You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Blessed’ by Tribeca

Argentine war pic wins top prize at film fest

Helmer Tristan Bauer’s “Blessed by Fire” (“Iluminados por el fuego”), a pic about Argentine vets of the Falkland Islands/Malvinas War, and their harrowing memories of combat, took the top prize as the Tribeca Film Festival wrapped Saturday.

Perhaps reflecting the split personality of Tribeca, which screened international indies and Hollywood tentpoles alike as part of a 274-pic lineup, the fest wound down with two very different events Saturday.

One was a packed awards dinner at a bustling Chinatown dim sum parlor, the Golden Bridge; the other was an uptown preem of Warner Bros.’ disaster remake “Poseidon.”

” ‘Poseidon’ doesn’t need attention,” said pic’s star Josh Lucas, who dashed downtown to be an award presenter before heading back to the “Poseidon” after-party at Barney’s New York. “These films do.”

Other presenters during the evening included Lucy Liu, Jeffrey Wright and docu guru Ken Burns. Instead of envelopes, winners’ names were encased in giant fortune cookies.

Popular on Variety

Chinatown venue was a change of pace for the fest, which has customarily held its awards in an auditorium at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. Fest exec director Peter Scarlet said the venue was chosen to reflect, in part, the fest’s mission of diversity.

Other pics taking awards on Saturday night included Deborah Scranton’s “The War Tapes,” which won docu kudos. Pic follows National Guard members who were given videocameras to shoot their experiences in Iraq.

Other docs singled out included Aliona van der Horst and Maasja Ooms’ “Voices of Bam,” as well as “Jesus Camp,” “Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple” and “Maquilopolis.”

A few awards categories at Tribeca are all about Gotham boosterism: The NY Loves Film Documentary Award went to “When I Came Home,” directed by Dan Lohaus, about an Iraq war vet who finds himself on the streets when he leaves the military. The Made in New York Narrative Feature Award went to Oren Rudavsky’s “The Treatment,” about a frustrated, confused and recently dumped Gotham schoolteacher, and starred Chris Eigeman, Ian Holm and Famke Janssen.

Many awards went to international filmmakers. Egyptian helmer Marwan Hamed took Tribeca’s new filmmaker nod for his pic “The Yacoubian Building.” And Pelin Esmer drew new documaker kudos for “The Play,” submitted from Turkey.

Thesping honors went to Eva Holubova for her perf in the Czech Republic pic “Holiday Makers” (“Ucastnici zajezdu”), and Jurgen Vogel, for German pic “The Free Will.”

Linda Hattendorf’s “The Cats of Mirikitani” was tops with fest auds. Docu centers on a homeless 80-year-old Japanese-American artist who lost family and friends to both WWII internment camps in the U.S. and the bombing of Hiroshima.

Nick Childs’ “The Shovel” took the short prize, Steve Bilich’s “Native New Yorker” the short docu nod.

Fest officials estimated that a record 445,000 people attended this year, topping the previous record of 400,000 set two years ago.

On the biz side, just two pics announced acquisitions deals at Tribeca: Nick Guthe’s “Mini’s First Time,” which went to First Independent and HBO Video, and “Backstage,” snapped up by Strand. Fest hasn’t become much of an acquisitions hotbed for top-tier distribs. Last year, the Weinstein Co. picked up “Transamerica” after Tribeca wrapped, and more pacts could close in coming weeks as buyers start to shift their attention toward Cannes.

This year’s buzz titles included Jake Kasdan’s “The TV Set,” a behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood’s process of creating pilots, starring David Duchovny.

Go to Tribecafilmfestival.org for a full list of winners.

More Film

  • After Class

    Film Review: ‘After Class’

    Arguably the best thing about “After Class,” a purposely untidy and exceptionally intelligent dramedy about frayed family ties and academic contretemps, is writer-director Daniel Schechter’s refusal to ever let his protagonist off too easy. To be sure, lead player Justin Long’s graceless-under-pressure Josh Cohn comes across as more clueless than unsympathetic, less chronically selfish than [...]

  • Aubrey Plaza Spirit Awards

    Aubrey Plaza Returning as Indie Spirit Awards Host

    Aubrey Plaza will return to the white tent on Santa Monica beach to host the Film Independent Spirit Awards for the second consecutive year. Now in its 35th year, the ceremony honoring the year’s best independent cinema will be held on Feb. 8. The 2020 celebration will broadcast live on IFC. “Like all great independent [...]

  • New Republic Pictures

    'Suspiria' Producer Bradley J. Fischer Joins New Republic as President

    Bradley J. Fischer, whose credits include “Zodiac,” “Black Sawn” and “Suspiria,” is joining Brian Oliver’s New Republic Pictures as president and chief content officer. Fischer has signed a multi-year pact with Paramount-based New Republic. Fischer and Oliver will produce all New Republic projects, including film, television and streaming. Fischer will continue to produce his pre-existing projects, [...]

  • Alfre Woodard

    Alfre Woodard Reflects on Her First Oscar Nomination and Her Career So Far

    When Alfre Woodard was 22, she drove from Boston to Los Angeles, only stopping in her Tulsa, Okla., hometown. The four-time Emmy winner, now 67, has been acting ever since. Woodard’s career began in theater, despite her inability to sing or dance, with help from late choreographer Lester Wilson. An early play, “So Nice, They [...]

  • Julia Fox Uncut Gems

    Saoirse Ronan, Julia Fox and More Actors Discuss the Women Who Inspired Them

    In her first film role, Julia Fox blazes into “Uncut Gems” as Julia, the ambitious but loyal mistress of Adam Sandler’s jeweler. It’s a complex character the audience can’t always read. To play Julia, Fox says she had a couple inspirations. “My younger self, for sure,” she admits. “Looking at myself retrospectively, how I survived, [...]

  • Disney's MULAN..Mulan (Yifei Liu)..Photo: Film Frame..©

    Mulan Goes to War in Disney‘s Action-Packed Trailer

    Hua Mulan readies to put her life on the line for her community and family in a new trailer for Disney’s live-action “Mulan.” Based on Disney’s 1998 animated classic, “Mulan” tells the story of a woman (portrayed by Yifei Liu) who poses as a man to fight in the Chinese army. The footage, dropped Thursday, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content