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Palm Springs International Film Festival announces African Cinema program and films in competition

December 17, 2010 | 12:41 pm


The 22nd annual Palm Springs International Festival on Friday announced a new program, African Cinema, as well as the films scheduled to compete for the FIPRESCI,  New Voices/New Visions and John Schlesinger awards. The festival begins Jan. 6 and continues through Jan. 17.

"Cinema Safari: A Showcase of African Cinema" will premiere 13 films made in Africa that revolve around contemporary African stories and themes.  Among the films selected are  "I Am Slave," a drama about the modern-day slave trade, and the documentaries  "The Last Lions" and "Reconciliation: Mandela's Miracle.

"The Awards Buzz" section of the festival features 40 out of the 65 official submissions for the best foreign language film Oscar. The best of the 65 will be given the FIPRESCI Award.  Among the films to be screened are France's "Of Gods and Men," Iraq's "Son of Babylon," Japan's "Confessions" and India's "Peepli Live."

The New Voices/New Visions Award will go to one of 12 movies directed by new international talents making their debut at the festival.  Included in the dozen films are "40" from Turkey and "Black Field" from Greece.

The John Schlesinger Award for outstanding first documentary is given to a first-time filmmaker. Among the 10 films in competition are "Garbo: The Spy" from Spain, "Precious Life" from Israel/USA and "The Arbor" from Britain.

The festival will announce its complete lineup of films next week.

-- Susan King

 Photo: Nelson Mandela. Credit: Reuters