Nachhattar Chandi steps up to fill role Harold Matzner held for more than two decades

PALM SPRINGS — Nachhattar Chandi, president and CEO of Chandi Group USA, has been named chairman of the Palm Springs International Film Festival and Film Awards, which attracts thousands of tourists to Palm Springs every year.

Nachhattar Chandi to Lead International Film Fest

Harold Matzner

Harold Matzner, 85, stepped down as chair on April 3. He held that position since 2000. He is credited for turning the festival into required stop for movies and stars on the way to the Oscars.

“It’s been a great run,” Matzner told Uken Report. “I’ve enjoyed building the festival for the city, with the support of an outstanding board and staff.”

“I am honored to be succeeding my friend, Harold Matzner,” Chandi told Uken Report. “He built the Palm Springs International Film Festival into a premiere event for film. He has done a great job as Chairman.

“Harold has agreed to stay on in a leadership position as Chairman Emeritus,” Chandi continued. “This ensures the Festival has his knowledge and assistance. My plans are to work closely with our board and team members to continue to host the best film festival in the world.”

Chandi Group USA operates numerous franchises across the Coachella Valley including several AM/PM gas stations in addition to its involvement in real estate development.

Tom Freeman, former chair of the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, told Uken Report, “Mr. Chandi is deeply appreciative of his election as chair. He has been mentored by Harold and will continue to work closely with Mr. Matzner. Both of these gentlemen have been great businessmen and even greater philanthropists. We are fortunate that Mr. Matzner took Sony Bono’s vision and turned it into a global success. Mr. Chandi will do all he can to build upon Mr. Matzner’s record of success in the years ahead. Our tourism, our hospitality industry, and our county and city need the festival to continue to be a great success.”

The 2024 Palm Springs International Film Festival is set for January 4-15.

Chandi is a recognized and honored leader with more than 30 years’ experience and is a decisively driven entrepreneur who owns and operates more than 30 businesses, with more than 700 employees across the Coachella Valley and throughout the state of California.

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  • Nachhattar Chandi: Chandi Group USA