The Tribeca Film Festival-Main

New York, NY [April 30, 2009] – The eighth annual Tribeca Film Festival, co-founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, and presented by founding sponsor American Express, announced the winners of its competition categories tonight at a ceremony hosted by Gideon Yago at the Tribeca Filmmaker Lounge, sponsored by Union Square Ballroom, in New York City. 


This year’s Festival included 85 features and 47 short films from 36 countries.  The world competition winners were chosen from 12 narrative and 12 documentary features from 17 countries. Two awards were also given to honor New York films, which were chosen from 8 narrative and 7 documentary features. Awards were also given for the best narrative, best documentary and student visionary films in the Shorts competition.  The winner of The Heineken Audience Award, determined by audience ballot votes throughout the Festival, will be announced on May 2, 2009, at the Festival Wrap party.


“I am delighted that we have awarded films from such diverse origins; helping to launch careers, establish names and tell stories that would otherwise not be told.  I wish all of the filmmakers continued success and hope that they continue to bring their works back to Tribeca,” said Festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal. 


“The jurors’ passion for the films echoes what we are seeing from audiences,” said Nancy Schafer, Executive Director of the Festival. “The breadth of talent displayed through all the competitions is reflected in the jurors’ choices. We thank all our jury members for their dedication and hard work.”


Screenings of all winning films will take place at AMC Village VII on Sunday, May 3. Specific times and ticketing information are available on the Festival website,


In addition to cash awards and in-kind services provided by sponsors including American Express, Apple, Cunard Line and Delta Air Lines, the Festival presented the winners with original pieces of art created by seven acclaimed artists.


Following are the jurors, the winners and their awards:


World Competition Categories:


The jurors for the 2009 World Narrative Competition were Bradley Cooper, Richard Fischoff, Todd Haynes, Meg Ryan and Uma Thurman.


The jurors for the 2009 World Documentary Competition were Liz Garbus, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Whoopi Goldberg, Morgan Spurlock and Brian Williams.


The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature – About Elly (Darbareye Elly), directed and written by Asghar Farhadi. (Iran).  Award presented by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal. Winner receives $25,000 cash and the art award "Rockets and the Red Lights (Mass MoCA #70),” created by Stephen Hannock. 


Jury Comments: “Out of a strong selection of films, the jury was unanimous in our passion for this seamless piece of ensemble filmmaking. The universality of the characters and themes, and the directors riveting grasp of this story make “About Elly” a film that collapses barriers and deepens our understanding of the world we share.”


Best New Narrative Filmmaker – Rune Denstad Langlo for North (Nord), written by Erlend Loe. (Norway). Award presented by Todd Haynes and Rich Lehrfeld, VP, Global Sponsorship and Experiential Marketing, American Express. Winner receives $25,000 cash. Sponsored by American Express.


Jury Comments: “Rune Denstad Langlo, formerly a documentary filmmaker, shows a mastery of comedic direction in “North.” His consummate vision, strong grasp of story and command of the language of cinema make him a standout amidst a strong pool of candidates.”


Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film – Ciarán Hinds in The Eclipse, directed and written by Conor McPherson. (Ireland). Award presented by Todd Haynes and Gail Grimmett, SVP Delta Air Lines. Sponsored by Delta Air Lines. Winner receives two International BusinessElite ticket vouchers for anywhere Delta travels.


Jury Comments: “Ciarán Hinds’ powerful performance explores both strength and vulnerability, while propelling and deepening the films examination of masculinity and desire. The portrayal grabbed us, pulling us even deeper into this unique and original ghost story.”


Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film – Zoe Kazan in The Exploding Girl, directed and written by Bradley Rust Gray. (USA).  Award presented by Todd Haynes and Gail Grimmett, SVP Delta Air Lines. Sponsored by Delta Air Lines.  Winner receives two International BusinessElite ticket vouchers for anywhere Delta travels.


Jury Comments: “Zoe shines in this understated role. Every component of this brilliantly restrained performance displays a command of her craft that stunned and moved this jury.”


Best Documentary Feature – Racing Dreams, directed by Marshall Curry. (USA). Winner receives $25,000 cash. Award presented by Liz Garbus. Sponsored by Bialla & Associates. Winner will also receive two voyage certificates for a Transatlantic Crossing on Queen Mary 2, provided by Cunard Line and the art award “Sky III,” created by Clifford Ross. 


Jury Comments: “Is it nature or nurture? Is it the car or the driver? While those eternal questions will live on, we reacted with unanimous, unquestioned affection for “Racing Dreams,” and found it a completely compelling, entertaining film of incredible quality.”


Special Jury MentionDefamation (Hashmatsa), directed by Yoav Shamir. (Denmark, Austria, USA, Israel).


Jury Comments: “Special jury mention to “Defamation” for lifting the veil – through courageous filmmaking – on a subject seldom so openly discussed.”


Best New Documentary Filmmaker – Ian Olds for Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi. (USA). Award presented by Liz Garbus and Rich Lehrfeld, VP, Global Sponsorship and Experiential Marketing, American Express. Winner receives $25,000 cash. Sponsored by American Express.


Jury Comments: “A film about an unsavory world, and its unsavory characters, which through its superb direction, shines a light on a world unfamiliar to many Americans.”


New York Competition Categories:


The 2009 Best New York Narrative Competition jurors were Adrien Brody, Karen Durbin, Richard Ledes, Melissa Leo, Parker Posey, André Leon Talley and Beau Willimon.


The 2009 Best New York Documentary Competition jurors were Jon Robin Baitz, Mary Boone, Marc Ecko, Douglas Keeve and Rachael Ray.


Best New York Narrative – Here and There (Tamo i ovde)directed and written by Darko Lungulov. (Serbia, USA, Germany).  Award presented by Richard Ledes. Winner receives $5,000 cash, and the art award “Time Can Be a Villain or a Friend” created by Hank Willis Thomas.


Jury Comments: “Our winning film was mature, it was funny, it was subtle. It gave us not only New York, it gave us great characters, a great story, it gave us the world.”


Best New York Documentary – Partly Private, directed by Danae Elon. (Canada). Award presented by Rachael Ray. Winner receives $5,000 cash. Sponsored by Medallion Financial and the Murstein Family. Winner will also receive the art award “A Map of NYC (with directions to the Tribeca Film Festival),” created by Tom Slaughter.


Jury Comments: “Our pick is a film that explores the relevance of tradition in today’s world. We are reminded that the exploration of one small subject through documentary film is capable of shedding light on a larger world. There were moments in this film that brought the whole world back to New York – they were uniquely New York moments. It explored themes of politics, culture, aestheticism, desirability, sexuality, and sensuality.”


Short Film Competition Categories:


The 2009 Best Narrative Short Competition jurors were James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Mary Harron, Debra Messing and Mary Kate Olsen.


The 2009 Best Documentary and Student Short Competition jurors were Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Bobby Cannavale, Gael Greene, AJ Jacobs and Rachel Maddow.


Best Narrative Short – The North Road (La route du Nord), directed and written by Carlos Chahine. (France). Award presented by Debra Messing. Winner receives $5,000 cash and the art award “Untitled” created by David Salle.


Jury Comments: “We ultimately chose the winner for its poetic, truthful and unsentimental portrait of an exile’s return home to deal with his father’s death 20 years earlier. The director, Carlos Chahine, portrays the absurdities and contradictions of how we deal with grief through humor, freshness and subtlety.”



Best Documentary Short – home, directed by Matthew Faust. (USA). Award presented by Gael Greene. Winner receives $5,000 cash and the art award “Ring Image,” created by Robert Mangold.


Jury Comments: “This touching short artistically combines the aesthetic and the emotional in its portrayal of home and its memories. It tells a post-Hurricane Katrina story in a new, inventive and poignant way.”


Special Jury Mention: The Last Mermaids, directed by Liz Chae. (USA, South Korea)


Jury Comments: “Technically strong, this film beautifully documents a little known world and introduces audiences to a culture on the verge of extinction. The filmmaker provides a glimpse into a closed sisterhood -- proud of their traditions, yet accepting the disappearance of their way of life.”


Student Visionary Award – Small Change, directed and written by Anna McGrath. (Australia).  Award presented by Gael Greene. Winner receives MacPro Desktop with Final Cut Pro and a 24-inch monitor provided by Apple and the art award "Campus Point" created by Fritz Chestnut.


Jury Comments: “The winning film, a very small yet powerful story, portrays a magical and touching drama of a young girl’s home life. The filmmaker uses minimal storytelling to achieve maximum emotional impact and we commend the terrific performances of the young actors.”


Special Jury Mention: Oda a la Piñadirected and written by Laimir Fano. (Cuba).


Jury Comments: “This visually delicious film, with its stunningly rich colors, captures the cultural rhythms and unmistakable sounds of the city to artistically portray a sense of poverty in what remains of old Havana and its beauty.”


The Heineken Audience Award – Winner to be chosen by the Audience and will be announced on Saturday, May 2. Winner receives $25,000 cash.



2008 Full List of Eligible Films in Each Category of Competition


World Narrative Feature Competition:






World Documentary Feature Competition:




New York Films:




Short Films in Competition:





Tickets for 2009 Festival:


Tickets are available now for screenings through May 3.


Tickets for the Festival are $15.00 for evening and weekend screenings and $8.00 for daytime weekday and late night screenings. In addition, the Festival offers a few select screenings with panel discussions for $25.00.


Tickets can be purchased online at or by telephone, toll free, at (866) 941-FEST (3378). The 2009 Festival will continue ticket discounts for evening and weekend screenings for students, seniors and select downtown Manhattan residents. Additional information and further details on the Festival can be found at


About Tribeca Film Festival:


Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff founded the Tribeca Film Festival in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center, New York City to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of the lower Manhattan district through an annual celebration of film, music and culture. The Festival’s mission is to help filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enable the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center.   Tribeca Film Festival is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors. The Tribeca Festival has screened over 1100 films from over 80 countries since its first festival in 2002. Since its founding, it has attracted an international audience of more than two million attendees and has generated over $530 million in economic activity for New York City.


About the 2009 Festival Sponsors:


As Founding Sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival, American Express is committed to supporting the Festival and the art of film making, bringing business and energy to New York City and offering benefits that enhance the festival-going experience.


The Festival is pleased to announce the return of its Signature Sponsors: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Apple, Bloomberg, Brookfield Properties, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), Delta Air Lines, iShares, NBC 4 New York, RR Donnelley, Snapple, The New York Times, Telemundo 47 and Vanity Fair.  The Tribeca Film Festival is also honored to welcome the following new Signature Sponsors: AMC, DIRECTV, Heineken and


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