PSIFF, one of the largest in the U.S., remains my most favorite film festival in the U.S.
It is attended by 135,000 people from all over the country and is always well-organized. Many films are sold out to an enthusiastic audience, and even a 9:30 a.m. show, it’s common to see a long line of people in front of a theatre.
This is my third consecutive year at the Festival.
I was first exposed to PSIFF because of Mulberry Child, which was an official selection in 2012 and won “Best of the Fest” award. Afterward, I’ve been attending the Festival as a journalist, covering the Red Carpet event and interviewing filmmakers for coverage.
PSIFF always draws many super stars, this year, including Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and emerging star Lupita Nyong’o. Many filmmakers attend it, too. Among the big names this year, Steve McQueen (12 years a slave) and HK director Wong Kar-Wai (The Grandmaster, nominated for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film).
My highlight this year was an interview with Wong Kar-Wai on the Red Carpet (No, he didn’t wear dark sunglasses) and meeting with the producer and director of Lakshmi, an Indian film about child trafficking/prostitution and a young girl’s courage to fight against her oppressors.
Lakshmi’s director, Nagesh Kukunoor, and producer, Elahe Hiptoola, are both passionate about filmmaking. They have been in collaboration since Kukunoor’s first film in 1997. Lakshmi was well received by the audience at PSIFF and won “Best of the Fest.”
A few other Asian films were also selected at the Festival, including Chinese director Feng Xiaogang’s epic film Back to 1942, and Singapore director Anthony Chen’s ILO ILO. (Anthony Chen was among the “10 Directors to Watch” named and awarded by Variety at the Festival.)
I did coverage about the Festival for Xinhua News, including the following releases:
Interview: Chinese-French collaborative film “Nightingale” shows beauty of China’s countryside
Super stars light up Palm Springs Film Festival
Feature: Asian films, filmmakers shine at Palm Springs Film Festival
I look forward to going back to Palm Springs next January to attend another feast of wonderful films and meet with more inspiring filmmakers.
Jian Ping, author of Mulberry Child: A Memoir of China, which has been developed into an award-winning feature length documentary film by Susan Morgan Cooper and is narrated by Jacqueline Bisset. Mulberry Child will be on PBS nationwide in May 2014.