Palm Springs, Calif. -

The 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival screened 191 films from 60 countries, including 46 of the 76 foreign language entries for this year’s Academy Awards®. It brought a record number of filmmakers and film goers to the desert.

Award winners were chosen by the audience, and a jury of international film critics.

This year’s Festival attendees selected Lakshmi (India) directed by Nagesh Kukunoor the Mercedes-BenzAudience Award for Best Narrative Feature.  Based on true events, Lakshmi is the heart-wrenching story of a 13 year old girl kidnapped and sold into prostitution; her refusal to give up hope, and her courageous stand against her oppressors.

The runner-up narrative films in alphabetical order included: Belle (United Kingdom), The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium/ The Netherlands), Burning Bush (Czech Republic), Generation War (Germany), The Keeper of Lost Causes (Denmark), Love and Lemons (Sweden/Norway), Tangerines (Estonia/Georgia), Two Lives (Germany/Norway), The Verdict (Belgium), Words and Pictures (USA).

Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia (USA) directed by Nicholas Wrathall received the Audience Award Best for Documentary FeatureThe film is a fascinating exploration of the life, times and work of the late, great American writer.

The runner-up documentary films in alphabetical order included:  Finding Vivian Maier (USA), Monk with A Camera (USA), Plot for Peace (South Africa, Spain), The Square (Egypt/USA), Two: The Story of Roman and Nyro (USA).

Both winners received the John Kennedy Statue (“The Entertainer”) specially designed for the Festival.

The complete list of award winners are:

Mercedes-Benz Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature

Lakshmi (India) directed by Nagesh Kukunoor

Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature

Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia (USA) directed by Nicholas Wrathall

FIPRESCI Prize for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium), directed by Felix van Groeningen

FIPRESCI Prize for the Best Actor of the Year in a Foreign Language Film

Mads Mikkelsen from The Hunt (Denmark), directed by Thomas Vinterberg 

FIPRESCI Prize for Best Actress of the Year in a Foreign Language Film

Bérénice Bejo from The Past (Iran), directed by Asghar Farhadi

New Voices/New Visions Award

Medeas (USA), directed by Andrea Pallaoro - Winner

Left Foot Right Foot (Switzerland), directed by Germinal Roaux – Special Mention 

Cine Latino Award

Heli (Mexico), directed by Amat Escalante and Living is Easy With Eyes Closed (Spain), directed by David Trueba – Winner

Gloria (Chile), directed by Sebastian Lelio – Special Mention

The John Schlesinger Award