As long as I've been covering it, the Tribeca Film Festival signals the beginning of spring to me-- not just because it happens among the warm weather and blooming flowers of April, but because it falls in that sweet spot between awards season and the big, awesomely gaudy blockbusters of summer. It's always fun to cover Tribeca, but this year was its strongest showing yet.
Moviegoers and critics alike were spoiled for choice thanks to an array of outstanding foreign features, daring dark comedies, mesmerizing documentaries, and fantastically freaky midnight movies. I've been so overwhelmed by the flood of fascinating films that it's been difficult to pick a personal favorite. Maybe the paradoxically bubbly dark comedy The Pretty One? Possibly the heartwarming and thought provoking coming-of-age drama out of Saudi Arabia Wadjda? Or could it be the quirky and deeply personal rock doc Mistaken for Strangers, which took audiences behind-the-scenes of The National's 2010 tour in the most unexpected of ways?
It's a question I've been pondering for days now with no resolution in sight, so I don't envy the celeb jurors who have been asked to determine this year's award winners. Their tricky task completed, the winners for the World Narrative Competition, the Best New Director Competition, World Documentary Competition, and first-ever Nora Ephron Prize have been announced! Check out the full list of award-winning features below:
The jurors for the 2013 World Narrative Competition were Bryce Dallas-Howard, Blythe Danner, Paul Haggis, Kenneth Lonergan, and Jessica Winter.
The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature: The Rocket, directed by Kim Mordaunt (Australia). Winner receives $25,000, sponsored by AKA, and the art award "Two Voices #1" by Angelina Nasso. The award was given by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal.
Special Jury Mention -- Stand Clear of the Closing Doors, directed by Sam Fleischner. The announcement was made by Kenneth Lonergan.
Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film– Sitthiphon Disamoe as Ahlo in The Rocket, directed by Kim Mordaunt (Australia). Winner receives $2,500. The award was given by Blythe Danner.
Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film – Veerle Baetens as Elise Vandevelde in The Broken Circle Breakdown, directed by Felix van Groeningen (Netherlands, Belgium). Winner receives $2,500. The award was given by Bryce Dallas Howard.
Best Cinematography in a Narrative Feature Film – Cinematography by Marius Matzow Gulbrandsen, for Before Snowfall, directed by Hisham Zaman (Germany, Norway). Winner receives $5,000, sponsored by Sony Electronics; a Sony Alpha A99 Full Frame Camera and a Sony NEX-VG900 Full Frame Camcorder; and $50,000 in post-production services provided by Company 3. The award was given by Blythe Danner and Alec Shapiro, President, Sony Professional Solutions of America.
Best Screenplay for a Narrative Feature Film – The Broken Circle Breakdown, written by Carl Joos and Felix van Groeningen and directed by Felix van Groeningen (Netherlands, Belgium). Winner receives $5,000. The award was given by Paul Haggis.
The jurors for the 2013 Best New Narrative Director Competition were Naomi Foner, Tony Gilroy, Ari Graynor, Radha Mitchell, and Stu Zicherman.
Best New Narrative Director – Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais, director of Whitewash (Canada). Winner receives $25,000, presented by American Express; $50,000 in post-production services provided by Company 3; and the art award "New Elands Bay" by Erik Parker. The award was given by Tony Gilroy, Radha Mitchell and Deborah Curtis from American Express, Vice President, Entertainment Marketing & Sponsorships.
Special Jury Mention: Harmony Lessons directed by Emir Baigazin (Germany, France). The announcement was made by Naomi Foner and Ari Graynor.
The jurors for the 2013 World Documentary Competition were Joe Berlinger, Sandi DuBowski, Whoopi Goldberg, Mira Sorvino, and Evan Rachel Wood.
Best Documentary Feature – The Kill Team directed by Dan Krauss (USA). Winner receives $25,000, sponsored by Citizens of Humanity, and the art award "Harley Before the White Prom" by Gillian Laub. The award was given by Mira Sorvino and Gareth Baxendale from Citizens of Humanity.
Special Jury Mention: Oxyana directed by Sean Dunne (USA). The announcement was made by Joe Berlinger.
Best Editing in a Documentary Feature – Let the Fire Burn edited by Nels Bangerter, directed by Jason Osder (USA). Winner receives $5,000. The award was given by Whoopi Goldberg and Sandi DuBowski
The jurors for the 2013 Best New Documentary Director Competition were Jared Cohen, Taraji P. Henson, Riley Keough, Jason O’Mara, and Josh Radnor.
Best New Documentary Director – Sean Dunne for Oxyana (USA). Winner receives $25,000, presented by American Express; and the art award "Untitled (#5), from the Men in the Cities Photo Portfolio" by Robert Longo, courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures. The award was given by Taraji P. Henson and Deborah Curtis from American Express.
Special Jury Mention -- Let the Fire Burn directed by Jason Osder. The announcement was made by Riley Keough and Jason O’Mara.
Nora Ephron Prize -- Farah Goes Bang written and directed by Meera Menon. A $25,000 cash prize was awarded at the annual Women’s Filmmaker Brunch by presented by TFF co-founder Jane Rosenthal and Sally Singer, creative digital director at Vogue.
All the winning films above will be screening on the festival's closing day, Sunday, April 28th. You can find showtimes and theater information on the Tribeca Film Festival website.
The winner of the Heineken Audience Awards will be announced on April 27th, once all the votes are in and counted. So stay tuned to learn which film on this impressive roster audiences loved best!
For our complete Tribeca Film Festival coverage—which isn't over yet!-- click here.