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‘The Sapphires,’ Journey doc win Palm Springs fest audience awards

Fipresci prize for foreign language pic goes to Israel's 'Fill the Void'

The Sapphires,” directed by Wayne Blair, won the audience narrative feature award at the 24th Palm Springs Film Festival, as Israel’s “Fill the Void” took the Fipresci award for best foreign-language film.

The audience award for documentary went to director Ramona Diaz’s “Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey,” about the band Journey’s search to replace lead singer Steve Perry.

The Fipresci jury, comprised of international film critics, gave the best actor award to Cosimo Rega, Salvatore Striano and Giovanni

Arcuri from Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s “Caesar Must Die,” while Emilie Dequenne was awarded best actress for “Our Children.”

The first Cine Latino award, which came with a $5,000 prize, went to Spain’s Oscar submission, “Blancanieves,” directed by Pablo Berger. The New Voices/New Visions award for new talent without U.S. distribution went to Peruvian drama “The Cleaner.” Award comes with a Dale Chihuly sculpture and a $60,000 Panavision camera rental package.

The fest, which wraps Monday, screened 182 films from 68 countries, including 42 of the 71 foreign-language Oscar entries.

The John Schlesinger Award for a first-time documentary filmmaker went to Somali pirate docu “Stolen Seas,” directed by Thymaya Payne.

Winner of the Bridging the Borders award for helping bring people closer together was Kieron J. Walsh’s “Jump,” the story of a group of characters on New Year’s Eve in Northern Ireland. In addition, Cinema Without Borders presented a special jury award to Goran Paskaljevic’s “When Day Breaks.”

 “I couldn’t be more delighted that our juries selected so many films by debuting and emerging directors for honors, in addition to the films they singled out from established filmmakers at this year’s event,” said festival director Darryl Macdonald.

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