Tribeca jury awards announced

British directed Una Noche among winners.

by Amber Wilkinson

Una Noche
Una Noche

Una Noche, directed by British debut helmer Lucy Mulloy was among the winners at this year's Tribeca Film Festival.

Her film, which tells the story of a brother torn between staying in Cuba with his sister and attempting to escape to a new life in Miami with his friend, picked up the awards for best new narrative director, best cinematography - by Trevor Forrest and Shlomo Godder. The non-professional stars of the film, Dariel Arrechada and to Javier Nuñez Florian, shared the best actor award, although as Florian absconded with co-star and now girlfriend Anailin de la Rua de la Torre (read about that here), it's unlikely he'll see any of the $2,500 any time soon.

Speaking about the film, the jury said: “Una Noche reveals a Havana we could never otherwise see, in its jumble of vibrant life, decay, and making do. There’s a ‘you are there’ documentary immediacy to the picture, shot on the fly and in the streets, that keeps us enthralled.”

Kim Nguyen's child soldier drama War Witch - which took home the Berlinale Silver Bear - picked up two more accolades, being named best narrative feature and seeing its star, Rachel Mwanza (another non-professional) named best actress.

Daniel Burman and Sergio Dubcovsky won the best screenplay award for rapid-fire Argentinian comedy drama All In (La Suerte En Tus Manos), while Nisha Pahuja's film about Miss India, The World Before Her, was named best documentary.

I was particularly pleased to see some short film love for short documentaries Paraíso and Baseball In The Time Of Cholera (read the capsule reviews here), which received the best short doc and special jury mention respectively.

The full list of winners and jury comments is below:

The jurors for the 2012 World Narrative Competition were Patricia Clarkson, Dakota Fanning, Mike Newell, Lisa Schwarzbaum, Jim Sheridan, and Irwin Winkler.

The Founders Award for Best Narrative FeatureWar Witch, directed by Kim Nguyen (Canada). Winner receives $25,000 and the art award “The Wrinkles of The City, Los Angeles, Carl revealed on wood, 2011” by JR.

Jury Comments: “This indelible character study of a girl who becomes a woman before our eyes in the midst of harrowing war gives words to the unspeakable. Riveting, heartbreaking, vivid, and eloquent, the movie balances scenes of crazy enemy hatred with moments of luminous private love.”

Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film – Dariel Arrechada and Javier Nuñez Florian as Raul and Elio in Una Noche, directed by Lucy Mulloy (UK, Cuba, USA). Winners split $2,500.

Jury Comments: “We give the award for Best Actor in a Narrative Feature to Dariel Arrechada and to Javier Nuñez Florian in Una Noche, for potent individual performances that together are even greater than the sum of their parts. Playing Raul and Elio, young Cuban men who goad each other on in a dream of fleeing Havana for a fantasy of Miami, Dariel locates Raul’s danger and sexual power as precisely as Javier taps into Elio’s essential sweetness. Both young actors are nonprofessionals who took great risks to tell a daring story. Each won our hearts.”

Rachel Mwanza
Rachel Mwanza

Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film – Rachel Mwanza as Komona in War Witch, directed by Kim Nguyen (Canada). Winner receives $2,500.

Jury Comments: “A nonprofessional actress, this remarkable young woman—barely a teenager when the movie was shot—so fully inhabits her role that there are no borders to her stunning performance, no distance at all between the actress and the unforgettable character Komona.”

Best Cinematography in a Narrative Feature Film – Cinematography by Trevor Forrest and Shlomo Godder, for Una Noche, directed by Lucy Mulloy (UK, Cuba, USA). Winner receives $5,000 and $50,000 in post-production services provided by Company 3.

Jury Comments: “Una Noche reveals a Havana we could never otherwise see, in its jumble of vibrant life, decay, and making do. There’s a ‘you are there’ documentary immediacy to the picture, shot on the fly and in the streets, that keeps us enthralled.”

Special Jury Mention – Alex Catalan for Unit 7.

Best Screenplay for a Narrative Feature Film – All In (La Suerte en Tus Manos), written by Daniel Burman and Sergio Dubcovsky and directed by Daniel Burman (Argentina). Winner receives $5,000.

Jury Comments: “We are impressed with the movie’s elegant and thoughtful balance of comedic lightness and deepness of soul; its ability to locate universal issues regarding families, lovers, kids, and running a business within the tangy specificity of an Argentinean Jewish poker-playing milieu; and its ability to cram vasectomies and rock ’n’ roll rabbis into the same story without breaking a sweat. Comedy is hard; All In handles it with ease.”

Best New Narrative Director – Lucy Mulloy, director of Una Noche (UK, Cuba, USA). Winner receives $25,000, presented by American Express; $50,000 in post-production services provided by Company 3; and the art award “Red Top, 2012” courtesy of Stanley Whitney & Team Gallery, New York.

Jury Comments: “Lucy Mulloy’s Una Noche rang the bell inside all of our little director hearts. We simply thought the film was awesome, and it only grew in our esteem as we spoke of it after. It is a film that immediately connects any audience member it can find to the undeniable, hopeful, and naïve intentions of the young. It is so rich in its motivations, and so breathtaking in its outcomes, it is thoughtful and entertaining in perfect balance. Mulloy pulled us through social portrait to family drama, to true crime, to thriller, all with skill, grace, the realized intent of a sophisticated filmmaker, and deep love for humanity. So, Lucy, we would like you to accept the 2012 Best New Narrative Director award, and please consider us for your next picture.”

Special Jury Mention – P Benoit, director of Stones in the Sun; and Sharon Bar-Ziv, director of Room 514.

The jurors for the 2012 World Documentary Competition were Julia Bacha, Kim Cattrall, K’naan, Michael Moore, and Lucy Walker.

Best Documentary Feature – The World Before Her, directed by Nisha Pahuja (Canada). Winner receives $25,000 and the art award “An Unpeopled Land in Uncharted Waters, 2010” by Kara Walker.

Jury Comments: “With unprecedented access, great compassion, and a keen eye for the universal, this year’s winner takes a hard and clear-eyed look at the trials of growing up female in today’s fast-changing world. Following young women who have taken diametrically opposed decisions on how to tackle the influence of global forces in their communities, the filmmaker takes us on a journey to examine how the pressures of faith, fashion, and family are bringing up a generation of women who are desperately searching for meaning amidst a reality of few real choices.”

Special Jury Mention – The Revisionaries, directed by Scott Thurman.

Best Editing in a Documentary Feature – The Flat (Hadira), edited by Tali Halter Shenkar, directed by Arnon Goldfinger, (Israel, Germany). Winner receives $5,000.

Jury Comments: “For a story so skillfully told that even though we thought this subject had been covered already by many great films, to our surprise a new story emerged that took us by surprise, left us on the edge of our seat, and will stay with us. The story is based on a complicated and murky journey into the unknown; however, thanks to the sure-handed and deceptively simple editing, it unfolded so clearly and powerfully that even a scene of the filmmaker and his mother lost in a rainy graveyard becomes beautifully climactic and memorable. This is a lesson in how a modestly shot family history can transcend its personal nature and become universal in its insights into human psychology thanks to great filmmaking craft.”

Best New Documentary Director – Jeroen van Velzen for Wavumba (Netherlands). Winner receives $25,000, presented by American Express; and the art award “Untitled, 1980/2000” courtesy of Cindy Sherman & Metro Pictures.

Jury Comments: “A modern day ‘Old Man and the Sea’ tale, set off the coast of Kenya, this lyrical film depicts the story of Masoud, a legend of shark fishing who, along with his young protégé, strives to end his days with one last grand catch. We the jury especially appreciated this new director’s confidence of style, his restraint and his deep relationship to a culture fast disappearing. It is a hypnotic story of man and nature, unafraid of silence, and full of a terrible beauty. We look forward to his next endeavor with great anticipation.”

Special Jury Mention – Christian Bonke and Andreas Koefoed, directors of Ballroom Dancer.

Short Film Competition Categories:

The 2012 Best Narrative Short Competition jurors were Maureen Chiquet, Hugh Dancy, Aline Brosh McKenna, Bridget Moynahan, Drew Nieporent, Mohammed Saeed Harib, and Shari Springer Berman.

Best Narrative Short – Asad, directed by Bryan Buckley (USA). Winner receives $5,000, sponsored by Persol; 10,000 feet of film stock donated by Kodak; and the art award “Nantes, 2009” courtesy of Walton Ford & Paul Kasmin Gallery.

Jury Comments: “Asad is a lyrical, moving and beautifully realized portrayal of a world we rarely get to see in cinema. Every shot of the film is well thought out and specific to this unique world—a fishing village in Somalia. Yet Asad’s most astounding achievement is boasting an array of brilliant performances by a cast of Somali refugees. Congratulations to writer/director Bryan Buckley and his amazing cast on making a short film that is rather large in spirit, ambition and accomplishment.”

Special Jury Mention – Ritesh Batra, writer and director of Café Regular Cairo. The announcement was made by Shari Springer Berman.

The 2012 Best Documentary and Student Short Competition jurors were Scooter Braun, Robert Hammond, Brett Ratner, Susan Sarandon, James Spione, Shailene Woodley, and Susan Zirinsky.

Best Documentary Short – Paraíso, directed by Nadav Kurtz (USA). Winner receives $5,000, sponsored by Persol, and the art award “Harmonium Mountain V” by Clifford Ross..

Jury Comments: “This film is a beautifully crafted portrait of a group of men with a sense of humanity and a very unique view of the world. In 10 minutes we were drawn into a story that told us about human nature, quality of life, economics, race, the importance of family and mortality. The men may be invisible to the world rushing below them, but they see through the windows they’re washing—deep into the lives and souls of the people behind the glass. It’s cinematically exquisite, with light so rich it’s thrilling to watch.”

Special Jury Mention – David Darg and Bryn Mooser, directors of Baseball in the Time of Cholera.

Student Visionary Award – Stitches, directed by Adiya Imri Orr (Israel). Winner receives support from Apple and the art award “Waterfall 104f” courtesy of Kim Keever & Kinz + Tillou Fine Art.

Jury Comments: “Stitches is a well written, powerfully acted film that exposes the rawness of two life partners who have decided to have a baby and now find themselves at the precipice of their relationship. The world around them still treats them like they don’t quite belong. Every confrontation, every expression feels like you’re touching an exposed nerve. Life, as you discover in this film, is not always neat.”

Special Jury Mention – Tati Barrantes and Andinh Ha, writers and directors of Adirake. The announcement was made by Susan Sarandon.

The 2012 Tribeca (Online) Film Festival winners were voted on by visitors to tribecafilm.com.

Tribeca (Online) Film Festival Best Feature Film: On The Mat, directed and written by Fredric Golding (USA). Winner receives $10,000,.

Tribeca (Online) Film Festival Best Short Film: CatCam, directed by Seth Keal (USA). Winners receive $5,000.

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