Palm Springs International Film Festival is an oasis of global discoveries

Palm Springs International Film Festival

As with most film festivals, the identity of the Palm Springs International Film Festival is set, in no small measure, simply by its place on the calendar. Coming at the beginning of the year but also in the heart of Hollywood’s award season, the festival captures an unlikely combination of brightly glamorous, high-wattage star power and time spent in dark rooms watching relatively obscure yet richly rewarding movies.

The festival’s official opening night is Thursday, with the world premiere of “The Sense of an Ending,” an adaptation of Julian Barnes’ Booker Prize-winning novel, directed by Ritesh Batra and starring Jim Broadbent and recent Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling. This past Monday night was the festival’s fundraiser awards gala, a high point of the region’s social season and the first awards show of the calendar year, which drew a lineup of stars that included Tom Hanks, Octavia Spencer, Annette Bening, Natalie Portman, Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Ruth Negga, Amy Adams, Casey Affleck, Mahershala Ali, Andrew Garfield, Janelle Monáe and Ryan Gosling.

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