Palm Springs fest hands out prizes

'Brand New Life' takes the top prize at festival

Palm Springs Film Fest prizes were awarded Sunday on the event’s closing day, with South Korean/French debut feature “A Brand New Life” taking the New Voices/New Visions prize. Helmer Ounie Lecomte received a $60,000 camera package and a Dale Chihuly glass sculpture.

The Fipresci critics’ prize for foreign-language film was awarded to Sweden’s Oscar entry “Involuntary.” Ted Bekhauri earned the Fipresci actor kudo for his perf in “The Other Band” (Georgia/Kazakhstan), and Anne Dorval won actress for Canada’s “I Killed My Mother.” European blockbuster thriller “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” directed by Niels Arden Oplev, won the audience award for narrative feature, while the audience docu award went to “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers,” from filmmakers Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith.

While many regional fests are facing economic challenges, Palm Springs’ 21st edition recorded attendance and sponsorship gains; 2010 was “a record-setting run,” per festival officials. In all, 189 films from 70 countries screened, including 45 of the 60 foreign-language film Oscar entries.

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