‘The Rocket’ Takes Top Tribeca Prizes

'Broken Circle Breakdown' takes two trophies

“The Rocket” took two of the top competition throphies at the Tribeca Film Festival, with Kim Mourdaunt’s family drama  scoring wins for best narrative feature and best actor for Sitthiphon Disamoe.

Felix van Groeningen’s Flemish drama “The Broken Circle Breakdown” also nabbed fest hardware with a best actress kudo for Veerle Baetens and a screenplay award for Carl Joos and von Groeningen.

The Rocket” and “Breakdown” were among the dozen films in the fest’s world narrative competish.

Disamoe, a non-pro, portrays a 10-year-old Laotian boy in a displaced family in “The Rocket” in the narrative debut for Australian documentarian Mordaunt.

“‘The Rocket’ a spectacular achievement that is powerful and delightful in equal measures,” the jury said. “Artfully structured and gorgeously shot, it chronicles the struggles of a displaced family while steering well clear of either sentimentality or despair. Complex in its tone and characterizations, the film takes an unflinching – and edifying – look at the suffering caused both by a legacy of war and the new status quo of economic globalization.”

The jury said Disamoe had played his role “with an irresistible blend of pluck, stoic determination and vulnerability.”

The panel described Baetens’ portrayal of a grieving mother in “Breakdown” as “nothing short of a tour de force.”

Sam Fleischner’s “Stand Clear of Closing Doors” received a special jury mention and Marius Matzow Gulbrandsen won the narrative cinematography award for “Before Snowfall,” a family drama shot in a variety of locales including Kurdistan and Norway.

Emmanuel Hoss-Desmarais won the best new narrative director competition for black comedy “Whitewash,” starring Thomas Haden Church as a loner trying to survive a harsh Canadian winter.

Dan Krauss’ “The Kill Team” won the documentary competition over 11 other titles. The doc examines an infantry platoon that intentionally murdered Afghani civilians while claim the victims were terrorists.

“We feel it raises questions that deamnd to be answered by our military and society at large so that these ever enumerating acts of senseless violence cease,” the jury said.

Sean Dunne’s “Oxyana” took a pair of documentary trophies for best new documentary director and a special jury mention. The doc’s title is a nickname for Oceana, West Virginia, an old coal mining community hit hard by the problem of Oxycontin addiction.

Nels Bangerter won the award for best editing of a documentary feature for his work on Jason Osder’s “Let the Fire Burn,” which recaps the deadly 1985 standoff between the extremist MOVE organization and Philadelphia authorities.

Eduardo Ponti’s “The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars” won the best narrative short prize. The film explores the friendship of two mountaineering enthusiasts on the eve of their respective open-heart surgeries.

Bess Kargan’s “Coach,” which examines basketball coach C. Vivien Stringer, took the documentary short award and Stephen Dunn’s “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” won the student visionary award.

The inaugural transmedia award went to “Sandy Storyline,” created by Rachel Falcone, Laura Gottesdiener, and Michael Premo.

“It is a pleasure to share a diverse range films with our audiences at Tribeca and to introduce new storytellers from every corner of the globe,” said Jane Rosenthal, Tribeca co-founder.

The fest concludes Sunday.

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