Ewan McGregor’s ‘Salmon Fishing’ to Open Palm Springs Film Festival

Festival will host 187 films from 73 countries, and there will be 61 premieres

"Salmon Fishing in the Yemen," starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, will open the Palm Springs International Film Festival Jan. 5, organizers said Thursday.

The showing will mark the U.S. debut of CBS Films' British comedy, which was directed by Oscar nominee Lasse Hallstrom ("My Life as a Dog") and written by Oscar winner Simon Beaufoy ("Slumdog Millionaire").

Two other McGregor films will also be shown at the festival: There will be a special presentation of "Haywire," a Steven Soderbergh-directed action film also starring McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, Channing Tatum and Bill Paxton; and the drama "Perfect Sense," which co-stars Eva Green, is on the lineup, as well.

Also read: McGregor, Blunt Going 'Salmon Fishing' With Hallstrom

Other titles to be showcased at the festival include "Albert Nobbs," an Irish drama starring Glenn Close; the thriller "Thin Ice," starring Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin and Billy Crudup; and "Sal," a biopic about actor Sal Mineo. James Franco directed, wrote and stars in "Sal."

The festival's Modern Masters section will feature Lynne Ramsay's "We Need to Talk About Kevin," Pawel Pawlikowski's "The Woman in the Fifth," "Il Postino" director Michael Radford's "Michel Petrucciani," Christoffer Boe's "Beast," Masato Harada's "Chronicle of My Mother," Andrey Zvyaginstev's "Elena," Nanni Moretti's "Habemus Papam," Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne "The Kid with a Bike," Chen Kaige's "Sacrifice" and Robert Guédiguian's "The Snows of Kilimanjaro."

The Palm Springs International Film Festival will close Jan. 15 with the German comedy "Almanya, Welcome to Germany."

In total, the festival will host 187 films from 73 countries. There will be 61 premieres.

“It’s a wide ranging line-up of highly accomplished and often provocative new films, coupled with an expanded archival section,” festival director Darryl Macdonald said in a statement.

"The festival is positively bursting with the work of emerging filmmakers this year — more than a third of the films are first features, representing the programming team’s commitment to showcasing new talent," artistic director Helen du Toit added.

The anticipated attendance at the festival is 130,000.