Burning Cane” has won the Founders Award for best U.S. narrative feature and star Wendell Pierce has been awarded the top actor in the category for the 18th Annual Tribeca Film Festival.

Haley Bennett won the festival’s award for best actress in a narrative feature for her performance in “Swallow.” “House of Hummingbird” (Beol-sae) took the prize for best international narrative feature, and “Scheme Birds” won for top documentary feature.

The awards were announced Thursday. Rania Attieh won the Nora Ephron Award and a $25,000 prize for Initials S.G. (“Iniciales S.G.”). The award honors excellence in storytelling by a female writer or director embodying the spirit and boldness of the late filmmaker. Tribeca’s Storyscapes Award went to “The Key,” created by Celine Tricart.

“Burning Cane,” set in the Louisiana swamplands, is directed by Phillip Youmans, who wrote, directed and shot the film at the age of 17. He is the first African-American director to win this award as well as the youngest director to have a feature in Tribeca. Pierce portrays a struggling preacher who has lost his wife. Youmans also won the cinematography award in the category.

Bennett portrays a housewife in “Swallow” who develops an obsession for consuming dangerous objects that threatens her seemingly have-it-all life. “House of Hummingbird” stars Ji-hu Park as a Korean 14-year-old in a coming of age story. “Scheme Birds” centers on a teenage troublemaker who comes of age in her fading Scottish steel town.

The winners of the Audience Awards will be announced on Saturday and the festival will close on Sunday. Here are the winners announced on Thursday:


Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature – “Burning Cane,” directed by Phillip Youmans.

Best Actress in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film – Haley Bennett in “Swallow.”

Jury special mention: Geetanjali Thapa in “Stray Dolls.

Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film – Wendell Pierce in “Burning Cane.”

Best Cinematography in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film – Phillip Youmans for “Burning Cane.”

Special Jury mention: “ 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.”

Special jury mention: Ani Simon-Kennedy for “The Short History of the Long Road.”


Best International Narrative Feature – “House of Hummingbird” (Beol-sae) (South Korea, USA) directed and written by Bora Kim.

Best Actress in an International Narrative Feature Film – Ji-hu Park in “House of Hummingbird” (Beol-sae)

Best Actor in an International Narrative Feature Film – Ali Atay in “Noah Land.”

Best Cinematography in an International Narrative Feature Film – Kang Gook-hyun for “House of Hummingbird” (Beol-sae)

Best Screenplay in an International Narrative Feature Film – “Noah Land” (Nuh Tepesi) written by Cenk Ertürk


Best Documentary Feature – Scheme Birds (Scotland, Sweden) directed and written by Ellen Fiske, Ellinor Hallin.

Best Cinematography in a Documentary Film – Cinematography by Yang Sun, Shuang Liang for “Our Time Machine” (China)

Best Editing in a Documentary Film – Jennifer Tiexiera for “17 Blocks” (USA), directed by Davy Rothbart.

Special Jury mention: “Rewind.”



Best New Narrative Director – “The Gasoline Thieves” (Huachicolero) (Mexico, Spain, UK, USA) directed by Edgar Nito.


Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award – “Scheme Birds” (Scotland, Sweden) directed by Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin.

THE NORA EPHRON AWARD – Rania Attieh for “Initials S.G.” (Iniciales S.G.) (Argentina, Lebanon, USA)


Best Narrative Short – “Maja” (Denmark) directed by Marijana Jankovic.

Special Jury Mention – ” The Dishwasher” directed and written by Nick Hartanto, Sam Roden.

Shorts Animation Award – “My Mother’s Eyes” (UK) directed and written by Jenny Wright

Art Award – “Balloon Dog, Magneta” by Jeff Koons.

Best Documentary Short – “Learning To Skateboard In a Warzone” (If You’re A Girl) (UK), directed by Carol Dysinger

Special Jury Mention: “St. Louis Superman.”

Student Visionary Award – “Jebel Banat” (Egypt), directed and written by Sharine Atif.

Art award – “Chrysler Building” by Jane Dickson.

Special Jury mention: “Pearl” (Zhen Zhu)

STORYSCAPES AWARD – The Key (USA, Iraq), created by Celine Tricart.