As some other documentary festivals, DOKLeipzig is an example, Amdocs screens animation films. A good choice I thought after having attended a programme of 8 short ones from Germany, mostly from the film school in Baden-Württemberg. Puppet animation with beautiful handmade characters, dramatic stories, stop motion, ”normal” animation (this is not my genre as you could guess), several of them having this playfulness and wish to try something new and original that you often miss in documentary filmmaking. (Photo from the animation winner, ”Olgastrasse 18”, photo Jörg Rambaum)
Many things have impressed me during this my first time in Palm Springs. One of them is the interest of the filmmakers to attend the screenings. Festival director Teddy Grouya has managed to get many premieres to his festival, whether it is a US or North American or Californian or Palm Springs premiere. That adds to the good atmosphere in the cinema and gives some interesting Q&A’s that in most cases are more content-orientated than dealing with film language.
Palm Springs is indeed also a place for cultural events. Before the documentary festival there was a Jewish Film Festival and the International Palm Springs (feature) film festival and up comes also a short film festival. The citizens are used to go out, we were told by asking several of the volunteers. ”We eat out around 3 times per week”, several said, ”it’s nice and not very expensive”. Must be the reason for all those restaurants you see when being driven around. We tried a couple of them. No complaints on food or films.