Palm Springs picks 'Departures'

'Revanche' takes FIPRESCI Award at festival

The Japanese film "Departures" earned the audience award for best narrative film at the 20th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, which concluded Monday. Directed by Yojira Takita, the drama also is on the shortlist of films being considered for the foreign-language category at the Academy Awards.

For best documentary, the audience chose Eric Bricker's "Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Schulman," a study of the architectural photographer.

The fest, which screened 208 films from 73 countries, announced its winners during a luncheon at DST Studios in Palm Springs on Sunday.

A jury of international film critics bestowed the FIPRESCI Award for best foreign-language film of the year on the Austrian film "Revanche," directed by Gotz Spielmann.

The FIPRESCI Award for best actor went to Natar Ungalaaq for the Canadian film "The Necessities of Life," while Martina Gusman took the best actress prize for the Argentinian film "Lion's Den," directed by Pablo Trapero.

Out of the New Voice/New Visions lineup, consisting of work from first- or second-time international directors, the jury honored Adrian Sitaru's "Hooked," a Romanian/French production. A special jury mention went to Maria Govan's "Rain" from the Bahamas.

Amin Matalqa received the John Schlesinger Award for outstanding first feature for "Captain Abu Raed."

Ari Folman's "Waltz With Bashir" was recognized with the Bridging the Borders Award, presented by Cinema Without Borders.