Helen Hunt's first outing as director Then She Found Me won the Palm Springs International Film Festival's (PSIFF) Audience Award for best narrative feature as the event came to a close on Jan 13.

Tricia Regan's Autism: The Musical earned the Audience Award for best documentary feature. The FIPRESCI award For best foreign language film of the year went to Ognjen Svilicic's Croatian foreign language Oscar submission Armin.

Song Gang-ho received the FIPRESCI best actor prize for his performance in Lee Chang-dong's Secret Sunshine from South Korea, while Anamaria Marinca and Laura Vasiliu took corresponding actress honours for their performances in Cristian Mungiu's Romanian drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.

The New Voices/New Visions award went to Ann-Kristin Reyels' German drama Hounds. A special jury mention went to Salvatore Mair's The Waltz and a special mention (cinematography) went to Frederico Barbarosa's work on Two Embraces.

Nadav Schirman received the John Schlesinger Award for Outstanding First Feature (Narrative or Documentary) for The Champagne Spy.

Nic Balthazar received the Heineken Red Star Award for Belgian film Ben X. The Heineken Red Star Award was created to provide increased exposure and visibility for the movies screened at festivals while recognising and rewarding innovative and original works of film

Eran Kolirin's Israeli film The Band's Visit won the Bridging The Border's Award presented by Cinema Without Borders to the film that was adjudged to be 'the most successful in bringing the people of our world closer together.'

From Jan 3-14 the festival screened 212 films from 66 countries, including 65 premieres and 55 of the 63 foreign entries for next month's Academy Awards.

'For the first time in the festival's history both receipts for film ticket sales and the awards gala each exceeded one million dollars,' festival chairman Earl Greenburg said:

For further information visit www.psfilmfest.org.