Palm Springs Film Fest: 'Leviathan' Named Best Foreign-Language Film

'Leviathan'

'Selma' and 'Keep on Keepin' On' wins audience awards for narrative feature and documentary

Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan, which is among the films short-listed for the best foreign-language film Oscar, was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year at this year’s Palm Springs International Film Festival.

The festival, which will conclude Jan. 12, announced its juried award winners at a luncheon at Spencer’s Restaurant in Palm Springs on Saturday. The fest screened 196 films from 65 countries, including 51 of the 83 foreign language entries for this year’s Academy Award. 

The audience award winners, which were announced Jan. 11, included Ava DuVernay's civil rights drama Selma, hailed as best narrative feature, and Alan Hicks' portrait of a jazz legend and his protege, Keep on Keepin' On, which was voted be documentary.

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The jury, which selected Leviathan, said, “At once timely and timeless, this film manages to comment on contemporary issues in a way that is both artistically stunning and deeply humane.”

The FIPRESCI Prize for the Best Actor of the Year in a Foreign Language Film went to Haluk Bilginer, who stars in Turkey’s Winter Sleep, directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, which also is on the Oscar shortlist. Anne Dorval received the prize for best actress in a foreign-language film for he work in Canada’s Mommy, directed by Xavier Dolan.

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The New Voices/New Visions jury gave its prize to the Serbian film No One’s Child, directed by Vuk Ršumovic. It presented a special mention to the French film Fidelio, Alice’s Journey, directed by Lucie Borleteau.

The festival’s Cine Latino Award was presented to the Spanish feature Flowers, directed by Jon Garaño and José Mari Goenaga. A special mention went to Not All Is Vigil (Spain/Colombia), directed by Hermes Paralluelo.

The Polish film Walking Under Water, directed by Eliza Kubarska, received The John Schlesinger Award, which is given to a first-time documentary filmmaker. The film is the real-life story of Alexan, a compressor diver and member of the Badjao tribe of ocean nomads who live on the edge of the Sulu and Celebes Seas in Borneo.

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Corn Island, from George and directed by George Ovashvili, received the HP Bridging the Borders Award 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 Cinema Without Borders Special Jury Award went to Three Windows and a Hanging, from Kosovo and directed by Isa Qosja.

Jan. 12, 10:35 a.m. This story has been updated to include the announcement of the audience award winners.

The complete list of award winners follows:

FIPRESCI Prize for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Leviathan (Russia), directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev

Mercedes-Benz Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature

Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay

Mercedes-Benz Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature

Keep on Keepin' On, directed by Alan Hicks

FIPRESCI Prize for the Best Actor of the Year in a Foreign Language Film

Haluk Bilginer from Winter Sleep (Turkey), directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

FIPRESCI Prize for Best Actressof the Year in a Foreign Language Film

Anne Dorval, Mommy(Canada), directed by Xavier Dolan

New Voices/New Visions Award

No One’s Child (Serbia), directed by Vuk Ršumovic – Winner

Fidelio, Alice’s Journey (France), directed by Lucie Borleteau – Special Mention

Cine Latino Award

Flowers (Spain), directed by Jon Garaño and José Mari Goenaga – Winner

Not All Is Vigil (Spain/ Colombia), directed by Hermes Paralluelo – Special Mention

The John Schlesinger Award

Walking Under Water (Poland), directed by Eliza Kubarska – Winner

HP Bridging the Borders Award

Corn Island (Georgia), directed by George Ovashvili – Winner

Three Windows and a Hanging(Kosovo), directed by Isa Qosja – Special Jury Award

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