David Volach's "My Father My Lord" (Hofshat Kaits) won the Founders Award for best narrative feature (including a $50,000 cash award) and Alex Gibney's "Taxi to the Darkside" won the prize for best documentary feature (including $25,000 cash) at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival. Organizers presented the prizes at an awards ceremony and party at Jing Fong restaurant in New York City's Chinatown. A total of $270,000 in cash prizes were presented at the ceremony as the festival heads into its final weekend, which will include numerous screenings of the winning movies.
"I think that film can help us all know each other better," noted Tribeca Film Festival executive director Peter Scarlet, welcoming guests to Thursday's awards event. Continuing he praised the work of his festival programming colleagues Nancy Schafer and David Kwok, among others, likening their work to that of Saint George, "slaying the dragons of bad movies before they get into the theaters," at what he called, "this unstoppable 6th Tribeca Film Festival."
Films highlighting political and international issues were honored at this year's Tribeca Film Festival. Nouri Bvouzid from Morocco, the writer and director of "Making Of," whose film won the screenwriting prize and an award for actor Lofti Edbelli, told the audience, "I made this film as a cry for peace, I am happy that it has spoken to everyone in the West, as it has in my home."
A pair of short film directors also spoke out about international situations during their acceptance speeches. Winner of the prize for best narrative short, Jens Assur, director of "The Last Dog in Rwanda" commented that for him, things have come full circle. He recalled meeting a man by the name of Paul Kagame years ago while traveling in Rwanda and today in New York City he again met with the man, who is now president of that country. "My goal with this project has been to spread awareness and knowledge about the world," Assur said on stage, praising the Tribeca festival for a similar mission.
Meanwhile, Yoni Brook, winner of the best documentary short prize for "A Son's Sacrifice," also saluted the Tribeca event. Standing alongside his producer Musa Syeed on stage, he said, "Three years ago the Jewish kid and the Muslim kid decided to make a movie...it look a little longer than we thought [it would], but we are so grateful to Tribeca." The film, funded in part by ITVS, will air on PBS later this year.
Finally, dedicating her NY Loves Film documentary award to the late Jim Lyons, an emotional Esther Robinson praised him for his work as a consulting editor on her film about her own uncle and his relationship with Andy Warhol, "A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and The Warhol Factory." The film was edited and co-written by Shannon Kennedy. Robinson also stirred hearty laughter reflecting on New York City.
"New York is like this really hot, slightly mean guy," Robinson told he audience, "So mean, but when its good, God is it good." Continuing after a burst of laughter and applause, she reflected on the subject of her film, saying, "We all move to New York because we want to see or realize a viison and we go where there's people who help us realize that vision."
[EDITORS NOTE: This article was updated after publication to correct the editing credits on "A Walk into The Sea" and to correct the spelling of Yoni Brook's name. We apoloize for the errors.]
COMPLETE LIST OF WINNERS:
The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature:
"My Father My Lord" (Hofshat Kaits), directed by David Volach (Israel)
Best New Narrative Filmmaker:
"Two Embraces" (Dos Abrazos), directed by Enrique Begne (Mexico)
Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film:
Lofti Edbelli in "Making Of" (Akher film), directed by Nouri Bouzid (Tunisia, Morocco)
Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film:
Marina Hands in "Lady Chatterley," directed by Pascale Ferran (France, Belgium)
"Making Of" (Akher film), written and directed by Nouri Bouzid (Tunisia, Morocco)
honorable mentions: "Lost in Beijing" (Ping Guo), screenwriters Li Yu &Fang Li, directed by Li Yu (China); "Half Moon" (Niwemang), screenwriter/director Bahman Ghobadi (Iran, Iraq, Austria, France).
Best Documentary Feature:
"Taxi to the Darkside," directed by Alex Gibney (U.S.A.).
Best New Documentary Filmmaker:
"A Story of People in War & Peace," directed by Vardan Hovhannisyan (Armenia)
special jury mention - Documentary: "We Are Together" (Thina Simunye), directed by Paul Taylor (U.K.)
NY Loves Film - Documentary:
"A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and The Warhol Factory," directed by Esther Robinson (U.S.A.)
Made In NY - Narrative:
"The Education of Charlie Banks," directed by Fred Durst (U.S.A.)
Made In NY Special Jury Recognition - Narrative:
"The Killing of John Lennon," directed by Andrew Piddington (U.K.)
Best Narrative Short:
"The Last Dog in Rwanda" (Den sista hunden i Rwanda), directed by Jens Assur (Sweden)
Special Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short:
"Super Powers," directed by J. Anderson Mitchell & Jeremy Kipp Walker (U.S.A.)
Best Documentary Short:
"A Son's Sacrifice," directed by Yoni Brook (U.S.A.)
Student Visionary Award:
"Good Luck Nedim" (Sretan Put Nedime), directed by Marko Santic (Slovenia)
Student Visionary Award:
"Someone Else's War," directed by Lee Wang (U.S.A./Philippines)
Winner to be chosen by the audience and announced on Saturday, May 5th
Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Award - Documentary:
Dee Rees for her documentary work-in-progress, "Eventual Salvation"
honorable mention - "Ultimate Christian Wrestling" by Jae-Ho Chang and Tara Autovino
Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Award - Narrative:
Ben Rekhi for his current screenplay, "Waste," co-written by John Campo
Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Award - Screenwriting:
Marilyn Fu for her screenplay, "The Sisterhood of Night," an adaptation of the short story by Pulitzer Prize winner Steven Millhauser. Caryn Waechter is attached to direct
honorable mention - "Last Road Home" by Roberto Marinas.
Recipient of the 2007 Tribeca/Sloan Screenplay Development Program Grant:
David Freeman for "A First Class Man"