'Dragon' captures top prize in Palm Springs

Audiences choose film as best narrative feature

Audiences at the 21st annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, which concludes Monday, honored Niels Arden Oplev's "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," an adaptation of Stieg Larsson's mystery novel, with the fest's Mercedes-Benz Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature.

The Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature went to "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers," directed by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith.

The runner-up film for best narrative feature was "The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner." In the doc field, the runner-up was "Inside Hana's Suitcase."

A jury of international film critics reviewed the official Oscar foreign-language film submissions that screened at the fest and presented the FIPRESCI Award for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year to Sweden's entry, Ruben Ostlund's comedy "Involuntary."

Tedo Bekhauri received the FIPRESCI Award for Best Actor for his performance in "The Other Bank," directed by George Ovashvili. Anne Dorval received the FIPRESCI Award for Best Actress for Xavier Dolan's "I Killed My Mother."

In the New Voices/New Visions category, featuring films from 12 new international directors, a jury rewarded Ounie Lecomte's "A Brand New Life," a South Korea/France co-production.

Vladimir Paskaljevic's "Devil's Town" received an honorable mention.

Out of 67 feature or documentary film directing debuts, Haim Tabakman received the John Schlesinger Award for Outstanding First Feature (Narrative or Documentary) for "Eyes Wide Open," an Israeli film about a married butcher who falls in love with a younger man.

There were two Special Mentions: Caroline Bottaro's "Queen to Play" and Warwick Thornton's "Samson & Delilah."

"Letters to Father Jacob," directed by Klaus Haro, received the Bridging the Borders Award presented by Cinema Without Borders to the film that is the most successful in bringing the people in the world closer together.

The festival screened 189 films from 70 countries, including 40 of the 65 foreign-language entries for this year's Academy Awards.