Nestled in the (relative) warmth of Palm Springs, California and situated just before the defining night that is the Golden Globes, Palm Springs International Film Festival is an understated yet entirely significant affair. This is one of the last festivals of the season, set just before the awards show season officially kicks off, but I am expecting it to be a wonderful time. The Palm Springs International Film Festival began in 1990 with a total of 17,000 in its initial five-day run. Now, the festival has garnered a huge number of attendees as well as drawing major film stars to its opening Film Awards Gala. It has certainly become one of the top film festivals in America. For my first official film festival, I will be seeing 18 films in 7 days, including four Q&As (or ‘Talking Pictures’), and one ‘Dinner and a Movie’ (Chef Flynn). A few events I am particularly looking forward to are Can You Ever Forgive Me? and a Q&A with Melissa McCarthy, Vita & Virginia, BlacKkKlansman and a Q&A with Ron Stallworth, and Cold War.
The festival began last night with the awards gala which quite a few stars attended including Laura Dern, Timothee Chalamet, Spike Lee, Melissa McCarthy, Olivia Colman, Alfonso Cuaron, Emma Stone as well as, one of my favorite people in the world, Emily Blunt. Many were either honorees or presenters and almost all of them (aside from Laura Dern) walked the red carpet. Besides the black-tie gala, there is a smaller private brunch which includes a few additional honors, like Emily Blunt’s Creative Impact in Acting Award. Film screenings begin today and continue until the 13th of January, although I finish my screenings on the 10th with Vita & Virginia. Look for my first review of the festival, Can You Ever Forgive Me? coming soon, and continue to follow along for more articles and reviews from the festival. I am so excited to be covering my first film festival and can’t wait to get started!
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Jenna Kalishman is a freelance writer and cinephile based in Colorado who often focuses on female and queer perspectives as well as female-led projects. She spends much of her free time listening to Stevie Nicks and re-watching Carol. You can find her on twitter @jenkalish.