Niels Arden Oplev’s murder mystery and European box office smash The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Sweden/Denmark/Germany) has won the 21st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival’s (PSIFF) Mercedes-Benz Audience Award for best narrative feature.
The Most Dangerous Man In America: Daniel Ellsberg And The Pentagon Papers (USA) directed by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith received the audience award for best documentary feature.
The FIPRESCI Award for best foreign language film of the year selected by Jonas Holmberg, Jan Stuart and Katherine Tulich went to Involuntary, Sweden’s foreign language oscar submission by Ruben Ostlund.
Tedo Bekhauri received the FIPRESCI Award for best actor for his performance in George Ovashvili’s The Other Bank (Georgia/Kazakhstan) and Anne Dorval received the best actress award for her performance in I Killed My Mother (Canada) by Xavier Dolan.
The New Voices/New Visions jury of IFC Films’ Arianna Bocco, Zeitgeist Films’ Nancy Gerstman and Sara Rose from Apparition awarded its top prize to Ounie Lecomte’s A Brand New Life (South Korea/France). An honorable mention went to Vladimir Paskaljevic’s satirical Serbian entry Devil’s Town.
The festival’s programming team selected Haim Tabakman for the John Schlesinger Award For Outstanding First Feature (narrative or documentary) for his Israeli film Eyes Wide Open.
Commenting on the 67-strong field of first-time directors, PSIFF director of programming Helen du Toit said, “Collectively, these films represented the flood of exciting new talent that is currently revitalising the cinema worldwide, and choosing a ‘best’ or most worthy film to present this award to from among them has been one of the most difficult tasks we’ve faced as programmers this year.”
The programmers also made two special mentions for Caroline Bottaro’s French entry Queen To Play and Warwick Thornton’s Australian foreign language Oscar submission Samson & Delilah.
Letters To Father Jacob (Finland) directed by Klaus Haro received the Bridging The Borders Award presented by Cinema Without Borders.
“Record attendance, supremely smooth operations and enormously positive audience and industry feedback made this year’s festival an unqualified success on every level,” festival director Darryl Macdonald said. “In a year when so many festivals worldwide are reeling from the double whammy of falling ticket sales and diminishing sponsorships, it’s hugely heartening to see Palm Springs reverse that trend and enliven audiences into the bargain.”
The festival ran from January 5 and culminates on Monday with the Best Of The Fest screenings.