By Indiewire | Indiewire May 2, 2008 at 2:30AM
Swedish director Tomas Alfredson's "Let the Right One In" (Lat den ratte komma in), recently acquired by Magnolia Pictures' genre label Magnet, won the Founders Award for Best Narative Feature tonight at the Tribeca Film Festival's awards event held at the Target-Tribeca Filmmaker Lounge in downtown New York City. The prize includes $25,000 in cash and an art award entitled, "Maternal Nocture: Clearing Storm" created by Stephen Hannock. Director Gini Reticker's "Pray the Devil Back to Hell" won best documentary feature, also receiving $25,000 and a piece of art called "Liza Minnelli" by Timothy White.
Festival co-founders Robert DeNiro and Jane Rosenthal presented the final award of the evening to an overjoyed Thomas Alfredson. The Swedish filmmaker pulled a small digital camera from his pocket and asked the audience to star in a short film he would shoot from the stage. "When I say action," he smiled, "You say skol." The audience complied and then cheered as he captured the moment.
Praising "a big festival in a big town," TFF artisitic director Peter Scarlet, on stage tonight, added, "We've started to create a festival here that does things that other festivals don't do." In a statement, he said, "It's especially gratifying and exciting to see that the members of our juries selected an extremely diverse group of films in terms of both their themes and their countries of production and that the majority of the prizes are going to filmmakers and performers who are all at an early stage of their careers. Winning films will be screened at the AMC Village VII on Sunday May 4 in New York City.
The 7th edition of the Tribeca Film Festival, which continues through May 4, is screening 121 features and 79 shorts from 41 countries. The world competition winners were chosen from 12 narrative and 12 documentary features from 18 countries. The winner of the Cadillac Award, best film in the festival, the fest's audience prize, will be announced May 3rd during local station, WNBC-TV's "Tribeca Presents: Best of the Festival" program.
Filmmaker Sasie Sealy, director of "Elephant Garden," won Tribeca's student visionary prize for the second time. She won the same award in 2005 for her film, "Dance Mania Fantastic." Accepting the award, which includes a an Apple Mac Pro Desktop and Final Cut Studio 2, she beamed, "My Apple computer is three years old so I am so excited to get a new one!"
Fest co-founder Craig Hatkoff thanked TFF founding sponsor American Express, who recently announced that they would support the event for another five years. Smiling on stage, he promised, "You're not going to get rid of us so easily!"
Complete List of Winners:
The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature:
"Let the Right One In" (Lat den raette komma in) directed by Tomas Alfredson (Sweden).
Best Documentary Feature:
"Pray the Devil Back to Hell" directed by Gini Reticker (USA).
Best New Narrative Filmmaker:
"My Marlon and Brando" (Gitmek) directed by Hueseyin Karabey (Turkey, Netherlands, UK).
Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film:
Thomas Turgoose and Piotr Jagiello in "Somers Town" directed by Shane Meadows (UK).
Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film:
Eileen Walsh in "Eden" directed by Declan Recks (Ireland).
Best New Documentary Filmmaker:
"Old Man Bebo" directed by Carlos Carcas (Spain).
"New York LOVES Film":
"Zoned In" directed by Daniela Zanzotto (USA, UK)
"Made In NY" - Narrative:
"The Caller" directed by Richard Ledes (USA).
Best Narrative Short:
"New Boy" directed by Steph Green.
Best Documentary Short:
"Mandatory Service" directed by Jessica Habie.
Student Visionary Award:
"Elephant Garden" directed by Sasie Sealy
Continuing coverage of the Tribeca Film Festival is available in indieWIRE's special New York section.