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California

The Palm Springs International Film Festival: A Cinematic Experience

Program No. 21382RJ
View eight highly anticipated films over five nights at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, enjoying expert-led discussions with industry insiders.

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At a Glance

Join us at one of our most popular film programs, as we spend five nights in this charming desert city, enjoying the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Screen the latest international releases and documentaries – film productions that are in competition for Academy Award Nominations from worldwide studios – and hear commentary from industry professionals and other experts. Late afternoons offer free time for you to attend additional films and explore the festival on your own.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
I’m comfortable with some walking throughout the day. I expect to get on and off of a coach, and I’m ready to stroll through cities and to stand for a few hours when we’re learning in museums.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • View eight films, several with commentary from an industry professional offering an insider’s perspective.
  • Engage in critiquing sessions that give you a chance to analyze and discuss what you saw.
  • Learn about the history of Palm Springs with a local expert and discover how this desert oasis became a Hollywood hotspot.

General Notes

This is a Road Scholar Large Group program. The number of participants in this program may be as high as 200; the whole group will be together for all included films, critique sessions and many meals. Participants will be separated into groups of no more than 40 participants with a dedicated group leader for some activities and field trips. The schedule for your group may vary from what’s published but each group will have an opportunity to experience all program elements. If you are traveling with companions who are not your roommate and you would like to be grouped together, please list their names on your “Personal Information & Preferences” in your Road Scholar “My Account” page. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Movie Business Book 4th Ed.
by Jason E. Squire
Drawing from a variety of experts in an industry that has seen major disruptions and technology advancements over the years, this is a must-read for film students and industry newcomers. A definitive sourcebook, it covers the nuts-and-bolts details about financing, revenue streams, marketing, globalization, micro-budgets and much more.
Images of America: Palm Springs
by Moya Henderson, Palm Springs Historical Society
Learn about the history of Palm Springs from the time of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the original inhabitants of this harsh desert region, through the discover of the spring by a U.S. government survey party, to the development of the Palm Springs we experience today.
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 5 L 3 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Palm Springs, CA
D
Hyatt Palm Springs

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 4:00 p.m. Remember to bring your nametag (sent previously).

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff, get any updated information, and confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please locate your Group Leader and let them know you have arrived. Participants in this large capacity program will be divided into smaller color groups, each with its own Group Leader. Confirm your color group at registration with program staff. Palm Springs is a very popular destination with limited hotel space. Please book pre- or post-program stays well in advance to ensure you have a room. Additional nights may not be available if requested too close to the program start date. Orientation: 5:00 p.m. With your individual color group, your Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. For general information about the Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF), or to purchase tickets to additional film screenings not included in your program, visit http://www.psfilmfest.org. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Following dinner, we will be joined by a local expert for an introduction to the Palm Springs Film Festival. We will learn about the history of the festival, how films are selected, and even get some tips to prepare us for viewing film critically in the coming week. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Palm Springs Field Trip, Film Screening & Critique Session
Palm Springs, CA
B,L,D
Hyatt Palm Springs

Activity note: Getting on and off a motorcoach; walking up to 1/2 mile throughout field trip; some stairs at the theater, wheelchair ramps available. Walking 1/2 mile each way to local restaurant.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This morning, we will break into our individual color groups and hop on board our private motorcoach to begin an exploration of Palm Springs. We will be joined by a local expert and hear how this desert oasis become a Hollywood hotspot in the early 1930s. During the ride we will enjoy stops at several iconic Palm Springs landmarks and get a taste of the "desert modernism" architecture style, for which Pam Springs has become famous.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: After lunch, we’ll board a motorcoach for a short drive to the Richards Center for the Arts, our movie-viewing home for the program. Located at the Palm Springs High School, Richards Center for the Arts was built in 1958 and was one of the original venues for the Palm Springs International Film Festival. In addition to the festival, this theater also serves as a venue for concerts, recitals and other community productions. Upon arrival at the theater, program staff will provide an introduction to our first film before viewing. This afternoon, we will be screening the documentary film "Chasing Chasing Amy." After the screening, we will return to the hotel by motorcoach, where we will be joined by a film expert who will lead our first critique session to discuss the film we watched earlier in the day. We’ll go into greater depth to gain an appreciation for the content. Those who choose not to attend this session are welcome to attend other films.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Two Films & Critique Session
Palm Springs, CA
B,L
Hyatt Palm Springs

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Some stairs at the theater, wheelchair ramps available.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After breakfast, we will be joined by another film expert for our first expert-led critique session of the day. Those who choose not to attend this session are welcome to attend other films. The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) has come to be known as the first stop on the road to the Academy Awards®. We will board our motorcoach and head out to the theater for our two film screenings including introductions before viewing each. Today we will be screening two dramas, "Monster" and "Fancy Dance."

Lunch: Boxed lunch at the theater.

Afternoon: After a brief break for lunch, we will view our second film of the day. We will then reboard our motorcoach and return to the hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure, those who choose are welcome to attend other film screenings at the festival. Notable Fact: Every January since 1989, the festival has celebrated international film. The PSIFF features “the largest selection [of] Foreign Language Oscar® submissions of any festival in the nation.” Back at the hotel, we will be joined by our film expert for another critique session. Those who choose not to attend this session are welcome to attend other films.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to have what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Two Films & Critique Sessions
Palm Springs, CA
B,L,D
Hyatt Palm Springs

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Some stairs at the theater, wheelchair ramps available. Walking 1/2 mile each way to local restaurant.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After breakfast, we’ll participate in another critique session. Those who choose not to attend this session are welcome to attend other films. We will then board our motorcoach and head out to the theater for our two films including introductions before viewing each. One of the PSIFF’s fundamental beliefs is that film is an art form with the power to bridge cultures and illuminate the universality of the human experience. Our screenings today include the Cold War film, "Guardians of the Formula," and a historical epic, "The Convert."

Lunch: Boxed lunch at the theater.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will view our second film of the day. We will then return to the hotel via motorcoach. Notable fact: Past recipients of the Desert Palm Achievement Award include actors Daniel Day-Lewis, Sean Penn, Jeff Bridges, Bradley Cooper, and Eddie Redmayne. Films that have won awards include “The Bank” (Australia), “Life is Beautiful” (France), “Broken Wings” (Israel), “Paper Clips” (United Kingdom), and “The Days of Our Lives” (Germany). After returning to the hotel, we will participate in another expert-led critique session. Those who choose not to attend this session are welcome to attend other films.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Two Films & Critique Sessions
Palm Springs, CA
B,L
Hyatt Palm Springs

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Some stairs at the theater, wheelchair ramps available.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After breakfast, we’ll participate in another critique session. Those who choose not to attend this session are welcome to attend other films. We will then board our motorcoach and head out to the theater for our two films including introductions before viewing each. Our films today will include "Amal" and "Together 99."

Lunch: Boxed lunch at the theater.

Afternoon: After lunch we will view our second film of the day before returning to the hotel. Back at the hotel, we will participate in another expert-led critique session. Those who choose not to attend this session are welcome to attend other films.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy the local fare. Group leaders would be happy to suggest local restaurants.

Evening: Enjoy the evening at leisure. Local Tip: Every Thursday evening, Downtown Palm Springs transforms into the Palm Springs VillageFest, also known as the Palm Springs Street Fair at Palm Canyon Drive between Baristo and Amado. VillageFest features a diverse array of artists, artisans, entertainers, and purveyors of fresh fruits and veggies, snacks, and sweets. More than 200 booths offer beautiful art and handcrafted items.

DAY
6
Film & Critique Session, Program Concludes
Palm Springs, CA
B,L

Activity note: Walking from Hyatt Hotel to theater 0.3 miles each way. Stairs at theater, aisles on a slope. Transportation can be provided to/from the theater, for those who require physical assistance.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After breakfast, we’ll take a short walk to the Palm Canyon Theatre, for our final screening. The Palm Canyon Theatre is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the education of live stage production and the enrichment of the greater Palm Springs community and its visitors. Dr. William “Bill” Layne, his wife Sylvia, and their family submitted the winning proposal to the City of Palm Springs for how to repurpose the historic Frances S. Stevens School located at the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Alejo Road. After extensive renovation, the Palm Canyon Theatre opened its doors in September 1997. Currently, it hosts classic plays, musicals, and a children’s theater camp, and is the host to other events throughout the year, including the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Upon arrival at the theater, program staff will provide an introduction to the film prior to our screening. Today's film is the UK drama, "Chuck Chuck Baby." Depending on your travel plans, you may need to check out of your hotel room prior to the morning film screening. The hotel can hold your luggage while you are away. Participants are responsible for transportation from the hotel to the airport. Please consult transportation options in the “Getting There” section of your program materials. After our screening, we will return to the hotel on foot for our final critique session.

Lunch: Boxed lunch at the hotel.

Afternoon: This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.