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Palm Springs names year’s first winners

The year’s first film festival closes today having handed out its juried and audience gongs.

In the audience awards, The Dark Horse ran second to Ava DuVernay‘s Selma for the Narrative award, while Alan Hicks’ Keep on Keeping’ On took away the Doco award.

Walking Under Water

Walking Under Water

Among the festival’s jury members was Gaylene Preston, serving on the jury to present the John
Schlesinger Award for a first-time documentary filmmaker. Preston and fellow jurors Larry Weinstein (Making Overtures, Inside Hannah’s Suitcase) and Greg Barker (We Are the Giant, Manhunt) named Eliza Kubarska’s Walking Under Water the winner.

The jury called the film, about a diver from Borneo, “a masterful and lush meditation of an unknown world that reveals a strong humanity while pushing the boundaries of filmmaking … a visually and sonically elegant work that never falters – an extraordinary film”.

Kubarska’s film was a Special Jury Prize winner at Hot Docs last year.

Elsewhere at the festival Leviathan added to its gong count. Palm Springs screened 51 of the original 83 Foreign Language Oscar submissions, of which the jury named Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan winner of the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year.

All up, Palm Springs presented 196 films from 65 countries, including 51 of the 83 the Foreign Language submissions and James Napier Robertson’s The Dark Horse. A theatrical cut of Preston’s Hope and Wire also screened.

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