Ramona Diaz’s Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey (pictured) has picked up the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival.
The doc looks at the dilemma the rock band Journey faces in replacing its lead singer Steve Perry after he quits.
The runner-up docs, in alphabetical order, were Defiant Requiem, More than Honey, No Place on Earth and Nuala.
In addition, The John Schlesinger Award, which is presented to a first-time documentary filmmaker, went to Thymaya Payne for his doc Stolen Seas.
In a statement, the jury said: “Stolen Seas is a gripping and eye-opening film about Somali piracy that shows us that things are often not what they seem.” The jury also gave a special mention to the doc Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story .
Elsewhere at the awards, the FIPRESCI Prize for the Best Actor of the Year in a Foreign Language Film went to Cosimo Rega, Salvatore Striano and Giovanni Arcuri from doc-hybrid Caesar Must Die, directed by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani.
The doc sees convicted felons performing the work of Shakespeare, and the jury said it selected the three actors “for embodying roles with several levels of dramatic meaning, and drawing them together to achieve a compelling emotional resolution.”
“I couldn’t be more delighted that our juries selected so many films by debuting and emerging directors for honors, in addition to the films they singled out from established filmmakers at this year’s event,” said festival director Darryl Macdonald.
“In that sense, their choices perfectly reflected the Festival’s own programming choices for this year’s line-up, validating our selections and providing ample evidence of a new generation of exceptional filmmaking talent currently emerging on the world stage.”
The winners were announced at an awards luncheon yesterday (January 13). The festival kicked off on January 3 and wraps today (January 14).