Stills from Multiple Visions (The Crazy Machine), one of our favorite entries at this year’s Palm Springs International Film Festival. Director Emilio Maillé looks back at the hypnotic legacy left behind by master cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa. Amid a montage of Figueroa’s most unforgettable images, some of the world’s most prominent cinematographers including Darius Khondji, Javier Aguirresarobe, Janusz Kasminski and Raoul Coutard discuss the continuing impact of his striking chiaroscuros from Mexican cinema’s Golden Age on the art of film today. This is the last weekend for the fest — come get your fix of international cinema while you can and stop by and see us at Afterfest, grab a cocktail, talk some Truffaut and do a cannonball into the pool. You can even score some tickets to a screening plus some wholesome vittles and wellness treatments at the Feel Good Spa when you get a room. ¡Viva Cinéma!

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Stills from Multiple Visions (The Crazy Machine), one of our favorite entries at this year’s Palm Springs International Film Festival. Director Emilio Maillé looks back at the hypnotic legacy left behind by master cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa. Amid a montage of Figueroa’s most unforgettable images, some of the world’s most prominent cinematographers including Darius Khondji, Javier Aguirresarobe, Janusz Kasminski and Raoul Coutard discuss the continuing impact of his striking chiaroscuros from Mexican cinema’s Golden Age on the art of film today. This is the last weekend for the fest — come get your fix of international cinema while you can and stop by and see us at Afterfest, grab a cocktail, talk some Truffaut and do a cannonball into the pool. You can even score some tickets to a screening plus some wholesome vittles and wellness treatments at the Feel Good Spa when you get a room. ¡Viva Cinéma!






Pages of Florencio Zavala's sketchbook — Flo's teaching an illustration workshop this weekend at Summer School starting today, our semi-biannual art-making-while-imbibing situation at Ace Palm Springs. School Night Los Angeles is bringing down a bunch of great people to give workshops by the pool. All of this is going down during AfterFest, our concomitant nightly fête running throughout the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Making things is really fun, and so is watching things — it all begins this evening. Let us join together in holy lounging.

Pages of Florencio Zavala's sketchbook — Flo's teaching an illustration workshop this weekend at Summer School starting today, our semi-biannual art-making-while-imbibing situation at Ace Palm Springs. School Night Los Angeles is bringing down a bunch of great people to give workshops by the pool. All of this is going down during AfterFest, our concomitant nightly fête running throughout the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Making things is really fun, and so is watching things — it all begins this evening. Let us join together in holy lounging.








Stills from Blancanieves, a silent, monochromatic re-invention of the Grimm fairytale Snow White by director Pablo Berger. The film is set in 1920s Spain and brings to life a gored matador, a wicked nurse, a band of dwarves and a phosphorescent poisonous apple. Blancanieves breaks its mesmerizing message in a champagne bottle over the hull of the Palm Springs International Film Festival tomorrow at the festival’s opening night. Standby tickets are available at the door only. Join us afterward for Afterfest — running throughout the festival — where you can catch late night festivities, good food and some tipsy armchair film criticism by the hot tub. We still have some rooms open this weekend, and you can try your hand at winning two nights from Kiehl’s — who are also working with us to support the Desert AIDS Project during the festival — at Ace Palm Springs if you enter by noon PST Thursday. ¡Olé!

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Stills from Blancanieves, a silent, monochromatic re-invention of the Grimm fairytale Snow White by director Pablo Berger. The film is set in 1920s Spain and brings to life a gored matador, a wicked nurse, a band of dwarves and a phosphorescent poisonous apple. Blancanieves breaks its mesmerizing message in a champagne bottle over the hull of the Palm Springs International Film Festival tomorrow at the festival’s opening night. Standby tickets are available at the door only. Join us afterward for Afterfest — running throughout the festival — where you can catch late night festivities, good food and some tipsy armchair film criticism by the hot tub. We still have some rooms open this weekend, and you can try your hand at winning two nights from Kiehl’s — who are also working with us to support the Desert AIDS Project during the festival — at Ace Palm Springs if you enter by noon PST Thursday. ¡Olé!


We’re excited to partner with Kiehl’s during the Palm Springs International Film Festival in donating $5,000 to support the Desert AIDS Project — December 1 was National AIDS Awareness Day and we share a passion for carrying our support for DAP’s important work into the new year. Join us during AfterFest at Ace Palm Springs throughout the festival — book with code FILMFEST and get $25 toward food and drinks and $25 toward any treatment at the Feel Good Spa. You can also enter to win two nights from Kiehl’s here. Raunchy bingo, good music and new friends await you.


An educational poster during Rise Up’s heyday.

We’re excited to partner with Kiehl’s during the Palm Springs International Film Festival in donating $5,000 to support the Desert AIDS Project — December 1 was National AIDS Awareness Day and we share a passion for carrying our support for DAP’s important work into the new year. Join us during AfterFest at Ace Palm Springs throughout the festival — book with code FILMFEST and get $25 toward food and drinks and $25 toward any treatment at the Feel Good Spa. You can also enter to win two nights from Kiehl’s here. Raunchy bingo, good music and new friends await you.

An educational poster during Rise Up’s heyday.


AFTERFEST INTERVIEW : KATHLEEN MCINNIS, CURATOR

We’re back with year two of Afterfest — the official Palm Springs Film Festival’s Shortfest afterparty with DJs, late night food, R-rated bingo and trivia, plus nice deals on rooms with food, beverage and Feel Good Spa credits. To kick things off, we had a chance to sit down with the festival’s film curator, Kathleen McInnis and get caught up on this year’s selection.

Last year’s ShortFest saw several entries from filmmakers who didn’t take the traditional path through film school. Are the novices still trending or leveling off? What does it all mean?

We always have a large number of films from emerging filmmakers, whether they take the film school route or not, because the short film format is so perfect to use in perfecting your visual storytelling voice. I think that is one of the more dynamic aspects of ShortFest — these collective emerging cinematic voices are fresh, visually stimulating, emotionally demanding in a way we haven’t experienced before.

Is it only a matter of time before social media finds a way to bring short film medium back to “the masses” à la Fatty Arbuckle?

Ah, the dream — to have audiences at large and worldwide re-embrace the short form not only as art but absolutely as valid entertainment. The short form theatrical venue so well established in the teens and early ‘20’s took nearly 70 years to crumble, but once gone is hard to get back. Theater owners realized more income from an extra feature screening crammed into the space left by taking out short form (not to mention adding in advertising to the space formerly occupied by cartoons and short films) and so were loath to give that up. Certainly, we’ve seen social networking sites and for-profit film sites on the internet trying to occupy that market share, but for me I still believe that we can create a valid and exciting cinema experience by adding back in the short form to the front of the featured film. I hope arthouse theaters far and wide embrace the idea as a way to bring another level of cinema experience to their audience — an experience that can’t be recreated on a laptop or in a dorm room.

Nollywood is the third largest producer of movies now. Where’s the next “_ollywood” going to be?

Wow, that’s like trying to forecast the weather — everyone has opinions and charts and numbers, but at the end of the day it’s still a bit of luck and happenstance. Some would say New Zealand is already it (Zollywood?), with the mega-productions of The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings series, etc. But historically, once a location is “shot out” film production simply moves on and finds a new geographic look somewhere else. Nigeria’s huge output of film and video, I think, is really a response to a dearth of product throughout a large landscape. India’s vast production of Bollywood films stays strong because of the dedicated audiences found not just in India now but throughout the world. And Hollywood’s domination of film screens worldwide is still a result of the demand for  visual popcorn by those with money and time but not a lot of sophisticated taste (i.e. kids). When looking at the emerging voices coming from the East (SE Asia, Singapore, China-including Hong Kong, Indonesia, etc) I see new stories told with sophisticated storytelling and well trained craft. It feels quite fresh, so perhaps that’s where we’ll ultimately find the next “_ollywood”.

Does your personal mental highlight reel have a soundtrack?

I never thought of it until you asked but then I started to listen and sure enough, it does! Music from Blade Runner, The Mission, Lawrence of Arabia, The Big Chill, Babel, Santitos, Amadeus, Wicker Park, Garden State, Footloose (original), Dirty Dancing, Happy Feet, Clay Pigeons and One False Move dominate my play list. And, to be honest, I kind of expect a full orchestra to bust out at any given moment throughout my day!


Tonight, we kick off twelve days of AfterFest — the official Palm Springs International Film Festival afterparty at Ace Hotel & Swim Club. We love film more than life itself and most of our fanciful self-perceptions and wildest dreams are built of the flickering moments of cinematic glory that have forever burned themselves into our minds. So we’re excited to offer this, our second year of kindred celebration with film buffs along with a killer line-up of DJs, bands and some short films, plus all the late night food and spirits you could require. Tonight, we’re getting it all started with DJ Day’s ¡Reunión! in the Amigo Room.

Tonight, we kick off twelve days of AfterFest — the official Palm Springs International Film Festival afterparty at Ace Hotel & Swim Club. We love film more than life itself and most of our fanciful self-perceptions and wildest dreams are built of the flickering moments of cinematic glory that have forever burned themselves into our minds. So we’re excited to offer this, our second year of kindred celebration with film buffs along with a killer line-up of DJs, bands and some short films, plus all the late night food and spirits you could require. Tonight, we’re getting it all started with DJ Day’s ¡Reunión! in the Amigo Room.


INTERVIEW : MELISSA OSBORNE, DIRECTOR OF CHANGE

We’re excited to announce the kick-off of AfterFest at Ace Palm Springs — we’re hosting DJs, late night screenings and really, really late night dining at King’s Highway all throughout the Palm Springs International ShortFest. We’ll also feature interviews with some of the festival’s directors over the next week or so. First up: Melissa Osborne, director of the short film Change, which screens Friday, June 24 at 5:30pm.

Change is a about a gay Black teenager on the eve of Obama’s election and the success of Prop 8, wherein California voters banned state-sanctioned gay marriage. Can you talk about the film’s inception and how much the final cut reflects your intentions?

The film came about because I wanted to make a short film that I hoped would do more than entertain -– that would get people thinking. I was astounded by the irony on November 4th when Obama was elected and Prop 8 passed and I knew I wanted to tell that story. So I started imagining what that day might have been like for a black, gay teen. What did we — older and “wiser” adults — teach teenagers on that day? I was also aware of my blind faith that Prop 8 wouldn’t pass. I naively assumed that because we lived in California — a “liberal” state -– there was no way the voting residents would let the prop pass. I was wrong. So, those points became the starting blocks for the script CHANGE.

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