The eighth annual Tribeca Film Festival, co-founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, and presented by founding sponsor American Express, announced the winners of its competition categories in NYC last night, 30 April 2009. This year’s Festival included 85 features and 47 short films from 36 countries. The world competition winners were chosen from 12 narrative and 12 documentary features from 17 countries. All films at Festival.
Two awards were given to honor New York films, which were chosen from eight narrative and seven documentary features. Awards were also given for the best narrative, best documentary and student visionary films in the Shorts competition. The winner of The Heineken Audience Award, determined by audience ballot votes throughout the Festival, will be announced tomorrow 2 May, at the Festival Wrap party. This is a capsule of the 2009 winners in the World Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature Competitions.
The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature – ABOUT ELLY (Darbareye Elly), written and directed by Asghar Farhadi (Iran, Persian with English subtitles). Deceit and tragedy abound when friends take a Caspian Sea seaside mini-break in this mysterious and lush who-done-it. Farhadi received the Golden Bear in Berlin this year as best director of a feature film.
Best New Narrative Filmmaker – Rune Denstad Langlofor NORTH (Nord) (Norway, Norwegian with English subtitles). A former ski champion recovering from a mental breakdown learns he has a five-year-old son. He hops on his snowmobile with a batch of moonshine, and heads for his ex-girlfriend's home in Norway's Far North. His oddball encounters along the way make this fresh and original debut comedy both tender and amusing.
Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film – Ciarán Hinds in THE ECLIPSE, written and directed by Conor McPherson (Ireland).
Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film – Zoe Kazan in THE EXPLODING GIRL, written and directed by Bradley Rust Gray (USA).
Best Documentary Feature – RACING DREAMS, directed by Marshall Curry (USA). Three adolescent go-kart racers (to auto racing as little league is to baseball) vie for the national go-kart championship. They, and their parents, will soon find out if they have the talent, dedication, and sponsorship dollars to one day become NASCAR superstars.
Best New Documentary Filmmaker – Ian Olds for FIXER: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi (USA). In 2007, the Taliban kidnapped 24-year-old Naqshbandi, an Italian journalist, one of Afghanistan's best "fixers"—someone hired by foreign journalists to facilitate, translate, and gain access for their stories.
Special Jury Mention: DEFAMATION (Hashmatsa), directed by Yoav Shamir (Denmark, Austria, USA, Israel).
HBO acquired FIXER at the Festival, First Fun the anti-Semitic documentary DEFAMATION, and ESPN the baseball documentary THE LOST SON OF HAVANA. Slim sales for Tribeca at this post, but there may be subsequent acquisitions as a result of the Festival.
For all winners and more information about the films such as juror comments, cash awards, etc., click title of this post.