PALM DESERT, Calif. -

The Palm Desert Public Art Documentary Film Series begins January 16, with a screening of 'Class of '83'. Officials said the event gives you a chance to discover inspiring and thought-provoking cinema through public art-themed documentaries.

All films screen the third Thursday of the month from January through April at 6 p.m. in the auditorium at UCR Palm Desert, located at 75080 Frank Sinatra Drive. Admission is free, but organizers recommend you make reservations. 

'Class of '83' is a compelling documentary that follows a group of friends who lost two high school classmates in the attacks on September 11, 2001, according to organizers. As their class prepares for its 20 year reunion, friends unite to create a place to reflect upon the lives of their fallen classmates.

Working with the guidance of fellow classmate and landscape artist Gus Wade, and a donation from a world renowned sculptor, the class transforms a section of their high school into a museum-quality sculpture garden.

Officials said a question and answer session with director Kurt Soderling will follow the film.

The documentary film series is in its sixth season and is presented by the City of Palm Desert Public Art Department and the University of California Riverside Palm Desert Graduate Center.

For more information or to make reservations, call (760) 837-1663 or you can register online.

Schedule of additional films:

  • Feb. 20th - 'My Kid Could Paint That' - Called a "budding Picasso" at age four, Marla Olmstead quickly rose from total obscurity to international renown, selling over $300K in paintings. Five months into Marla's new life as a celebrity, a story on CBS' '60 Minutes' strongly suggested that Marla's painting were created by her father. Featured speaker Suzanne Houck, Certified Appraiser of Arts and Antiques.
  • March 20th - 'Innocente' - This 2013 Academy Award-winning documentary short subject chronicles a young artists' fierce determination to never surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings. Told entirely in her own words, the film discovers Inocente as a 15-year-old homeless undocumented immigrant who realizes her life is at a turning point and takes control of her own destiny. Featured speaker is Matt D'Arrigo, founder and CEO of 'A Reason to Survive'.
  • April 17th - 'Stolen' - In the early morning hours after St. Patrick's Day in 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. Featured speaker is Lynne Richardson, co-founder of the FBI Art Crime Team.