Awards for 2015

New Voices/New Visions Grand Jury Prize

WINNER

No One's Child: Vuk Rsumovic
"We are deeply impressed by this compelling, multilayered and assured first feature film by a writer-director from Serbia. A child actor (in an astonishing performance by Denis Muric) undergoes an extraordinary transformation in this personal, intimate tale set in a time of historical turmoil. Carefully considered yet unexpected choices and bold direction result in a film that is both immediate and immersive, and the jury eagerly look forward to more work from this exciting new talent."

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New Voices/New Visions Special Jury Mention

WINNER

Fidelio, Alice's Odyssey: Lucie Borleteau
"We were excited to see a strong, distinctive and honest portrayal of a female protagonist in a role which pushes the envelope on modern romance and handles female sexuality with a refreshing lack of inhibition. The director and co-writer deliver a daring, nuanced debut which uses humor to offset the darkness of this exquisitely shot story about loneliness and life at sea."

Breakthrough Performance Award

WINNERS

Gone Girl: Rosamund Pike
"Rosamund Pike perfectly taps into Gillian Flynn's complex character from the novel "Gone Girl" bringing to life the privileged, manipulative and calculating Amy Dunne. It's hard to imagine anyone else in the role," said Film Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. "For this outstanding performance it is an honor to present her with the 2015 Breakthrough Performance Award, Actress."

Selma: David Oyelowo
"David Oyelowo's transformation into Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is truly outstanding," said Film Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. "He perfectly recreates King's mannerisms and speech cadence, and moreover, captures the spirit of one of the greatest leaders in history, giving audiences a rewarding portrait of this iconic man that is deeply layered and effecting. For this phenomenal portrayal it is an honor to present him with the 2015 Breakthrough Performance Award, Actor."

Ensemble Cast Award

WINNER

The Imitation Game: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard, Charles Dance, Mark Strong
"The Imitation Game is one of the very best ensembles to grace the screen this season. Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley lead an outstanding cast in The Imitation Game, a film about Alan Turing as he attempts to crack Germany's Enigma machine. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present the entire cast of The Imitation Game with the Ensemble Performance Award."

John Schlesinger Award

WINNER

Walking Under Water: Eliza Kubarska
"Walking Under Water is a masterful and lush meditation of an unknown world that reveals a strong humanity while pushing the boundaries of filmmaking. Walking Under Water is a visually and sonically elegant work that never falters - an extraordinary film."

Bridging the Borders Award

WINNER

Spotlight Award

WINNER

Whiplash: J.K. Simmons
"Throughout his career J.K. Simmons had played a wide range of roles from tough guys in "Oz" and Sam Raimi's Spider Man films to nicer guys in Juno and Up in the Air," said Harold Matzner, Chairman of the Palm Springs International Film Festival. "In Whiplash, Simmons' shines with his tough guy portrayal of a music teacher, who physically and emotionally terrorizes a young drummer, and gives a captivating performance that is alternately hilarious and terrifying. We are honored to present J.K. Simmons with the 2015 Spotlight Award, Actor."

Director of the Year Award

WINNER

Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance): Alejandro González Iñárritu
Commenting on Alejandro G. Iñárritu receiving PSIFF's Director of the Year Award, his second win in the category, Matzner said, "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, Iñárritu has created a brilliant and original dark comedy in Birdman. The Festival is delighted to once again present Alejandro G. Iñárritu with the Director of the Year Award."

Sonny Bono Visionary Award

WINNER

Boyhood: Richard Linklater
"Richard Linklater's latest feature film is the critically acclaimed Boyhood, a one-of-a-kind epic undertaking shot over the course of 12 years with the same cast," said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. "For his creative innovations in filmmaking, The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present Richard Linklater with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award."

Chairman's Award

WINNER

Wild: Reese Witherspoon
"Reese Witherspoon delivers one of her finest performances in Wild," said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. "Witherspoon brilliantly brings to life the true story of Cheryl Strayed, adding yet another iconic performance to her impressive 20-year span of characters including June Carter, Tracy Flick and Elle Woods. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present Reese Witherspoon with the Chairman's Award."

Desert Palm Achievement Award

WINNERS

Still Alice: Julianne Moore
"In her latest film Still Alice, she faces one of her most demanding and challenging roles as Alice, a woman diagnosed with Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease. Moore delivers another career-defining performance that is sure to captivate audiences and bring attention to this devastating disease. It is our honor to present the 2015 Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress, to Julianne Moore."

The Theory of Everything: Eddie Redmayne
"From The Good Shepherd to Les Misérables, Eddie Redmayne has proven himself an actor poised for greatness," says Harold Matzner, Chairman of the Palm Springs International Film Festival. "In The Theory of Everything, as ALS-stricken scientist Stephen Hawking, Redmayne captivates his audience as he goes through a powerful physical transformation, from a healthy college student to a dependent wheelchair-bound middle-aged man, in what is truly a stunning performance. We are honored to recognize Eddie Redmayne with the 2015 Desert Palm Achievement Award for acting."

FIPRESCI Prize

Best Actor

WINNER

Winter Sleep: Haluk Bilginer
"This actor achieves a superb performance through dialogue, and is even more impressive when he's silent, planning his next lethal response."

Best Actress

WINNER

Mommy: Anne Dorval
"As the somewhat unhinged mother of a throughly unhinged son, Anne Dorval appears in almost every frame of Xavier Dolan's Mommy. The jury recognizes this performance for the sheer expressive range of her transition from "crazy mom" to "crazy wise mom", forced to make an impossible decision for everyone's good."

Best Foreign Language Film

WINNER

Leviathan: Andrey Zvyagintsev
"At once timely and timeless, this film manages to comment on contemporary issues in a way that is both artistically stunning and deeply humane."

Icon Award

WINNER

The Judge: Robert Duvall
"Robert Duvall gives an outstanding and amazingly realistic performance as Judge Joseph Palmer in The Judge," said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. "This is sure to be remembered in his long list of iconic character roles, including Tom Hagen in The Godfather films, Gus McCrae in Lonesome Dove, Mac Sledge in Tender Mercies, Lt. Colonel Bill Kilgore in Apocalypse Now, The Apostle and so many others. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present this year's Icon Award to Robert Duvall."

Cine Latino Award - Special Mention

WINNER

No todo es Vigilia: Hermes Paralluelo
"For its sensitive portrayal of the relationship of two spirited octogenarians as they confront an inevitable chapter of their lives."

Bridging the Borders Award - Special Mention

WINNER

Creative Impact in Directing Award

WINNER

Into the Woods: Rob Marshall
"Director Rob Marshall has managed to translate one of the most complicated and beloved musicals of our time to the big screen with the recent Into the Woods and showcases and continuing creative vitality and artistic risk-taking in all of his work."

Creative Impact in Acting Award

WINNER

Foxcatcher: Steve Carell
"Since his emergence as one of America's most gifted comedic actors two decades ago, Steve Carell's career has moved through breakout hit television and film roles from The 40 Year Old Virgin to Little Miss Sunshine to The Office. Now, with his gripping portrayal of a man whose dreams and whims are overwhelmed by internal destructive forces beyond his control, Carell is firmly placed in the front ranks of America's finest dramatic performers."

Creative Impact in Comedy Award

WINNER

Filmmakers Who Make a Difference Award

WINNER

Citizenfour: Laura Poitras
"Laura Poitras' astonishing documentary, Citizenfour, has played a major role in changing our perceptions regarding fugitive Edward Snowden and about Governmental intrusion into our private lives through the tools of technology," said Festival Director Darryl Macdonald. "It's for these reasons that the Festival has seen fit to honor her role as a filmmaker who has truly made a difference through her work."

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