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IMAGES FOR PRESS: Images for the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival award winners can be found here:
16TH ANNUAL TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES JURIED AWARDS
Keep the Change, Son of Sofia, and Bobbi Jene Take Home Top Awards in U.S. and International Narrative and Documentary Competitions
TREEHUGGER: WAWONA Wins Storyscapes Award; Petra Volpe, Writer/Director for The Divine Order Wins 5th Annual Nora Ephron Prize
Top Winners in all Five Feature Categories Presented to Women-Directed Films
FESTIVAL AWARDS $145,000 IN CASH PRIZES
NEW YORK, NY– April 20, 2017–The 16th Tribeca Film Festival announced the winners of its competition categories at the awards ceremony tonight at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center. Top awards went to Keep the Change for Best U.S. Narrative, Son of Sofia for Best International Narrative, and Bobbi Jene for Best Documentary. The Festival, presented by AT&T, runs through April 30, 2017.
Awards were distributed in the following feature film competition categories: U.S. Narrative, International Narrative, Documentary, New Narrative Director, The Albert Maysles New Documentary Director, and the Nora Ephron Prize, honoring a woman writer or director. Awards were also given in the short film categories: Narrative, Documentary, Student Visionary and Animation.
For the fifth year, Tribeca awarded innovation in storytelling through its Storyscapes Award for immersive storytelling, which went to TREEHUGGER: WAWONA.
"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, Executive Chair and Co-Founder, Tribeca Film Festival. "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."
This year's Festival included 97 feature length films, 57 short films, and 30 immersive storytelling projects from 41 countries.
The Festival's competition categories continue to incorporate storytelling in all its forms with two awards that were given out earlier in the week, the Tribeca X Award, a juried section recognizing the intersection of advertising and entertainment, and the first Tribeca Snapchat Short Award, a new official category.
Screenings of the award–winning films will take place throughout the final day of the Festival: Sunday, April 30, at various venues. Specific times and ticketing information are available at www.tribecafilm.com/festival
The winners of the Audience Awards, powered by AT&T, which are determined by audience votes throughout the Festival via the Festival app, will be announced on April 29.
In addition to cash awards and in-kind services provided by sponsors including AT&T, CHANEL, CNN Films, Netflix, and Nutella, the Festival presented the winners with original pieces of art created by contemporary artists: Urs Fischer, Walton Ford, John Giorno, Ella Kruglyanskaya, Jorge Pardo, R.H. Quaytman, Sterling Ruby, Aurel Schmidt, Ryan Sullivan, as well as longtime supporter Stephen Hannock.
The winners, awards, and comments from the jury who selected the recipients are as follows:
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.
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."
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."
Jury Comment: "For her powerful, multilayered and risky portrayal of a troubled teenager in Quinn Shepard's accomplished directorial debut Blame, the award for Best Actress goes to Nadia Alexander."
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."
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."
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.
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."
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."
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."
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."
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.
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."
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."
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."
BEST NEW NARRATIVE DIRECTOR COMPETITION:
The jurors for the 2017 Best New Narrative Director Competition were Bryan Buckley, Clea Duvall, and Michael Pitt.
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.
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."
THE NORA EPHRON PRIZE
The 2017 Nora Ephron Prize, presented by CHANEL, jurors were Dianna Agron, Joy Bryant, Diane Lane, Zoe Lister-Jones, and Christina Ricci.
Jury Comments: "For its intrepid and compassionate storytelling, beautiful cinematography (DP-ed by a woman), complex characterization of the female experience, seamless navigation of both drama and comedy, and true embodiment of the personal being political, we award the Nora Ephron Prize to Petra Volpe for her film The Divine Order."
SHORT FILM COMPETITION CATEGORIES:
The 2017 Best Narrative Short and Best Animated Short jurors were Udi Aloni, Brennan Brown, Gilbert Gottfried, Amy Heckerling, Sheila Nevins, Mark O'Brien, and Jesse Plemons.
Jury Comments: "For its message of choice, liberty, and renewal where the lines of morality and honesty are blurred, leaving the audiences own projection of the events open for discussion and introspection. We appreciated the unification of the aesthetic and the ethical. The winner of the Best Narrative Short goes to Retouch."
Jury Comments: "We found the story of this animated short sweet and moving. We were also very impressed with beautiful visuals, which were artistic, cool and haunting. The filmmaker shows great promise. Best Animated Short goes to Kristin Ulseth for her film, Odd is an Egg."
The 2017 Best Documentary Short and Student Visionary Award jurors were Priyanka Chopra, Olivia Thirlby, Ryan Eggold, Brendan Fraser, and Ileen Gallagher.
Jury Comments: "An unflinching portrait of finding hope in a world of danger; a journey of perseverance in the face of tragedy; an uplifting and visually compelling story of redemption. The winner of the Best Documentary Short is The Good Fight."
Jury Comments: "For its success in balancing an immersive coming of age experience with relevant social commentary in a historically specific context; compelling performances and expert filmmaking, the student visionary award goes to Fry Day."
The 2017 Storyscapes Award, presented by AT&T, which recognizes groundbreaking approaches in storytelling and technology, jurors were Lily Baldwin, Charlotte Cook, Julia Kaganskiy, Michael Premo, and Sarah Wolozin.
Jury Comments: "The project we chose exemplifies the highest standards of artistry and inventiveness. It explores the potential for new visual forms and investigates unique modes of storytelling that allow us to tap into aspects the world and our lived experience that are intuitively known but seldom articulated. Through its use of poetic abstraction, embodiment, and the viewer's own imagination and interpretation, we are able to unlock new ways of understanding and experiencing the world around us. We've selected this piece because we hope it will inspire others to start creating in ways that take risks and use the limitations of technology to revamp story and experience. The Storyscapes Award goes to TREEHUGGER: WAWONA."
The Festival's competition categories continue to incorporate storytelling in all its forms with two awards that were given out earlier in the week. The Tribeca X Award is a juried section recognizing the intersection of advertising and entertainment and Tribeca also presented the first Tribeca Snapchat Short Award, a new official category
TRIBECA X AWARD
The 2017 Tribeca X Award, presented by The Atlantic, jurors were Joanna Coles, Jae Goodman, Jenna Lyons, Eli Pariser, Tim & Eric,and a proprietary A.I. solution developed by Celtra,
TRIBECA SNAPCHAT SHORTS
The 2017 Tribeca Snapchat Short award jurors were Jason Biggs, Andy Cohen, Tracee Ellis Ross, Dillon Francis, and Eva Longoria.
For more information on all of the films in the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, please visit tribecafilm.com/festival.
About the Tribeca Film Festival
The Tribeca Film Festival is a cultural event for the new age of storytelling that brings together visionaries across industries and diverse audiences. It celebrates the power of storytelling in a variety of forms – from film to TV, VR to online work, and music to gaming. As a platform for creative expression, independent filmmaking, and immersive entertainment, Tribeca champions emerging and established voices, discovers award-winning filmmakers and creators, curates innovative experiences, and introduces new technology and ideas through premieres, exhibitions, talks, and live performances.
The Festival was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan following the attacks on the World Trade Center. With strong roots in independent film, the annual event has evolved into a destination for creativity, reimagines the cinematic experience, and explores how art can unite communities.
About the 2017 Partners
As Presenting Sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival, AT&T is committed to supporting the Festival and the art of filmmaking through access and innovation, while expanding opportunities to diverse creators around the globe. As one of the largest communications and entertainment companies, AT&T helps millions connect to their passions – no matter where they are.
The Tribeca Film Festival is pleased to announce its 2017 Signature Partners: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Bai Beverages, Bloomberg Philanthropies', Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), CHANEL, EFFEN® Vodka, ESPN, HEINEKEN, IBM, IWC Schaffhausen, The Lincoln Motor Company, National CineMedia, Nespresso, New York Magazine, Nexxus Salon Hair Care, Nutella, NYC Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, Spring Studios New York, and United Airlines.
IMAGES FOR PRESS: Images for the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival award winners can be found here:
Tribeca Film Festival Press Contacts:
Tammie Rosen | Tribeca Enterprises | (212) 941-2003 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Alyssa Apple| Tribeca Enterprises | (212) 941-2338 | email@example.com
Anna Dinces Janash | Rubenstein | (212) 843-9253 | firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITORS BACKGROUND ON FILMS RECEIVING HONORS:
Son of Sofia (O Gios tis Sofias), directed and written by Elina Psykou. (Greece, France, Bulgaria) - World Premiere. Set during the 2004 Summer Olympic Games, 11-year-old Misha is travelling from Russia to live with his mother in Athens in the home of an elderly Greek man she works for. When he learns this man is actually his new father, Misha runs away but doesn't have the stomach for life on the streets. Returning to his new home, he clings to the stories he grew up with, melding them with reality to create a dark urban fairytale. With Viktor Khomut, Valery Tcheplanowa, Thanasis Papageorgiou, Artemis Havalits, Christos Stergioglou, Iro Maltezou. In Greek, Russian with subtitles.
Keep the Change, directed and written by Rachel Israel. (USA) - World Premiere. In a support group, David—a smooth talker struggling to hide his disability—meets a woman with similar learning challenges, and they quickly forge an intimate bond. Starring a cast of nonprofessional actors on the autism spectrum, Keep the Change details an underrepresented community with authenticity, optimism and humor. With Brandon Polansky, Samantha Elisofon, Nicky Gottlieb, Will Deaver, Jessica Walter, Tibor Feldman.
One Percent More Humid, directed and written by Liz W. Garcia. (USA) - World Premiere. Catherine (Julia Garner) and Iris (Juno Temple) are childhood friends home from college for a hot New England summer. As they attempt to enjoy parties and skinny-dipping and the usual vacation hijinks, a shared trauma in their past becomes increasingly difficult to suppress. As the wedge between the friends grows, they each pursue forbidden affairs to cope. With Alessandro Nivola, Maggie Siff, Philip Ettinger, Mamoudou Athie.
Blame, directed and written by Quinn Shephard. (USA) - World Premiere. Abigail (Quinn Shephard) is an outcast who seeks solace in fantasy worlds. When high school drama teacher Jeremy (Chris Messina) casts her in Arthur Miller's The Crucible, Abigail's confidence blooms. But soon her relationship with Jeremy begins to move beyond innocent flirtation, and it in turn fuels a classmate's vengeful jealousy that quickly spirals out of control and brings about a chain of events that draws parallels to Salem. With Nadia Alexander, Tate Donovan, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Tessa Albertson, Owen Campbell.
Love After Love, directed by Russell Harbaugh, written by Russell Harbaugh, Eric Mendelsohn. (USA) - World Premiere. The world of a mother and her two adult sons feels emotionally untethered following the death of their family's patriarch. Andie MacDowell, Chris O'Dowd, and James Adomian deliver searing performances in this absorbing story of a family losing and regaining their equilibrium in the wake of loss. With Juliet Rylance, Dree Hemingway, Gareth Williams.
Abundant Acreage Available, directed and written by Angus MacLachlan. (USA) - World Premiere. Still reeling over the recent death of their father, siblings Jesse (Terry Kinney) and Tracy (Amy Ryan) are attempting to settle into their new lives in his absence. Their simple existence is unexpectedly disrupted by the sudden arrival of three mysterious brothers, camping on their land and possessing a surprising connection to their family farm. With Max Gail, Francis Guinan, Steve Coulter.
Nobody's Watching (Nadie Nos Mira), directed by Julia Solomonoff, written by Julia Solomonoff, Christina Lazaridi. (Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, USA, Spain) - World Premiere. After giving up a successful soap opera career in his native Argentina for a chance to make it in New York, Nico finds himself staying afloat with odd jobs bartending and babysitting. In a moving depiction of the vibrant city, Nobody's Watching questions who is watching and how we adjust ourselves accordingly. With Guillermo Pfening, Rafael Ferro, Paola Baldion, Elena Roger, Cristina Morrison, Kerri Sohn, Marco Antonio Caponi. In English, Spanish with subtitles.
The Divine Order (Die göttliche Ordnung), directed and written by Petra Volpe. (Switzerland) - International Premiere. Political leaders in Switzerland cited 'Divine Order' as the reason why women still did not have the right to vote as late as 1970. Director Petra Volpe explores this surprising history through the story of Nora, a quiet housewife from a quaint village searching for the fierce suffragette leader inside her. With Marie Leuenberger, Max Simonischek, Rachel Braunschweig, Sibylle Brunner, Marta Zoffoli, Bettina Stucky. In Swiss-German with subtitles.
November, directed and written by Rainer Sarnet. (Estonia, The Netherlands, Poland) - International Premiere. Dive into the cold, snowy landscape of 19th-century Estonia, where werewolves and spirits roam free, and Jesus co-exists with kratts, the farmers' mythological helpers made of tools and bones. Farmer girl Liina's doomed romance with local boy Hans is at the center of director Rainer Sarnet's pagan, black and white world, where the characters search for meaning in their surroundings and ponder the existence of the soul. With Rea Lest, Jörgen Liik, Arvo Kukumägi, Katariina Unt, Taavi Eelmaa, Dieter Laser. In Estonian with subtitles.
Ice Mother (Bába z ledu), directed and written by Bohdan Sláma. (Czech Republic, Slovakia, France) - International Premiere. Hana lives alone in a big villa with only weekly visits from her two belligerent sons and their families to look forward to. While on a stroll with her grandson one day, she rescues Brona, an elderly ice swimmer with a hen for a best friend, from drowning. This encounter invigorates Hana, introducing her to a new hobby and unexpected romance. With Zuzana Kronerová, Pavel Nový, Daniel Vízek, Václav Neužil. In Czech with subtitles.
Bobbi Jene, directed by Elvira Lind, written by Elvira Lind, Adam Nielsen. (Denmark, Israel, USA) - World Premiere. In her moving and cinematic documentary, Elvira Lind follows American dancer Bobbi Jene Smith as she makes the decision of a lifetime. Bobbi returns to the U.S., leaving behind a loving boyfriend and a successful 10-year run as a star dancer of the famous Israeli dance company Batsheva. Lind intimately portrays Bobbi's rigorous creative process as she starts fresh in San Francisco, while still working to maintain a long-distance relationship.
A Suitable Girl, directed by Sarita Khurana and Smriti Mundhra, written by Jennifer Tiexiera, Smriti Mundhra and Sarita Khurana. (USA, India) - World Premiere. Dipti, Amrita and Ritu are all young, modern women in India looking to get married—some desperately, some reluctantly. A Suitable Girl follows them over the course of four years as they juggle family, career and friends, intimately capturing their thoughts on arranged marriage, giving them a voice, and offering a unique perspective into the nuances of this institution. In English, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi with subtitles.
Retouch, directed and written by Kaveh Mazaheri. (Iran) - International Premiere. Maryam's husband has an accident at home and, rather than saving him, she stops helping and watches him die. In Persian with subtitles.
Odd is an Egg (Odd er et egg), directed by Kristin Ulseth, written by Maria Avramova, Kristin Ulseth. (Norway) - North American Premiere. Odd is terrified of his head – until one day he falls in love with Gunn and his life is turned upside down, freeing him from his worries in the most expected way. In Norwegian with subtitles.
Treehugger: Wawonais an interactive installation that combines today's cultural hunger for beautiful immersive experiences with art, science, data, environmentalism and technology. Centered on a vast sculpture of a giant redwood tree, the viewer dons a VR headset, places their head into the tree's knot and is transported into its secret inner world. The longer someone hugs the tree, the deeper they drift into treetime: a hidden dimension that lies just beyond the limit of our senses.
Chris Fonseca: Keep It Moving
Brand: Smirnoff Ice
Directed by Zachary Heinzerling
Deaf people are anything but disabled, and this film featuring the real story of deaf dancer Chris Fonseca proves it. Born profoundly deaf, Chris challenges the perceptions of disability as a social barrier by teaching his deaf students how to express themselves on the dance floor, inspiring self-confidence within them and pure awe in all of us.
Tribeca Snapchat Shorts
Magic Show, directed by Annie Hubbard.
The only attendee to Peter's traditional magic show is preoccupied with her phone, and he must discover a way to get her attention.