Once again I am gearing up to get out and go to see some seriously marvelous movies in the Palm Springs Valley—and this time it’s at the American Documentary Film Festival, which this year takes place from Thursday, April 4 – Sunday, April 8. In only its second year, the festival has grown by leaps and bounds, from 60 films in one theater a year ago to more than 100 films in five theaters in 2013!
The festival is sponsored by the Palm Springs Cultural Center, a non-profit organization established by desert denizens Ric and Rosene Supple. The Supples are of the founding members of the Palm Springs International Film Festival and of the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival, as well as organizers for the Film Noir and Cinema Diverse Film Festivals. The PSCC is based at their Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs. With this year’s expansion, I won’t have to travel far from home as films will be screened right down the road from my abode in Rancho Mirage at the Century Theatres at The River.
This is one fest on the move… Even before this year’s event, plans for future expansion in the festival’s programming are in the works. Since it’s already the largest documentary celebration of its sort on the west coast, its planners have hopes of it becoming the largest in the country within three years. And this is a great thing, not only for people like me who adore the fascinating format of documentary films but for docu filmmakers who desperately want to educate and entertain their audiences. On top of all this, this is the first film festival in the world to offer potential documentary directors and producers an opportunity to “pitch” ideas or unfinished work to a panel that will actually help fund their films.
There’ll be plenty of fun and interesting movies at this year’s incarnation, starting off with the opening night film, “Whitney Houston & Her Family: Voices of Love.” What started off as a tribute to the life and career of Ms. Houston, her mother Cissy, and aunt Dionne Warwick, morphed into something entirely different in light of Whitney’s death in 2012. I can’t wait to witness this film—and so many more—at yet another great happening here in the communities of the Greater Palm Springs Oasis.