By Indiewire | Indiewire December 27, 2002 at 2:00AM
Palm Springs Readies Screenings of 200 Films
by Brian Brooks
(indieWIRE: 12.27.02) -- Over two hundred films from around the world will form the slate of the 2003 Palm Springs International Film Festival including five World Premieres, 23 North American Premieres and 56 U.S. Premieres. As previously announced, the festival, which takes place January 9 - 20, will open with the North American Premiere of Franco Zeffirelli's "Callas Forever," based on the life of famed opera singer Maria Callas.
Palm Springs will also continue featuring Academy Award foreign-language screening, screening 45 of the 54 submitted this year -- a festival record. Also, Roman Polanski's Cannes Palme d'Or-winning "The Pianist" will screen with other foreign work such as Katia Lund's and Fernando Meirelles' "City of God" (Brazil), nominated for a Golden Globe in the Best Foreign Language category. Additional anticipated foreign entries include Germany's "Nowhere in Africa," by Caroline Link, Peter Mullin's Toronto International Film Festival favorite, "The Magdalene Sisters" (Eire), Ken Loach's "Sweet Sixteen," and Spain's Academy entry, "Mondays in the Sun" by Fernando Leon de Aranoa as well as Zhang Yimou's Chinese epic, "Hero."
Bollywood also comes to the California desert oasis for a program celebrating the cinema of India, along with retrospectives on Franco Zeffirelli and Conrad Hall. In addition, the Festival will host seminars and panels on "How Deals Get Made in Hollywood." Other panels will be held on cinematography, screenwriting and an international filmmaking forum, featuring prominent members of the filmmaking world.
"We consider ourselves fortunate to offer films of the caliber and diversity that we have programmed for this year's festival," said festival executive director Mitch Levine in an prepared statement. "We really have something for everyone -- drama, comedy, family films, documentaries, gay and lesbian, and Jewish-interest are just a few of the types of movies that we'll be showing. Additionally, we have an entire section devoted to the debut features of new filmmakers from around the world, a series of films from established masters of the cinema, and many others."