International Filmmakers Retreat During Palm Springs Film Festival

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sunnylands welcomed 17 top international filmmakers for a two-day retreat during the Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF).

Variety reports that the retreat, being held for the fourth year at Sunnylands, has played a key role in making the Palm Springs film festival “more of a filmmakers’ festival, with a sharp focus on the pursuit of the cinematic arts.”

“We felt there was a need for filmmakers to get to know one another better and discuss their work candidly,” explains PSIFF artistic director Helen Du Toit. “We create an environment that’s safe and intimate and where everybody feels a part of it. It’s all about the creative.”

During their time at Sunnylands, the directors “exchange battle stories and share their experiences and knowledge. It’s a bonding experience. It’s a place for them to relax and breathe,” PSIFF director Darryl McDonald told Variety.

This year, the World Bank participated in one of the retreat sessions, organizing a conversation on filmmaking and climate change with acclaimed director Marc Forster, whose films include World War Z and The Kite Runner.

“In addition to the Presidential summit in June 2013, Sunnylands has hosted important meetings that have resulted in meaningful progress in areas such as U.S. – Mexico relations, math education, U.S. Homeland Security and progress toward a cure for HIV/AIDS,” said Geoffrey Cowan, then-president of The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands. “Our partnership with the Palm Springs International Film Festival has become an important part of that legacy.” Sunnylands also collaborates with PSIFF on a program of outdoor screenings, Films on the Great Lawn, that are free and open to the public.