June 17, 2021
The following is a press release from the Tribeca Film Festival:
The 20th annual Tribeca Festival, presented by AT&T, announced the winning storytellers in its competition categories at this year’s awards ceremony today at Spring Studios. Awards were given in the following competition categories: U.S. Narrative, International Narrative, Documentary; Short Films, Immersive, the Nora Ephron Award, and the first-ever Podcast and Games categories. For the first time ever, Italian eyewear brand, Persol, presented the award to the 2021 Best Actor, U.S. Narrative recipient.
The awards ceremony honored the most diverse line-up of creators in Tribeca’s 20 year history and awarded $165,000 in cash prizes. The Festival, which had the honor of welcoming back in-person audiences, concludes on June 20th.
The top honors for feature films went to The Novice, Brighton 4th, and Ascension.
Chanel James and Taylor Garron won the Nora Ephron Award and a $25,000 prize for As of Yet. The award, created nine years ago, honors excellence in storytelling by a female writer or director embodying the spirit and boldness of the late filmmaker.
Tribeca honored innovation in storytelling with its Storyscapes Award, which went to Felix Gaedtke and Gayatri Parameswaran for Kusunda.
The inaugural Tribeca Podcast honors for the Non-Fiction Narrative Award went to Guardians of the River, and the Fiction Narrative Award went to Vermont Ave.
In the Games category, the first-ever Tribeca Games Award was given to Norco, created by Geography of Robots and published by Raw Fury.
“It’s been a challenging time for filmmakers, storytellers, and actors, and we’re so proud to honor the perseverance and dedication many of them displayed while working through the many obstacles that arose as a result of COVID-19,” said Cara Cusumano, Festival Director and Vice President of Programming. “Each of these recipients truly embody the spirit of our creative community.”
A special Virtual Award Winner Screenings series will be available for U.S. audiences via Tribeca at Home on Saturday, June 19 and Sunday, June 20. Tickets can be purchased at tribecafilm.com/festival/tickets
In addition to cash awards and in-kind services provided by sponsors, some award winners received the unique Tribeca Festival Art Award. Supported by CHANEL, the world-class artists donated work to honored filmmakers.
The winners of the Audience Awards, powered by AT&T, which are determined by audience votes throughout the Festival, will be announced next week.
The winners, awards, and comments from the jury who selected the recipients are as follows:
U.S. NARRATIVE COMPETITION
The Jurors for the 2021 U.S. Narrative Competition were Ana Lily Amirpour, Derek Cianfrance, Bryan Cranston, Andre Holland, and Erica Huggins.
The Founders Award for Best U.S. Narrative Feature Film: The Novice, directed and written by Lauren Hadaway. Produced by Ryan Hawkins, Kari Hollend, Steven Sims, Zack Zucker.
Art Award: Meghan Boody’s Opening Night, 2019 C Print Face Mounted to Mat Plexiglass and Back Mounted to White Plexiglass ⅖
Best Actress in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film: Isabelle Furman, The Novice, directed and written by Lauren Hadaway. Produced by Ryan Hawkins, Kari Hollend, Steven Sims, Zack Zucker.
Special Jury Mention: Kali Reis, for her magnetic performance in Catch The Fair One. She kept audiences on the edge of their seats with her strength and vulnerability in a performance that always felt deeply honest.
Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film: Matthew Leone, God’s Waiting Room, directed and written by Tyler Riggs. Produced by Tyler Riggs, Suvi Riggs.
Best Cinematography in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film: Todd Martin, The Novice, directed and written by Lauren Hadaway. Produced by Ryan Hawkins, Kari Hollend, Steven Sims, Zack Zucker.
Best Screenplay in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film: Hannah Marks, Mark, Mary, and Some Other People, directed and written by Hannah Marks. Produced by Hannah Marks, Pete Williams, Jon Lullo, Brendan Walter, Jonathan Duffy, Kelly Williams, Stephen Braun.
Special Jury Prize for Artistic Expression: Director Nana Mensah, Queen of Glory, for opening audiences up to an intimate and personal story, exploring cultural identity and family, with delicate nuance and humor and heart.
INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE COMPETITION
The Jurors for the 2021 International Narrative Competition were Lesli Klainberg, Melissa Leo, Delroy Lindo, Alexander Payne, and Peter Scarlet.
Best International Narrative Feature Film: Brighton 4th, directed by Levan Koguashvili, written by Boris Frumin. Produced by Irakli Rodonaya, Olena Yershova, Michel Merkt, Kateryna Merkt.
Art Award: Gus Van Sant’s Devil in Hell, 2021 Encaustic on Paper
Best Actress in an International Narrative Feature Film: Bassant Ahmed & Basmala Elghaiesh, Souad, directed by Ayten Amin, written by Mahmoud Ezzat, Ayten Amin. Produced by Sameh Awad.
Best Actor in an International Narrative Feature Film: Levan Tediashvili, Brighton 4th, directed by Levan Koguashvili, written by Boris Frumin, Levan Koguashvili. Produced by Irakli Rodonaya, Olena Yershova, Michel Merkt, Kateryna Merkt.
Best Cinematography in an International Narrative Feature Film: Elisabeth Vogler, Roaring 20s, directed by Elisabeth Vogler, written by François Mark, Elisabeth Vogler, Noémie Schmidt, Joris Avodo. Produced by Laurent Rochette.
Best Screenplay in an International Narrative Feature Film: Boris Frumin, Brighton 4th, directed by Levan Koguashvili, written by Boris Frumin, Levan Koguashvili. Produced by Irakli Rodonaya, Olena Yershova, Michel Merkt, Kateryna Merkt.
Special Jury Mention: Cast ensemble of Roaring 20s, for their characters and dialogue both written and improvised seamlessly that provide a portrait timeless and true.
The Jurors for the Best New Narrative Director Competition were Aya Cash, Sanaa Lathan, and Chris Weitz.
Best New Narrative Director: Nana Mensah, Queen of Glory, directed and written by Nana Mensah. Produced by Jamund Washington, Kelley Robins Hicks, Baff Akoto, Nana Mensah, Anya Migdal.
Art Award: Will Ryman’s Flag, 2021 Wood, Foam, Paint
Special Jury Mention: Mack Fisher, Cinematographer of God’s Waiting Room, for his beautiful cinematography that captures the heaven/hellscape of central Florida.
The Jurors for the 2021 Best New Documentary Feature Competition were Kirby Dick, Matt Tyrnauer, and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi.
Best Documentary Feature: Ascension, directed by Jessica Kingdon. Produced by Kira Simon-Kennedy, Jessica Kingdon, Nathan Truesdell.
Art Award: Clifford Ross’s Waterline VI, 2020 Pigment Ink on Rag Paper
Best Editing, Documentary Feature: Shannon Swan, The Kids, directed by Eddie Martin. Produced by Shannon Swan.
Best Cinematography, Documentary Feature: Bing Liu & Joshua Altman, All These Sons, directed by Bing Liu, Joshua Altman. Produced by Zak Piper, Kelsey Carr, Bing Liu, Joshua Altman.
The Jurors for the Documentary Director Competition were Iyabo Boyd, Sabrina Schmidt Gordon, and Omar Metwally.
The 2021 Albert Maysles Award for Best New Documentary Director: Jessica Kingdon, Ascension, directed by Jessica Kingdon. Produced by Kira Simon-Kennedy, Jessica Kingdon, Nathan Truesdell.
Art Award: Jeff Chie-Hsing Liao’s View from Tribeca, 2018 Archival Ink Print
Special Jury Mention: The Neutral Ground directed by CJ Hunt, for the way their use of humor brought audiences into a difficult subject, with vulnerability, authenticity, and at great personal risk.
THE NORA EPHRON AWARD
The Jurors for the Nora Ephron award were Patricia Arquette, Mollye Asher, Leslie Dixon, Judith Godreche, and Sharon Stone. The 2021 Nora Ephron Award: Chanel James & Taylor Garron, As of Yet, directed by Chanel James, Taylor Garron. Produced by Ashley Edouard, Taylor Garron.
Art Award: Sheila Berger’s In Between, 2014 Pencil on Paper
Special Jury Mention: cast of The Justice of Bunny King: Thomasin Mckenzie and Essie Davis, for their outstanding achievement in acting.
The Jurors for the 2021 Narrative Short Competition were Justin Bartha, Elegance Bratton, Margaret Cho, Hari Nef, and Sheila Nevins.
Best Narrative Short Award: Rongfei Guo, Girl With a Thermal Gun, directed and written by Rongfei Guo. Produced by Du Yating.
Art Award: Stephen Hannock’s Art Museums Take a Breath, 2021 Charcoal and Chalk on pape
Special Jury Mention: Leylak
Best Animated Short Award: Reza Riahi, Navozande, The Musician, directed and written by Reza Riahi. Produced by Eleanor Coleman, Stéphanie Carreras, Philippe Pujo.
Art Award: Curtis Kulig’s A Stern Foe of Snobbishness, 2020 Oil on Canvas
Special Jury Mention: Whoopi Goldberg was deeply impacted by the films Dirty Little Secret, directed by Jeff Scher, and Try To Fly, directed by The Affolter Brothers.
The Jurors for the 2021 Short Documentary and Student Visionary Competition section were Rashid Johnson, Tig Notaro, and Adria Petty.
Short Documentary Award: Ryan White, Coded, directed by Ryan White. Produced by Christopher Leggett, Jessica Hargrave, Conor Fetting-Smith, Rafael Marmor, Marc Gilbar.
Art Award: Laurie Simmons’ How We See/Ajak (Violet), 2015
The 2021 Student Visionary Award: Robert Brogden, Six Nights, directed and written by Robert Brogden. Produced by Robert Brogden, Kelley Zincone, Izrael Lopez.
Art Award: Deborah Kass’s Being Alive, 2021 Medium: 9-color Silkscreen and Color Blend on 2-ply Museum Board
The Jurors for the 2021 Best Podcast Non-Fiction Award were N’Jeri Eaton, Rachel Ghiazza, and Latif Nasser. Podcast Non-Fiction Award: House of Pod and Wild Bird Trust, Guardians of the River
The Jurors for the 2021 Best Podcast Fiction Award were Neil Drumming, Lauren Shippen, and Mimi O’Donnell.
Podcast Fiction Award: James Kim and Brooke Iskra, Vermont Ave.
Special Jury Mention: Brooklyn Santa
TRIBECA X AWARD
The Jurors for the Tribeca X Award were Justine Armour, David Bornoff, Morgan Cooper, Senain Kheshgi, and Emily Oberman.
Tribeca X Award: Best Feature: Dear Santa, Director: Dana Nachman; Brand: The United States Postal Service
Tribeca X Award: Best Episodic: Black Owned, Director: Rodney Lucas; Brand: Square
Tribeca X Award: Best Short: Chinese New Year-Nian, Director: Lulu Wang; Brand: Apple
Tribeca X Immersive Award: Current, Creator: Annie Saunders; Brand: Brookfield Properties
The Jurors for Games were Elijah Wood, Neill Blomkamp, Tanya DePass, Jen Zee, and Reggie Fils-Aimé.
The 2021 Games Award: Norco, from Geography of Robots, published by Raw Fury
IMMERSIVE COMPETITION CATEGORIES
The Jurors for the 2021 Best Immersive Narrative Competition were Warrington Hudlin, Laura Mingail, and Jake Sally.
Best Immersive Narrative Competition Award: Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster, Yasmin Elayat, The Changing Same: Episode 1
The Jurors for the 2021 Best Creative Nonfiction Competition section were Diliana Alexander, Jimmy Chang, and Gabo Arora.
Best Creative Nonfiction Competition: Annie Saunders, Current
Storyscapes Award: Felix Gaedtke, Gayatri Parameswaran, Kusunda
About the Tribeca Festival:
The Tribeca Festival, presented by AT&T, brings artists and diverse audiences together to celebrate storytelling in all its forms, including film, TV, VR, gaming, music, and online work. With strong roots in independent film, Tribeca is a platform for creative expression and immersive entertainment. Tribeca champions emerging and established voices; discovers award-winning filmmakers and creators; curates innovative experiences; and introduces new technology and ideas through premieres, exhibitions, talks, and live performances.
The Festival was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan following the attacks on the World Trade Center. Tribeca will celebrate its 20th year June 9 – 20, 2021. www.tribecafilm.com/festival
In 2019, James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems, a private investment company with locations in New York and Mumbai, bought a majority stake in Tribeca Enterprises, bringing together Rosenthal, De Niro, and Murdoch to grow the enterprise.
About the 2021 Tribeca Festival Partners
The 2021 Tribeca Festival is presented by AT&T and with the support of our corporate partners: A&E, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Audible, Bloomberg Philanthropies, CHANEL, City National Bank, CNN Films, Diageo, DoorDash, Fresh Direct, Hudson Yards, Indeed, Montefiore-Einstein, Neutrogena, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Persol, P&G, PwC, Roku, Spring Studios New York, United Airlines, and Unreal Engine.
June 24, 2021 UPDATE: The 20th annual Tribeca Festival, presented by AT&T, announced the winners of its 2021 Audience Awards for Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature and the first-ever Best Online Premiere. The first place winners of Best Narrative Feature and Best Documentary Feature each received a cash prize of $10,000, sponsored by AT&T.
Audiences were able to vote in person and online for their favorite films from the Festival, which just wrapped its 20th edition featuring 250 in-person events inside and out, and close to 100,000 attendees in all five New York City boroughs and via the Tribeca at Home online viewing portal.
The Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature went to Catch the Fair One, directed and written by Josef Kubota Wladyka and produced by Mollye Asher, Kimberly Parker, Josef Kubota Wladyka (United States). In this absorbing revenge thriller executive produced by Darren Aronofsky, a Native American boxer embarks on the fight of her life when she goes in search of her missing sister.
The Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature went to Blind Ambition, directed by Robert Coe and Warwick Ross, written by Warwick Ross, Robert Coe, Paul Murphy, Madeleine Ross and produced by Warwick Ross and Robert Coe (Australia). The inspiring story of four Zimbabwean men who form their country’s first Wine Tasting Olympics team and the mission that drives them to compete.
The Audience Award for Best Online Premiere went to Ferguson Rises, directed by Mobolaji Olambiwonnu, written by Mobolaji Olambiwonnu, Bradinn French, Jeff Strik-er, Kai Bowe, Daisy Moand produced by Mobolaji Olambiwonnu, Daisy Mo, Tanayi Seabrook, TJ Ode-bunmi, Lisa Smithline, David Oyelowo, Jessica Oyelowo, Nick Moon and Tamika Lamison (United States). Before George Floyd, before Breonna Taylor, before America knew about Black Lives Matter, there was Michael Brown, Jr. Six years after the fatal shooting of an unarmed Brown by a white police officer, and the subsequent days of protest, filmmaker Mobolaji Olamb-iwonnu brings a new portrait of the community of Ferguson, including Dorian Johnson, and a narrative from within the city of hope, love and renewal.
Second Place for Best Narrative Feature went to Last Film Show, written and directed by Pan Nalin. Second Place for Best Documentary Feature went to A-ha the Movie, directed and written by Thomas Robsahm. Second Place for Best Online Premieres went to Venus as a Boy, directed and written by Ty Hodges.
The Tribeca Festival is curated by Festival Director and VP of Programming Cara Cusumano; Artistic Director Frédéric Boyer; VP of Filmmaker Relations & Shorts Programming Sharon Badal; Senior Programmer and VP of Immersive Loren Hammonds; VP of Games Casey Baltes; Senior Programmers Liza Domnitz (features, TV, and NOW), and Lucy Mukerjee (features); Programmers Ben Thompson (shorts), José F. Rodriguez (features); Karen McMullen (features), Leah Sarbib (podcasts); and program advisor Paula Weinstein, along with a team of associate programmers.