31st Palm Springs International Film Festival

USA, January 2 - January 13 2020

Festival homepage

The jury

Pamela Biénzobas (Chile), Tina Hassannia (Canada), Andriy Alferov (Ukraine)

Awarded films

* Films awarded at Palm Springs receive the Best Foreign Language Film Award.

Best International Film:
Beanpole (Dylda) by Kantemir Balagov. World sales: Wild Bunch, https://www.wildbunch.biz
Motivation: “For creating a portrait of not just a woman, but a life that prevails against the trauma of war! For working with color as a dramatic instrument reminiscent of the fact that cinema does not derive its genealogy from photography, but from painting.”
Andriy Alferov: “Kantemir Balagov turned Svetlana Aleksievich’s terrible prose into a drama of rare beauty about a woman emasculated by war, involuntarily cling to the last and most important thing – her ability to give life. The  plot boils down not so much to the story of two front-line friends in post-war Leningrad, but to the use of color as a dramatic tool that allows the author to show the women’s inner world.”

Best Screenplay: Bong Joon Ho and Jin Won Han for Parasite (Gisaengchung) directed by Bong Joon Ho. World sales: CJ Entertainment, filmsales@cj.net
Motivation: “The exquisite writing lays the foundations for the film’s overall excellence, with its effortless and unpretentious complexity, and its twists and turns conveying a profound socio-political commentary.”

Special Mention Screenplay: Antigone written and directed by Sophie Deraspe. World sales: WaZabi Films, http://datsitsphere.tv/en/about/wazabi/
Motivation:  “An adaptation of an ancient play can be risky but Sophie Deraspe’s twist on Sophocles is thoughtful and poignant in its depiction of the immigrant experience; it reveals how family bonds and power struggles of ancient times are still relevant today.”

Best Actor: Bartosz Bielenia in Corpus Christi (Boże Ciało) directed by Jan Komasa. World sales: New Europe Film Sales, http://neweuropefilmsales.com
Motivation: “For his high humanism, how the film brilliantly deploys shock tactics to show spiritual awakening of a young violent offender, and the transformation of the barbarian into a man and a modern saint.” 

Best Actress: Helena Zengel in System Crasher (Systemsprenger) by Nora Fingscheidt. World sales: Beta Cinema, https://www.betacinema.com
Motivation: For her unforgettable and explosive turn as a traumatized and violent nine year old girl. It still blows our minds that Helena is only 12 but given the intense impact of her performance, we would have given her this award even if she were older.”