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Tonight at the W Hotel Union Square the winners of the 10th Tribeca Film Festival‘s competition categories were announced, with the grand prize in the international narrative competition going to Lisa Aschan‘s She Monkeys (pictured), an evocative Swedish thriller about the burgeoning, sexually explosive rivalry between a pair of teenage girls engrossed in the world of competitive equestrian acrobatics. Both a daring coming of age tale and an increasingly tense thriller, the Danish born Aschan’s directorial debut made its North American premiere at Tribeca after winning the best new Nordic film prize at last year’s Goteberg Film Festival.

Alma Har’el stunningly shot, formally audacious, Bob Dylan and Beirut-scored doc Bombay Beach won the grand prize in the international documentary competition. The Israeli-born music-video director and cinematographer’s feature debut premiered in Berlin’s Panorama section before making its North American Premiere at Tribeca. It follows the lives of various people living around the California hamlet of Bombay Beach, a derelict precinct that was once a haven for zealous developers in the ’60s. Dispatching the term “subjects” for “collaborators,” Har’el creates a visual, highly narrative tone poem concerning a number of snake-bitten but essentially decent and partially victimized people living on the margins of the California desert. With characters that include bi-polar, overmedicated child and his explosives-addicted parents, a mildly racist, trailer-dwelling octegenarian with an ear for poetry and a lovesick football prospect who seeks to escape the ghettos of the Salton Sea through an athletic scholarship, Har’el casts a warm but unforgiving eye on a forgotten corner of America. Recalling the work of Harmony Korine, Larry Clark, Lynne Ramsay, David Gordon Green, Charles Burnett and Gus Van Sant (just to name a few), it announces a major new directorial talent in Har’el.

The prize for best new narrative director went to the South Korean director Park Jung-Bum for his shattering first feature The Journals of Musan. Continuing the run of festival success it began in Rotterdam and continued a few weeks back in Krakow, this lugubrious yet utterly engrossing film tells the story of a nearly friendless North Korean defector in Seoul and the small community of hustlers, strivers, devout Christians and introverts who have escaped the North but are relegated to the outskirts of society in the South. Shot in rough-hewn handheld, it is a marvel of patience and low-budget ingenuity. Its boldness in recounting the petty brutalities and indignities of this man’s dour, pedestrian and yet utterly remarkable life is one few filmmakers would venture to do with such unsparing yet self-effacing immediacy. South Korea may have found its Ronald Bronstein or, better yet, its Chantal Akerman.

Other winners included Dutch actress Carice Van Houten (Blackbook), who won the best actress prize for her turn as the suicidal South African poet Ingrid Jonker in Paula van der Oest’s Academy Award-nominated biopic Black Butterflies; Best Actor Shami Bizimana for his performance as a Rwandan filmmaker in Kiva Ruhorahoza’s Grey Matter, the first homegrown narrative film to ever emerge from Rwandan soil; and Luisa Tillinger for her sublime cinematography in Mexican Yulene Olaizola‘s unconventional addiction story Artificial Paradises, a film that generated a lot of water cooler talk as a potential grand prize winner.

A full list of winners can be found below:



The jurors for the 2011 World Narrative Competition were Souleymane Cissé, Scott Glenn, David Gordon Green, Rula Jebreal, Art Linson, Jason Sudeikis and Dianne Wiest.


  • The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature – She Monkeys (Apflickorna), directed by Lisa Aschan, written by Josefine Adolfsson and Lisa Aschan (Sweden). Winner receives $25,000 and the art award “Anna Christie Entering the Bar, 1965-1967” by Robert De Niro Sr. Sponsored by AKA Hotel Residences. The award was given by Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro and Larry Korman from AKA Residences.


Jury Comments:  “Haunting, resonant, but never posed. Conventional shots become dangerous. With balanced storytelling that moves between danger and innocence, this film speaks of sex, adolescence, power, and ambition. It is original and authentic.”


  • Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film – Shami Bizimana as Balthazar in Grey Matter (Matière Grise), directed and written by Kivu Ruhorahoza (Rwanda, Australia). Winner receives $2,500. The award was given by Rula Jebreal.

Jury Comments: “In a world shattered by genocide, this performance was so pure.”


  • Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film – Carice van Houten as Ingrid Jonker in Black Butterflies, directed by Paula van der Oest, written by Greg Latter (Germany, Netherlands, South Africa). Winner receives $2,500. The award was given by Rula Jebreal.


Jury Comments: “There are a million colors in this complicated performance. We award this honor for bravery and fragility, and for showing tremendous range and strength throughout.”

  • Best Cinematography in a Narrative Feature Film – Luisa Tillinger, Artificial Paradises (Paraisos Artificiales)(Mexico).  Winner receives $5,000 and $50,000 in post production services provided by Company 3. The award was given by Rula Jebreal.


Jury Comments: “A beautiful portrait of landscape and emotion.”


  • Best Screenplay for a Narrative Feature Film – Jannicke Systad Jabobsen, Turn Me On, Goddammit (Få meg på, for faen) (Norway). Winner receives $5,000. The award was given by Rula Jebreal.


Jury Comments: “This jury was unanimous. Hands-down this is the best screenplay.”
The jurors for the 2011 Best New Narrative Director Competition were Paul Dano, Atom Egoyan, Zoe Kazan, Anna Kendrick, Rainn Wilson.


  • Best New Narrative Director – Park Jungbum, writer and director of Journals of Musan (Musan Il-gi) (South Korea). Winner receives $25,000, sponsored by American Express; $50,000 in post production services provided by Company 3; and the art award “Double Happiness” by Nate Lowman. The award was given by Zoe Kazan and Jessica Igoe from American Express.


Jury Comments: “This film is an extraordinary study of an outcast, one that examines a complex journey with compassion and grace. The jury was unanimous in honoring this rare film, which is both emotionally arresting and an important social document. We are proud to commend this auspicious debut from an extremely talented filmmaker.”


The jurors for the 2011 World Documentary Competition were Amir Bar-Lev, Michael Cera, RJ Cutler, Abigail Disney, Whoopi Goldberg, Louie Psihoyos and Peter Scarlet.

  • Best Documentary Feature Bombay Beach, directed by Alma Har’el (USA, Israel). Winner receives $25,000 and the art award “Nathans” by Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao. The award was given by Louie Psihoyos.


Jury Comments: “Our unanimous award for the film’s beauty, lyricism, empathy and invention.”

  • Best Editing in a Documentary Feature – Purcell Carson, Semper Fi: Always Faithful (USA). Winner receives $5,000. The award was given by Amir Bar-Lev.

Jury Comments: “The film skillfully weaves journalistic investigation with emotional personal narrative.”

The jurors for the 2011 World Documentary Competition were Margaret Bodde, Jared Cohen, J.D. Heyman, Lauren Hutton, Annie Sundberg.

  • Best New Documentary Director – Pablo Croce for Like Water, (USA). Winner receives $25,000, sponsored by American Express; and the art award “Path to the Stage” by Inka Essenhigh. The award was given by Lauren Hutton and Jessica Igoe from American Express.


Jury Comments: “The film opens up a violent world in an unexpected way through its sensitive and seamless portrayal of its complex hero, ultimate fighter Anderson Silva.”


o   Special Jury Mention – Michael Collins, director of Give Up Tomorrow (UK, USA). The announcement was made by Lauren Hutton.


Jury Comments: “A powerful work of investigative journalism. We honor the filmmakers six years of hard work in illustrating how a society can clash with justice, and the impact on an individual life. Everyone should see this film.”


The 2011 Best Narrative Short Competition jurors were Nora Ephron, Ceci Kurzman, Denis Leary, Fran Lebowitz, David O. Russell, Paul Schneider and Jimmy Wales.


  • Best Narrative Short Man and Boy, directed by David Leon and Marcus McSweeney, written by David Leon and Rashid Rasaq (UK). Winner receives $5,000, sponsored by Persol; 5,000 feet of film stock donated by Kodak; and the art award “Gold Dust (Undeclared) by Taryn Simon. The award was given by Denis Leary and Victor Melendez from Persol.


Jury Comments: “The jury liked this film’s marriage of brilliant acting, superb technical prowess, and provocative subject matter, and it’s a movie memorable for upending expectations.”


Special Jury Mention – The Terms, written and directed by Jason LaMotte (UK)


Jury Comments: “Dark, original and beautifully written.”


The 2011 Best Documentary and Student Short Competition jurors were Ahmed Ahmed, Agnes Gund, Zoe Kravitz, Nicole Lapin, Lisa Shields, Christine Vachon and Patrick Wilson.


  • Best Documentary Short – Incident in New Baghdad, written and directed by James Spione (US). Winner receives $5,000, sponsored by Persol; 5,000 feet of film stock donated Kodak; and the art award “Big Penny” by Tom Otterness. The award was given by Nicole Lapin and Victor Melendez from Persol.


Jury Comments: “The winner is a film that bravely explores the residual effects of experiencing trauma in war in a truthful and fearless manner. Using a mixture of archival and current material, this timely film is the story of one man’s struggle to reconcile war, his place in it, and the legacy he will pass on to his children.”


o   Special Jury Mention – Guru, written and directed by Jonathan VanBallenberghe (USA).


Jury Comments: Congratulations to a film that started in one direction and ended up going in another. This unexpected journey was well crafted and followed a unique character for whom we were rooting.”

  • Student Visionary Award – Rooms, written and directed by Joanna Jurewicz (USA). Winner receives MacPro Desktop with Final Cut Pro and a 24-inch monitor provided by Apple; and the art award “Study: Northern City Renaissance (Mass MoCA #79N)” by Stephen Hannock. This award was also given by Ahmed Ahmed.


Jury Comments: “A simply told story with great depth that examines an average day in the life of an ordinary person living through other people. We applaud this director for her focus, attention to detail, and nuanced acting.”


o   Special Jury Mention: Eva – Working Title, written and directed by Dor Fadlon (Israel)


Jury Comments: “Characterized by bold directorial choices, this film is a disturbing and intriguing story of an actor’s struggle, and examines the price paid for realizing one’s dreams. We congratulate this filmmaker for his ability to fully realize this story in a unique structure.”


The 2011 Tribeca (Online) Film Festival winners were voted on by visitors to tribecafilm.com.

  • Tribeca (Online) Film Festival Best Feature Film: Donor Unknown, directed and written by Jerry Rothwell (UK). Winner receives $25,000, sponsored by American Express, and the art award “Untitled” by Sarah Crowner. The award was given by Geoffrey Gilmore and Jessica Igoe from American Express.


  • Tribeca (Online) Film Festival Best Short FilmDungeon Master, directed by Shiloh & Rider Strong (USA). Winners receive $5,000, sponsored by Accenture. The award was given by Geoffrey Gilmore and Dr. Gavin Michael from Accenture.


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