In the shadow of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s awards dinner Saturday evening and NBC’s awkward proffering of the Golden Globes, the 19th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, which screened over 210 films from 66 countries, came to a successful close this weekend, wrapping up with an awards luncheon on Sunday, January 13.
Helen Hunt’s Then She Found Me
was graced with the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature; the
movie releases domestically in May, from THINKFilm. The Audience Award
for Best Documentary Feature, meanwhile, went to Tricia Regan’s Autism: The Musical. Croatia’s Armin was feted as the Best Foreign Language Film; Song Gang-ho received the Best Actor award for his
performance in South Korea’s Secret Sunshine, directed by Lee Chang-dong, while Anamaria
Marinca and Laura Vasiliu shared the Best Actress prize for their
performances in Romanian filmmaker Cristian
Mungiu’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.
Other, previously announced gala honorees included Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman’s Juno, which was celebrated with the Chairman’s Vanguard Award; Hairspray, which was honored with the
Ensemble Performance Award; Sean Penn, who was tabbed as Director of the Year; Atonement director Joe Wright, who was given the booby prize of the Sonny Bono Visionary Award; and Emile Hirsch and Nikki Blonsky, who were feted with the festival’s Rising Star Awards.