Palm Springs Film Festival Lineup Set; ‘The Sense Of An Ending’ To Open, The Comedian’ To Close

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Premieres, special sections, and the opening and closing films have been announced for the 28th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, happening January 2-16, with The Sense of an Ending, directed by Ritesh Batra selected to open the festival and The Comedian, from director Taylor Hackford has been selected to close.

Overall, 190 films will play the festival, with 58 premieres including 9 world premieres, 5 international, 20 North American, and 24 U.S. premieres. PSIFF has also announced films in program sections including “Focus on Poland”, which will highlight several films from the country, along with the “Modern Masters,” “New Voices/New Visions”, “True Stories”, and “After Dark”.

Among other announced films, Gus Van Sant’s When We Rise, making its North American premiere, will be the Festival’s Gay!La screening, while Insatiable: The Homaro Cantu Story (U.S.), directed by Brett A. Schwartz and Tampopo (Japan), directed by Juzo Itami, will play as part of the “Dinner and a Movie” section.

Four special presentations are also planned, including the World Premiere of Breakable You (U.S.), the U.S. Premiere of King of the Dancehall (U.S./Jamaica) directed by Nick Cannon, Old Money (Austria) directed by David Schalko and starring Udo Kier, and the North American premiere of The Hippopotamus.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this year’s lineup. The programming team has managed to pull together a plethora of different viewpoints in storytelling from around the world in hopes of generating great discussion sorely needed in these divisive times,” said festival Artistic Director Michael Lerman. “Between the 42 Foreign Language Oscar submissions, each selected to represent their own country in a year that’s more competitive than ever, to the poignant work being made by Modern Masters like Kim Ki-Duk, Ken Loach, Feng Xiaogang and Steve James, to the ever-surprising first and second features in our New Voices/New Visions competition like the unmissable Zoology and Kati Kati, the festival is jam-packed with gems. Along with that, I have to say what a pleasure it is to present the World Premiere of Ritesh Batra’s second feature film, The Sense of an Ending for Opening Night. We were all massive fans of his first feature, The Lunchbox, and we can’t wait to welcome him to Palm Springs.”

The full slate of festival films will be available online December 16. The complete list of currently-announced films is below.

World premieres:

The Beautiful Fantastic (UK/U.S.), Director Simon Aboud

Breakable You (U.S.), Director Andrew Wagner with Holly Hunter, Tony Shalhoub and Alfred Molina

The Concessionaires Must Die! (U.S.), Director America Young

Do It or Die! (U.S), Director Jørn Winther

Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends) (U.S./France), Director Colin Hanks

Everybody Loves Somebody (Mexico), Director Catalina Aguilar Mastretta with Karla Souza

Poorna (India), Director Rahul Bose

The Sense of an Ending (UK/U.S.), Director Ritesh Batra

Take Me Home Huey (U.S.), Directors Alicia Brauns and Christine Steele

International premieres:

The 4th Company (Mexico/Spain), Directors Amir Galván Cervera and Mitzi Vanessa Arreola

Call Me Thief (South Africa), Director Daryne Joshua

Julie and the Shoe Factory (France), Directors Paul Calori and Kostia Testut

Tonio (Netherlands), Director Paula van der Oest

Xamou (Greece), Director Clio Fanouraki

North American premieres:

At the End of the Tunnel (Argentina/Spain), Director Rodrigo Grande

Bad Influence (Chile), Director Claudia Huaiquimilla

Dark Skull (Bolivia/Qatar), Director Kiro Russo

The Day Will Come (Denmark), Director Jesper W. Nielsen

Ethel & Ernest (UK/Luxembourg), Director Roger Mainwood with the voices of Brenda Blethyn and Jim Broadbent

Half Ticket (India), Director Samit Kakkad

The Hippopotamus (UK), Director John Jencks with Roger Allam, Matthew Modine and Fiona Shaw

A Jew Must Die (Switzerland), Director Jacob Berger

King of the Belgians (Belgium/Netherlands/Bulgaria), Director Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth

The Liberation of Skopje (Macedonia/Croatia/Finland), Directors Rade Šerbedžija and Danilo Šerbedžija

Mellow Mud (Latvia), Director Renārs Vimba

Mercenary (France), Director Sacha Wolff

Mountain Cry (China), Director Larry Yang

No Dress Code Required (Mexico), Director Cristina Herrera Bórquez

The Spy and the Poet (Estonia), Director Toomas Hussar

Tommy’s Honour (U.S.), Director Jason Connery

The Turkish Way (Spain), Director Luis González

Vincent and the End of the World (Belgium/France), Director Christophe Van Rompaey

When We Rise (U.S.), Director Gus Van Sant with Guy Pearce, Mary-Louise Parker, Rachel Griffiths and Rosie O’Donnell

The Winter (Argentina/France), Director Emiliano Torres

U.S. premieres:

Barakah Meets Barakah (Saudi Arabia), Director Mahmoud Sabbagh

Behind the Clouds (Belgium), Director Cecilia Verheyden

Blessed Benefit (Jordan/Germany/Netherlands), Director Mahmoud al Massad

Brimstone (Netherlands/Germany/France/Belgium/Sweden/UK), Director Martin Koolhoven with Guy Pearce and Dakota Fanning

Center of My World (Germany/Austria), Director Jakob M. Erwa

Daguerrotype (France/Japan/Belgium), Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa

The Distinguished Citizen (Argentina/Spain), Director Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat

In Between (Israel/France), Director Maysaloun Hamoud

It’s Not the Time of My Life (Hungary), Director Szabolcs Hajdu

J: Beyond Flamenco (Spain), Director Carlos Saura

King of the Dancehall (U.S./Jamaica), Director Nick Cannon with Louis Gossett, Jr., Whoopi Goldberg and Busta Rhymes

The King’s Choice (Norway), Director Erik Poppe

KONELĪNE: our land beautiful (Canada), Director Nettie Wild

Little Wing (Finland/Denmark), Director Selma Vilhunen

Ma’ Rosa (Philippines), Director Brillante Mendoza

Memories of Summer (Poland), Director Adam Guziński

Noces (Belgium/France/Luxembourg/Pakistan), Director Stephan Streker

Past Life (Israel), Director Avi Nesher

Pihu (India), Director Vinod Kapri

Souvenir (Belgium/Luxembourg / France), Director Bavo Defurne with Isabelle Huppert

The Stopover (France/Greece), Director Delphine Coulin and Muriel Coulin

A United Kingdom (UK), Director Amma Asante with Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo

White Sun (Nepal/US/Qatar/ Netherlands), Director Deepak Rauniyar

X500 (Canada/Colombia/Mexico), Director Juan Andrés Arango


Afterimage (Poland), Director Andrzej Wajda

Ashes and Diamonds (Poland), Director Andrzej Wajda

Memories of Summer (Poland), Director Adam Guziński

The Last Family (Poland), Director Jan P. Matuszyński

United States of Love (Poland/Sweden), Director Tomasz Wasilewski

Zacma: Blindness (Poland), Director Ryszard Bugajski


Barakah Meets Barakah (Saudi Arabia), Director Mahmoud Sabbagh

Boundaries (Canada), Director Chloé Robichaud

In Between (Israel/France), Director Maysaloun Hamoud

Julie and the Shoe Factory (France), Director Paul Calori, Kostia Testut

Kati Kati (Kenya/Germany), Director Mbithi Masya

Little Wing (Finland/Denmark), Director Selma Vilhunen

Mellow Mud (Latvia), Director Renārs Vimba

The Winter (Argentina/France), Director Emiliano Torres

White Sun (Nepal/U.S./Qatar/Netherlands), Director Deepak Rauniyar

Zoology (Russia/France/Germany), Director Ivan I. Tverdovsky


A Quiet Passion (UK/Belgium), Director Terence Davies

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (U.S.), Director Steve James

After the Storm (Japan), Director Hirokazu Kore-eda

The Commune (Denmark/Sweden/Netherlands), Director Thomas Vinterberg

Daguerrotype (France/Japan/Belgium), Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Frantz (France/Germany), Director François Ozon

I Am Not Madame Bovary (China), Director Feng Xiaogang

I, Daniel Blake (UK/France/Belgium), Director Ken Loach

J: Beyond Flamenco (Spain), Director Carlos Saura

The Net (South Korea), Director Kim Ki-duk

Past Life (Israel), Director Avi Nesher

Personal Shopper (France), Director Olivier Assayas

The Teacher (Slovakia/Czech Republic), Director Jan Hrebejk

The Unknown Girl (Belgium/France), Director Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne


Aida’s Secrets (Israel/U.S./Germany/Canada), Directors Alon Schwarz, Shaul Schwarz

Alive and Kicking (U.S./Sweden), Director Susan Glatzer

Beauties of the Night (Mexico), Director María José Cuevas

Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (U.S.), Director Alexis Bloom, Fisher Stevens

Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends), (U.S./France), Director Colin Hanks

Forever Pure (Israel/UK/Ireland/Norway), Director Maya Zinshtein

Franca: Chaos and Creation (Italy/U.S.), Director Francesco Carrozzini

Gun Runners (Canada), Director Anjali Nayar

I Am Not Your Negro (U.S./France/Belgium/Switzerland), Director Raoul Peck

I Called Him Morgan (Sweden/U.S.), Director Kasper Collin

Jewel’s Catch One (U.S.), Director C. Fitz

Karl Marx City (U.S./Germany), Directors Petra Epperlein, Michael Tucker

Kedi (Turkey/U.S./Germany), Director Ceyda Torun

Keep Quiet (UK/Hungary), Directors Sam Blair, Joseph Martin

KONELĪNE: our land beautiful, (Canada), Director Nettie Wild

Magicians: Life in the Impossible (U.S.), Directors Christoph Baaden, Marcie Hume

No Dress Code Required (Mexico), Director Cristina Herrera Bórquez

Obit. (U.S.), Director Vanessa Gould

Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan (U.S.), Directors Adam Schlesinger, Linda Saffire

Take Me Home Huey (U.S.), Directors Alicia Brauns, Christine Steele

The Turkish Way (Spain), Director Luis González

Who’s Gonna Love Me Now? (Israel/UK), Directors Barak Heymann, Tomer Heymann, Alexander Bodin Saphir

Wrestling Alligators (U.S.), Director Andrew Shea


Brimstone (Netherlands/Germany/France/Belgium/Sweden/UK), Director Martin Koolhoven

The Girl with All the Gifts (UK/U.S.), Director Colm McCarthy

Under the Shadow (UK/Jordan/Qatar), Director Babak Anvari

The Untamed (Mexico/Denmark/France/Germany/Norway), Director Amat Escalante

Other Announced Films

After Love (Belgium/France) starring Bérénice Béjo

Camera Store (U.S.) starring John Larroquette, John Rhys Davies and Cheryl Ladd

The Girl with all the Gifts starring Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine and Glenn Close

Everything Else (Mexico/US/France) starring Adriana Barraza

Paint It Black (U.S.) directed by Amber Tamblyn and starring Alia Shawkat, Janet McTeer and Alfred Molina

Youth in Oregon (U.S.) directed by Joel David Morre and starring Frank Langella, Billy Crudup, Christina Applegate, Mary Kay Place and Josh Lucas.

Insatiable: The Homaro Cantu Story (U.S.), directed by Brett A. Schwartz

Tampopo (Japan), directed by Juzo Itami

Old Money (Austria) directed by David Schalko and starring Udo Kier

Aquarius (Brazil/France), directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho

The Eagle Huntress (UK/Mongolia/U.S.), directed by Otto Bell.

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