The new year will open in high style for Canadian cinema as the Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) has selected Canada as country of honour for the Festival’s 25th anniversary edition. This focus on Canada marks the dazzling renewal of the Telefilm Canada-PSIFF partnership launched in 2013, one that promises to be very fruitful for Canada’s film industry. Canadian filmmakers Louise Archambault (Gabrielle), Shawney Cohen (The Manor), Craig Goodwill (Patch Town), Bruce LaBruce (Gerontophilia), Don McKellar (The Grand Seduction), Richie Mehta (Siddharth), Sébastien Pilote (Le Démantèlement) and Wiebke von Carolsfeld (Stay) will be in the spotlight in Palm Springs. The Festival runs from January 3 to 13, 2014.
Each year, the Festival pays tribute to a country or region that has made a mark on the international scene. The Festival’s Focus on Canada event will celebrate Canadian cinema on Sunday, January 5, and screenings of Canadian films will also be held throughout the Festival’s run. In addition to Canadian producers, Canadian actors such as Marc-André Grondin (Vic Flo Saw a Bear), Cara Gee (a 2013 TIFF Rising Star) and Shay Eyre (Empire of Dirt), as well as Zoie Palmer and Julian Richings (Patch Town), will be in Palm Springs to help promote their movies.
The Palm Springs International Film Festival is one of the marquee events of the film-festival season in the United States. It draws a high number of attendees every year and generates significant buzz owing to the fact that its line-up includes several Golden Globe and Oscar contenders. The Festival presents more than 100 films from 60 countries, and its more than 135,000 participants include a significant contingent of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voting members.
“I am delighted that the Palm Springs International Film Festival is paying such a wonderful tribute to Canadian talent during its 25th anniversary edition, which will be celebrated in dazzling style,” said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. “Our partnership with the PSIFF allows us to showcase an outstanding Canadian program of films that includes Louise Archambault’sGabrielle, which represented Canada in the race for the 2014 best foreign-language film Oscar. The Festival generates significant promotional spinoffs, which will have a positive effect—in terms of audience-building and business opportunities—on the Canadian films being screened.”
PSIFF Artistic Director Helen du Toit, added: “Canada’s extraordinary success on the international stage this year—as evidenced by the plethora of awards and sales activity—has inspired us to shine a Spotlight on Canadian Cinema at the Palm Springs Film Festival this year. With Enemy and Prisoners (two films in one year!) starring some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Denis Villeneuve is now considered one of the hottest filmmakers in Hollywood. As a lead up to the Oscar race, we will be honouring Matthew McConaughey at our Black Tie Awards Gala this year for his performance in Jean-Marc Vallée’s celebrated new film Dallas Buyers Club. Talent nurtured in Canada is launching at prestigious international festivals and finding distribution around the globe. Out of the 13 films we selected, over half already have U.S. distribution, marking an increased interest from previous years. In the end the evidence is clear: the stars have aligned for Canadian cinema. We applaud you!”
Canadian line-up at the 2014 Palm Springs International Film Festival
- Another House (L’Autre maison), Mathieu Roy
- The Auction (Le Démantèlement), Sébastien Pilote
- Empire of Dirt, Peter Stebbings
- Enemy, Denis Villeneuve
- Gabrielle, Louise Archambault
- Gerontophilia, Bruce LaBruce
- The Grand Seduction, Don McKellar
- The Manor, Shawney Cohen
- Patch Town, Craig Goodwill
- Sarah Prefers to Run (Sarah préfère la course), Chloé Robichaud
- Siddharth, Richie Mehta
- Stay, Wiebke von Carolsfeld
- Vic Flo Saw a Bear (Vic Flo ont vu un ours), Denis Côté
Focus on Canada, January 5, 2014
On the occasion of the Festival’s Focus on Canada day on January 5, Telefilm has organized several events, including:
- A day of Canadian film screenings, including a gala presentation of Louise Archambault’s Gabrielle;
- An event featuring Canadian talent attending the Festival; and
- An awareness-raising event for the Talent Fund, a private donation fund established by Telefilm to stimulate investment in the production and promotion of Canadian films. Canadian philanthropists Carol and Paul Hill have generously agreed to host this event, which will bring together Canadian and international business people and creative talents.
Palm Springs Speaks French!, January 6, 2014
The Festival, in conjunction with the consulates general of Belgium, France and Switzerland, the Quebec Government Office in Los Angeles, Swiss Films, Telefilm Canada and TV5 Monde, will be holding an event to celebrate French-language cinema.
Close ties between Canada and the Palm Springs International Film Festival
It’s worth noting that, in addition to the strong Canadian contingent at the Palm Springs International Film Festival each year, Festival Director Darryl Macdonald is himself a Canadian. In 2012, Macdonald received the inaugural Friend of International Cinema Award from the online magazineCinema Without Borders. The award recognized his support for the promotion of international film in the United States. The Festival’s Artistic Director, Helen Du Toit, is also a Canadian producer active on the international scene.
The talent with the 13 Canadian films appearing at the Festival will take part through the support of Telefilm, SODEC and the Quebec Government Office in Los Angeles.