Local Spotlight will feature films about Desert X 2021 and Miracle in the Desert: The Rise and Fall of the Salton Sea

PALM SPRINGS — Along with the big names such as Lady Gaga, the 33rd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF), which runs from Jan. 6-17, 2022, returns with its annual Local Spotlight of the valley’s homegrown films and filmmakers.

From the desert floor, born and bred out of the Coachella Valley, the local stories of Palm Springs find their way to the screen in January. From historical documentaries to deeply personal portraits, these films explore corners of the desert which have impacted the entire world.

Following is a selection of these films that will be screened at this year’s festival, in the “Local Spotlight” category.

Local Spotlight: 

Desert X 2021 – The Film (USA/Ghana/Germany/Mexico/Saudi Arabia/Colombia/UK/ Guatemala) — This awe-inspiring documentary grants audiences an all-access pass to the Coachella Valley’s recent Desert X exhibition, which features dazzling and surreal large-scale works by various artists intended to confront and challenge historical and societal truths. Directed by Dylan Robertson.

Invisible Valley (USA) — This vivid documentary spotlights the Coachella Valley’s diverse population and reveals a place that is far more than just the home of the Salton Sea, the eponymous annual music festival and the agricultural bounty it produces. Directed by Aaron Maurer.

Miracle in the Desert: The Rise and Fall of the Salton Sea (USA) — Once a resort destination for water skiers and bird watchers, the Salton Sea is now a desolate area triggering far-reaching environmental and public health concerns. This informative and poignant documentary outlines what happened to the “sportsman’s paradise,” and what can be done to save it. Directed by Greg Bassenian.

My Name Is Lopez (USA) — With a treasure trove of rich archival footage and lively interviews, directors P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes present a colorful, touching portrait of legendary performer and cultural groundbreaker Trini Lopez, who rose from humble Texan origins to become an unforgettable international superstar. Directed by P. David Ebersole, Todd Hughes.

Pepe Serna: Life is Art (USA) — Groundbreaking Mexican-American character actor Pepe Serna finally takes the spotlight in Luis Reyes’ joyous ode to Serna’s life and the hundred-plus charismatic scene-stealing roles that paved the way for generations of Chicanx actors in Hollywood and beyond. Directed by Luis Reyes.

Image Sources

  • Trini Lopez: Facebook