The 18th Annual Tribeca Film Festival (www.tribecafilm.com/festival), presented by AT&T, announced the winners in its competition categories at this year’s awards ceremony May 2 at the Stella Artois Theatre at BMCC TPAC. The top honors went to Burning Cane by 19-year-old director Phillip Youmans for the Founders Award for Best U.S. Narrative Feature, House of Hummingbird (Beol-sae) for Best International Narrative Feature, and Scheme Birds for Best Documentary Feature. The Festival awarded $165,000 in cash prizes. The 2019 Tribeca Film Festival — presenting 113 feature-length films, 63 short films and 33 immersive storytelling projects representing 44 countries — runs through May 5.
Rania Attieh won the Nora Ephron Award and a $25,000 prize for Initials S.G. The award, created seven 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 The Key, created by Celine Tricart.
“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,” said Festival Director Cara Cusumano.
The jurors for the 2019 Narrative Short Competition and Animated sections were Maureen Dowd, Topher Grace, Rosalind Lichter, Hamish Linklater, Lily Rabe, Phoebe Robinson, and Jeff Scher.
Shorts Animation Award – My Mother’s Eyes (U.K.) directed and written by Jenny Wright. The winner receives $5,000 sponsored by Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, and the art award “Balloon Dog, Magneta” by Jeff Koons.
Jury comment: “For its delicate, elegantly simple, breathtakingly imaginative animation and its ability to hold the heart of anyone who has a mother — whether beating in grief or in celebration. To this indelible portrait of immeasurable love, we are thrilled to give this award to My Mother’s Eyes.”
Making its New York Premiere at Tribeca, My Mother’s Eyes is a story about motherhood and loss in the abstracted world of childhood memory.
The 2019 Storyscapes Award, presented by AT&T, which recognizes groundbreaking approaches in storytelling and technology, jurors were Lisa Osborne, Paul Smalera, and Adaora Udoji.
Storyscapes Award – The Key (U.S.A., Iraq), created by Celine Tricart. The winner receives $10,000, presented by AT&T.
Jury comment: “This piece was the full package. Emotionally resonant, the winner demonstrates a seamless fusion of technology and narrative. The experience combines a real actor with fantastical, immersive visuals and achieves a rarity in VR storytelling with its use of metaphor to represent an ongoing, real-world crisis. Of particular note are the superbly executed virtual reality technical details, including character design, use of color, and sound design.”
The Key is an interactive VR experience taking the viewer on a journey through memories. Will they be able to unlock the mystery behind the mysterious Key without sacrificing too much?