DESERT FILM SOCIETY

The Desert Film Society promotes the appreciation of film in the Coachella Valley by providing Society members an unique opportunity to view the latest in art, international and cutting-edge independent cinema and educating members by providing a platform for discussion of the art of film and film craft. Since 2002, Desert Film Society has presented one-time screenings of award winning films from global festivals.

Visit www.desertfilmsociety.org for more information or to become a member!

The Citizen

In his late fifties Wilson, whose family was killed during an outbreak of civil war in Guinea-Bissau, enters Europe as a political refugee and settles for a sedate life as a security guard in a Budapest shopping center. Wilson’s main desire is to acquire Hungarian citizenship. The story follows Wilson as he attempts to find his place in Hungarian society in his daily life, at work, with Mari, a history teacher who helps him study for the citizenship and Shirin, a young Iranian woman whose only hope to avoid deportation is to marry a Hungarian citizen. The Citizen is an Award-winning drama that poignantly dwells on some of the most complex issues of contemporary modern European society.

Genre: Drama
Country (Language): Hungary (Hungarian)
Festivals/Awards:
* WINNER – Best film drama at the 27th Cinequest, in San Jose, USA
* WINNER – Audience Award at the 2018 Chicago European Film Festival
* WINNER – Movies that Matter’s Students’ Choice Award in Hague, The Netherlands
* WINNER – Best Screenplay Award at the Fantasporto Film Festival – Porto, Lisbon
* WINNER – Golden Aphrodite Grand Prix – Várna Love Is Folly International Film Festival (Bulgaria) – 2017
* WINNER – Special Jury Prize – Saitama Skip City International D-Cinema Festival (Japan) – 2017
Director: Rolad Vranik
Cast: Máté Haumann, Tibor Gáspár, Cake-Baly Marcelo

The Citizen

In his late fifties Wilson, whose family was killed during an outbreak of civil war in Guinea-Bissau, enters Europe as a political refugee and settles for a sedate life as a security guard in a Budapest shopping center. Wilson’s main desire is to acquire Hungarian citizenship. The story follows Wilson as he attempts to find his place in Hungarian society in his daily life, at work, with Mari, a history teacher who helps him study for the citizenship and Shirin, a young Iranian woman whose only hope to avoid deportation is to marry a Hungarian citizen. The Citizen is an Award-winning drama that poignantly dwells on some of the most complex issues of contemporary modern European society.

Genre: Drama
Country (Language): Hungary (Hungarian)
Festivals/Awards:
* WINNER – Best film drama at the 27th Cinequest, in San Jose, USA
* WINNER – Audience Award at the 2018 Chicago European Film Festival
* WINNER – Movies that Matter’s Students’ Choice Award in Hague, The Netherlands
* WINNER – Best Screenplay Award at the Fantasporto Film Festival – Porto, Lisbon
* WINNER – Golden Aphrodite Grand Prix – Várna Love Is Folly International Film Festival (Bulgaria) – 2017
* WINNER – Special Jury Prize – Saitama Skip City International D-Cinema Festival (Japan) – 2017
Director: Rolad Vranik
Cast: Máté Haumann, Tibor Gáspár, Cake-Baly Marcelo
MORE / TRAILER

Gaspard at the Wedding

Shortly after their chance meeting, Gaspard asks Laura if she will accompany him to his family home and pose as his girlfriend at his father’s second wedding. At this point, viewers will probably assume they’re dealing with a familiar and delightful trope of romantic comedy: the fake couple will become a real one, and everyone will live happily ever after. And while that isn’t altogether false, Antony Cordier’s Gaspard at the Wedding is a far more surprising entertainment than one might expect, both sophisticated and eccentric. For one thing, the family home in question is a working zoo, complete with tigers, monkeys, and two-headed caribous, and the family doesn’t always know how to draw the line between animal instinct and human behavior. A case in point is Coline, Gaspard’s sister, a beautiful young woman who walks around wearing a bear skin because she believes she is part bear. She is also in love with her brother. Cordier man ages not only to make these wacky situations believable, but to give them real emotional depth, delivering an unexpectedly poignant romance.

DIRECTOR: Antony Cordier
SCREENPLAY: Antony Cordier
CAST: Félix Moati, Laetitia Dosch and Guillaume Gouix

Running Time: 103 min
Genre: Comedy/Romance

GASPARD AT THE WEDDING is included in the 2019 YOUNG FRENCH CINEMA program of UniFrance and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S.

Gaspard at the Wedding

Shortly after their chance meeting, Gaspard asks Laura if she will accompany him to his family home and pose as his girlfriend at his father’s second wedding. At this point, viewers will probably assume they’re dealing with a familiar and delightful trope of romantic comedy: the fake couple will become a real one, and everyone will live happily ever after. And while that isn’t altogether false, Antony Cordier’s Gaspard at the Wedding is a far more surprising entertainment than one might expect, both sophisticated and eccentric. For one thing, the family home in question is a working zoo, complete with tigers, monkeys, and two-headed caribous, and the family doesn’t always know how to draw the line between animal instinct and human behavior. A case in point is Coline, Gaspard’s sister, a beautiful young woman who walks around wearing a bear skin because she believes she is part bear. She is also in love with her brother. Cordier man ages not only to make these wacky situations believable, but to give them real emotional depth, delivering an unexpectedly poignant romance.

DIRECTOR: Antony Cordier
SCREENPLAY: Antony Cordier
CAST: Félix Moati, Laetitia Dosch and Guillaume Gouix

Running Time: 103 min
Genre: Comedy/Romance

GASPARD AT THE WEDDING is included in the 2019 YOUNG FRENCH CINEMA program of UniFrance and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S.
MORE / TRAILER

Sink or Swim

With buoyant energy, Gilles Lellouche choreographs and directs a stellar ensemble in pursuit of grace and discarded dreams—that is, a group of varyingly coordinated middle-aged men who find an outlet in synchronized swimming. Bertrand (Mathieu Amalric, soulful yet understated) is the newbie to the group, having signed up on a whim to take his mind off of his unemployment and depression. As he gets to know his fellow swimmers, played by Guillaume Canet, Benoît Poelvoorde, Jean-Hugues Anglade, and Philippe Katerine, he uncovers shared frustrations and disappointments, but also hope in a hobby that’s less about skill than teamwork. After a year of awkward and charmingly comedic practice sessions, Bertrand’s proposal that his motley crew train for the world championships fuels their conviction to prove that time has not passed them by. Nominated for 13 César Awards including Best Film, Director, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Screenplay, and Cinematography. Philippe Katerine won 2019 César for best supporting actor. Film also nominated for 3 Cristal Awards. … Rendezvous with French Cinema New York

Genre: Comedy Drama, Sport

Running time: 122 minutes

Language: in French and Sinhalese with English subtitles

Starring: Mathieu Amalric, Guillaume Canet, Virginie Efira, Philippe Katerine

Sink or Swim

With buoyant energy, Gilles Lellouche choreographs and directs a stellar ensemble in pursuit of grace and discarded dreams—that is, a group of varyingly coordinated middle-aged men who find an outlet in synchronized swimming. Bertrand (Mathieu Amalric, soulful yet understated) is the newbie to the group, having signed up on a whim to take his mind off of his unemployment and depression. As he gets to know his fellow swimmers, played by Guillaume Canet, Benoît Poelvoorde, Jean-Hugues Anglade, and Philippe Katerine, he uncovers shared frustrations and disappointments, but also hope in a hobby that’s less about skill than teamwork. After a year of awkward and charmingly comedic practice sessions, Bertrand’s proposal that his motley crew train for the world championships fuels their conviction to prove that time has not passed them by. Nominated for 13 César Awards including Best Film, Director, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Screenplay, and Cinematography. Philippe Katerine won 2019 César for best supporting actor. Film also nominated for 3 Cristal Awards. … Rendezvous with French Cinema New York

Genre: Comedy Drama, Sport

Running time: 122 minutes

Language: in French and Sinhalese with English subtitles

Starring: Mathieu Amalric, Guillaume Canet, Virginie Efira, Philippe Katerine
MORE / TRAILER

Dear Fredy

Fredy Hirsch was born in Germany, a proud Jew and openly gay man he was 19 years old when the Nuremberg Laws were published, he fled from Germany to the Czech Republic which was conquered by the Nazis. He began activities in the Czech Republic as a sports teacher in Jewish youth club, and soon became his students’ object of admiration. With the deportation of the Jews to Ghetto Terezin, Fredy was appointed head of the youth department and dealt with over than 4,000 youth. When he arrived in Auschwitz, Fredy did not succumb to despair. He persuaded Mengele to set up a daycare center for children and youth and granted some 600 children their final moments of happiness. It might be that in Auschwitz, for the first time in his life, Fredy Hirsch didn’t experience Homophobia. He had a lover, he was out and people loved him for all the good he did. Together with members of the underground in Auschwitz, he planned a revolt that never came to pass, following his death, which remains a mystery, and which this film attempts to reveal. The story of Fredy Hirsch is another link in the history of the gay community. The film combines interviews, archival materials and animation.

Israel 2017 | 74 minutes | Hebrew, English, Czech | English subtitles

Director: Rubi Gat
Producers; Rubi Gat, Sahar ben Hur
Editor: Erez Laufer
Original Music: Ido Goldberg
Sound Design: Ronen Nagel
Art Director: Yael Ozsinay
Animation design: Mind The Gap Animation

Dear Fredy

Fredy Hirsch was born in Germany, a proud Jew and openly gay man he was 19 years old when the Nuremberg Laws were published, he fled from Germany to the Czech Republic which was conquered by the Nazis. He began activities in the Czech Republic as a sports teacher in Jewish youth club, and soon became his students’ object of admiration. With the deportation of the Jews to Ghetto Terezin, Fredy was appointed head of the youth department and dealt with over than 4,000 youth. When he arrived in Auschwitz, Fredy did not succumb to despair. He persuaded Mengele to set up a daycare center for children and youth and granted some 600 children their final moments of happiness. It might be that in Auschwitz, for the first time in his life, Fredy Hirsch didn’t experience Homophobia. He had a lover, he was out and people loved him for all the good he did. Together with members of the underground in Auschwitz, he planned a revolt that never came to pass, following his death, which remains a mystery, and which this film attempts to reveal. The story of Fredy Hirsch is another link in the history of the gay community. The film combines interviews, archival materials and animation.

Israel 2017 | 74 minutes | Hebrew, English, Czech | English subtitles

Director: Rubi Gat
Producers; Rubi Gat, Sahar ben Hur
Editor: Erez Laufer
Original Music: Ido Goldberg
Sound Design: Ronen Nagel
Art Director: Yael Ozsinay
Animation design: Mind The Gap Animation
MORE / TRAILER

The Orchestra Class

When violinist Simon Daoud is hired to teach the violin to a class of unruly junior high school students in an immigrant suburb of Paris, his first instinct is to run back to his rarefied world of classical string quartets. His mission to teach these twelve loudmouths to perform the violin parts in Rimsky-Korsakov’s cheherazade at the Paris Philharmonic at the end of the school year seems beyond impossible. Yet as he gets to know the kids and their families, Simon’s priorities shift and he determines to do everything in his power to get them to the Philharmonic. While the movie clock is kept ticking by this exciting objective, the film’s heartwarming core is in its portrayal of the diverse group of kids rought together in the orchestra class. Writer-director Rachid Hami combines a documentary sensibility with a knack for bringing out his young actors’ comedic flair and dramatic intensity. In this regard, Orchestra Class’s major discovery is Alfred Renely, the fifteen-year-old actor who shines as Arnold, a quiet boy who discovers he is a natural by taking his violin up to the roof of his housing project every night to practice.

THE ORCHESTRA is included in the 2019 YOUNG FRENCH CINEMA program of UniFrance and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S.

DIRECTOR: Rachid Hami
SCREENPLAY: Guy Laurent, Valérie Zenatti and Rachid Hami
CAST: Kad Merad, Samir Guesmi and Renaly Alfred

RUNNING TIME: 102 min
GENRE: Dramedy

The Orchestra Class

When violinist Simon Daoud is hired to teach the violin to a class of unruly junior high school students in an immigrant suburb of Paris, his first instinct is to run back to his rarefied world of classical string quartets. His mission to teach these twelve loudmouths to perform the violin parts in Rimsky-Korsakov’s cheherazade at the Paris Philharmonic at the end of the school year seems beyond impossible. Yet as he gets to know the kids and their families, Simon’s priorities shift and he determines to do everything in his power to get them to the Philharmonic. While the movie clock is kept ticking by this exciting objective, the film’s heartwarming core is in its portrayal of the diverse group of kids rought together in the orchestra class. Writer-director Rachid Hami combines a documentary sensibility with a knack for bringing out his young actors’ comedic flair and dramatic intensity. In this regard, Orchestra Class’s major discovery is Alfred Renely, the fifteen-year-old actor who shines as Arnold, a quiet boy who discovers he is a natural by taking his violin up to the roof of his housing project every night to practice.

THE ORCHESTRA is included in the 2019 YOUNG FRENCH CINEMA program of UniFrance and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S.

DIRECTOR: Rachid Hami
SCREENPLAY: Guy Laurent, Valérie Zenatti and Rachid Hami
CAST: Kad Merad, Samir Guesmi and Renaly Alfred

RUNNING TIME: 102 min
GENRE: Dramedy
MORE / TRAILER

Coming Back Out Ball

The COMING BACK OUT BALL MOVIE is an observational feature documentary that follows a group of older LGBTIQ+ people, who have been invited to attend a Ball celebrating their gender and sexual identity. Faced with the complexities of ageing and isolation, these extraordinary people seize each day with determination and humor. In a time that is rapidly changing for the LGBTIQ+ community around the world, we witness some of our cast experiencing acceptance and love for the very first time in their lives.

Running Time: 86 minutes

Language: English

Distributor: Film Republic

Festivals: Melbourne International Film Festival

Coming Back Out Ball

The COMING BACK OUT BALL MOVIE is an observational feature documentary that follows a group of older LGBTIQ+ people, who have been invited to attend a Ball celebrating their gender and sexual identity. Faced with the complexities of ageing and isolation, these extraordinary people seize each day with determination and humor. In a time that is rapidly changing for the LGBTIQ+ community around the world, we witness some of our cast experiencing acceptance and love for the very first time in their lives.

Running Time: 86 minutes

Language: English

Distributor: Film Republic

Festivals: Melbourne International Film Festival
MORE / TRAILER

Love In Suspenders

So it happens that Tammy (Nitza Saul), a 64 year old widow who constantly deals with the memory of her loving late husband, meets Beno (Yehuda Barken), a 70 year old sarcastic lone wolf widower – and the two fall in love.

From their first unfortunate encounter, when Tammy hits Beno with her car, Tammy and Beno experience all sorts of emotional, funny struggles. They get closer, break up, get back together and fight again, until ultimately their love wins out.

Shlomo Bar-Aba gives a heartwarming performance as Tammy’s late husband, who refuses to let her go in a cinematic tribute to Jorge Amado’s Vadinho in “Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands”.

Starring: Nitza Saul, Yehuda Barkan and Shlomo Bar-Aba

Country: Israel
Distributor: Israeli Films
Running Time: 93 min

Love In Suspenders

So it happens that Tammy (Nitza Saul), a 64 year old widow who constantly deals with the memory of her loving late husband, meets Beno (Yehuda Barken), a 70 year old sarcastic lone wolf widower – and the two fall in love.

From their first unfortunate encounter, when Tammy hits Beno with her car, Tammy and Beno experience all sorts of emotional, funny struggles. They get closer, break up, get back together and fight again, until ultimately their love wins out.

Shlomo Bar-Aba gives a heartwarming performance as Tammy’s late husband, who refuses to let her go in a cinematic tribute to Jorge Amado’s Vadinho in “Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands”.

Starring: Nitza Saul, Yehuda Barkan and Shlomo Bar-Aba

Country: Israel
Distributor: Israeli Films
Running Time: 93 min
MORE / TRAILER

Murer

A well-respected politician and local farmer, Franz Murer is put on trial in Graz, Austria for his alleged war crimes in the Lithuanian ghetto, Vilnius, earning him the nickname “The Butcher of Vilnius.” The director, Christian Frosch, recreates riveting testimonies and courtroom drama based on original records from the 1963 ten-day trial of Austrian former SS officer Franz Murer.

Genre: Drama

Running Time: 110 min

Languages: German, Yiddish, Hebrew

3 Wins, 6 Nominations

Murer

A well-respected politician and local farmer, Franz Murer is put on trial in Graz, Austria for his alleged war crimes in the Lithuanian ghetto, Vilnius, earning him the nickname “The Butcher of Vilnius.” The director, Christian Frosch, recreates riveting testimonies and courtroom drama based on original records from the 1963 ten-day trial of Austrian former SS officer Franz Murer.

Genre: Drama

Running Time: 110 min

Languages: German, Yiddish, Hebrew

3 Wins, 6 Nominations
MORE / TRAILER