The PSIFF Brought the Industry’s Greats and Cinema Fans Together for a 10-Day, Cinema-tastic Event!
Written By: Gene Pietragallo III
Photography Provided By: Palm Springs International Film Festival
The turn of a decade is generally not disappointing in terms of innovation in any artistic industry, and 2020 marks the beginning of a new era for international film as a whole. The annual Palm Springs International Film Festival wrapped up its final screening on Jan. 13, and the Coachella Valley’s largest cinematic event has spawned an undeniable wave of energy among film enthusiasts and critics alike.
The Awards Gala for the PSIFF, as always, attracted directorial and acting legends to the Coachella Valley for what now has become a staple in the film industry and a softly spoken stepping stone to an Oscar win. To say the polls were filled with extraordinary works of international cinema would be an understatement.
After wrapping up its 31st year of production, the PSIFF has only continued to gain popularity as the film critic’s choice for insight on new international cinema. At the forefront of the PSIFF in its entirety, newly elected Artistic Director Lili Rodriguez recounts her thoughts and feelings from the 2020 event.
“I think something that sets the Festival apart from others is the fact that we are a cross between an ‘industry’ festival and a consumer festival. We attract a lot of big names in international cinema, but we also make it very accessible to the public to come enjoy the films as well as interact with many of the filmmakers that come to the Festival to showcase their work,” says Rodriguez. “I’ve heard from various filmmakers that getting to hear questions from film festival patrons during our Q&As has been one of their favorite experiences.”
The PSIFF showcased three vastly different and locally oriented films this year: The 11th Green, House of Cardin and Iron City, a documentary exploring the lives of desert artists from Slab City and Bombay Beach.
Some of the biggest American cinema received awards for their 2019 work during PSIFF, including Quentin Tarantino winning Best Director for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Additionally, there were awards for international films that also recognized cinema greats for their efforts and careers.
The FIPRESCI Prize for Best International Feature Film of the Year was awarded to Beanpole—Russian director Kantemir Balagov’s directorial feature—while the FIPRESCI Prize for Best International Screenplay went to Parasite, which is South Korean writer Bong Joon-Ho and Han Jin-Won’s highly regarded 2019 feature which may see its way to an Oscar given the trajectory its seen since its release. Another highly praised film, Gay Chorus Deep South, earned American director David Charles Rodrigues the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature.
In all, screening well over 200 international films over the course of 10 days, the PSIFF has once again recognized and celebrated the entire world of cinema in one cinema-tastic event. Palm Springs International Film Festival