Virtual Cinema, Palm Springs Cultural Center
Our Virtual Cinema Program and our Virtual Event Program were both developed through a CA CARES Grant provided by California Humanities in conjunction with the State of California and the California State Library.
Enjoy the latest independent films on our Virtual Platform & Support the Palm Springs Cultural Center! We've selected films that are Palm Springs premieres, along with a mix of favorites from Desert Film Society, Cinema Diverse, Cinema Francais and PSIFF (as well as a sprinkle of retrospective films).
Ukraine War Relief.
In the Donbass region of Eastern Ukraine, mid-2010s: a hybrid war takes place, involving an open armed conflict alongside killings and robberies on a mass scale perpetrated by Russian-separatist gangs. In the Donbass, war is called peace, propaganda is uttered as truth, and hatred is declared to be love. Life is suffused with fear and suspicion. What is real and what is fake news? Called "a darkly satirical omnibus of scathing vignettes" by the Washington Post, DONBASS serves as a crucial interpretation of the Russo-Ukrainian war, but the film is not, ultimately, a tale of one region or one conflict. It is about a world lost in post-truth and fake identities. It is about each and every one of us. "There is no other antiwar film quite like DONBASS" (Los Angeles Times).
Ukraine War Relief.
In 2014, Ukrainian surgeon Serhiy enlists to fight Russian military forces in the Donbass region, where he is captured by enemy soldiers. Now a prisoner of war, Serhiy is forced to witness horrifying scenes of humiliation and violence at the hands of the Russian invaders, his medical background co-opted to dispense mercy killings to the tortured. After his release, he returns to his comfortable middle-class apartment, still suffering from the trauma of his experiences. Looking inward, Serhiy tries to find a purpose in life by rebuilding his relationship with his daughter and ex-wife, learning how to be a human being again through being a father. Written, directed, produced, shot, and edited by acclaimed Ukrainian filmmaker Valentyn Vasyanovych, REFLECTION is a meticulously-composed depiction of pain - and redemption - that Variety called "one of the most intellectually provocative and rewarding films" of the 2021 Venice Film Festival.
Ukraine War Relief.
Krasnohorivka: a town on the front lines of the war-torn region of Eastern Ukraine. When poet/filmmaker Iryna Tsilyk first visits the Trofymchuk-Gladky family home, she is surprised by what she finds: while the outside world is made up of bombings and chaos, single mother Anna and her four children are managing to keep their home as a safe haven, full of life and full of light. Every member of the family has a passion for cinema, so it feels natural for them to shoot a film inspired by their own life during a time of war. The creative process raises the question of what kind of impact cinema might have during times of disaster, and how to picture war through the camera’s lens. For Anna and the children, transforming trauma into a work of art is the ultimate way to stay human.
Winner of the Directing Award for World Cinema Documentary at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, THE EARTH IS AS BLUE AS AN ORANGE stands not only as a remarkable document of the Russo-Ukrainian War through the lens - literally - of this family's creative process, but as an optimistic testament to the power of art and beauty in the face of destruction.
Ukraine War Relief.
Four short stories are set along the roads of Donbass during the war. There are no safe spaces and no one can make sense of just what is going on. Even as they are trapped in the chaos, some manage to wield authority over others. But in this world, where tomorrow may never come, not everyone is defenseless and miserable. Even the most innocent victims may have their turn at taking charge.
Svetla, a strong-willed widow, lives alone in a small Bulgarian village close to the Turkish border. She has recently lost her job as a teacher due to the lack of families with young children. One day, while hunting in a forest, she encounters an African refugee, Bamba, who is trying to reach Germany, and will bring about a dramatic turn in her life. Reluctantly, she offers him hospitality, but day after day, a bond develops as Bamba learns the language and takes part in her daily life. Svetla will make life-changing choices that go against her traditional community creating a revolt among the villagers. Absurd, comic and tragic situations ensue as she breaks barriers of loneliness, close mindedness and fear of the outsider.
FEAR is Bulgaria's official submission to the 94th Academy Awards®.
In this portrait of parental sacrifice and the love of a father for his son, former wrestler Kakhi (played by real-life Olympic champion Levan Tediashvili) embarks on a journey from his home in the Republic of Georgia to visit his son Soso (Giorgi Tabidze) in the Russian-speaking neighborhood of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. There he finds him living in a shabby boarding house populated by a colorful group of fellow Georgian immigrants. Soso is not studying medicine, as Kakhi believed, but is working for a moving company and has accrued a $14,000 gambling debt to a local Russian mob boss. Kakhi sets his mind to helping his hapless son out of his debt, leading to situations as often comic as they are dire. Lensed by Oscar®-nominated cinematographer Phedon Papamichael (The Trial of the Chicago 7, Nebraska), Levan Koguashvili.
BRIGHTON 4TH won three major awards at the Tribeca Film Festival – Best International Film, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay – and is Georgia’s official submission to the 94th Academy Awards®.
Léa Seydoux brilliantly holds the center of Bruno Dumont’s unexpected, unsettling new film, which starts out as a satire of the contemporary news media before steadily spiraling out into something richer and darker. Never one to shy away from provoking his viewers, Dumont (The Life of Jesus, NYFF35) casts Seydoux as France de Meurs, a seemingly unflappable superstar TV journalist whose career, homelife, and psychological stability are shaken after she carelessly drives into a young delivery man on a busy Paris street. This accident triggers a series of self-reckonings, as well as a strange romance that proves impossible to shake. A film that teases at redemption while refusing to grant absolution, France is tragicomic and deliciously ambivalent—a very 21st-century treatment of the difficulty of maintaining identity in a corrosive culture.
Awards: Official Selection: Cannes Film Festival
Official Selection: Toronto Film Festival
Official Selection: New York Film Festival
Barbara "Babs" Hug (Marie Leuenberger, The Divine Order) is a young radical lawyer fighting Switzerland’s antiquated prison system in the 1980s, and finds it to be an endless, draining battle. She is tracked down by Walter Stürm (Joel Basman, The Monuments Men), who has just managed to escape from prison...again...and hands her a secret file not supposed to have left the prison. Although a good-hearted soul at his core, Sturm uses his newfound freedom to commit another crime, and soon finds the police closing in. Using her connections, Babs finds Sturm temporary refuge with a militant organization, and takes him on as a client in hopes of using the publicity to advance her cause. Sturm, however, has a very different ideology of freedom, and proves to be more difficult to manage than Babs realizes. Based on a true story.
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival
Moscow International Film Festival
Beijing International Film Festival
Hamburg Film Festival
HAVE A TECHNICAL QUESTION? Every film released in our Virtual Cinema is available through the individual distributor's websites and streaming services. If you are having technical issues, please visit the respective film page and browse the links to the distributor FAQ and contact information.
NOTE: The distributors of these films give a portion of the revenue from V-Tickets back to us, so your film rentals directly help support the Cultural Center. Thank you for watching!