Tribeca Film Fest 2019: Award Winners in All Categories

May 2, 2019: The 18th Annual Tribeca Film Fest announced the winning filmmakers, storytellers, and actors in its competition categories at this year’s awards ceremony this evening at the Stella Artois Theatre at BMCC TPAC.

The top honors went to Burning Cane 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.

Rania Attieh won the Nora Ephron Award and a $25,000 prize for Initials S.G. (Iniciales 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.

Awards were given in the following feature film competition categories: Founders Award for Best Narrative, International Narrative, Documentary, New Narrative Director, The Albert Maysles New Documentary Director, and the Nora Ephron Award, honoring a woman writer or director. Short films were honored in the Narrative, Documentary, Student Visionary and Animation categories.

This year’s Festival included 113 feature films, 63 short films, and 33 immersive storytelling projects representing 44 countries.

In addition to cash awards and in-kind services provided by sponsors including AT&T, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, CHANEL, CNN Films, and PwC, a number of the winners were presented with original pieces of art created by contemporary
artists: Jane Dickson, Shepard Fairey, Stephen Hannock, JR, Eddie Kang, Jeff Koons, Walter Robinson, Amy Sillman, Swoon, and Fred Tomaselli.

The winners, awards, and comments from the jury who selected the recipients are as follows:

Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature – Burning Cane, directed by Phillip Youmans. The winner receives $20,000, sponsored by AT&T, and the art award “Bloom” by Fred Tomaselli. The award was given by Robert De Niro and Jane
Rosenthal on behalf of the jury. Jury comment: “The Founders Award goes to a voice that is searingly original. One of the jurors compared this filmmaker’s unique voice to a latter day Faulkner, Welty, Williams. We loved this filmmaker’s vision and we love this filmmaker’s inevitable brilliant future. We are honored to present this award to Phillip Youmans for Burning Cane.”

Best Actress in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film – Haley Bennett in Swallow. Jury comment: “For a sensitive, engaging
performance the best actress award goes to Haley Bennett for Swallow.”
– Jury special mention: “For her always surprising and deeply engaging work in Stray Dolls, Geetanjali Thapi.
Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film – Wendell Pierce in Burning Cane.
– Jury comment: “For his portrayal of a troubled, passionate Preacher the best actor award goes to Wendell
Pierce in Burning Cane.”
Best Cinematography in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film – Phillip Youmans for Burning Cane. Jury comment: “The
cinematography was bold and swung for the fences, the award goes to Phillip Youmans for Burning Cane.”
– Special Jury mention: “For work that took us to the icy coasts and sweltering kitchens of rural Maine, Todd
Banhazl for Blow the Man Down.”
Best Screenplay in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film – Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy for Blow the Man Down. The
winner receives $2,500. Jury comment: “For a stylized, thrilling story of secrets, Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy
for Blow the Man Down.”
– Special jury mention: “To a story of a woman finding her biological family and her logical family on the highway,
Ani Simon-Kennedy for The Short History of the Long Road.”
INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE COMPETITION CATEGORIES:
The jurors for the 2019 International Narrative Competition were Gbenga Akinnagbe, Angela Bassett, Baltasar
Kormákur, Rebecca Miller, and Steve Zaillian.
Best International Narrative Feature – House of Hummingbird (Beol-sae) (South Korea, USA) directed and written by
Bora Kim. The winner receives $20,000 and the art award “Easter” by Eddie Kang. Jury comment: “In this beautiful film, a
seemingly un-exceptional girl is truly seen by another human being for the first time. Through that random connection,
her perspective of herself, and hence her life, is transformed. The award for Best International Narrative Feature goes to
Bora Kim for House of Hummingbird.
Best Actress in an International Narrative Feature Film – Ji-hu Park in House of Hummingbird (Beol-sae) (South Korea,

USA). Jury comment: “For a subtle performance of enormous range and complexity, the award for Best Actress in an
International Narrative Feature goes to Ji-hu Park in House of Hummingbird.
Best Actor in an International Narrative Feature Film – Ali Atay in Noah Land. Jury comment: “For an emotionally
powerful and truthful portrayal of a conflicted and self-destructive man struggling to make sense of his life, the award
for Best Actor in an International Narrative Feature goes to 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. Jury comment: “For empathetic, patient, yet specific
and assured cinematography which allows us to embark on a young girl’s journey as she comes to terms with who she
truly is, the award for Best Cinematography in an international narrative feature goes to Gook-hyun Kang for House of
Hummingbird.”
Best Screenplay in an International Narrative Feature Film – Noah Land (Nuh Tepesi) written by Cenk Ertürk (Germany,
Turkey, USA). The winner receives $2,500. Jury comment: “For its perceptive and nuanced storytelling of an estranged
father and son struggling to understand the past, each other and themselves, the award for Best Screenplay in an
International Narrative Feature goes to Cenk Ertürk for Noah Land.
DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION CATEGORIES:
The jurors for the 2019 Documentary Competition were Drake Doremus, Robert Greene, Julie Goldman, Andrew
LaVallee, and Cheryl McDonough.
Best Documentary Feature – Scheme Birds (Scotland, Sweden) directed and written by Ellen Fiske, Ellinor Hallin. The
winner receives $20,000, and the art award “Oil Lotus Woman” by Shepard Fairey. Jury Comment: “For its poetic,
haunting depiction of compelling characters living on the edge. Every element of the film, from editing to
cinematography to point of view, is superb. The filmmakers convey their voice in a unique and present-tense way. We’re
proud to present the award for best documentary feature to Scheme Birds.”
Best Cinematography in a Documentary Film – Cinematography by Yang Sun, Shuang Liang for Our Time Machine
(China) directed by Yang Sun, S. Leo Chiang. The winner receives $2,500. Jury comment: “For its insightful visual style
that captures loss and uses both intimate and grand spaces to maximum effect. The images elevated a universal story to
the realm of dream and metaphor. The award for best cinematography goes to Our Time Machine.
Best Editing in a Documentary Film – Editing by Jennifer Tiexiera for 17 Blocks (USA) directed by Davy Rothbart. The
winner receives $2,500. Jury comment: “The award for best editing goes to a film for its profound treatment of vast
amounts of honest, often raw footage. The film is structured in a way that renders some of the most affecting moments
with great subtlety. Viewers are transformed over the course of the film, a testament to the choices made in its making.
The award for best editing goes to 17 Blocks.”
– Special Jury mention: “This brave film uses editing to reveal narrative layers that weren’t immediately apparent,
challenging and surprising viewers along the way. The special jury mention goes to Rewind.”
BEST NEW NARRATIVE DIRECTOR COMPETITION:
The jurors for the 2019 Best New Narrative Director Competition were Stephen Kay, Bill Keith, Justin Long, Piper
Perabo, and Mélita Toscan du Plantier.
Best New Narrative Director – The Gasoline Thieves (Huachicolero) (Mexico, Spain, UK, USA) directed by Edgar Nito.
The winner receives $10,000, and the art award “Love Trap” by Walter Robinson. Jury comment: “A coming of age story,
social commentary, and at some points a revenge tale, this new director juggles each genre with equal sensitivity and
truth. The film is impressively shot, with the messy and complicated inner workings of the characters’ situations
reflected in the emotional camera work that has a blazing intensity. Like the movie’s central character, this movie is
defined more by its heart than its swagger. We present the Best New Narrative Director award to Edgar Nito for The
Gasoline Thieves. We can’t wait to see more from Edgar.”

BEST NEW DOCUMENTARY DIRECTOR COMPETITION:
The jurors for the 2019 Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award were David Cross, Orlando von Einsiedel, and
Kathrine Narducci.
Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award – Scheme Birds (Scotland, Sweden) directed by Ellen Fiske and Ellinor
Hallin. The winner receives $10,000 sponsored by CNN Films, and the art award “Indigo Rocket Over Tribeca” by Stephen
Hannock. Jury comment: “For a film that tells a deeply compelling story, but realised with cinematic vision and invited us
intimately into the lives of the film’s characters. This film is a remarkable achievement, made even more so because it’s
from first time feature directors. The winners for the Albert Maysles Award for Best New Documentary Director are
Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin for Scheme Birds.”
THE NORA EPHRON AWARD
The jurors for the 2019 Nora Ephron Award, presented by CHANEL, were Debra Messing, Chloë Sevigny, and DeWanda
Wise.
The Nora Ephron Award – Rania Attieh for Initials S.G. (Iniciales S.G.) (Argentina, Lebanon, USA) directed by Rania
Attieh, Daniel Garcia. Rania receives $25,000, sponsored by CHANEL, and the art award “Alison the Lacemaker” bySwoon. Jury comments: “The film we chose is thrilling, distinct, and fully immersive. It was also something we’d never seen before. A true cinematic experience. We are elated to award this years’ Nora Ephron Award to Rania Attieh for Initials S.G.”