“Blind Shaft” and “A Normal Life” Win Top Juried Awards As Second Tribeca Film Fest Wraps Up
by Eugene Hernandez
Li Yang’s “Blind Shaft” from China and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi & Hugo Berkeley’s “A Normal Life” won the top narrative and documentary awards respectively at the 2nd annual Tribeca Film Festival. The event, which closed on Sunday, presented its awards during a ceremony at Stuyvesant High School in Lower Manhattan. Moslem Mansouri’s “Trial” (Mohakeme) won the jury award in the Documentary > 2 competition, for a film by an estabilished doc filmmaker.
Master Chinese filmmaker Chen Kaige’s “Together” shared the Budweiser/TriggerStreet.com Audience Award, presented by Kevin Spacey at the closing night event, with David Berger, Holly Maxson and Kate Hirson‘s documentary, “Keeping Time: The Life, Music and Photographs of Milt Hilton.” Later, at the closing night party at the Embassy Suites atrium, Spacey presented awards to short-subject filmmakers selected by online viewers.
Doc juror Parker Posey praised the non-fiction festival films during Sunday’s awards caremony. “I wish we had more reality of this type,” Posey said, in a critique of reality TV programming. “We have seen some incredible stories.” Honorable mentions in the documentary competition went to Laura Gabbert’s “Sunset Story” and Francesco Comencino’s “Carlo Giuliani, A Boy.” While in the Documentary > 2 section, an honorable mention was awarded to Nick Broomfield’s “Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer.”
Accepting his award, Broomfield said that he hoped his film would put an end to the death penalty in this country as well result in the “de-Bushing” of Florida, where his doc about her execution took place. Taking the stage after Broomfield, juror Michael Moore quipped, “I don’t know if that was the appropriate thing to say. You should go home and think about that.” Moore received a large ovation upon taking the stage at the ceremony, no doubt for his comments against President Bush during the Academy Awards.
In the emerging narrative cagtegories, two filmmakers were awarded $25,000 in cash. Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, who also won the prize for best actress, won the award for her narrative film “It Is Easier for A Camel” (Il Est Plus Facile Pour Un Chameau). Mohamed Zran won the emerging documentary filmmaker award for “Song of the Millenium” (Le Chant du Millenarie).
The award for best actor went to Ohad Knoller for his role in the Isreali film, “Yossi & Jagger.”
In the short film categories, Lars Daniel Krutzkhoff Jacobsen’s “Precious Moments” won the award for best narrative film, while Harvey Wang’s “Milton Rogovin: The Forgotten Ones” won the best doc prize. A special citation went to Richard Linklater for “Live From Shiva’s Dance Floor.” The MTV Films Award for Student Visionary Film was presented to Enrico Kahn for “Make Up” (Maquillaje).
Closing the ceremony, event co-founders Jane Rosenthal, Martin Scorsese, and Craig Hatkoff took the stage to thank attendees. Finishing up the speeches, the typically soft-spoken De Niro said, “Anyway…the festival turned out to be great.”