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2017 Tribeca Film Festival Awards: ‘Keep the Change,’ ‘Son of Sofia’ and ‘Bobbi Jene’ Take Top Prizes

The festival ends this Sunday, April 30.

Keep the Change

“Keep the Change”

The Tribeca Film Festival has announced the winners of its 16th edition, with “Keep the Change” (U.S. Narrative), “Son of Sofia” (International Narrative) and “Bobbi Jene” (Documentary) taking home the top prizes. 97 features and 57 shorts comprised the main lineup of this year’s fest, which began on April 19 and ends on April 30.

“It is more important than ever to celebrate artists both in front of and behind the camera who have the unique ability to share different viewpoints to inspire, challenge and entertain us,” said Jane Rosenthal, Tribeca’s executive chair and co-founder. “The winning creators from across the Festival program shared stories that did exactly that, and we are honored to recognize them tonight. And how wonderful is it that the top awards in all five feature film categories were directed by women.”

Full list of winners below.

The 2017 IndieWire Tribeca Bible: Every Review, Interview and News Item Posted During the Festival

U.S. Narrative Feature Competition Categories

The jurors for the 2017 U.S. Narrative Competition were Josh Lucas, Melanie Lynskey, Denis O’Hare, Alex Orlovsky and Stephanie Zacharek.

The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature: “Keep the Change” written and directed by Rachel Israel

Jury Comment: “For her heartwarming, hilarious and consistently surprising reinvention of the New York romantic comedy, which opens a door to a world of vibrant characters not commonly seen on film, the U.S. Narrative Jury gives the Founders Award to Rachel Israel for ‘Keep the Change.'”

Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film: Alessandro Nivola, “One Percent More Humid”

Jury Comment: “For his raw, complex and deeply human portrayal of middle-aged teacher and writer who tries to rekindle his creativity by plunging into an ill-advised affair with a student, the award for Best Actor goes to Alessandro Nivola, in Liz W. Garcia’s ‘One Percent More Humid.'”

Best Actress in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film: Nadia Alexander, “Blame”

Jury Comment: “For her powerful, multilayered and risky portrayal of a troubled teenager in Quinn Shephard’s accomplished directorial debut ‘Blame,’ the award for Best Actress goes to Nadia Alexander.”

Best Cinematography in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film: Chris Teague, “Love After Love”

Jury Comment: “For creating a visual style that beautifully mirrors the fraught and messy landscape of grief, the cinematography award goes to ‘Love After Love,’ shot by Chris Teague.”

Best Screenplay in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film: Angus MacLachlan, “Abundant Acreage Available”

Jury Comment: “For its portrayal, both universal and intimate, of two families who meet, clash and ultimately discover what it means to call a place home, the best screenplay award goes to Abundant Acreage, written and directed by Angus MacLachlan.”

“Son of Sofia”

International Narrative Feature Competition Categories

The jurors for the 2017 International Narrative Competition were Willem Dafoe, Peter Fonda, Tavi Gevinson, Alessandro Nivola and Ruth Wilson.

The Best International Narrative Feature: “Son of Sofia” (“O Gios tis Sofias”), written and directed by Elina Psykou

Jury Comment: “When we were watching these movies we were looking for something we hadn’t seen before. We unanimously agree that one film challenged us to see in a new way, and we were seduced by the surprising humanity of its difficult characters. The direction was assured, and its tone unique, and we look forward to seeing Elina Psykou’s next work. The Best International Narrative Feature Award goes to ‘Son of Sofia.'”

Best Actor in an International Narrative Feature Film: Guillermo Pfening, Nobody’s Watching” (“Nadie Nos Mira”)

Jury Comment: “For a performance of extraordinary vulnerability and commitment that anchored the film, the Best Actor Award goes to Guillermo Pfening for Nobody’s Watching.”

Best Actress in an International Narrative Feature Film: Marie Leuenberger, “The Divine Order” (“Die göttliche Ordnung”)

Jury Comment: “For a performance that is patient, intelligent and graceful, that captured the liberation of a young woman the Best Actress Award goes to Marie Leuenberger for The Divine Order.”

Best Cinematography in an International Narrative Feature Film: Mart Taniel, “November”

Jury Comment: “We were particularly impressed by the high level of the cinematography of the films we’ve just seen which had very different styles and demands. One film was particularly audacious and showed supreme command of its visual language. The Best Cinematography Award goes to Mart Taniel for November.”

Best Screenplay in an International Narrative Feature Film: “Ice Mother” (“Bába z ledu”), written by Bohdan Sláma

Jury Comment: “A screenplay can create a world. With warmth and humor, this movie leads us into a specific and eccentric world driven by an unlikely love story. The Best Screenplay Award goes to Bohdan Sláma for ‘Ice Mother.'”

Documentary Competition Categories

The jurors for the 2017 Documentary Competition were R.J. Cutler, Alma Har’el, Barbara Kopple, Anne Thompson and David Wilson.

Best Documentary Feature: “Bobbi Jene,” directed by Elvira Lind

Jury Comments: “In a diverse field of worthy films, one work captivated our jury with its exquisite blend of emotional depth and rigorous craft. Fulfilling the promise of classic cinema verite, where camera serves as both observer and provocation, this film connected two artists, filmmaker and subject, pushing nonfiction intimacy to bold new places. Our winner documents the deeply personal process of a brilliant woman finding her voice – paired with a director whose own artistic vision dances elegantly with that of her subject. We the jury give the Best Documentary Feature to Elvira Lind’s Bobbi Jene.”

Best Documentary Cinematography: Elvira Lind, “Bobbi Jene”

Jury Comments: “For the film’s extraordinary relationship to an artist who is willing to go bare not only in performance but in stunningly intimate scenes that are poetic, honest and moving, seemingly without barriers between camera and subject, we give Best Cinematography to Elvira Lind for ‘Bobbi Jene.'”

Best Documentary Editing: Adam Nielson, “Bobbi Jene”

Jury Comments: “For a film whose precise economy of construction creates space for the rich sensual palette of a committed artist going through a life change, and whose internal rhythms mirror the art it portrays, we give Best Editing to Adam Nielson for ‘Bobbi Jene.'”

Special Jury Mention: “True Conviction”

Jury Comments: “For its compelling storytelling and for introducing us to three heroic characters who transform the injustice they suffered into active change, we give a Special Jury Mention for Best Documentary Feature to Jamie Meltzer’s ‘True Conviction.’”


Best New Narrative Director Competition

The jurors for the 2017 Best New Narrative Director Competition were Bryan Buckley, Clea Duvall and Michael Pitt.

Best New Narrative Director: Rachel Israel, “Keep the Change”

Jury Comments: “For this award, we were looking for a filmmaker with a fearless, authentic voice.  Our decision was unanimous.  This filmmaker created a world full of vibrant characters often under-represented in cinema.  It is a unique, yet universal love story told in a way we’ve never seen.  We anxiously await to see what this filmmaker does next.  We are so thrilled to present the award for Best New Narrative Director to Rachel Israel for ‘Keep the Change.'”

Best New Documentary Director Competition

The jurors for the 2017 Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award were Amy Berg, Alice Eve, Marilyn Ness, Zachary Quinto and Shaul Schwarz.

Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award: Sarita Khurana and Smriti Mundhra, “A Suitable Girl”

Jury Comments: “For the top prize we chose a film that helped us to rethink the dynamics of love through a moving portrayal of a cultural tradition. With incredible access, heartfelt scenes and it’s strong verite style, The Albert Maysles Prize for first documentary feature goes to “A Suitable Girl.'”

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