Tribeca Film Festival’s Awards Night

BY DEAN MOSES

In the past several issues we have been bringing you movie reviews and interviews of films that have yet to hit theaters, many of which had their world premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival right here in New York City. Now we close out our coverage with our report of the Tribeca Film Festival Juried Awards, their version of the Oscars. The Spring Creek Sun had a near front row seat for the celebration, sitting amongst actors, writers, and directors with the intention of reiterating the experience to you, so sit back and get comfortable for your first-class ticket to the glitz and glamour of award night.

The awards were held on April 26th at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center. The venue overflowed with excited nominees and eagle-eyed journalists, all of whom stood by their seats discussing potential winners. The atmosphere oozed a palpable furor and expectation that danced on echoed murmurs. As the lights dimmed, the talk dwindled, nerves kicked into overdrive, and the show began. The ceremony is all about celebrating the most extra-ordinary works found amid the 99 feature films, 55 short films, and 35 other projects from 46 countries. The Tribeca Film Festival appreciates diversity, and it certainly shows with this incredible lineup. However, the spoils go to those special few that outshine their counterparts thanks to their makers’ passion and dedication.


For instance, Best Documentary Feature was awarded to Island of the Hungry Ghosts directed by Gabrielle Brady, a piece that explores Christmas Island, a small landmass where the Australian government indefinitely houses asylum-seekers within a high-security detention facility. The project includes some dazzling cinematography and emotional moments. This is what the jury had to say about the film: “The Best Documentary award goes to a film that demonstrates extraordinary mastery of the full symphonic range of cinematic tools: cinematography, editing, score, sound design, and, perhaps greatest of all, an exquisite use of metaphor. To a film that moved us deeply, impressed us immensely, and made us feel we were witnessing nothing less than the emergence, fully formed, of a major new cinematic talent, we are thrilled to award the Best Documentary award to Island of the Hungry Ghosts.”


O.G was another standout picture. This narrative feature follows Louis, played by Jeffrey Wright, an inmate who has served nearly half a century in a maximum-security prison after committing a violent crime. Now, soon to be released, Louis encounters a newly incarcerated young man in which he sees much of his younger self. Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film was awarded to Jeffrey Wright for his outstanding performance. This is what the jury had to say: “This year’s best actor has been transforming himself on stage, film, and television for many years. His performance in this year’s competition entry testifies to his talent, sensitivity, and craft. With masterful restraint, the inner life of his character seethes out of his pores. He has crafted a performance that solidifies his standing as one of the greatest actors working today. The award for Best Actor goes to Jeffrey Wright for O.G.”


The last award of the night was presented by none other than co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival Robert De Niro himself. The audience was excited to see the world-renowned actor, even crowd members seasoned in the movie business were giddy. De Niro took to the stage to award the film Diane, directed and written by Kent Jones, the coveted Best Narrative Feature. Diane follows the title character as she traverses an inner minefield and attempts to come to terms with her own identity. The jury had this to say: “Here we were presented with another very difficult decision, but after careful consideration we have chosen a film that we believe encompasses the beauty, aesthetic, as well as the powerful themes of love, struggle, life, death, and womanhood that are the spirit of this year’s Festival. For those reasons, our selection for this year’s Best Narrative Feature is Diane.”

Soon thereafter the ceremony came to a close and we, the audience left the auditorium, filed by the red carpet, and out into the night. But I would be remiss if I left the story here. This year’s Tribeca Film Festival had so many fantastic movies the jury failed to recognize. So here are the Spring Creek Sun’s honorable mentions.

Check them out:

  • The Dark, a stylish horror flick.
  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post, an emotional tale about a gay teen in the 90s.
  • We the Animals, a drama about a young child who does not fit in with the rest of his family.

We have reviewed these films so search through our website for a more in-depth analysis.

Photos by Dean Moses