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Stars Shining As Palm Springs Film Fest Begins This Week

Palm Springs, CA – Celebrating its 20th anniversary, The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF), scheduled from January 6-19, 2009, will include over 400 screenings of more than 200 films from approximately 60 countries. The Festival presents a majority of the films submitted for consideration in the Best Foreign Language category for the Academy Awards, as well as a large number of American independent and international features and documentaries marking their world, North American or U.S. debuts. Screenings are held on 15 screens throughout Palm Springs.

The Festival will open with its glamorous annual black tie Awards Show on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at the Palm Springs Convention Center at 5:30 p.m. Hosted for the 6th year by Entertainment Tonight’sMary Hart, the Awards Show will honor individuals in the film industry with nine prestigious awards for acting, directing, achievement in film scoring and life achievement. Last year’s Festival honored Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Sean Penn, Halle Berry, Emile Hirsch, Jerry Weintraub, Nikki Blonsky, and the casts of Hairspray including John Travolta and Zac Efron and Juno including Ellen Page and Jason Bateman.

Festival Chairman Harold Matzner promised “that this year’s Awards Show will be as glamorous and star-studded as last year” when 1,600 attended and presenters included Jaime Foxx, Bruce Willis, Drew Barrymore, Laura Linney and Paul Thomas Anderson.

Wednesday, January 7th the Festival will use its screens for free educational programming for youngsters from Palm Springs and the rest of the Coachella Valley.

The traditional Opening Night screening and party will take place on Thursday, January 8th. Fifteen screens will operate from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. beginning Friday, January 9th. The Closing Night screening and party will take place on Sunday, January 18th, and the Best of the Festival will screen all day on Monday, January 19th. The Houston Gala, a Festival tradition, will be held on Saturday, January 17th at the luxurious estate of Jackie Lee and James Houston.

Festival Executive Director Darryl Macdonald, who founded and developed the Seattle Film Festival, said “This ’09 Festival, which celebrates the event’s 20th Anniversary, is on track to be even bigger and better than last year when a record 122,000 Festival supporters attended. Veteran Festival personnel are returning to operate all 15 screens. The theater experience for Festival goers will be as smooth as last year, and we expect the film line-up to be equally strong.”

Passes for the 2009 Palm Springs International Film Festival and Awards Show Gala are on sale now. To purchase tickets visit www.psfilmfest.org or call (800) 898-7526.

KESQ News Team

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