The red carpet at the Palm Springs International Film Fest


Palm Springs International Film Festival

One of the biggest nights for dress-up in the desert, this star-studded affair attracts not just big players in the entertainment industry, but also some 136,000 enthusiastic filmgoers. Sure, they may want to get a glimpse at George Clooney, but they are mostly here for the movies—an outstanding lineup of more than 180 independent films and documentaries, many making their U.S. premieres. There are also a hefty number of international films—the largest number of foreign film contenders vying for that year’s Oscars. Beyond movie screenings, there are special talks and presentations, tributes, and nightly parties. Insider tip: Can’t make it in January? Summer’s ShortFest shows off the cream of the short-film crop.