Stars Shine at the Palm Springs International Film Festival

The actor-filled party turns 29 in 2018 with mondo screenings, talks, to-dos. Rand Larson/Visit Palm Springs

NEW YEAR'S DAY... and New Year's Eve and the easy-breezier days that surround both may be some of the biggest movie-going occasions on the calendar, but a fan only need glance in the direction of a certain resort city at the start of the fresh year to see some mega pump-up-the-celluloid action. For that's always when the Palm Springs International Film Festival opens, and the fortnight-long fest always delivers a packed grid of quality flicks from very nearby (hi, LA) to less nearby (China, France, Belgium). But what's on the screens of the sunny enclave aren't the only draws of the two-week cinestravaganza; a bunch of big names show up to chat, to Q&A, and to walk various red carpets. Actor Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins of "Wonder Woman" will appear at the 2018 festival, as will actor Diane Kruger, who will talk about "In the Fade" with the film's director Faith Akin. The dates are...

JAN. 2 THROUGH JAN. 15... for the 29th annual PSIFF, and there are tickets available to numerous screenings, if you'd like to make a day of it in the desert. Venues include the Annenberg Theater, Camelot Theatre, and several other spots around the easy-to-navigate area, and the movies lined-up for the big show? The acclaimed "Call Me By Your Name," "The Last Movie Star" with Burt Reynolds, and "Darkest Hour" are just three of the 180 flicks that'll get their star turn. Oh yes, and there's a secret screening, too, if that appeals, and the PSIFF staffers have offered a hint. Plus, you'll be in pretty P.S., where the weather is more than fine and the swimming pools glimmer, even in January (or perhaps especially in January). More films, more movies, more stars, more popcorns, more Q&A-ing, more cinefantastical-o-sity? One of the major events of moviedom is now flowering just beyond Mount San Jacinto, where winter's not too wicked and the films are wondrous.