Each and every year, as soon as I finish the last of my yummy Thanksgiving leftovers, my thoughts start to drift toward the Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, the very first major desert happening of every new year. The 26th iteration of this celebration of celluloid takes places January 2-12, 2015 at various venues throughout the Palm Springs Valley.

It’s still too early to know which films from around the globe have been chosen for exhibition—the full schedule of events and screenings will be unveiled on December 26, the same day that general public tickets go on sale online—it IS currently possible to purchase 6-Pack Reel Deals (a half-dozen showings for $60) at If your heart was set on attending either the Opening Night or Closing Night galas, unfortunately, those have long sold out. As have the Platinum, Silver, Concierge, and Benefactor passes. To join the waiting list, please call 760-322-2930.

As every year, the January 3 Awards Gala at the Palm Springs Convention Center promises to be a scintillating, star-studded affair. Hosted by longtime emcee Mary Hart, the evening will honor up to a dozen luminaries of the international film world. So far, what we know is this: Eddie Redmayne will receive the Desert Palm Achievement Award for Actor for his role as Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything,” the Desert Palm Achievement Award for Actress will be bestowed upon Julianne Moore for her lead performance in “Still Alice,” Rosamund Pike will receive the Breakthrough Performance Award for “Gone Girl,” J.K. Simmons will be feted with the Spotlight Award for his role in “Whiplash,” and Reese Witherspoon will receive the Chairman’s Award for her star turn in “Wild.” “Boyhood” director Richard Linklater will be honored with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award, and the cast of “The Imitation Game” will receive the Ensemble Award.

I simply can’t wait to discover the half-dozen or so other A-listers who will show up in person on the red carpet and on stage to claim their prize at the 2015 gala. Come back to this website soon, because once I DO know those lucky celebrity names, I’ll be sharing them with you, dear readers. See you at the movies!

Palm Springs International Film Festival