Awards for 2017
Best Documentary Feature
Best Narrative Feature
New Voices/New Visions Grand Jury Prize
Seto Surya: Deepak Rauniyar
"White Sun, for its sympathetic but unsentimental portrayals of multiple perspectives, artfully integrating landscape as a participating character in the film. Featuring stunning performances from an ensemble cast, directed with sensitivity, the film's storytelling leaves space for the audience to experience the tension between tradition and modernity. The film balances personal and political drama with a touch of absurdist humor."
New Voices/New Visions Special Jury Prize
Breakthrough Performance Award
Ensemble Cast Award
Hidden Figures: Taraji P. Henson
, Octavia Spencer
, Janelle Monáe
, Kevin Costner
, Jim Parsons
, Kirsten Dunst
, Mahershala Ali
, Glen Powell
"History has its share of incredible untold stories, and this is one of the most compelling, the tale of three African-American women - engineers, physicists, mathematicians - who in their work for NASA in the early 1960s were integral in calculating the flight trajectories for Project Mercury and Apollo 11," said Festival Chairman Harold Maztner. "Fueled by the performances of Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe, the ensemble cast also features outstanding performances from Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Glen Powell and many others. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present the entire cast of Hidden Figures with the 2017 Ensemble Performance Award."
John Schlesinger Award
No Dress Code Required: Cristina Herrera Borquez
"For a film that does not let you look away as ordinary people rise to the challenge of fighting for their legal rights, the John Schlesinger Award goes to No Dress Code Required, a compelling documentary that puts us on the front line of the evolving story of marriage equality."
John Schlesinger Award - Honorable Mention
Beauties of the Night: Maria Jose Cuevas
"For a beautifully crafted exploration of ageism with a powerful vision, and an empowering take on what it means to grow old in a culture obsessed with youth and beauty, Special Mention goes to Beauties of the Night."
Bridging the Borders Award
Mercenary: Sacha Wolff
"The winner of HP Bridging The Border Award is the story of a tattooed, colossal 19 year-old recruited from his island shack in Wallis, New Caledonia , to the brutal world of a rugby team in France. Wolff, paints the contrasting societies with authenticity and elicits from his non-professional actor, Toki Pilioki a performance of quiet dignity that scorches your memory. The winning film is Mercenary by Sasha Wolff."
Chairman's Vanguard Award
La La Land: Damien Chazelle
, Ryan Gosling
, Emma Stone
"Director and writer Damien Chazelle delivers a resonant cinematic masterpiece with La La Land," said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. "This visually stunning film pays tribute to classic Hollywood musicals with a contemporary love story driven by pitch-perfect performances by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. It is our honor to present the Vanguard Award to La La Land."
Rising Star Award
Loving: Ruth Negga
"Ruth Negga's performance as Mildred Loving is one of the year's most luminous and striking portrayals," said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. "This timeless love story about an interracial couple reminds us of the unstoppable power of love in the face of hate and prejudice - a story that could not be more resonant and powerful today. This will certainly be just one of many breathtaking performances in a long career. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present Ruth Negga with this year's Rising Star Award."
Arrival: Amy Adams
"Throughout her career, Amy Adams has continuously challenged herself with complex roles," said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. "This is reaffirmed in her most recent project, Arrival, where she anchors the film with an award-winning performance as a prominent linguist, Dr. Louise Banks, as she attempts to communicate with creatures in one of a dozen spacecrafts that visit Earth. It is our honor to present the Chairman's Award to Amy Adams."
Desert Palm Achievement Award
Manchester by the Sea: Casey Affleck
"Casey Affleck delivers his finest performance in Manchester By the Sea, playing a Boston janitor living a lonely and isolated existence," said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. "He has earned rave reviews from critics and is sure to garner awards attention. It is our honor to present the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor, to Casey Affleck."
Jackie: Natalie Portman
"Natalie Portman truly brings to life one of this country's most treasured public figures in the acclaimed new film Jackie," said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. "Portman delivers a transformative and deeply human portrayal of the former First Lady following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, one of the most challenging moments in our nation's history. It is our honor to once again present the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress to Natalie Portman."
Career Achievement Award
"Throughout her career Annette Bening has brought to the screen many memorable performances including the four films for which she was nominated for an Academy Award: American Beauty, The Grifters, The Kids Are All Right, and Being Julia," said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. "Bening creates yet another memorable award-winning role portraying Dorothea, a free-spirited single mother raising her teenage son in Mike Mills' upcoming film 20th Century Women. It is our great honor to present the Career Achievement Award to Annette Bening."
Neruda: Gael García Bernal
"Bernal's performance is the heart of the film's tonal shifts, infusing the historical drama with the very poetry of its subject matter,"
Elle: Isabelle Huppert
"Isabelle Huppert gives depth and humanity to a complex and conflicted character in a challenging, unorthodox film. Her intelligence, self-assurance, and gift for conveying rich emotional tones have never been more strikingly displayed."
Best Foreign Language Film
Toni Erdmann: Maren Ade
"For its originality, human complexity and unique tonal orchestration that seems natural and uncalculated. It is also an observant look at corporate culture carried by two wonderful performances."
International Star Award
Lion: Nicole Kidman
"One of the world's most luminous and versatile actresses, Nicole Kidman has filled so many unforgettable roles including her performances in The Hours, Moulin Rouge!, Cold Mountain, Rabbit Hole and dozens more," said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. "In her latest film, Lion, she gives yet another award-worthy performance as Sue Brierley, an Australian woman who adopts two young boys from India. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present the International Star Award to Nicole Kidman."
Directors to Watch
Sully: Tom Hanks
"Tom Hanks delivers yet another career-defining performance bringing to life the heroism of airline pilot Captain Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger," said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. "This is sure to be remembered in his long list of iconic character roles, including those in Forrest Gump, Captain Phillips, Castaway, Philadelphia, Saving Private Ryan, the Toy Story films and so many others. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present this year's Icon Award to Tom Hanks."
Cine Latino Award
Neruda: Pablo Larraín
"Bypassing narrative tropes associated with films about important historical figures and creating a nearly fantastical story that is as visually striking as it is telling about the relationship between an artist and his creation, the Cine Latino Grand Jury Prize goes to Neruda."
Cine Latino Award - Special Mention
Todo lo demás: Natalia Almada
"Coming from a doc background gives this filmmaker a unique perspective and framing that has created a powerful film. Her story often asks more questions than there are answers for but anchored by a strong, yet understated performance this film succeeds. The film is executed with precise framing and uncanny cinematography."