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‘Selma’ Wins Top Narrative Prize at Palm Springs International Film Festival

“Keep On Keepin’ On” wins Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature

Director Ava DuVernay‘s “Selma” and Alan Hicks’ “Keep on Keeping’ On” took home the jury prizes at the 26th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, with the winners being revealed on Saturday at Spencer’s Restaurant in Palm Springs, California.

“Selma,” selected as the award show’s opening night film, took home the Mercedes-Benz Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature. The story focuses on the U.S. Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and its leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (David Oyelowo).

The runner-up narrative films were the New Zealand film “The Dark Horse” and “Still Alice,” starring Julianne Moore.

The Hicks-directed jazz doc “Keep On Keepin’ On” won the Mercedes-Benz Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature. The film tracks the relationship between jazz trumpeter Clark Terry and blind jazz piano prodigy Justin Kauflin.

The runner-up in the documentary category was the French film “The Salt of the Earth.”

Palm Springs International Film Festival, which began on Jan. 2 and continues through Monday, screened 196 films from 65 countries.

“This year’s Festival has been a huge success on all fronts, with consistently packed theaters, terrific audience response to the lineup of films and special programs and record filmmaker and industry attendance,” Festival Director Darryl Macdonald said in a statement. “I’m especially pleased that our Another Europe showcase and Cine Latino program received such a warm response from audiences and critics alike. I’m equally delighted with the juries’ award choices, though given the outstanding overall quality of the films on view at this year’s event; I wish we could present awards to each and every one of them.”

Other awards handed out at this year’s festival went to “Leviathan,” a Russian film which won Best Foreign Language Film of the Year, Haluk Bilginer (“Winter Sleep”), who won Best Actor of the Year in a Foreign Language Film, Anne Dorval, who won Best Actress of the Year in a Foreign Language Film (“Mommy”).

“No One’s Child” won the New Voices/New Visions Award, “Walking Under Water” won The John Schlesinger Award, “Corn Island” won the HP Bridging The Borders Award and “Flowers” won the Cine Latino Award.