Well, the announcements keep coming—and the excitement keeps mounting! So far, we know that such A-lister performers as Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Natalie Portman, Ruth Negga, Casey Affleck, Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, and Amy Adams will be recognized at the 28th Annual Palm Springs Film Festival’s Awards Gala, to be held at the Palm Springs Convention Center on January 2, 2017. As is the case every year, the fabulous Mary Hart of “Entertainment Tonight” fame will serve as host, and the black tie event will be produced by Richard DeSantis and his Event Management Productions team.

The stars on hand represent the films “Sully,” “Lion,” “Jackie,” “Manchester By the Sea,” “Loving,”, “La La Land,” “Hidden Figures,” “Arrival,” and “Nocturnal Animals.” Rumor has it that Chairman Harold Matzner and the festival’s other powers-that-be will hand out at least three more prizes. So stay tuned to see who else might be walking the most glamorous desert red carpet of the year.

As for the hundreds of comedies, dramas, musicals, and documentaries from around the globe that will be shown at multiple venues during the 15-day festival ending January 16, that list will be made available online at www.psfilmfest.org on December 16, 2016. Members will be able to shop early to secure their seats from December 17-19. On December 20, sales will be open to all other members of the general public. Currently, passes and 6-packs are still available online. Get yours ASAP before they run out.

And if you’re coming from out of town for this perennially popular and star-studded affair, why not choose one of Rancho Mirage’s four deluxe hotels as your home away from home. There’s no way to feel more like a celebrity yourself than to stay at either Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa (www.hotwatercasino.com), Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa (www.rancholaspalmas.com), The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage (//www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/california/rancho-mirage/hotel-overview/holidays), or The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa (www.westinmissionhills.com). From any of these properties, the ride to Palm Springs—whether via your own wheels, Uber, or a limo—is but a short 15-20 minutes.

While you finalize your travel plans, I’ll be keeping my ear to the ground to bring you all the hot news I can find about PSIFF 2017 and its Awards Gala. See you back here soon!

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