Awards for 2014
Best Documentary Feature
Best Narrative Feature
New Voices/New Visions Grand Jury Prize
Medeas: Andrea Pallaoro
With a singular, carefully controlled vision and luminous 35 mm cinematography, Andrea Pallaoro imbues a heartbreaking domestic story with an iconic, mythical feel. The jury were deeply impressed by the skill with which this first time director deftly wove together a quiet, elegantly paced visual poem, yet still had us on the edge of our seats are we watched the drama unfold. This stunningly composed, unique piece made a strong, lasting impact, and we are eager to see what this visionary filmmaker will do next.
New Voices/New Visions Special Jury Mention
Left Foot Right Foot: Germinal Roaux
For capturing the awkward transition from youth to adulthood with beautiful black and white photography, compelling characterization and haunting moments that resonated long after viewing. The jury agreed that Germinal Roaux is an exciting new director to watch.
Breakthrough Performance Award
12 Years a Slave: Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Nyong'o is outstanding as the exploited slave whose beauty attracts the attention of Michael Fassbender's vicious slave master. She delivers a raw and deeply moving performance that serves as the fulcrum for the film's message of the inhumanity of slavery.
Ensemble Cast Award
John Schlesinger Award
Finding Vivian Maier: John Maloof
, Charlie Siskel
We were moved and awed by the filmmakers' dogged yet sensitive approach to a relentless and covert artist, as well as their honest inquiry into her mysterious life. The persistence of vision exemplified by the filmmakers, both in discovering Ms. Maier's work and in the uncovering of her story, was an impressive feat for any filmmakers, let alone first time ones.
Bridging the Borders Award
Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing
Saving Mr. Banks: Thomas Newman
Thomas Newman is a master at creating memorable film scores. In Saving Mr. Banks, he pays tribute to Mary Poppins composers Richard and Robert Sherman through an indelible original score.
Director of the Year Award
12 Years a Slave: Steve McQueen
"Director Steve McQueen captivates his audiences by challenging them with often unorthodox and unrelenting subject matter and technique. McQueen is a master of utilizing the senses to create the essence of his works. In his latest effort, 12 Years a Slave, audiences become integrally involved in the unbearably violent nightmare of a free black man, who is kidnapped and sold into slavery, eventually to return home to freedom. To Steve McQueen, a soaring talent who ranks among the greats with each directorial effort, the Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present him the 2014 Director of the Year Award."
Sonny Bono Visionary Award
For their unparalleled humanitarian work against extreme poverty, disease, and social injustice.
Saving Mr. Banks: Tom Hanks
In a remarkable feat that vividly illustrates the range of his talent, this year he portrayed two real life characters, each a powerhouse performance in its own right. In the film Captain Phillips, he plays Richard Phillips, the captain of a ship hijacked by pirates, while in Saving Mr. Banks he plays Walt Disney trying to turn the book Mary Poppins into a film - two roles that couldn't be more divergent.
Desert Palm Achievement Award
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Hunt: Mads Mikkelsen
Mads Mikkelsen's powerful yet minimalist performance in Thomas Vinterberg's The Hunt, as a school teacher wrongly cast out by his community, brings exceptional depth and dimension to bear on an enigmatic figure. The actor finds the humanity, and the contradictions, in his character, bringing a sense of balance and honesty to a tale riddled with injustice and lies.
The Past: Bérénice Bejo
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. Her character may waver, but Bejo's performance stays straight and true.
Best Foreign Language Film
The Broken Circle Breakdown: Felix van Groeningen
A country song of a film - with all the love, pain, tragedy, and heartache life can throw at you. A testament to the human spirit and how we can endure almost anything as long as there is even a sliver of hope or faith. Set in the small country of Belgium, this is a very personal story mirroring the ultimate decline of the American dream.
Directors to Watch
Cine Latino Award
Cine Latino Award - Special Mention
Gloria: Sebastián Lelio
For capturing the universal themes of love, family and loneliness in a world class performance of Paulina Garcia.
Bridging the Borders Award - Special Mention
Creative Impact in Directing Award
Saving Mr. Banks: John Lee Hancock
For his outstanding contributions to the art and business of cinema, notably his work in directing the upcoming "Saving Mr. Banks."
Creative Impact in Acting Award
The Wolf of Wall Street: Jonah Hill
For his scope of work ranging from his comedic performances and more dramatic fare such as his Academy Award® nominated role in "Moneyball" to the upcoming highly-anticipated Scorsese film "The Wolf of Wall Street."