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Prayers For the Stolen - Palm Springs International Film Festival 2022 Award Winners
Prayers For the Stolen

The 33rd Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) announced the juried award winners with the Mexican film Prayers For the Stolen winning both the FIPRESCI and Ibero-American Award Prizes. Salvadoran-Mexican documentarian Tatiana Huezo makes her narrative debut with this powerful adaptation of Jennifer Clement’s bestselling 2014 novel, which explores the lives of three young girls impacted by Mexico’s ongoing cartel wars.

The Iranian film A Hero directed by Asghar Farhadi won three awards including FIPRESCI Prize for Best Actor in an International Feature Film: Amir Jadidi, FIPRESCI Prize for International Screenplay for Asghar Farhadi; and MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Award.

Best Documentary Award went to Flee directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen.

The festival, which was scheduled from January 6-17, 2022, was canceled based on the rise of Omicron COVID cases. The festival had planned to screen 127 films from 70 countries.

FIPRESCI Prize

FIPRESCI Prize for Best International Feature Film: Prayers For the Stolen (Mexico), Directed by Tatiana Huezo

Jury Statement: For a miraculously vivid portrayal of girlhood under siege told with visual exuberance and powerful intimacy from the ensemble cast, the jury awards the Best Picture Prize to Tatiana Huezo’s Prayers for the Stolen.

FIPRESCI Prize for Best Actor in an International Feature Film: Amir Jadidi from A Hero (Iran)

Jury Statement: Playing a humble father caught between his desire for freedom and external influences eager to exploit his good deed in a story ridden with moral ambiguity, the jury awards the Best Actor Prize to Amir Jadidi for A Hero.

FIPRESCI Prize for the Best Actress in an International Feature Film: Agathe Rousselle from Titane (France)

Jury Statement: For her audacious and earthy physical performance that expresses a deep sense of yearning and rage, the jury awards Agathe Rousselle in Titane the Best Actress Prize.

FIPRESCI Prize for International Screenplay: A Hero (Iran), Screenwriter Asghar Farhadi

Jury Statement: A brilliant and cleverly conceived screenplay, which draws us into the story with ambivalent feelings of both contempt and compassion. A Hero is set in Iran and spoken in Persian, but the situation it portrays and the characters involved, are universal.

BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARD

Best Documentary Award: Flee (Denmark), Directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen

Jury Statement: Through evocative animation, Jonas Poher Rasumssen takes us on the harrowing and emotional journey of his friend Amin Nawabi — a Denmark-residing refugee from Afghanistan on the cusp of marrying the man he loves — and makes it intimately relatable. Palm Springs IFF is pleased to honor powerful stories that speak to the experiences of so many around the world whose stories are too often silenced, and to honor the filmmakers who bring them into our lives and onto our screens.

Best Documentary Special Mention: The Caviar Connection (France), Directed by Benoît Bringer

NEW VOICES NEW VISIONS AWARD

New Voices New Visions Award: Happening (France), Directed by Audrey Diwan

Jury Statement: The jury awards Happening for its visceral, unflinching depiction of both the physical horror of unsanctioned abortions as well as the social terrors that surround such decisions which remain as timely in the twentieth-century U.S. as they did in 1960s France. With a fearless central performance by Anamaria Vartolomei, filmmaker Audrey Diwan has crafted a wholly empathetic portrait of a young woman constricted not so much by her options but by the sheer lack of them.

New Voices New Visions Special Mention: Wildhood (Canada/Germany), Directed by Bretten Hannam

IBERO-AMERICAN AWARD

Ibero-American Award: Prayers For the Stolen (Mexico), Directed by Tatiana Huezo

Jury Statement: Prayers For the Stolen—a beautifully shot and told story about girls living in a rural mountain town in Mexico and trying to coexist with the ever-present and ever-menacing drug cartels. This impossible to forget film shines a light on how endangered and dispensable girls and women can be and yet, paradoxically, how powerful and resilient they must be. It’s also a deeply felt reminder that the things we consume in one part of the world can take a very heavy toll on people many thousands of miles away.

Ibero-American Special Mention: Medusa (Brazil/USA), Directed by Anita Rocha da Silveira and 7 Lives, 7 Lakes (Spain), Directed by Víctor Escribano

LOCAL JURY AWARD

Local Jury Award: Escape from Mogadishu (South Korea), Directed by Ryoo Seung-wan

Jury Statement: For its ability to bring together a variety of styles that made for the most creative type of audience pleaser as well as a good critical film, the Local Jury has selected a film that is both historically compelling and humorous, a testament to basic humanity and caring for your neighbor especially in difficult times.

Local Jury Special Mention: Mission: Joy – Finding Happiness in Troubled Times (USA), Directed by Louie Psihoyos, Peggy Callahan

YOUNG CINEASTES AWARD

Young Cineastes Award: Yuni (Indonesia), Directed by Kamila Andini

Special Mention: Any Day Now (Finland), Directed by Hamy Ramezan

The films were judged by students Ella Fitzpatrick (junior at Xavier College Preparatory High School), Hector Gonzales (senior at Cathedral City High School), Flynn Hanrahan (senior at La Quinta High School), Danica Palmersheim (senior at Cathedral City High School), Haven Reyna (senior at Twentynine Palms High School), Will Riordan (junior at Palm Desert High School).

THE MOZAIK BRIDGING THE BORDERS AWARD

MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Award: A Hero (Iran), Director Asghar Farhadi.

Jury Statement: Winner of the MOZAIK Bridging The Borders Award is A Hero, directed by Asghar Farhadi. Behind some of the most celebrated international titles of the decade, Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi (The Salesman PSIFF 2017, A Separation PSIFF 2012) is renowned for weaving thought-provoking and thrilling familial mysteries. His latest follows the amiable and scheming Rahim Soltani (the phenomenal Amir Jadidi) on a temporary prison leave, desperate to settle a years-old debt that has brought shame upon himself and his family. When Soltani jumps at a chance for redemption, built on a dubious act, he sparks a national publicity storm that brings him fame and a shot at a better future. Taut with suspense, this captivating morality play continually contorts the mystery of Farhadi’s compelling characters with each furtive glance, passing comment and questionable act.

MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Special Mentions: Fear (Bulgaria), Directed by Ivaylo Hristov and Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America (USA), Directed by Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler.

The complete list of award winners are:

FIPRESCI Prize for Best International Feature Film of the Year
Prayers For the Stolen (Mexico), Directed by Tatiana Huezo

FIPRESCI Prize for the Best Actor in an International Feature Film
Amir Jadidi from A Hero (Iran)

FIPRESCI Prize for Best Actress in an International Feature Film
Agathe Rousselle from Titane (France/Belgium)

FIPRESCI Prize for International Screenplay:
A Hero (Iran), Screenwriter Asghar Farhadi

Best Documentary Award
Flee (Denmark), Directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen

Special Mention: The Caviar Connection (France), Directed by Benoît Bringer

New Voices/New Visions Award
Happening (France), Directed by Audrey Diwan

Special Mention: Wildhood (Canada/Germany), Directed by Bretten Hannam

Ibero-American Award
Prayers For the Stolen (Mexico), Directed by Tatiana Huezo

Special Mention: Medusa (Brazil/USA), Directed by Anita Rocha da Silveira and 7 Lives, 7 Lakes (Spain), Directed by Víctor Escribano

Local Jury Award
Escape from Mogadishu (South Korea), Directed by Ryoo Seung-wan

Special Mention: Mission: Joy – Finding Happiness in Troubled Times (USA), Directed by Louie Psihoyos, Peggy Callahan

Young Cineastes Award
Yuni (Indonesia), Directed by Kamila Andini

Special Mention: Any Day Now (Finland), Directed by Hamy Ramezan

MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Award
A Hero (Iran), Director Asghar Farhadi

Special Mentions: Fear (Bulgaria), Directed by Ivaylo Hristov and Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America (USA), Directed by Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler

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