Festival to host seminars on film distribution, screenwriting, acting and Global Film InitiativeBy Gregg Schwenk

The 17th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) has announced its Talking Pictures programs, which is open to Festival attendees as well as local area schools. This series of seminars, panel discussions and master classes focuses on various elements of films and filmmaking, featuring filmmakers, film critics and film industry experts in intimate programs designed to explore various crafts and aspects of cinema. This year’s Talking Pictures programs will focus on film distribution, screenwriting and acting.

This year’s Talking Pictures programs will include:

Sunday, January 8, 12:00 — Annenberg Theatre

Peter Bart: In conversation with…

Variety Editor-in-Chief and «Sunday Morning Showdown» talk show host Peter Bart will host this intimate, one-on-one stage interview with Festival Awards Gala honoree Shirley MacLaine. The program will feature film clips from MacLaine’s exceptional body of work and cover a wide range of topics including her career as an actress on stage and screen as well as the author of ten best-selling books.

Sunday, January 8, 2:00 pm – Regal Cinemas

The Write Stuff: The Screenwriter’s Notebook with Graham Flashner

Emmy-nominated producer, screenwriter and entertainment journalist Graham Flashner explains the nuts-and-bolts on the screenwriting process covering a wide range of topics, from fleshing out the idea, outlining and writing the script, crafting dialogue, proper formatting, finding representation, creating a pitch, how to take a meeting and getting an agent.

Saturday, January 14, 2:00 pm – Regal Cinemas

Fast Forward: The Future of Film Distribution with Peter Dekom

Hollywood deal broker Peter Dekom will host this panel of industry insiders to discuss the changes in the filmmaking world that will determine what kind of movies we get to see on screen in coming years. Topics the panel will discuss include the future of foreign and independent movies in the American theatrical marketplace and the elements of a film to become desirable to film producers and film buyers.

Sunday, January 15, 12:30 pm – Camelot Theatre

Shakespeare Behind Bars: Acting and Interior Drama

Take Shakespeare’s final play, The Tempest, cast it with a group of inmates who are part of an innovative rehabilitation program at Kentucky’s Luther Lucket prison, and watch the sparks fly. This revelatory film about a group of hard-timers coming to grips with their past actions in the course of preparing to stage their annual Shakespearian presentation casts a spotlight on acting as therapy, as director Hank Rogerson embarks on a year-long journey with the Shakespeare Behind Bars theatre troupe. The screening of the film will be followed by a discussion with the film’s creators, focusing on the Shakespeare Behind Bars program and on the ways in which the craft of acting both reflects and illuminates reality.

In addition to the Talking Pictures programs, the Global Film Initiative, specializing in independent films from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, will begin its nationwide tour of the Global Lens 2006 film series at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. The series sponsored by Enterprise California, a Palm Springs-based developer, will feature two presented to high school students in a film/discussion format, at no charge to students and teachers. The two films that will be screened at the Palm Springs High School Auditorium during the Festival are Stolen Life, directed by Li Shaohong (China) on Friday, January 6th at 2:30 p.m., and Border Café, directed by Kambozia Partovi (Iran) on Friday, January 13th at 1:00 p.m. Discussion guides are available for these films at http://www.globalfilm.org/library.htm. High school teachers and administrators can reserve tickets for these outstanding programs by contacting Festival headquarters at (760) 322 2930. Tickets will be delivered to the schools.

Schools that are eligible to participate in the programs include Palm Springs High School, Palm Desert High School, Cathedral City High School, La Quinta High School, Desert Hot Springs High School, College of the Desert, UCR — Palm Desert and UCSB at Palm Desert

The Global Film Initiative is a non-traditional distributor specializing in independent films from the developing world. The Global Film Initiative was created to promote cross-cultural understanding through the universal language of cinema during a time of great change throughout the world. The Global Film Initiative offers grants each year to filmmakers and brings outstanding films to U.S. audiences through a 16-18 city theatrical release entitled Global Lens. Global Lens is supported by an educational outreach program to high school students. The Global Film Initiative is a 501(c)3 organization based in New York City. See www.globalfilm.org for more information.
About The Palm Springs International Film Festival
Founded in 1990 by then Mayor Sonny Bono, the PSIFF is one of the largest film festivals in North America. The Festival has an attractive film sales and distribution record and is seen by American distributors as one of the best Academy Award campaign marketing tools. The Festival also features cultural events, filmmaker tributes, industry seminars and an annual black-tie gala awards presentation.

The 2006 Palm Springs International Film Festival sponsors include title sponsor, the City of Palm Springs, joined with ample support from the City of Indian Wells, the City of Palm Desert, the Aqua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, including the Agua Caliente Casino and the Spa Resort Casino, The Desert Sun, Harper’s Bazaar, Spencer’s at the Mountain, “Entertainment Tonight,” Ciroc Vodka, Tanqueray #10 and Talisker Scotch, all brands of Diageo Spirits, Wessman Development, CBS 2, Regal Entertainment Group, Integrated Wealth Management, and Mercedes-Benz, the official car of the Festival.

For additional information, call the Festival headquarters at (760) 322-2930 or visit the website at www.psfilmfest.org.