David Charles Rodrigues’ “Gay Chorus Deep South” Doc Wins Audience Award at Palm Springs Film Fest

David Charles Rodriguesis the audience’s choice…

The part-Brazilian filmmaker and equal rights activist’s latest film has picked up an audience award at this year’s Palm Springs Film Festival.

David Charles Rodrigues

Rodrigues’ Gay Chorus Deep Southtook home the Audience Award for Best Documentary.

The film centers on the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, who embarks on a tour of the American Deep Southin response to a wave of discriminatory anti-LGBTQ laws and the divisive 2016 election.


Peruvian filmmaker Melina León took home the New Voices / New Visions Award for her film Song Without A Name.

Colombian-Ecuadorian filmmaker Alejandro Landes took home the Ibero-American Award for his acclaimed film Monos.

Mexican filmmaker David Zonanaearned a special mention for his latest project, Workforce.

This year’s Palm Springs International Film Festival ran from January 2-13, screening 192 films from 81 countries. 

Here’s the complete list of winners:

Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (Bhutan)
Director Pawo Choyning Dorji

Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature
Gay Chorus Deep South (USA)
Director David Charles Rodrigues

FIPRESCI Prize for Best International Feature Film of the Year
Beanpole (Russia)
Director Kantemir Balagov

FIPRESCI Prize for the Best Actor in an International Feature Film
Bartosz Bielenia Corpus Christi (Poland)

FIPRESCI Prize for Best Actress in an International Feature Film
Helena Zengel System Crasher (Germany)

FIPRESCI Prize for International Screenplay
Parasite (South Korea)
Screenwriters Bong Joon-Ho and Han Jin-Won

Special Mention: Antigone (Canada), Screenwriter Sophie Deraspe

New Voices/New Visions Award
Song Without A Name (Peru/Spain/USA/Chile)
Director Melina León

The Documentary Award
Talking About Trees (France/Sudan/Germany/Chad/Qatar)
Director Suhaib Gasmelbari

Ibero-American Award
Monos (Colombia)
Director Alejandro Landes

Special Mention: Workforce (Mexico)
Director David Zonana

Local Jury Award
Adam (Morocco)
Director Maryam Touzani

Young Cineastes Award
Corpus Christi(Poland)
Director Jan Komasa

GoEnergistics (GoE) Bridging the Borders Award
Advocate (Israel/Canada/Switzerland)
Director Rachel Leah Jones, Philippe Bellaiche

Special Mention: The Australian Dream (Australia), Director Daniel Gordon

Antonio Banderas to Receive International Star Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival

Antonio Banderas is a shining star… 

The 59-year-old Spanish actor will receive the 31st annual Palm Springs International Film Festival’s International Star Award, Actor for his performance in Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory

Antonio Banderas

“Throughout his career Antonio Banderas has garnered international acclaim and world recognition from his memorable performances,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In his latest film Pain and Glory, Antonio Banderas gives another deeply moving performance as aging film director Salvador Mallo going through a creative crisis as he reflects on the choice’s he’s made throughout his life.”

Past recipients of the International Star Award include Javier BardemNicole KidmanHelen Mirren, Gary Oldman and Saoirse Ronan

Banderas, who recently earned a Goya Award nomination for his performance in Pain and Glory, will join the previously announced honorees Jennifer Lopez (Spotlight Award), Joaquin Phoenix (Chairman’s Award), Martin Scorsese Sonny Bono Visionary Award), Charlize Theron( International Star Award, Actress) and Renée Zellweger(Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress).

From Sony Picture Classicsand presented by El DeseoPain and Glory tells of a series of reencounters experienced by Salvador Mallo, a film director in his physical decline. Some of them in the flesh, others remembered.

The award will be presented at the festival’s Film Awards Galaon Thursday, January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

The festival runs January 2-13, 2020.

Banderas’ next project is Dolittle

Jennifer Lopez to Receive Spotlight Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival

Jennifer Lopezis under the spotlight

The 50-year-old Puerto Rican superstar is set to receive the Spotlight Award at the 31st annual Palm Springs International Film Festival for her performance in Hustlers. The award will be presented at the fest’s annual gala on Thursday, January 2.

Jennifer Lopez

The festival, held at the Palm Springs Convention Center, runs Jan. 2-13.

“Jennifer Lopez is a star in every sense of the word, and you will experience this in her latest film Hustlers. Starting with her show-stopping entrance Jennifer brings to life the character of Ramona, an exotic dancer, who leads a group of dancer friends to steal money from their clients,” said festival chairman Harold Matzner. “For this full-force yet grounded performance, deserving of awards consideration, we are thrilled to present Jennifer Lopez with this year’s Spotlight Award.”

Past recipients of the Spotlight Award, Actress include Amy AdamsJessica ChastainHelen HuntAllison JanneyRooney Mara and Julia Roberts

All recipients received Academy Award nominations in the year they were honored, with Janney receiving an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Lopez joins this year’s previously announced honorees Joaquin PhoenixMartin ScorseseCharlize Theron and Renée Zellweger.

From STX FilmsHustlershas earned more than $150 million worldwide at the box office to date. The film follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.

Garcia Bernal Picks Up FIPRESCI Prize at the Palm Springs International Film Festival

Gael Garcia Bernal is a diamond in the desert…

The 38-year-old Mexican actor picked up the FIPRESCI Prize for best actor at the 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival for his performance in Pablo Larrain’s Neruda.

Gael Garcia Bernal

Garcia Bernal portrays Oscar Peluchonneau, the fascist Chief of the Policía de Investigaciones, in the film about poet and Communist Senator Pablo Neruda.

Neruda, which was selected as the Chilean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards, also picked up the fest’s Cine Latino Award.

The John Schlesinger Award, presented to a director of a first or second feature documentary, was awarded to Cristina Herrera Borquez for No Dress Code Required, which looks at a same-sex couple as they fight for the right to marry in their hometown of Mexicali, Baja California.

The fest, which ran through January 16, announced its juried award winners at a luncheon Saturday at the Hilton Palm Springs.

Here’s the complete list of winners:

FIPRESCI Prize for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Toni Erdmann (Germany), directed by Maren Ade

FIPRESCI Prize for the Best Actor in a Foreign Language Film
Gael García Bernal in Neruda (Chile)

FIPRESCI Prize for Best Actress in a Foreign Language Film
Isabelle Huppert in Elle(France)

New Voices/New Visions Award
Winner: White Sun (Nepal/U.S./Qatar/Netherlands), directed by Deepak Runiyar
Special Mentions: Kati Kati (Kenya/Germany), directed by Mbithi Masya and Mellow Mud (Latvia), directed by Renārs Vimba

The John Schlesinger Award
Winner: No Dress Code Required (Mexico), directed by Cristina Herrera Bórquez
Special Mention: Beauties of the Night (Mexico), directed by Maria José Cuevas 

Cine Latino Award
Winner: Neruda (Chile), directed by Pablo Larraín
Special Mention: Everything Else (Mexico), directed by Natalia Alamda

HP Bridging the Borders Award
Winner: Mercenary (France), directed by Sacha Wolff

González Iñárritu to Receive Director of the Year Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival

Alejandro González Iñárritu may have a little extra spring in his step after his latest award… 

The 51-year-old Mexican film director will receive this year’s Director of the Year Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival‘s 26th annual Awards Gala on January 3.

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman

Inarritu, who has said that Birdman is a semi-autobiographical project, has already received Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice nominations for his co-writing and direction of the project.

He previously received PSIFF‘s Director of the Year Award in 2007 for his work on Babel (2006).

Other previous recipients of the PSIFF prize include Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave (2013), Robert Zemeckis for Flight (2012), Stephen Daldry for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011), David O. Russell for The Fighter (2010), Jason Reitman for Up in the Air (2009), Sean Penn for Into the Wild (2007) and Alexander Payne for Sideways (2004).

“By creating the illusion that the film was shot in one take and directing award-worthy performances by Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone and a star-studded cast, Inarritu,” PSIFF chairman Harold Matzner said in a statement. “Inarritu has created a brilliant and original dark comedy.”

The film festival will run January 2-12.

Bejo Earns Best Actress Honors at the Palm Springs International Film Festival

Bérénice Bejo is being heralded for her Past achievements…

The 37-year-old Argentine actress won a best actress award at the 25th Palm Springs International Film Festival for her critically acclaimed role in the French/Iranian family drama The Past.

Berenice Bejo

Bejo received the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Actress of the Year in a Foreign Language Film on Saturday during the closing ceremony of the festival.

“Bérénice Bejo’s portrait of a woman in profound transition, struggling to close the door on one relationship, trying to keep the other open, offers a symphony of emotions: regret, longing, love, hurt, need,” festival juror Steven Rea said at the ceremony.

“Her character may waver, but Bejo’s performance stays straight and true,” he added.

The French-language film was directed by Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi.

It’s the latest award for the Oscar-nominated actress’ performance in the past.

She won the Best Actress award at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Bejo is also nominated for Most Promising Actress from the Magritte Awards, which are given annually for excellence of Belgian francophone cinematic achievements.

Peña, Louis C.K. & Their “American Hustle” Co-Stars Earn Palm Springs Film Fest Award

Michael Peña and Louis C.K. will be spending the New Year in Palm Springs.

The 37-year-old Mexican American actor, 46-year-old Mexican American actor and their American Hustle co-stars will be feted on January 4 during an awards gala at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

American Hustle

Peña, Louis C.K. and the cast of David O. Russell‘s fictional film based on the 1970s Abscam scandal will receive the Ensemble Performance Award.

In addition to Peña and Louis C.K., the film’s talented ensemble cast includes Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Lis Rohm and Alessandro Nivola.

“David O. Russell has created a viscerally powerful film,” said PSIFF Chairman Harold Matzner. “American Hustle grabs you from the start and is populated by a group of eminently believable characters as brought to life by this brilliant cast.” The 25th edition of the Palm Springs International Film Festival runs January 3-13.

Berger’s “Blancanieves” Wins Ibero-American Picture Prize at Mexico’s Ariel Awards

Pablo Berger‘s Blancanieves continues to pick up hardware around the world…

The 50-year-old Spanish director’s black-and-white silent fantasy drama won the prize for Best Ibero-American Picture at the 55th Ariel Awards ceremony.

Blancanieves

Based on the fairy tale Snow White by the Brothers Grimm, Blancanieves was the big winner at this year’s Goya Awards in Spain. The film, which is set in a romantic vision of 1920s Andalusia, also won the Cine Latino Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Meanwhile, Paula Markovitch‘s El Premio, a drama set during Argentina’s dirty war, won Mexico’s top film award for best picture, first work, original screenplay and editing.

Winner of two Silver Bear awards in Berlin, the production has fared well on the festival circuit, although it’s struggled at the Mexican box office.

The film academy gave best director to Rodrigo Pla for his Uruguay-set drama La Demora, which also walked away with an Ariel for adapted screenplay.

Here’s a complete look at this year’s Ariel Award winners:

BEST PICTURE

El Premio

DIRECTOR 

La Demora (Rodrigo Pla)

ACTOR

El Fantastico Mundo de Juan Orol (Roberto Sosa)

ACTRESS

El Sueno de Lu (Ursula Pruneda)

SUPPORTING ACTOR

Colosio, El Asesinato (Daniel Gimenez Cacho)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

La Vida Precoz y Breve de Sabina Rivas (Angelina Pelaez)

FIRST WORK

El Premio

IBERO-AMERICAN PICTURE

Blancanieves (Spain)

DOCUMENTARY

Cuates de Australia

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

El Premio 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

La Demora

EDITING

El Premio

CINEMATOGRAPHY

El Fantastico Mundo de Juan Oral

SPECIAL EFFECTS

La Vida Precoz y Breve de Sabina Rivas

VISUAL EFFECTS

Depositarios

SOUND

Cuates de Australia

ORIGINAL SCORE

Carriere 250 Metros

MAKEUP

Colosio, El Asesinato

COSTUME DESIGN

El Fantastico Mundo de Juan Orol

ART DESIGN

La Vida Precoz y Breve de Sabina Rivas

ANIMATED SHORT

La Noria

FICTION SHORT

La Tirica o Como Curar la Tristeza

DOCUMENTARY SHORT

La Herida Se Mantiene Abierta

Berger’s “Blancanieves” Wins Cine Latino Award

Pablo Berger is one of this year’s shining stars at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

The 49-year-old Spanish director’s latest film Blancanieves, which premiered in the United States at the festival, claimed the Cine Latino Award in Palm Springs.

Blancanieves

Blancanieves, which earned 18 Goya Award nominations last week, is a black-and-white silent film that re-imagines Snow White as a female bullfighter in 1920s Seville. The film is described as an homage to the black-and-white Golden Age of Europe’s silent cinema.

Blancanieves beat out Argentina’s Las mariposas de Sadourni, directed by Dario Nardi, to win the award.

Meanwhile, Peru’s El limpiador, directed Adrian Saba, won the New Voices/New Visions Award; Paraguay’s 7 Boxes, directed by Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schémbori earned honorable mention honors.

The festival, which began January 3, screened 182 films from 68 countries, including 42 of the 71 foreign language entries for this year’s Academy Awards.

“Blancanieves” Earns 18 Goya Award Nominations

Pablo Berger‘s silent black-and-white reinterpretation of the Snow White fable, Blancanieves, is this awards season’s Goya darling.  

The 49-year-old Spanish director’s film, hailed as an homage to 1920s European silent films, leads the pack with 18 nominations for the Spanish Film Academy‘s Goya Awards, Spain’s equivalent to the Oscars.

Blancanieves

Blancanieves, which recently debuted in the U.S. at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, received nominations in the best picture, best director, best original screenplay and best editing, best original music and best original song categories.

In addition, six of the films stars earned nods, including Maribel Verdú in the Best Actress category, Daniel Giménez Cacho in the Best Actor field and Macarena García in the Best Actress Revelation category.

“We are very, very happy. We ran for 18 possible nominations and we got 18,” said Blancanieves producer Ibon Cormenzana. “We’ve sold to many territories and in two weeks we’ll release in theaters in France. I think we’ve benefited from the success of the The Artist.”

Meanwhile, Alberto Rodriguez’s Unit 7 earned 16 nominations, Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Impossible received 14 nods and Fernando Trueba’s The Artist and The Model picked up 13 nominations.

The Impossible’s Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor will compete for lead actress and supporting actor thanks to a change in the Spanish Academy’s rules that allows non-Spanish speaking actors who participate in Spanish productions to compete for acting honors. That translates to Watts vying for the lead acting nod against Verdu’s evil step-mother from Blancanieves, Penelope Cruz from Volver a nacer and Aida Folch‘s muse-like performance in The Artist and the Model.

Blancanieves’ Cacho, Model’s Jean Rochefort, Unit’s Antonio de la Torre and veteran actor Jose Sacristan from The Dead Man and Being Happy will compete for the lead actor statue.

In Spain, Bayona’s film has broken box office records, where it is just about to hit the 42 million euro mark at the box office.

“Our objective is to sell more than 6 million tickets,” said Impossible producer Ghislain Barrois.

The Spanish academy will dole out the awards on February 17 at a gala ceremony in Madrid.