanistan), Director Shahrbanoo Sadat
  • Our Lady of the Nile (France/Belgium), Director Atiq Rahimi (U.S. Premiere)
  • Out of Tune (Denmark), Director Frederikke Aspöck
  • Pelican Blood (Germany), Director Katrin Gebbe
  • The Perfect Patient (Sweden), Director Mikael Håfström (International Premiere)
  • Proxima (France/Germany), Director Alice Winocour
  • The Rest of Us (Canada), Director A​isling Chin-Yee (U.S. Premiere)
  • Rounds (Bulgaria/Serbia), Director Stephan Komandarev (U.S. Premiere)
  • The Song of Names (Canada), Director François Girard
  • South Mountain (USA), Director Hilary Brougher
  • The Spy (Norway), Director Jens Jonsson (U.S. Premiere)
  • Standing Up, Falling Down (USA), Director Matt Ratner
  • A Sun (Taiwan), Director Chung Mong-Hong (U.S. Premiere)
  • The Swallows Of Kabul (France/Switzerland), Director Zabou Breitman, Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec
  • Synchronic (USA), Director Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson
  • Three Summers (Brazil/France), Director Sandra Kogut
  • The Vast of Night (USA), Director Andrew Patterson 
  • Wet Season (Singapore/Taiwan), Director Anthony Chen (U.S. Premiere)
  • The Wild Goose Lake (China/France), Director Diao Yinan
  • You Tell Me (Germany), Director Michael Fetter Nathansky (International Premiere)
  • You Will Die At Twenty (Sudan/France/Egypt/Germany/Norway/Qatar), Director Amjad Abu Alala (U.S. Premiere)  

Additional programming for the festival includes:

  • Three films have been selected as part of the Local Spotlight program highlighting films from the Coachella Valley.
    • The 11th Green (USA), Director Christopher Munch (World Premiere)
    • House of Cardin (USA/France), Director P David Ebersole, Todd Hughes
    • Iconicity (USA), Director Leo Zahn (World Premiere)
  • The Dinner & A Movie section includes a dinner followed by the film’s screening.
    • La Dolce Vita (Italy), Director Federico Fellini
    • Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy (USA/Mexico), Director Elizabeth Carroll
    • Stage: The Culinary Internship (Canada), Director Abigail Ainsworth        
  • On Sunday, January 5, the festival will host a VFX panel with Weta Digital, the studio known for its culture of creativity and innovation, that has created some of the most memorable characters and worlds of the last twenty-five years. Come hear their creative leaders talk about some of this year’s most talked about digital characters from Alita: Battle Angel, Gemini Man, and Avengers: Endgame. Panelists to include Mike Cozens (Animation Supervisor, Gemini Man), Paul Story (Animation Supervisor, Alita: Battle Angel) and Matt Aiken (VFX Supervisor, Avengers: Endgame). 
  • On Monday, January 6, the festival will also host a panel with the shortlisted filmmakers vying for Academy gold in the Best International Feature Film category. 

Juried awards for films in-competition will be presented at the Awards Brunch on Saturday, January 11 for seven categories, including the FIPRESCI Prize for films in the International Feature Film Oscar® Submissions program; New Voices New Visions Award for unique viewpoints from first- and second-time directors; Best Documentary Award for compelling non-fiction filmmaking; Ibero-American Award for the best film from Latin America, Spain or Portugal; Local Jury Award.

Source: Palm Springs International Film Festival

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