The 18th Annual Tribeca Film Festival is wrapping up on May 5, and I’m happy to report that black history has been made.
I attended the awards ceremony on Thursday evening and I must say, experiencing the pure joy of creators being recognized for the blood, sweat and tears they injected into their work never gets old. It’s intoxicating. It truly was an emotional night.
But, enough of the happy tears for now, onto the winners!
The biggest moment of the night went to Phillip Youmans, who won The Founders Award (Best Narrative Feature) for Burning Cane — which we included on our 10 Blackest Experiences list this year!
At the age of 19, Youmans is the first African America director to win this award, as well as the youngest ever director with a feature in Tribeca. Youmans wrote, directed and shot Burning Cane at the tender age of 17. With this top honor, Youmans received $20,000, sponsored by AT&T, and the art award “Bloom” by Fred Tomaselli.
Burning Cane had a big night, with the film winning Best Cinematography in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film, as well as Wendell Pierce scoring the Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature honor.
Pierce accepted the award at the ceremony via video since he is currently in London rehearsing for his UK theatre debut as Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, to play at the Young Vic next month, per the Evening Standard.
Another film on our Blackest Experiences list, 17 Blocks, won Best Documentary Competition and Best Editing in a Documentary Film.
St. Louis Superman, which chronicles the journey of 34-year-old battle rapper, leading Ferguson activist Missouri state representative Bruce Franks Jr., received a Special Jury Mention in the Documentary Short category.
“I’m so proud to see our juries reward a group of winners that is truly representative of the diversity of story and accomplishment in craft at this year’s Festival. We are particularly excited for the many first-time filmmakers the jury chose to recognize, and feel like this year’s winners signal a bright future ahead for independent film,” Festival Director Cara Cusumano stated via press release.
As Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal pointed out, the 18th annual fest was truly a year of “new voices,” as every single winner of the three main feature awards are first-time directors, and all four short awards recipients are female directors.
“It’s a wrap!” Rosenthal exclaimed, triumphantly.
The complete list of winners are listed below:
U.S. NARRATIVE COMPETITION CATEGORIES:
Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature – Burning Cane, directed by Phillip Youmans
Best Actress in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film – Haley Bennett in Swallow
Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film – Wendell Pierce in Burning Cane
Best Cinematography in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film – Phillip Youmans for Burning Cane
Best Screenplay in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film – Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy for Blow the Man Down
INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE COMPETITION CATEGORIES:
Best International Narrative Feature – House of Hummingbird (Beol-sae) (South Korea, USA) directed and written by Bora Kim.
Best Actress in an International Narrative Feature Film – Ji-hu Park in House of Hummingbird (Beol-sae) (South Korea, USA)
Best Actor in an International Narrative Feature Film – Ali Atay in Noah Land
Best Cinematography in an International Narrative Feature Film – Cinematography by Kang Gook-hyun for House of Hummingbird (Beol-sae) (South Korea, USA) directed by Bora Kim
Best Screenplay in an International Narrative Feature Film – Noah Land (Nuh Tepesi) written by Cenk Ertürk (Germany, Turkey, USA)
DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION CATEGORIES:
Best Documentary Feature – Scheme Birds (Scotland, Sweden) directed and written by Ellen Fiske, Ellinor Hallin
Best Cinematography in a Documentary Film – Cinematography by Yang Sun, Shuang Liang for Our Time Machine (China) directed by Yang Sun, S. Leo Chiang
Best Editing in a Documentary Film – Editing by Jennifer Tiexiera for 17 Blocks (USA) directed by Davy Rothbart
BEST NEW NARRATIVE DIRECTOR COMPETITION:
Best New Narrative Director – The Gasoline Thieves (Huachicolero) (Mexico, Spain, UK, USA) directed by Edgar Nito
BEST NEW DOCUMENTARY DIRECTOR COMPETITION:
Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award – Scheme Birds (Scotland, Sweden) directed by Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin
THE NORA EPHRON AWARD:
The Nora Ephron Award – Rania Attieh for Initials S.G. (Iniciales S.G.) (Argentina, Lebanon, USA) directed by Rania Attieh, Daniel Garcia
SHORT FILM COMPETITION CATEGORIES:
Best Narrative Short – Maja (Denmark) directed by Marijana Jankovic
Shorts Animation Award – My Mother’s Eyes (UK) directed and written by Jenny Wright
Best Documentary Short – Learning To Skateboard In a Warzone (If You’re A Girl) (UK) directed by Carol Dysinger
Student Visionary Award – Jebel Banat (Egypt) directed and written by Sharine Atif
Storyscapes Award – The Key (USA, Iraq), created by Celine Tricart
TRIBECA X AWARD:
Best Feature Film - Almost Human for The Carlsberg Foundation. Directed by Jeppe Rønde.
Best Short Film - The Face of Distracted Driving for AT&T. Directed by Errol Morris for BBDO New York.
Best Episodic Film - History of Memory for HP. Directed by Sarah Klein and Tom Mason for Redglass Pictures, The Garage by HP.
Best VR Film - The 100% by Stand Up to Cancer, HP and Intel. Directed by Hernan Barangan for Springbok Entertainment.