Palm Springs Fest Adds Canadian Films, 45 Foreign Oscar Contenders

Denis Villeneuve’s Jake Gyllenhaal film “Enemy” is among the films added to the January desert festival

Films by Denis Villeneuve, Claude Lanzmann and Francois Ozon, a tribute to new Canadian cinema and 45 of this year’s Oscar foreign-language entries will screen at the Palm Springs International Film Festival early next year, PSIFF organizers announced on Thursday.

The festival, which runs from Jan. 3-13 in the desert resort town 100 miles east of Los Angeles, revealed the lineup for its signature Awards Buzz section, as well as its 10-film Modern Masters program and a new Spotlight on Canadian Cinema section with a dozen recent films from directors north of the border.

Awards Buzz screenings, which for the second year in a row will take place after the nine-film Oscar shortlist in the foreign-language category has already been announced, will include many of the films thought to have the best shot of advancing, including Belgium’s “Broken Circle Breakdown,” Chile’s “Gloria,” Denmark’s “The Hunt,” Iran’s “The Past,” Israel’s “Bethlehem” and Italy’s “The Great Beauty.”

In the press release announcing the selections, festival artistic director Helen Du Toit also singled out several dark-horse candidates, including Iceland’s “Of Horses and Men,” Romania’s “Child’s Pose,” Palestine’s “Omar” and Georgia’s “In Bloom.”

Also read: 10 Dark Horses That Could Shake Up the Oscar Foreign-Language Race

The Spotlight section, which focuses on a different country or region each year, will focus on Canadian films. Films include Denis Villeneuve’s “Enemy,” a bizarre mystery featuring Jake Gyllenhaal in dual roles. The film was Villeneuve’s first film with Gyllenhaal, made before “Prisoners,” but released after it.

Other filmmakers represented in the section are Bruce LaBruce, Don McKellar, Chloe Robichaud and Denis Cote.

Finally, the Modern Masters section features new work from international directors, much of which has played to acclaim at other festivals over the past year. Films include Agnieszka Holland’s docudrama “Burning Bush,” “Shoah” director Claude Lanzmann’s Holocaust documentary “The Last of the Unjust,” Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Cannes Jury Prize winner “Like Father, Like Son,” Errol Morris’ Donald Rumsfeld doc “The Unknown Known,” Hayao Miyazaki’s animated “The Wind Rises” and Francois Ozon’s “Young & Beautiful.”

More information is available at

Also read: ‘American Hustle’ Cast to Be Honored by Palm Springs Fest

The programs:

Awards Buzz

Oscar foreign-language entries:
The German Doctor (Argentina), Director Lucía Puenzo
The Rocket (Australia), Director Kim Mordaunt
The Wall (Austria), Director Julian Pölsler
The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium/Netherlands), Director Felix van Groeningen
An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker (Bosnia), Director Danis Tanovic
The Missing Picture (Cambodia/France), Director Rithy Panh
Gabrielle (Canada), Director Louise Archambault
Gloria (Chile/Spain), Director Sebastián Lelio
Back to 1942 (China), Director Feng Xiaogang
Halima’s Path (Croatia/Slovenia/Bosnia-Herzegovina), Director Arsen Anton Ostojic
The Hunt (Denmark), Director Thomas Vinterberg
Winter of Discontent (Egypt), Director Ibrahim El Batout
Disciple (Finland), Director Ulrika Bengts
Renoir (France), Director Gilles Bourdos
In Bloom (Georgia/Germany/France), Directors Nana Ekvtimishvili, Simon Gross
Two Lives (Germany/Norway), Director Georg Maas
Le Grand Cahier (Hungary/Germany/Austria/France), Director János Szász
Of Horses and Men (Iceland), Director Benedikt Erlingsson
The Good Road (India), Director Gyan Correa
The Past (Iran/Italy/France), Director Asghar Farhadi
Bethlehem (Israel), Director Yuval Adler
The Great Beauty (Italy/France), Director Paolo Sorrentino
The Great Passage (Japan), Director Yûya Ishii
The Old Man (Shal) (Kazakhstan), Director Yermek Tursunov
Mother, I Love You (Latvia), Director Janis Nords
Heli (Mexico/Germany/Netherlands/France), Director Amat Escalante
Horses of God (Morocco/France/Belgium), Director Nabil Ayouch
Borgman (Netherlands), Director Alex van Warmerdam
White Lies (New Zealand), Director Dana Rotberg
I Am Yours (Norway), Director Iram Haq
Omar (Palestinian Territory), Director Hany Abu-Assad
Transit (Philippines), Director Hannah Espia
Walesa. Man of Hope (Poland), Director Andrzej Wajda
Child’s Pose (Romania), Director Calin Peter Netzer
Stalingrad (Russia), Director Fedor Bondarchuk
Wadjda (Saudi Arabia/Germany), Director Haifaa Al Mansour
Circles (Serbia/Germany/France/Croatia/Slovenia), Director Srdan Golubovic
Ilo Ilo (Singapore), Director Anthony Chen
Class Enemy (Slovenia), Director Rok Bicek
Juvenile Offender (South Korea), Director Kang Yi-kwan
15 Years and One Day (Spain), Director Gracia Querejeta
More Than Honey (Switzerland), Director Markus Imhoof
The Butterfly’s Dream (Turkey), Director Yilmaz Erdogan
Metro Manila (United Kingdom/Philippines), Director Sean Ellis
Anina (Uruguay/Colombia), Director Alfredo Soderguit

Spotlight on Canadian Cinema

The Auction Director: Sébastien Pilote.  Cast: Gabriel Arcand, Gilles Renaud, Lucie Laurier, Sophie Desmarais, Johanne-Marie Tremblay, Gabriel Tremblay.
Empire of Dirt Director: Peter Stebbings.  Cast: Cara Gee, Shay Eyre, Jennifer Podemski, Luke Kirby, Jordan Prentice, Lawrence Bayne, Michael Cram.
Enemy Director: Denis Villeneuve.  Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini.
Gabrielle Director: Louise Archambault.  Cast: Gabrielle Marion-Rivard, Alexandre Landry, Melissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Vincent-Guillaume Otis, Benoit Gouin, Sébastien Ricard, Isabelle Vincent, Marie Gignac.
Gerontophilia Director: Bruce LaBruce.  Cast: Pier-Gabriel Lajoie, Walter Border, Katie Boland, Marie-Hélène Thibault.
The Grand Seduction Director: Don McKellar.  Cast: Brendan Gleeson, Taylor Kitsch, Liane Balaban, Gordon Pinsent, Mark Critch, Mary Walsh.
The Manor  Director: Shawney Cohen.
Patch Town Director: Craig Goodwill.  Cast: Rob Ramsay, Zoie Palmer, Julian Richings, Suresh John, Scott Thompson, Ken Hall.
Sarah Prefers to Run Director: Chloé Robichaud.  Cast: Sophie Desmarais, Jean-Sébastien Courchesne, Geneviève Boivin-Roussy, Helene Florent, Eve Duranceau, Micheline Lanctot, Pierre-Luc Lafontaine, Benoit Gouin.
Siddharth  Director: Richie Mehta.  Cast: Mahendra Saini, Suman Saini, Ranjit Gahlot, Meena Gahlot, Roshni.
Stay Director: Wiebke von Carolsfeld.  Cast: Taylor Schilling, Aidan Quinn, Barry Keoghan, Nika McGuigan, Chris McHallem, Brian Gleeson, Michael Ironside.
Vic + Flo Saw a Bear  Director: Denis Côté.  Cast: Pierrette Robitaille, Romane Bohringer, Marc-André Grondin.

Modern Masters

Burning Bush (Czech Republic) Director: Agnieszka Holland.  Cast: Tatiana Pauhofovå, Jaroslava Pokomå, Petr Stach, Jan Budar, Martin Huba, Ivan Trojan.
The Last of the Unjust (France) Director: Claude Lanzmann.
Like Father, Like Son (Japan)  Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda. Cast: Masaharu Fukuyama, Machiko Ono, Yoko Maki, Lily Franky, Keita Ninomiya, Hwang Sho-gen.
One of a Kind (France)  Director: François Dupeyron. Cast: Grégory Gadebois, Céline Sallette, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Marie Payen, Philippe Rebbot.
The Priest’s Children (Croatia) Director: Vinko Bresan.  Cast: Kresimir Mikic, Niksa Butijer, Marija Skaricic, Drazen Kuhn, Jadranka Dokic, Lazar Ristovski.
The Unknown Known (USA) Director: Errol Morris.  Cast: Donald Rumfeld and Errol Morris.
The Wind Rises (Japan) Director: Hayao Miyazaki. Cast: Hideaki Anno, Miori Takimoto, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Masahiko Nishimura, Jun Kunimura, Mirai Shida.
The Wonders (Israel) Director: Avi Nesher.  Cast: Ori Hizkiah, Efrat Gosh, Adir Miller, Yehuda Levi, Yuval Scharf.
Young & Beautiful (France) Director: François Ozon.  Cast: Martine Vacth, Géraldine Pailhas, Frédéric Pierrot, Johan Leysen, Charlotte Rampling.