And so, after watching almost 30 of the 157 feature films showcased at the film festival, the results are in.
Festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal said: "The talent of this year's award winners and their diverse storytelling styles is truly impressive. We are thrilled that the Festival has helped to bring all of our filmmakers' voices to light and that the film community and our New York neighbors have continued to embrace the Festival year after year."
And the winners are:
The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature: My Father My Lord (Hofshat Kaits), directed by David Volach (Israel). Sponsored by Axium Entertainment. Winner receives $50,000 cash and the art award "Maternal Nocturne, created by Stephen Hannock.
As befits my sort of festival luck, I didn't see this one but it is apparently a "powerful and hearetbreaking film that thakes a look at the price that may be exacted by a rigid observation of religious tenets".
Best New Narrative Filmmaker Two Embraces (Dos Abrazos), directed by Enrique Begne (Mexico). Sponsored by American Express. Winner receives $25,000 cash and the art award Reach, created by Kiki Smith.
I certainly couldn't endorse this any more. It is poignant and thought-provoking, features excellent performances from the four central characters and also displays buckets of directorial flair in terms of composition.
Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film: Lofti Edbelli in Making Of (Akher film), directed by Nouri Bouzid (Tunisia, Morocco). Sponsored by Delta Air Lines. Winner receives two business elite ticket vouchers for anywhere Delta travels.
Sadly, another I missed, but given the overall standard of acting across the board in the films this year, I imagine he must be very good indeed. The film is apparently about breakdancing and fundamentalism in Tunisia following the outbreak of hostilities in Iraq.
Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film Marina Hands in Lady Chatterley, directed by Pascale Ferran(France, Belgium). Sponsored by Delta Air Lines. Winner receives two business elite ticket vouchers for anywhere Delta travels.
Another I missed, but since this film already scored several Cesar awards in France there must be something good going on with it. For me the best female performance this year would be a toss up between Melania Urbina's powerfully moving central role in Black Butterfly (Mariposa Negra) and Nan Yu's unmissable performance in Tuya's Wedding (Tuya De Hun Shi).
Best Screenplay: Making Of (Akher film), written and directed by Nouri Bouzid (Tunisia, Morocco). Sponsored by Axium Entertainment. Winner receives $15,000 cash and the art award Reel to Reel, created by Joel Perlman.
I'm thinking anyone who can stitch fundamentalism together with breakdancing and get away with it is probably on to something.
Honorable Mentions: Lost in Beijing (Ping Guo), screenwriters Li Yu & Fang Li, directed by Li Yu (China). Half Moon (Niwemang), screenwriter/director Bahman Ghobadi (Iran, Iraq, Austria, France).
Best Documentary Feature: Taxi to the Darkside, directed by Alex Gibney (USA). Sponsored by Axium Entertainment. Winner receives $25,000 cash and the art award Chuck Close SPII, created by Chuck Close.
I hope you'll forgive me when I tell you I missed this one, too, but it does sound fascinating, since it examines the death of an Afghan taxi driver at Bagram Air Base from injuries inflicted by US soldiers.
Best New Documentary Filmmaker: A Story of People in War & Peace, directed by Vardan Hovhannisyan (Armenia). Sponsored by American Express. Winner receives $25,000 cash and the art award ?Nelson Mandela, Johannesburg, South Africa,? created by Bruce Weber.
When I come to these film festivals I really do try to see winning films, really I do, but not this time. According to the press notes, this is a "deeply personal meditation on the horrors of war and its effects shown through the eys of an Armenian journalist".
Special Jury Mention: Documentary - We Are Together (Thina Simunye), directed by Paul Taylor (UK). This also won the Cadillac Audience Award.
Then we come to the home-grown awards, celebrating the best of the city.
NY Loves Film - Documentary: A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and The Warhol Factory, directed by Esther Robinson (USA). Sponsored by New York State Governor's Office for Motion Picture and Television Development. Winner receives $5,000 cash and the art award Ivy with Marilyn, Boston, created by Nan Goldin. A "dream-like portrait of the director's uncle, Warhols onetime lover, collaborator and a filmmaker in his own right.
Made In NY Narrative: The Education of Charlie Banks, directed by Fred Durst (USA). Sponsored by The City of New York Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting. Winner receives $5,000 cash and the art award Tribeca Film Festival Poster 2007, created by Clifford Ross. A gritty slice of American indie film-making.
Made In NY Special Jury Recognition Narrative: The Killing of John Lennon, directed by Andrew Piddington (UK). Sponsored by The City of New York Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting. Winner receives the art award Tribeca Film Festival Poster 2007, created by Clifford Ross. An exploration of the experiences of Mark Chapman before and after he killed John Lennon.
Best Narrative Short: The Last Dog in Rwanda (Den sista hunden i Rwanda), directed by Jens Assur (Sweden). Winner receives $5,000 cash and the art award Double Reading #21, created by Joseph Kosuth.
Special Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short: Super Powers, directed by J. Anderson Mitchell & Jeremy Kipp Walker (USA). Winner receives $5,000 cash, generously donated by Todd Wagner of 2929 Entertainment.
Best Documentary Short: A Son's Sacrifice, directed by Yoni Brook (USA). Winner receives $5,000 cash and the art award Deb 2000, created by Deborah Kass.
Student Visionary Award: Good Luck Nedim (Sretan Put Nedime), directed by Marko Santic (Slovenia). Sponsored by Apple. Winner receives an Apple Mac Pro Desktop with a 23" Display Final Cut Studio 2 and the art award ?Study for Pink with Thorns,created by John Newman.
Student Visionary Award: Someone Else's War, directed by Lee Wang (USA/Philippines). Sponsored by Apple. Winner receives an Apple Mac Pro Desktop with a 23" Display Final Cut Studio 2 and the art award Untitled (4/6/06), created by Carroll Dunham and graciously donated by the Barbara Gladstone Gallery.
Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Award: Documentary: Dee Rees for her documentary work-in-progress, Eventual Salvation, which follows an 80-year-old grandmother who returns to Liberia to rebuild her life and community after years of civil war. Winner receives $10,000 cash and the art award with a soda on the side, video still from the Fatback series, created by Jessica Ann Peavy.
Honorable mention: Ultimate Christian Wrestling by Jae-Ho Chang and Tara Autovino.
Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Award: Narrative: Ben Rekhi for his current screenplay, Waste, co-written by John Campo, which tells the story of a widowed NYC sanitation worker who must negotiate his relationship with his son after he becomes a key figure in a labor dispute. Winner receives $10,000 cash and the art award ?Louis XVI, The Sun King, created by Kehinde Wiley.
Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Award: Screenwriting: Marilyn Fu for her screenplay, The Sisterhood of Night, an adaptation of the short story by Pulitzer Prize winner Steven Millhauser. Caryn Waechter is attached to direct. Winner receives $5,000 cash and the art award Look at Me Now, created by Alex Beard.
Honorable mention: Last Road Home by Roberto Marinas.
Recipient of the 2007 Tribeca/Sloan Screenplay Development Program Grant: David Freeman for A First Class Man. Winner receives $48,000 cash.
L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth Vision Award: Cherien Dabis for her screenplay Amreeka. Winner receives $15,000 cash.