Tribeca toasts Chinese pic; 2 docs honored
NEW YORK — Chinese newcomer Liu Fen Dou carried home the top kudos Sunday at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival, drawing nods for narrative feature and new narrative filmmaker for “The Green Hat.”
Pic, which world preemed at the weeklong Gotham fest, is a culturally daring drama on infidelity and sexuality that transcends traditional notions of love in mainland China.
Win marks the second year in a row that a Chinese feature film took top prize at Tribeca, after Li Yang’s “Blind Shaft” won in 2003.
Tribeca fest capped its third annual outing and competition Sunday night with a gala awards ceremony and closing-night bash as many film execs began the exodus to Cannes.
“This year’s award winners attest to the fact that, despite doubts voiced in some quarters, it is possible to present a strong slate of absorbing new films here at this time of year,” fest exec director Peter Scarlet said.
Some 250 films from 42 countries were screened during the fest.
Brit actor Ian Hart took the actor prize for his portrayal of an Irish nationalist in director John Furse’s British film “Blind Flight,” a dramatized true story of a bond formed between political prisoners in Beirut.
Veteran Brazilian thesp Fernanda Montenegro drew actress kudos for “The Other Side of the Street,” in which she plays a 65-year-old police informant who witnesses a murder in a kind of Brazilian rendition of Hitchcock’s “Rear Window.”
In the documentary feature section for new filmmakers, there were two winners: Danniel Danniel and Juliano Mer Khamis for the Israeli pic “Arna’s Children,” an account of a theater group set up in the occupied West Bank; and Cathy Henkel for “The Man Who Stole My Mother’s Face,” an Australian/South African co-production following Henkel’s return to her native South Africa to investigate the unresolved rape of her mother. Both films have been acquired by the Sundance Channel.
Dutch-based filmmaker Sonia Herman Dolz won the top prize in the Documentary >2 category (more than two films already produced) for “The Master and His Pupil,” an intimate portrait of conductor Valery Gergiez.
In the new NY, NY section, experimental filmmaker Jennifer Reeves won the narrative feature award for “The Time We Killed,” a black-and-white drama about an agoraphobe trapped in her New York City apartment. Documentary feature award in the section went to Scott Crary for “Kill Your Idols,” his music doc on the New York art punk rock scene.
Another New York-based docu feature, “Every Mother’s Son,” secured the festival’s audience award for filmmakers Tami Gold and Kelly Anderson.
In a crowded field of competing short films, Seth Grossman’s “Shock Act” won the narrative short prize while Oren Jacoby “Sister Rose’s Passion” took documentary short.
The Tribeca’s Institute’s “Tribeca All Access” program awarded its Creative Promise Awards to Stacy L. Holmon for the documentary feature “Dressed Like Kings.” All Access feature award was a tie for Phil Bertelsen’s “Rock the Paint” and “The Road Home.” The new institute program is designed to foster relationships between U.S. based filmmakers of color and the film industry.
Student Visionary Award went to Sharat Raju for “American Made.”
Larry Golin won Best High Definition Technology for “Cross Bronx,” which competed in the NY, NY Narrative Feature section.
Grant recipients of the Tribeca Film Institute/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Script Development Program went to Gretchen Somerfeld (script: “Face Value”) and David Baxter (script: The Broken Code). Each will receive $48,000 toward the development of their projects.