Film festival veteran Michael Lerman has added another item to his resume, joining the Palm Springs International Film Festival as Artistic Director beginning with the 28th annual event happening January 2-16. Currently the Acting Head of Programming and Primetime Programmer for the Toronto Film Festival, Lerman has also served since 2005 as Artistic Director for Philadelphia Film Society.

“Michael Lerman is a young but very seasoned film festival veteran who brings a keen eye for identifying and curating remarkable films and filmmaker talent. He is an exemplary match for the Palm Springs International Film Festival,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner in announcing the hire. “We were very impressed with his programming work at the Toronto International Film Festival and are honored to have him join our Palm Springs team.”

The 28th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will hold its annual Film Awards Gala at the Palm Springs Convention Center on January 2, with Mary Hart hosting.


Horror film festival Screamfest has announced the first wave of programming for the 2016 edition of the event, which happens October 18-21 at the TLC Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. The announced films represent a range of horror genres including writer-director Bobby Miller’s SXSW pic The Master Cleanse, the supernatural thriller The Crucifixion from director Xavier Gens, and the Finnish slasher pic Lake Bodom. The largest and longest running horror film festival in the United States, this year’s event will see actress Lydia Hearst serve as the festival ambassador. Further selections will be announced in the coming weeks.

The announced films are:

Directed by Bobby Miller
Written by Bobby Miller
Produced by Jordan Horowitz, Johnny Galecki, Aaron L. Gilbert
Cast: Anna Friel, Johnny Galecki, Anjelica Huston, Oliver Platt
LA Premiere

Directed by Richard Bates, Jr.
Written by Richard Bates, Jr.
Produced by Lawrence Mattis, Matt Smith, David Lawson Jr.
Cast: Adrian Grenier, Angela Trimbur, Fionnula Flanagan, AnnaLynne McCord, Matthew Gray Gubler, Sally Kirkland, Ezra Buzzington, Ray Santiago, Molly McCook
LA Premiere

Directed by Xavier Gens
Written by Carey Hayes, Chad Hayes
Produced by Leon Clarance, Ara Keshishian, Peter Safran
Cast: Sophie Cookson
LA Premiere

Directed by Sean Brosnan
Written by Sean Brosnan
Produced by Sanja Banic, Alma Bogdan-Turner, Orian Williams, Sean Brosnan, Pierce Brosnan
Cast: Joe Anderson, Gary Stretch, Candace Smith
LA Premiere

FEAR, INC. (USA) 2016
Directed by Vincent Masciale
Written by Luke Barnett
Cast: Lucas Neff, Caitlin Stasey, Chris Marquette, Stephanie Drake, Mark Moses, Abigail Breslin
LA Premiere

Directed by The Vang Brothers (Berlee and Abel Vang)
Written by Berlee Vang, Abel Vang
Produced by Abel Vang, Burlee Vang, Leng Yang , Cheng Yang, Kirk Roos
Cast: Saxon Sharbino, Mitchell Edwards, Brandon Soo Hoo, Victory Van Tuyl, Carson Boatman, Alexis G. Zall, and Jordan Essoe
LA Premiere

Directed by Alejandro G. Alegre
Written by Alejandro G. Alegre
Produced by Alejandro G. Alegre, Victor Leycegui, Roberto G. Alegre, Enrique Villanueva
Cast: Isaac Pérez Calzada, Marcos Duarte, Verónica de Alba, Guillermo Jair, Rodrigo Ostap
LA Premiere

Directed by Taneli Mustonen
Written by Aleksi Hyvärinen and Taneli Mustonen
Produced by Aleksi Hyvärinen, Sophie Holden, Callie McGregor, Claudia Troncoso
Cast: Nelly Hirst-Gee, Mikael Gabriel, Mimosa Willamo, Santeri Helinheimo Mäntylä
US Premiere