Desert visitors and residents are famous for their love of film. And with six notable local annual festivals, wise aficionados start putting dates on their calendars early to prevent overbooking themselves!
Thousands of movie lovers recently found themselves in the Palm Springs Valley to take in more than 300 short films from over 50 countries at one of the premiere events of its kind, ShortFest, a program of the Palm Springs International Film Society. Exact dates for next year’s festival in June 2016 will be announced soon. www.psfilmfest.org 760-322-2930
Kicking off cinephiles’ fall season is Cinema Diverse—Palm Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, to be held September 17 – 20 and featuring LGBT-themed features, shorts, and documentaries from every corner of the globe. www.cinemadiverse.ning.com
At ShortFest’s big sib the Palm Springs International Film Festival (January 1 – 11, 2016), tens of thousands are expected to descend upon the desert, where only the cream of the crop will be exhibited. The always sold-out, celebrity-rich Awards Gala will be held January 2. www.psfilmfest.org
Native FilmFest 2016, presented by the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, takes place in early March of next year—check its website for updates. This highly regarded event offers films by, and starring, Native Americans and other indigenous peoples. www.accmuseum.org
The next American Documentary Film Festival—one of the largest of its sort on the West Coast—occurs March 31 – April 4, 2016. www.americandocumentaryfilmfestival.com
For lovers of the classic film noir genre, the 16th Annual Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival is set for May 12 – 15, 2016. As in the past, you can expect some of Hollywood’s greatest film noir stars to be in attendance! www.arthurlyonsfilmnoir.ning.com 760-325-6565
Regardless of the time of year, there are always opportunities to see great movies—whether at a festival or at one of the many theater chains and art houses throughout the Valley. And for me, I seldom have to stray outside my hometown of Rancho Mirage, with Century Theaters at The River and the Valley’s only IMAX screen at the Regal Cinema Stadium 16 quite nearby! www.regmovies.com www.theriverranchomirage.com www.cinemark.com