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Palm Springs fest puts ‘House’ in order

'Tiniest Place' wins John Schlesinger Award

“The House,” from Slovak director Zuzana Liova, won the New Voices/New Visions Award along with a Chihuly glass sculpture and a Panavision camera rental package valued at $60,000 at the Palm Springs fest on Sunday.

At a brunch held at Spencer’s Restaurant, the fest also handed out the John Schlesinger Award to documentary “The Tiniest Place” (Mexico), directed by Tatiana Huezo Sanchez, while the critics’ Fipresci kudos went to Bela Tarr’s “The Turin Horse,” actor Matthias Schoenaerts for his role in “Bullhead” (Belgium), and to three actresses in Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s “A Separation”: Leila Hatami, Sareh Bayat and Sarina Farhadi.

The Mercedes-Benz Audience Award for narrative went to “Starbuck” (Canada), directed by Ken Scott, while the audience doc kudo went to two U.S. films in a tie: “Wish Me Away,” directed by Bobbie Birleffii and Beverly Kopf, and “The Girls in the Band,” directed by Judy Chaikin.

“Terra Firma” (Italy) helmer Emanuele Crialese accepted the Bridging the Borders Award, presented by Cinema Without Borders and Hewlett Packard, which includes a statue and HP 8560w Elitebook Mobile Workstation with a built-in HP Dream Color display, valued at $4,000.

The 2012 edition of the Palm Springs fest, which opened Jan. 5 with the screening of “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” wrapped Sunday with comedy “Almanya, Welcome to Germany.”

In all, 187 films from 73 countries, including 60 premieres (2 world, 22 North American and 36 U.S.) unspooled during the 23rd edition.

Fest director Darryl Macdonald didn’t have numbers available but said “ticket sales surged, particularly in the evening and matinee screenings.” This year’s lineup comprised “a particularly satisfying blend of challenging but highly compelling work,” he added.

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