28th ANNUAL PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES AWARD WINNERS

Posted by Larry Gleeson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Toni Erdmann Receives FIPRESCI Prize;
Gael García Bernal and Isabelle HuppertReceive Acting Prizes;
White Sun Receives New Voices/New Visions Award;
No Dress Code Required Receives The John Schlesinger Award;
Neruda Receives Cine Latino Award;
Mercenary Receives The HP Bridging The Borders Awards
 

Palm Springs, CA (January 14, 2017) – The 28th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) announced this year’s juried award winners at a luncheon at the Hilton Palm Springs on Saturday, January 14, 2017.  The Festival, held from January 2-16, 2017, screened 190 films from 72 countries. The Mercedes-Benz Audience Awards for Best Narrative Feature and Best Documentary Feature will be announced on Sunday, January 15.

 

FIPRESCI PRIZE

A special jury of international film critics reviewed 43 of the 85 official submissions for the Academy Awards(R) Best Foreign Language Film category screened at this year’s Festival.  Awards are presented to the Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actor and Actress in a Foreign Language Film.

 

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Director Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann received the 2017 Palm Springs International Film Festival’s (PSIFF) FIPRESCI Prize for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year. (Photo courtesy of PSIFF Press Office)

FIPRESCI Prize for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year: Toni Erdmann(Germany), directed by Maren Ade.  In this unforgettable comedy, a prankster father puts on a wig and false teeth and invades the life of his rigid, ambitious corporate consultant daughter, whose life is upended in profound and often hilarious ways. The jury presented the award to the film, “for its originality, human complexity and unique tonal orchestration that seems natural and uncalculated. It is also an observant look at corporate culture carried by two wonderful performances.”

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Gael Garcia Bernal (left) and Diego Munoz in a scene from Pablo Larrain’s biopic Neruda. (Photo courtesy of PSIFF Press Office)

FIPRESCI Prize for the Best Actor in a Foreign Language Film: Gael García Bernalin Neruda(Chile), directed by Pablo Larraín.  The jury said, “Bernal’s performance is the heart of the film’s tonal shifts, infusing the historical drama with the very poetry of its subject matter.”

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Actress Isabelle Huppert in character from Paul Verhoeven’s Elle. For her performance received the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Actress in a Foreign Language Film. (Photo courtesy of PSIFF Press Office)

FIPRESCI Prize for Best Actress in a Foreign Language Film: Isabelle Huppert in Elle (France), directed by Paul VerhoevenThe jury said, “Isabelle Huppert gives depth and humanity to a complex and conflicted character in a challenging, unorthodox film. Her intelligence, self-assurance, and gift for conveying rich emotional tones have never been more strikingly displayed.”

The FIPRESCI jury members were Kiva Reardon (programming associate, TIFF), Yael Shuv (chief film critic, Time Out Tel Aviv) and David Sterritt (editor-in-chief, Quarterly Review of Film and Video).

 

NEW VOICES/NEW VISIONS AWARD

The New Voices/New Visions competition showcases ten films from emerging international directors bringing their first or second narrative features to the Festival. The winner is selected by a jury of festival programmers and U.S. distributors.

 

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A scene from Deepak Rauniyar’s dark comedy, White Sun, a story about two brothers from each side of the Nepalese civil war reunited after 10 years for their father’s funeral. (Photo courtesy of PSIFF Press Office)

New Voices/New VisionsAward: White Sun(Nepal/U.S./Qatar/Netherlands), directed by Deepak Rauniyar. The film is a dark comedy about two brothers from each side of the Nepalese civil war brought together after 10 years for their father’s funeral. A trenchant, eye-catching parable, this is the best film to come out of Nepal in years.

 

The jury issued the following statement, “White Sun, for its sympathetic but unsentimental portrayals of multiple perspectives, artfully integrating landscape as a participating character in the film. Featuring stunning performances from an ensemble cast, directed with sensitivity, the film’s storytelling leaves space for the audience to experience the tension between tradition and modernity. The film balances personal and political drama with a touch of absurdist humor.”

New Voices/New Visions Special Mentions: Kati Kati (Kenya/Germany), directed by Mbithi Masya and Mellow Mud (Latvia), directed by Renars Vimba.  The jury said, “Both directors create worlds that lead the audience deeply into beautifully-realized worlds.”

The films were juried by Jonathan Howell (founder and director, Big World Pictures), Funa Maduka (Global Content Acquisition group, Netflix), Jane Schoettle (International Programmer, TIFF).

 

THE JOHN SCHLESINGER AWARD

The John Schlesinger Award, named after the director, writer, producer and festival supporter, is presented to the director of either a first or second feature documentary from among those screened at the festival.

 

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Cristina Herrera Borquez’ memorable documentary, No Dress Code Required, follows a same-sex couple, Victor and Fernando, as they fight for the right to be married in their home town of Mexicali, Baja California. No Dress Code Required received this year’s Palm Springs International Film Festival’s (PSIFF) John Schlesinger Award. (Photo courtesy of PSIFF Press Office)

Schlesinger Award: No Dress Code Required (Mexico), directed by Cristina Herrera Bórquez. This memorable doc follows a same-sex couple, Víctor and Fernando, as they fight for the right to be married in their home town of Mexicali, Baja California. A rallying cry for equality and a testament to the power of ordinary people to become agents of change.

 

The jury issued the following statement, “For a film that does not let you look away as ordinary people rise to the challenge of fighting for their legal rights, the John Schlesinger Award goes to No Dress Code Required, a compelling documentary that puts us on the front line of the evolving story of marriage equality.”

 

Schlesinger Special Mention: Beauties of the Night (Mexico), directed by María José Cuevas.  The jury said, “For a beautifully crafted exploration of ageism with a powerful vision, and an empowering take on what it means to grow old in a culture obsessed with youth and beauty, Special Mention goes to Beauties of the Night.”

The films were juried by Daniela Elena Alatorre (head of documentary programming, Morelia International Film Festival), Fenton Bailey (co-founder, World of Wonder Productions), Sudeep Sharma (senior programmer, Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles).

 

CINE LATINO AWARD

The Cine Latino Award is presented to the best Ibero-American film screening at the festival.  The award aims to highlight the creativity seen in modern Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American films.  Cine Latino is supported in part by Acción Cultural Espanola, Spain’s Public Agency for Cultural Action.

 

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Chilean Director Pablo Larrain’s Neruda is the 2017 Palm Springs International Film Festival’s (PSIFF) recipient of the Cino Latino Award for best Ibero -American film screening. (Photo courtesy of PSIFF Press Office)

Cine Latino Award: Neruda (Chile), directed by Pablo Larraín.  The jury said, “Bypassing narrative tropes associated with films about important historical figures and creating a nearly fantastical story that is as visually striking as it is telling about the relationship between an artist and his creation, the Cine Latino Grand Jury Prize goes to Neruda.”

Cine Latino Special Mention: Everything Else (Mexico), directed by Natalia Almada. The jury said, “Coming from a doc background gives this filmmaker a unique perspective and framing that has created a powerful film. Her story often asks more questions than there are answers for but anchored by a strong, yet understated performance this film succeeds.  The film is executed with precise framing and uncanny cinematography.”

 

The films were judged by Carlos Aguilar (film journalist), Lane Kneedler (Director of Programming, AFI Fest) and Andrea Roa (producer)

 

THE HP BRIDGING THE BORDERS AWARD

The HP Bridging the Borders Award is presented by Cinema Without Borders and Hewlett Packard, which honors the film that is most successful in exemplifying art that promotes bringing the people of our world closer together. The prize includes an HP ZBook 17 Mobile Workstation, valued at $4,000.

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Director Sacha Wolff’s Mercenary is the 2017 Palm Springs International Film Festival’s (PSIFF) recipient of the HP Bridging the Borders Award. (Photo courtesy of PSIFF Press Office)

HP Bridging the Borders Award: Mercenary (France), directed by Sacha Wolff.  The film is a fierce, moving thriller about a massive Polynesian rugby player recruited to play in France. This stunning debut film shows us a violent, unfamiliar world through the eyes of an unforgettable outsider.

 

The jury said, “The winner of HP Bridging The Border Award is the story of a tattooed, colossal 19 year-old recruited from his island shack in Wallis, New Caledonia , to the brutal world of a rugby team in France. Wolff, paints the contrasting societies with authenticity and elicits from his non-professional actor, Toki Pilioki a performance of quiet dignity that scorches your memory. The winning film is Mercenary by Sasha Wolff.”

 

Audience Award winners will be announced on Sunday, January 15.  The Best of the Fest screenings will take place on Monday, January 16.  For a complete list of screenings visit www.psfilmfest.org

The complete list of award winners are:

 

Mercedes-Benz Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature

TBA on Sunday, January 15

 

Mercedes-Benz Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature

TBA on Sunday, January 15

 

FIPRESCI Prize for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Toni Erdmann (Germany), directed by Maren Ade

 

FIPRESCI Prize for the Best Actor in a Foreign Language Film

Gael García Bernal in Neruda (Chile)

 

FIPRESCI Prize for Best Actress in a Foreign Language Film

Isabelle Huppert in Elle(France)

 

New Voices/New Visions Award

Winner:White Sun (Nepal/U.S./Qatar/Netherlands), directed by Deepak Runiyar

Special Mentions: Kati Kati (Kenya/Germany), directed by Mbithi Masya and Mellow Mud (Latvia), directed by Renars Vimba

 

The John Schlesinger Award

Winner: No Dress Code Required (Mexico), directed by Cristina Herrera Bórquez

Special Mention: Beauties of the Night (Mexico), directed by Maria José Cuevas

 

Cine Latino Award

Winner: Neruda (Chile), directed by Pablo Larraín

Special Mention: Everything Else (Mexico), directed by Natalia Alamda

 

HP Bridging the Borders Award

Winner: Mercenary (France), directed by Sacha Wolff

About The Palm Springs International Film Festival

The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Film Awards Gala, a glamorous, black-tie event, presented by Chopard and sponsored by Mercedes Benz and Entertainment Tonight, and attended by 2,500.  The Film Awards Gala honors the year’s best achievements in cinema in front of and behind the camera.  The celebrated list of talents who have been honored in recent years includes Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, David O. Russell, Meryl Streep, and Reese Witherspoon.  PSIFF is organized by The Palm Springs International Film Society, a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization with a mission to cultivate and promote the art and science of film through education and cross-cultural awareness

For more information, call 760-778-8979 or 800-898-7256 or visit www.psfilmfest.org.
Contacts:
Steven Wilson/Ashley Patterson                                                                     David Lee
B|W|R Public Relations                                                                                 PSIFF
212.901.3920/310.550.7776                                                                          760.322.2930
(Source: PSIFF Press Office)

 

 

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