When We Leave, Monica & David And Monogamy Win Top Tribeca Prizes

By Katey Rich 2010-04-30 12:01:57discussion comments
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The award winners for this year's Tribeca Film Festival have been announced, and unlike the debacle at Sundance in which I'd barely even heard of the big winners, I actually managed to see some of these films! When We Leave, the German film I praised as a thoughtful and frequently heartbreaking drama, won the top prize in the World Narrative Competition, and lead actress Sibel Kekilli also took home the prize for Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film. Meanwhile Dog Pound, which Perri reviewed and called profound and powerful, was handed Best New Narrative Filmmaker for director Kim Chapiron.

Other big winners included Best New York Narrative Monogamy, which I < a href=http://cinemablend.com/new/Tribeca-Review-Monogamy-18262.html>really liked, top documentary Monica & David, about two people with Down's Syndrome in a relationship with each other, and The Arbor, which won the Best New Documentary Filmmaker prize. We'll be doing our best this weekend to catch up with the winners we haven't seen yet and let you know what all the fuss is about. For the full details check out the list of feature-length winners below.

The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature – When We Leave (Die Fremde), directed and written by Feo Aladag. (Germany). Winner receives $25,000 cash and the art award “Study: Northern City Renaissance” (Mass MoCA #379K) 2008, commissioned by Sting, created by Stephen Hannock. Sponsored by AKA Hotel Residences. The award was presented by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal.

Jury Comments: “When We Leave examines one woman’s struggle for personal freedom. It’s a theme that is often explored – but rarely told with such humanity, subtlety, craftsmanship or immediacy, as in tonight’s winning entry. When We Leave is a riveting and heartbreaking story of a woman trapped in an abusive relationship, who must not only free herself from that marriage, but also the cultural prejudices and judgments that would keep her there. Feo Aladag built the nuances of her film over a six year period. She rehearsed her actors for seven months. She immersed herself in every detail of a culture that is revealed to us in remarkable detail. The result is a film that balances complex social issues with honest human yearnings. Through the brutality, When We Leave is also a story of tenderness, the struggle for compassion, the inexorable pull of family and the need to love and be loved.”

Special Jury Mention: Loose Cannons, directed by Ferzan Ozpetek and written by Ferzan Ozpetek and Ivan Cotroneo.

Jury Comments: “Loose Cannons buoyantly explores the story of two gay brothers attempting to find happiness in a traditional Italian family that is less than accepting of their lifestyle choices. Expertly combining family drama and farce, Loose Cannons tackles its subject matter with warmth, humor and grace. For making us laugh, cry and immediately want to book a trip to Southern Italy, we congratulate director Ferzan Ozpetek and his talented cast and collaborators on this special mention.”

Best New Narrative Filmmaker – Kim Chapiron for Dog Pound, written by Kim Chapiron and Jeremie Delon. (France). Winner receives $25,000 cash. Sponsored by American Express. The award was presented by Gary Winick.

Jury Comments: “There was any number of films this year in which the director was able to bring together disparate thoughts, ideas and images. We have chosen to honor a director who created an environment built with such intensity and humanity that his ensemble cast was able to transcend the cold walls and locked doors that confined their characters.”

Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film – Eric Elmosnino as Serge Gainsbourg in Gainsbourg, Je t’Aime…Moi Non Plus, directed and written by Joann Sfar. (France). Sponsored by Delta Air Lines. Winner receives two BusinessElite ticket vouchers for anywhere Delta travels. The award was presented by Hope Davis.

Jury Comments: “The ultimate compliment to an actor is that he so becomes his role that he will forever be defined by it. No more is this true than in this case.”

Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film – Sibel Kekilli as Umay in When We Leave (Die Fremde), directed and written by Feo Aladag. (Germany). Sponsored by Delta Air Lines. Winner receives two BusinessElite ticket vouchers for anywhere Delta travels. The award was presented by Aaron Eckhart.

Jury Comments: “Among many brilliant performances we found one in particular that captivated from the first frame of the film and held us through a long and difficult journey. By turns this actress was joy and sorrow, and love and hope, a woman both strong enough to stand against generations of Muslim traditions and vulnerable enough to express the pain of a daughter cast aside by all who have loved her.”

Best Documentary Feature – Monica & David, directed by Alexandra Codina. (USA). Sponsored by HBO. Winner receives $25,000 in cash and the art award “Jorge, 2003/2009” by Vik Muniz. The award was presented by Jessica Alba.

Jury Comments: “Monica & David takes an incredibly intimate situation and beautifully translates it in a way that makes you think about your own life. It’s a clear and observant look at a family and the purity of love, fueled by an organic sense of the sadness, joy and everyday humor that fill this epic journey that is life.”

Special Jury Mention: Budrus directed by Julia Bacha (USA, Palestine, Israel).
Jury Comments: “Budrus is a film with a powerful message and a fresh perspective on an issue that is familiar to many. It’s about a local community who stood up to defend what was theirs, and in doing so they changed a country. This story is a journey that stretches beyond borders to provide hope, and it should be seen by everyone.”

Best New Documentary Filmmaker – Clio Barnard for The Arbor (UK). Winner receives $25,000 cash. Sponsored by American Express. The award was presented by Abbie Cornish.

Jury Comments: “Imagination is a word you don’t often associate with documentary filmmaking, but this director bends the boundaries of the form, beautifully crafting an innovative and detailed film wherein great storytelling is paramount.”

Best New York Narrative – Monogamy, directed by Dana Adam Shapiro, written by Dana Adam Shapiro and Evan M. Weiner. (USA). Winner receives $10,000 cash, $50,000 in post-production services donated by Company 3, and the art award “SeaScape Frame” by Valerie Hegarty. The award was presented by Selma Blair.

Jury Comments: “This wasn't an easy decision. All of the films in this category had strong visions and dealt with themes that covered wide ground – some ground that has already been explored, but some that took us to places we haven’t been before. For the film that was realized in such a way that brought together craft, strong acting and consistency of vision, the Best New York Narrative Feature is Monogamy.”

Special Jury Mention: Melissa Leo for her performance in The Space Between, directed and written by Travis Fine. (USA).

Jury Comments: “We would like to honor one actress with a Special Jury Mention. For her embracing and visceral performance in The Space Between, we want to recognize Melissa Leo.”

Best New York Documentary – The Woodmans, directed by C. Scott Willis. (USA, Italy, China). Sponsored by Polaroid. Winner receives $10,000 cash, $50,000 in post-production services donated by Company 3, and art award “New York Studio n.21” by Maurizio Galimberti. The award was presented by America Ferrara.

Jury Comments: “All of the films in this category expose their audiences to new subjects that they might not have known much about. But The Woodmans inspired the most discussion thanks to its haunting and subtle storytelling.”

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