Tribeca 2013: Award Winners Announced

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The winners of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival have been announced with top prizes going to The Rocket, Kill Team, Whitewash, and Oxyana.

The competition featured 12 narrative features and 12 documentaries spanning from 14 different countries. The festival continues now through April 28th and they’ll be screening all the winners on the final day of the fest in case you missed any of them. Hit the jump for the full list of winners.

Here’s the full list of winners, for more information head over to



The jurors for the 2013 World Narrative Competition were Bryce Dallas-Howard, Blythe Danner, Paul Haggis, Kenneth Lonergan, and Jessica Winter.


  • The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature The Rocket, directed by Kim Mordaunt (Australia). Winner receives $25,000, sponsored by AKA, and the art award “Two Voices #1” by Angelina Nasso. The award was given by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal.


Jury Comments:  “The Rocket is a spectacular achievement that is powerful and delightful in equal measures. Artfully structured and gorgeously shot, it chronicles the struggles of a displaced family while steering well clear of either sentimentality or despair. Complex in its tone and characterizations, the film takes an unflinching – and edifying – look at the suffering caused both by a legacy of war and the new status quo of economic globalization. And yet, while never losing sight of those grim realities, it also offers us a transcendent tale of hope and perseverance in a world that few Westerners ever have the chance to see.”


Special Jury Mention Stand Clear of the Closing Doors, directed by Sam Fleischner. The announcement was made by Kenneth Lonergan.


  • Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film – Sitthiphon Disamoe as Ahlo in The Rocket, directed by Kim Mordaunt (Australia). Winner receives $2,500. The award was given by Blythe Danner.


Jury Comments: “One of the great pleasures this year was the discovery of this young, non-professional actor, who plays his role with an irresistible blend of pluck, stoic determination and vulnerability. Sitthiphon Disamoe carried a big, ambitious production on his small shoulders, with charm and grace to spare.”


  • Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film – Veerle Baetens as Elise Vandevelde in The Broken Circle Breakdown, directed by Felix van Groeningen (Netherlands, Belgium). Winner receives $2,500. The award was given by Bryce Dallas Howard.


Jury Comments: “We’ve selected a woman who shows herself to be a totally committed and fiercely versatile actress. Veerle Baetens’ character goes from a sunny free spirit to grieving wife and mother, and no matter where we are in the course of that journey, this actress shows us the light burning inside her character, one that both sustains and destroys. She is the heart and soul of the movie, and her performance is nothing short of a tour de force.”


  • Best Cinematography in a Narrative Feature Film – Cinematography by Marius Matzow Gulbrandsen, for Before Snowfall, directed by Hisham Zaman (Germany, Norway). Winner receives $5,000, sponsored by Sony Electronics; a Sony Alpha A99 Full Frame Camera and a Sony NEX-VG900 Full Frame Camcorder; and $50,000 in post-production services provided by Company 3. The award was given by Blythe Danner and Alec Shapiro, President, Sony Professional Solutions of America.


Jury Comments: “Before Snowfall packs a visual punch to match the force and ambition of its story about a teenage boy who pursues the honor killing of his own sister. Shot in four countries and capturing everything from a rural village to multiple European cities, from intimate domestic scenes to teeming street life, from a harrowing border crossing to a bleakly beautiful Nordic landscape in winter, it invites us into many vivid worlds and fulfills many possibilities for cinematography as an art form.”


  • Best Screenplay for a Narrative Feature FilmThe Broken Circle Breakdown, written by Carl Joos and Felix van Groeningen and directed by Felix van Groeningen (Netherlands, Belgium). Winner receives $5,000. The award was given by Paul Haggis.


Jury Comments: “The Broken Circle Breakdown is a true original, starting with the eclectic ingredients in its dynamic screenplay: a romance of opposites, a battle between spiritual faith and secular humanism, triggered by unthinkable tragedy, a Flemish bluegrass band. With dialogue that spans the sweetly flirtatious and the operatically confrontational — and with dollops of humor and a pure, deep love of music – the film leaps nimbly back and forth in time to conjure vivid characters who face down literal life-or-death issues. They win both our rapt interest and our greatest empathy; they make us both think and feel.”




The jurors for the 2013 Best New Narrative Director Competition were Naomi Foner, Tony Gilroy, Ari Graynor, Radha Mitchell, and Stu Zicherman.


  • Best New Narrative Director – Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais, director of Whitewash  (Canada). Winner receives $25,000, presented by American Express; $50,000 in post-production services provided by Company 3; and the art award “New Elands Bay” by Erik Parker. The award was given by Tony Gilroy, Radha Mitchell and Deborah Curtis from American Express, Vice President, Entertainment Marketing & Sponsorships.


Jury Comments: “Whitewash is funny, strange, emotionally honest, tense, pathetic, and ultimately haunting — a broad canvas for even the most experienced director to paint. It quickly became clear that we were in the hands of a filmmaker with the intelligence, imagination and bravery to carry off this very tricky piece of material. The ability to mix tones and the guts to stage odd, random moments and make them inevitable is one of the least-appreciated tools in a filmmaker’s skill set. The taste and attention to detail required to deliver a story this unsettled and delicate is the work of a director — and a team — that this jury hopes will continue for many movies. Their story is so credibly and invisibly constructed — and the filmmakers have such control of the material and trust in the audience — that the film reaches for metaphor without ever having had to ask for the privilege. It is a remarkable first feature, and we extend our congratulations to all involved, including two spectacular lead actors in Thomas Haden Church and Marc Labrèche.”


Special Jury Mention: Harmony Lessons, directed by Emir Baigazin (Germany, France). The announcement was made by Naomi Foner and Ari Graynor.




The jurors for the 2013 World Documentary Competition were Joe Berlinger, Sandi DuBowski, Whoopi Goldberg, Mira Sorvino, and Evan Rachel Wood.


  • Best Documentary FeatureThe Kill Team, directed by Dan Krauss (USA). Winner receives $25,000, sponsored by Citizens of Humanity, and the art award “Harley Before the White Prom” by Gillian Laub. The award was given by Mira Sorvino and Gareth Baxendale from Citizens of Humanity.


Jury Comments: “The Kill Team examines the fundamental flaw in the preparation of young soldiers for war that allows them to see people as targets without humanity, a culture of killing that looks to express itself even in times of peace. It masterfully combines verite’ footage, talking head interviews and a private look into one family’s desperate fight in a seamless cinematic undertaking.  As the drama unfolds we are faced with issues of both institutionalized responsibility and culpabilty within the military itself, the extreme importance of individual acts of courage, cowardice or allegiance to authority, and an expiation of guilt of one tormented soldier’s decision to blow the whistle, too late.  We feel it raises questions that demand to be answered by our military and society at large, so that these ever enumerating acts of senseless violence cease.”


Special Jury Mention: Oxyana, directed by Sean Dunne (USA). The announcement was made by Joe Berlinger.


  • Best Editing in a Documentary FeatureLet the Fire Burn, edited by Nels Bangerter, directed by Jason Osder (USA). Winner receives $5,000. The award was given by Whoopi Goldberg and Sandi DuBowski.


Jury Comments: “Let the Fire Burn tells a story we were stunned to realize we didn’t know. It offers a time capsule, taking us to a horrific moment in our nation’s history with a masterfully structured edit that vividly mines a trove of blistering period archive images without voiceover narration. The film ensures that a criminal and senseless destruction that cost eleven deaths — five children, six adults — shakes us to our core and is remembered with utter visceral power.”




The jurors for the 2013 Best New Documentary Director Competition were Jared Cohen, Taraji P. Henson, Riley Keough, Jason O’Mara, and Josh Radnor.


  • Best New Documentary Director – Sean Dunne for Oxyana (USA). Winner receives $25,000, presented by American Express; and the art award “Untitled (#5), from the Men in the Cities Photo Portfolio” by Robert Longo, courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures. The award was given by Taraji P. Henson and Deborah Curtis from American Express.


Jury Comments: “Sean Dunne’s Oxyana is a major accomplishment, deeply sad without being sentimental, fearless, unblinking and deft in the filmmaker’s ability to coax harrowing stories from his subjects. It is not an easy film to watch. It could be read as hopeless, but by the end, something of the light of each person shone through. It presents an acute awareness of the severity of their situation mixed with an inner battle to not let this film be the final story of them or their once-proud town. We will never forget the faces of these people, their stories and their struggles.”


Special Jury MentionLet the Fire Burn, directed by Jason Osder. The announcement was made by Riley Keough and Jason O’Mara.


Short Film Competition Categories:


The 2013 Best Narrative Short Competition jurors were Christine Baranski, Kassem Garaibeh, Jessica Hecht, Chris Milk, and Sheila Nevins.


  • Best Narrative ShortThe Nightshift Belongs to the Stars, directed by Edoardo Ponti (Italy). Winner receives $5,000, sponsored by Persol; 10,000 feet of film stock donated by Kodak; and the art award “Study: Northern City Renaissance, Mauve Dawn (Mass MoCA #79-R)” by Stephen Hannock. The award was given by Christine Baranksi and Andrea Dorigo, President of Luxottica, North America.


Jury Comments: “The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars expresses love in its many dimensions and literally gets to the heart of the matter.”


Special Jury Mention: Yardbird, directed by Michael Spiccia (Australia). The announcement was made by Christine Baranski.                            


The 2013 Best Documentary and Student Short Competition jurors were Abigail Breslin, Bobby Flay, Eva Longoria, Jason Silva, John Skipper, and Danny Strong. (John Skipper recused himself from the final vote in the Documentary category.)


  • Best Documentary ShortCoach, directed by Bess Kargman (USA). Winner receives $5,000, sponsored by Persol, and the art award “Psycho” by William Wegman. The award was given by Jason Silva and Andrea Dorigo, President of Luxottica/Persol.


Jury Comments: “In just 15 minutes, Coach brilliantly shows us a world in which pain and tragedy can lead to triumph and success. It takes us through a national scandal that was handled by the film’s subject with her signature passion, grace and dignity. All together, it shows us why C. Vivien Stringer is a hall of famer and one of the great college basketball coaches of all time.”

Special Jury Mention: Royal American, directed by Michael Scalisi (USA). The announcement was made by Jason Silva.

  • Student Visionary AwardLife Doesn’t Frighten Me, directed by Stephen Dunn (Canada). Winner receives the art award “Platonic Haircut” by Dustin Yellin. The award was given by Danny Strong.

Jury Comments: “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me is a sweet coming-of-age story that displays its writer/director’s unique voice through humor, drama and whimsy, in a way that brings true depth to his charming yet conflicted characters. Effortlessly shifting from comedy to drama, this work definitely showcases a young director with a skilled hand and a bright future ahead of him.”

Special Jury Mention Reporting on the Times: The New York Times and the Holocaust, directed by Emily Harrold (USA). The announcement was made by Danny Strong.


The 2013 BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Award for Transmedia jurors were Thomas Allen Harris, Jeff Gomez, and Frank Rose.

  • Bombay Sapphire Award for Transmedia: Sandy Storyline, created by Rachel Falcone, Laura Gottesdiener, and Michael Premo (USA). Winner receives $10,000, presented by BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin, and the art award “Study For Austin Courthouse” by Clifford Ross. The award was given by Thomas Allen Harris and Ned Duggan, Brand Director, Bombay Gins.

Jury Comments: “We were treated to five extraordinary, transmedia works, and the winner stood out for its powerful demonstration of the potential of communal storytelling. Sandy Storyline, created by Rachel Falcone, Laura Gottesdiener and Michael Premo, leverages the innovative Cowbird storytelling platform, creating a fully realized transmedia account that demonstrates both the therapeutic power of storytelling and our responsibility to bear witness. This project will be of use not only to people today but also to future generations seeking to understand a signal moment in our stewardship of the planet. Moreover, thanks to its admirably simple user interface, its elegant design both online and in physical installations and its effective yet unobtrusive curation, this project serves as a model for narratives surrounding future moments of crisis.”



The 2013 Tribeca Online Festival winners were voted on by visitors to

  • Tribeca Online Festival Best Feature Film: Lil Bub & Friendz, directed by Andy Capper and Juliette Eisner (USA). Winner receives $10,000 and the art award “Blk. Candy Series 5”, by Curtis Kulig The award was given by Geoff Gilmore.
  • Tribeca Online Festival Best Short Film: A Short Film About Guns, directed by Minos Papas (USA, UK). Winner receives $5,000. The award was given by Geoff Gilmore.