Saturday, April 26, 2014

OSCAR WATCH: Tribeca Fest Awards

I know I already did a wrap-up post for my Tribeca coverage but after the announcement of the festival's various awards, I felt I needed to chime in with some further thoughts. The main story of course, is that Talya Lavie's "Zero Motivation" won Best Narrative Feature and Libyan revolution doc "Point and Shoot" won Best Documentary Feature. By some stroke of luck, the former was the only film from the competition section that I scheduled and it turned out to be the top film! I haven't seen the other eligible films, but it's a definitely a respectable winner.

Of course, as an Oscar blogger I instantly started to think of these films in the context of the upcoming awards season. Over the past few years, the Tribeca Film Festival has established itself as a launching pad for several Oscar nominees in Best Foreign Language Film and Best Documentary Feature categories. For example, "War Witch" and "Broken Circle Breakdown" were big winners at Tribeca and rode that buzz to eventual Oscar nominations. On the documentary side, "Taxi to the Dark Side" won the top prize at Tribeca before its Oscar win, while "Searching for Sugar Man" and "Cutie and the Boxer" both placed 2nd for the audience award before their eventual nods. It therefore stands to reason that "Zero Motivation" (assuming it wins the Ophir Award to become Israel's submission) and "Point and Shoot" (it already has a pedigree due to its twice nominated director Marshall Curry) have gotten early boosts in Oscar's Foreign Language and Documentary Feature races respectively.

Further down the list of award winners, there are several other films to take note of in terms of Oscar potential. By virtue of having directors whose films have been submitted before (most countries tend to favour a core group of directors), the following are likely to be selected as the official submissions for their countries: "Human Capital" (Italy) and "I Won't Come Back" (Estonia). In addition, "Manos Sucias" could feature in the race after two notices here (Best New Director and Audience Award 2nd Place) but I'm not sure about its eligibility (joint Colombia-USA production with an American director). Mexico could also go with "Güeros", winner of Best Cinematography and a Special Jury Mention for Best New Director (more notably, it previously won Best First Feature at the presitigious Berlin Film Festival).

In other news, Oscar guru Harvey Weinstein could be back for glory with another inspiring music doc "Keep On Keepin' On". The film picked up awards for Best New Narrative Director on Thursday and was soon acquired by The Weinstein Company just before adding the Heineken Audience Award to its haul today. It certainly sounds like a major contender to me. Other winners in the documentary competition include "Regarding Susan Sontag", "Mala Mala" and "Ne Me Quitte Pas", so look out for those as possible Oscar contenders too.

Here's the full list of award winners from the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival:

Best Narrative Feature
Zero Motivation

Best New Director (Narrative Feature)
Josef Wladyka, Manos Sucias
Special Jury Mention: Alonso Ruizpalacios, Güeros

Best Actor
Paul Schneider, Goodbye to All That

Best Actress
Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Human Capital

Best Cinematography

Best Screenplay
The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq

Best Editing (Narrative Feature)
Five Star

Nora Ephron Prize
Talya Lavie, Zero Motivation
Special Jury Mention: Ilmar Raag, I Won't Come Back

Best Documentary Feature
Point and Shoot
Special Jury Mention: Regarding Susan Sontag

Best New Director (Documentary Feature)
Alan Hicks, Keep On Keepin' On

Best Editing (Documentary Feature)
Ne Me Quitte Pas

Heineken Audience Award (Narrative Feature)
2nd Place: Manos Sucias

Heineken Audience Award (Documentary Feature)
Keep On Keepin' On
2nd Place: Mala Mala

Tribeca Online Festival Best Feature Film
Vara: A Blessing


  1. Vara A Blessing can't be nominated for Bhutan because 85% of it is basically English language. They'll disqualify it.

  2. Nice write up, and thanks for alerting me to this! I'll keep these titles in mind for sure! I also love that Schneider won an award! I love him.