2008 Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Awards were given out on May 1 at the Target Tribeca Filmmakers Lounge. The awards are all juried and recognize excellence in a variety of categories. It couldn’t have been an easy task to pick the best out of so many films.

I was particularly pleased that one of the recipients was Let the Right One In the Swedish film based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindquist.

It was the first film I saw at the festival and it’s extraordinary. The film was awarded “The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature”. Director Tomas Alfredson wins a $25,000 cash prize for his film that is a reinvention of the vampire myth.

The Cadillac award has not yet been presented. This is the audience choice for best film of the festival and it will be announced on Saturday.

I’m surprised not to see an award for best animated short film and feature. There were quite a few at the festival. One was the hilarious short Zombie Gets a Date by Leetal Platt and the full length feature by the great animator Bill Plympton Idiots and Angels.

The awards categories give a good idea of the variety of different films from all over the world. I learned one thing about Tribeca and that it’s a film lover’s dream.

I’m impressed that all the films I viewed were good to great. Not something you get to experience these days when so many films fail to live up to their hype.

These films, none of which had much hype got their chance to shine because of the Tribeca Film Festival.

And now some of them not only have the reward of being seen but have the honor of receiving an award from the jury.

Highlights of the awards and the announcement of the Cadillac Award can be seen on WNBC at 7:30 on Saturday night.

Full list of Winners:

The Founders Award for Best Narrative FeatureLet The Right One In (Lat den rätte komma in), directed by Tomas Alfredson (Sweden). Winner receives $25,000 cash and the art award Maternal Nocture: Clearing Storm, created by Stephen Hannock.

Jury Comments: “For its mesmerizing exploration of loneliness and alienation through masterful reexamination of the vampire myth.”

Best New Narrative Filmmaker
My Marlon and Brando (Gitmek), directed by Hüseyin Karabey (Turkey, Netherlands, UK). Winner receives $25,000 cash, sponsored by American Express, and the art award Bonfire, created by Ross Bleckner.

Jury Comments: “For its skillful blending of documentary style with a classic love story and ultimate creation of a truly modern and unlikely international heroine.”

Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film – Thomas Turgoose and Piotr Jagiello in Somers Town, directed by Shane Meadows (UK). Sponsored by Delta Air Lines. Each winner receives a business elite ticket voucher for anywhere Delta travels.

Jury Comments: “For an extraordinary and exhilarating rendering of a friendship found, the Narrative Feature Jury is awarding the Best Actor prize to this magical team.”

Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film
– Eileen Walsh in Eden, directed by Declan Recks (Ireland). Sponsored by Delta Air Lines. Winner receives two business elite ticket vouchers for anywhere Delta travels.

Jury Comments: “For her exquisite rendering of a lonely wife aching to be seen and heard.”

Best Documentary Feature - Pray the Devil Back to Hell, directed by Gini Reticker (USA). Winner receives $25,000 cash and the art award Liza Minnelli, created by Timothy White.

Jury Comments: “In a relentless pursuit of peace, the women of Liberia show us how community, motherly love, and perseverance can change the fate of a society. Pray the Devil Back to Hell is a reminder that we have the power to say ‘Enough!’ to the atrocities of our world.”

Best New Documentary Filmmaker - Old Man Bebo, directed by Carlos Carcas (Spain). Winner receives $25,000 cash, sponsored by American Express, and the art award Maquette for Primary Compass, created by Don Gummer.

Jury Comments: “We the jury feel that Carlos Carcas showed us that if you truly have art in your body and soul it will find its way out into the world. We applaud the filmmaker for bringing Old Man Bebo into our consciousness.”

New York State LOVES Film Best DocumentaryZoned In, directed by Daniela Zanzotto (USA,UK). Winner receives $5,000 cash, sponsored by New York State Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development, and the art award Table Odeon, created by Donna Ferrato.

Special Mention: Hotel Gramercy Park, directed by Douglas Keeve (USA).

Jury Comments: “This was a challenging and spirited discussion with two clear favorites: both films are very different and the jury felt that both should get equal mention even though only one gets the prize. We thought Hotel Gramercy Park was a highly entertaining and moving story about a New York family and a New York institution coming to terms with a changing city, but in the end we felt Zoned In deserved the prize for having the bravery to tell a seemingly typical story that ends up revealing bold and difficult truths.”

Made In NY NarrativeThe Caller, directed by Richard Ledes (USA). Winner receives $5,000 cash, sponsored by The City of New York Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting, and the art award Nude on Guitar, created by Ralph Gibson.

Jury Comments: “The Caller superbly uses its New York locations, from the sleek mid-town high-rises to the desolate Brooklyn Bridge piers, to create a chilling and finally stirring suspense movie: an unusual thriller whose mysterious plot finally exposes the mysteries of the heart.”

Best Narrative Short - New Boy, directed by Steph Green. Sponsored by Edelman Studios. Winner receives $5,000 cash and the art award Air, created by Francesco Clemente.

Jury Comments: “New Boy took us on a complete emotional journey. It was moving, funny, and powerful.”

Best Documentary Short -Mandatory Service, directed by Jessica Habie. Sponsored by Edelman Studios. Winner receives $5,000 cash and the art award The Screamer, created by John Alexander.

Jury Comments: “Mandatory Service, a perspective of war and conflict from participants themselves. The Israeli’s empathy for the Palestinians is not a perspective we glimpse too often in Western media.”

Student Visionary AwardElephant Garden, directed by Sasie Sealy. Sponsored by Apple. Winner receives an Apple Mac Pro Desktop with a 15″ Display, Final Cut Studio 2, and the art award Harmonium, created by Clifford Ross.

Jury Comments: “Elephant Garden captured the inner life of a beautiful young girl and her confusion as she becomes a young adult. Wonderful visual storytelling, and the performance of Kelley Mack is stellar.”


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