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From Actors to Directors, Hollywood’s Elite Loves to Party in Palm Springs

Written By: Sierra Chapdelaine Palm Springs International Film Festival

January is the indication of a new year, but more importantly, it means that the Palm Springs Film Festival is in town. Spanning almost two weeks, the festival breathes a new kind of life into the desert as it brings in renowned filmmakers, actors, A-list celebrities and a downright good time. Celebrating its 30th year this season, the festival honored some very special guests, as well as screened and acknowledged some incredible films this year.

The festival opened with the annual Film Awards Gala, a black-tie event reminiscent of old Hollywood with a celebration of similar talent. Big names such as Bradley Cooper, Christian Slater and Emma Stone graced its red carpet this year. Here, awards were given, and this year’s recipients were more than deserving. Among them was Timothée Chalamet, a young actor who won the Spotlight Actor Award for his groundbreaking role in the film Beautiful Boy; where he brilliantly depicted a young man struggling with addiction. Another notable award recipient was Rami Malek, winning the Breakthrough Performance Award for immaculately portraying Freddie Mercury in the Queen biography, Bohemian Rhapsody.


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Following the gala was the commencement of film screening. Film screening was a 10-day process in which attendees visited various locations to screen a number of films, as well as enjoy numerous panels with writers, directors and actors. One of the more impactful films screened, Shoplifters, a Japanese film in which a family depends on shoplifting to survive poverty, took home the FIPRESCI Prize for best foreign-language film.


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The audience was also able to choose their favorite films—The Biggest Little Farm, an audience-awarded documentary, and Grizzlies, an audience-awarded narrative. Attendees had the luxury of enjoying numerous panels, the most popular of which was for the film Walk to Vegas, an entirely sold-out panel.


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Soirees were also thrown throughout the festival, the most notable of which was the PSIFF’s 30th birthday celebration, a night of great music, drinks and dancing that was held at the Ace Hotel.

Closing night began with screening the last film Ladies in Black and ended at the Hilton in Palm Springs, where attendees and honorees alike indulged in the final moments of the annual festival at its reception.

In a world where we all differ from one another incredibly, the universality of the human connection to film allows this festival to bring people from all walks of life together to celebrate something that everybody loves—a good movie.