‘Selma’ and ‘Boychoir’ to Bookend Palm Springs Film Festival

Festival will also showcase Eastern and Central European cinema

The 2015 Palm Springs International Film Festival will open on Jan. 2 with a gala screening of “Selma,” close on Jan. 11 with the U.S. premiere of Francois Girard’s “Boychoir” and include a spotlight program of Central and Eastern European cinema, PSIFF organizers announced on Tuesday.

“Selma,” directed by Ava DuVernay and starring David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr., recently received five Critics’ Choice Movie Award nominations and four Golden Globe nominations, and was named the year’s best film by the African-American Film Critics Association.

It will screen on the opening night of the festival, and will be followed by a reception at the Palm Springs Art Museum.

“Boychoir” is the latest film from Girard, the French-Canadian director whose other works include “The Red Violin” and “32 Films about Glenn Gould.” It stars Dustin Hoffman, Garrett Wareing, Kathy Bates and Debra Winger, and deals with a disadvantaged 12-year-old who wins admission to a prestigious music school.

The festival will also feature 20 Central and Eastern European films in a special program titled Eastern Promises. PSIFF has long been one of the chief showcases for the Oscar foreign-language race, this year presenting 45 of the eligible films – and Eastern Promises will include Oscar films from Georgia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Latvia, Serbia, Estonia, Kosovo and Hungary, as well as 10 additional films, including the acclaimed Ukranian film “The Tribe.”

The festival will also include an Awards Gala on Saturday, Jan. 3, with special awards going to Eddie Redmayne, Julianne Moore, J.K. Simmons, Rosamund Pike, David Oyelowo, Richard Linklater, Reese Witherspoon and others.

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