Public Art Documentary Film Series


Discover inspiring and thought provoking cinema at the 2014 Palm Desert Public Art Documentary Film Series. Beginning in January, the public is invited to a fifth season of free screenings of public art-themed documentaries presented by the City’s Public Art Department and the University of California, Riverside Palm Desert Graduate Center. Each screening will include a featured speaker who will discuss that night’s film. 


All films screen the third Thursday of the month, January through April, at 6 p.m. in the auditorium at UCR Palm Desert, 75080 Frank Sinatra Drive. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended. For more information, or to make a reservation, please call 760-837-1663.

Series Schedule:

January 16: Class of '83
September 11, 2001, brought the class of '83 even closer together than they had ever imagined. Chris Panatier and Tom Collins, two extraordinary charismatic pillars of the group, were killed on that day. As the 20-year reunion approaches for the class of '83, friends unite to create a place to reflect upon the meaning of friendship and the extraordinary lives of Chris and Tom. With the guidance of landscape artist and classmate Gus Wade, and a remarkable donation from world-renown sculptor Bret Price, classmates reunite to transform an unappreciated section of the high school into a museum-quality sculpture garden. The film will be followed by a Q&A with the film's director Kurt Soderling. To make reservations.

February 20: My Kid Could Paint That
In the span of only a few months, 4-year-old Marla Olmstead rocketed from total obscurity into international renown – and sold more than $300,000 dollars worth of paintings. She was compared to Kandinsky and Pollock and called a "budding Picasso." But not all of the attention was positive. From the beginning, many faulted her parents for exposing Marla to the glare of the media and accused the couple of exploiting their daughter for financial gain. Five months into Marla's new life as a celebrity, CBS's 60 Minutes aired an exposé suggesting strongly that the paintings were painted by her father - himself an amateur painter. Then, as quickly as the public built Marla up, they tore her down. The film will be followed by a Q&A with Suzanne Houck, certified appraiser of arts and antiques.  To make reservations.

March 20: Inocente
Inocente is an intensely personal and vibrant coming-of-age documentary about a young artist's fierce determination to never surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings. At 15, Inocente refuses to let her dream of becoming an artist be caged by her life as an undocumented immigrant, forced to live homeless for the previous nine years. Told entirely in her own words, we come to Inocente's story as she realizes her life is at a turning point -- and for the first time, she decides to take control of her own destiny. The film will be followed by a Q&A with Matt D'Arrigo, Founder and CEO of A Reason To Survive - ARTS and film participant.  To make reservations.

April 17: Stolen
In the early morning hours after St. Patrick's Day 1990, thieves disguised as policemen gained access into Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and successfully executed the largest art heist in modern history. Stolen is a full exploration of this unusual crime and the fascinating, disparate characters involved. Stolen brings the audience on a journey to understand not just a crime but also the nature of beauty itself — its fragility and its power. The film will be followed by a Q&A with Lynne Richardson, co-founder of the FBI Art Crime Team. To make reservations.


Attending the Event

Film screenings are free, but reservations are recommended.  To make a reservation visit For questions or more information, please call 760-837-1663.