“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Niels Arden Oplev won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the recently concluded Palm Springs International Film Festival, while “The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner” was runner-up in the category. “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” (USA) directed by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith received the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature. Both top winners received the Kennedy Statue (“Entertainer”).
Sweden’s entry for Best Foreign Language film, “Involuntary” by Ruben Ostlund was selected by the FIPRESCI jury as the top contender in the category. The festival screened a majority of this year’s entries for Best Foreign Language consideration. In the New Voices/New Visions section, the jury selected “A Brand New Life” (South Korea/France) directed by Ounie Lecomte. It’s 1975. Jinhee is nine years old, and the life she knows is about to be shattered. Inexplicably abandoned by her father in a Catholic orphanage outside Seoul, Jinhee begins an extraordinary emotional journey marked by rage and hope, death and rebirth.” “Eyes Wide Open” about a married butcher who falls in love with a seductive younger man in Jerusalem’s insular ultra-orthodox community won the fest’s John Schlesinger Award for Outstanding First Feature (Narrative or Documentary). Held January 5 – 18, PSIFF screened 189 films from 70 countries, including 40 of the 65 foreign language entries for this year’s Academy Awards. [Brian Brooks]