One of the largest film festivals in North America, the upcoming 27th Palm Springs Film Festival is a huge deal for cinema fans, as well as for minor and major filmmakers. Last year over 135,000 people made the pilgrimage to Palm Springs, California, and this year’s turnout is expected to be even greater. If you’re traveling from LA, you can save money on your journey and explore Palm Springs in style with a spacious and affordable van from State Van Rental. These vans have Wi-Fi options, prepaid transponders for FasTrak lanes, and clean interiors, and they allow everyone in your group to travel together. Conveniently located near LAX, State Van Rental is the only travel partner you’ll need during your stay in SoCal.

However you decide to get to the festival, you can look forward to a diverse selection of over 200 films representing more than 60 countries. But with so much to do and see at this iconic event, making plans can be overwhelming, to say the least. Here are ten things you should know about the festival, travelling, and more.

10. The Awards Gala Is Not to Be Missed

While the price of admission is high, the Gala Awards ceremony is undoubtedly the pinnacle of the Palm Springs Film Festival, complete with red carpet, paparazzi, and of course the A-list celebrities. The Awards gala takes place on Saturday, January 2, with cocktails starting at 5pm and the dinner and awards show an hour later at 6pm. Entry prices range from $350 to $2,500 for individual seats, and $3,500 to $25,000 for tables for 10, and a substantial chunk of that cost is tax deductible. Call 760-318-8371 for information on availability.

9. The Festival Is a Great Place to Expand Your Horizons

The Palm Springs International Film Festival does feature American independent films, but the primary focus of the festival is to bring some attention to international filmmakers. You can see films by household name directors, but this is also a wonderful opportunity to learn about great cinema being made all across the globe that you would have never been exposed to otherwise. Raam Reddy’s Thithi (India) and Yorgos Zois’ Interruption (Greece) are two exceptional standouts that are generating quite a bit of buzz throughout the film community.

Some other foreign movie premieres to keep an eye out for include Death By Death (Belgium/France), 1944 (Estonia/Finland, Beyond My Grandfather Allende (Chile/Mexico), and Moor (Pakistan). The Modern Masters section of the Palm Springs Film Festival features international directors who have set the standards for contemporary cinema. Some films from this category to watch out for include Cemetery of Splendour (Thailand/UK), which is directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Dheepan (France) directed by Jacques Audiard, and Mountains May Depart (China/France/Japan) directed by Jia Zhangke.

8. It Is Also a Great Opportunity to See Films by New Directors

The New Voices/New Visions section of the Palm Springs Film Festival features debut films by up-and-coming international directors. If you’re a film buff, this is a great way to get ahead of the curve and make your fellow film friends jealous. Some of the brand new debut films to look forward to include Banat (Italy/Romania/Bulgaria/Macedonia) directed by Adriano Valerio, Departure (UK/France) directed by Andrew Steggall, Five Nights in Maine (US) directed by Maris Curran and starring David Oyelowo, and A Heavy Heart (Germany) directed by Thomas Stuber.

7. Some Screenings Sell Out Fast

If there are any particular films that you really want to see at the Palm Springs Film Festival, don’t wait to buy your tickets. Members of the Palm Springs International Film Society are able to purchase and exchange 6-packs starting December 18, 2015, and the general public may start purchasing tickets for individual screenings and events on December 21, 2015. Don’t fret just yet if an event is sold out; you may be able to get in by arriving at the screening at least an hour early, and then waiting in line for standby tickets.

6. There’s a Lot More to Palm Springs Than Just Movies

While you’re in Palm Springs, you’ll also want to check out the other exciting attractions like the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the Palm Springs Air Museum, the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, and Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa. Palm Springs is a gorgeous desert community with endless excursions, so make some time for the things that interest you, whether that means gambling, rock climbing, fine dining, or exploring classic celebrity homes.

5. It Is Possible to Get Tired of Watching Movies

Even the most hardcore movie buffs may want to plan to break once in a while during the Palm Springs Film Festival. As you plan your days, make sure you give yourself time to do other activities besides watching movies. After all, by that fourth documentary, you may need to rest your eyes and your brain. Overbooking is a common problem, because in theory spending the day watching movies sounds great. In practice, you may need to give yourself some breathing room between screenings. Which brings us to our next point…

4. Save on Lodging with Partner Hotels

Before you go booking the first hotel you see, do a little research. There are plenty of hotels that partner with the Palm Springs Film Festival, providing lower-than-usual rates for attendees. The Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel is the Official Host Hotel and Media Center of the festival, so look into getting a room there if you want to be at the center of the action. Other hotels offering discounted rates include Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Alcazar Palm Springs, Avalon Hotel, Avanti Hotel, Best Western plus Las Brisas, Casa Cody Country Inn, Colt’s Lodge, Courtyard by Marriott, East Canyon Hotel & Spa, Hard Rock Hotel, and many others.

3. Membership Has Its Privileges

Although Film Society Member memberships are closed until January 1, 2016, you may want to look into becoming a member then. There are many perks to being a member, including many invitations to exclusive screenings throughout the year, as well as members-only screenings at the Palm Springs Film Festival. Examples of recent members-only screenings include Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, The Coen Brothers’ The Hudsucker Proxy, and Wes Anderson’s Rushmore and Bottle Rocket. Of course, members also have access to many events and screenings not available to other festival-goers.

2. You May Get to See Your Favorite Celebrities

It may not be Hollywood, but the Palm Springs Film Festival is one of the best ways to catch a glimpse of some of your favorite big-screen faces. Past attendees have included Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Anne Hathaway, Clint Eastwood, and Leonardo DiCaprio, among countless others. This year, Matt Damon is going to receive the Chairman’s Award for his role in The Martian, which has previously been earned by such household names as Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, and George Clooney.

1. State Van Rental Is the Best Choice for Your Travel Needs

Here at State Van Rental, we have you covered. Getting to and around the Palm Springs Film Festival without a vehicle can be such a pain, especially with a group. Trying to squeeze into a taxi – if you can even get one – is a nightmare, and the cost adds up fast. This isn’t just true for the general public, but also for production companies, film crews, photographers, and other industry professionals who understand the trials and tribulations of having to haul equipment to a major film festival. With a van from State Van Rental, everyone has an easier and more enjoyable experience.

Call our friendly and helpful customer service at 1-888-826-5212, or feel free to send us a message through our convenient contact form. Now is the time to arrange your travel accommodations, and the best rates are at State Van Rental. Get in touch today.

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