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Monday Roundup: PSIFF winners; how to see a movie at Sundance

January 18, 2010 |  2:50 pm

The 21st Annual Palm Springs Film Festival ended its star-studded run by announcing the award winners in five categories, including narrative film, first feature or documentary, and foreign language film.

The Swedish/Danish German neo-noir thriller "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," adapted from the bestselling novel by Stieg Larsson, took top honors in the Mercedez-Benz Audience Award for best narrative feature, while the stateside doc "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers," about the Vietnam-era whistle-blower, captured best documentary.

A jury of international critics screened the submissions for the best foreign film Oscar to hand out FIPRESCI Awards for best foreign film, as well as actor and actress. Sweden again rose to the occasion with "Involuntary," a fragmented drama about the effect of group think on various individuals, while juvenile non-pro Tedo Bekhauri was named best actor for the Georgian/Kazhakstan war film "The Other Bank." Anne Dorval won best actress for the harrowing Canadian film "I Killed My Mother."

South Korea's "A Brand New Life" was selected for the New Visions/New Voices category, which honors first-time directors on the international scene, while "Eyes Wide Open," from Israel, earned the John Schlesinger Award for Outstanding First Feature (Narrative or Documentary). And to complete the Scandinavian hat trick, Finland's "Letters to Father Jacob" was presented the Bridging the Borders Award, which pays tribute to films that bring the global community closer. The Palm Springs Film Festival ends today.

And so it's on to another film festival -- namely, Sundance, which kicks off Jan. 21 and runs until the Jan. 31. For many, this year's edition will be their latest of many trips to Park City, but there are still some who have yet to experience Sundance in all its wall-to-wall glory. For them, Larry Richman at ProNetworks has provided a handy survival guide to the ins and outs of the fest. This week's tip: how to see a movie at Sundance. One would think that a primer would not be necessary for such a thing -- it is, after all, a film festival, but apparently, the rules and regs are as elaborate and ornate as joining the Friars Club. Best and most useful tip? Use the restroom before the lights go down. That should be a given for all walks of life.

-- Paul Gaita

Photo: Image from "Involuntary." Credit: Palm Springs International Film Festival. 

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Monday Roundup: PSIFF winners; how to see a movie at Sundance