18 May, 2010

European Films Dominate Tribeca Film Festival Awards


by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor
European films dominated the awards of the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, announced at a gala ceremony on May 1st. The award winners not only receive a nice cash prize but the visibility also gives them added possibilities for full distribution releases in North America.

WHEN WE LEAVE, the German film by writer/director Feo Aladag, won top prize honors in the World Narrative Competition. The film, which made its North American premiere at the Festival, is the strong story of a young woman who leaves her Turkish husband's ill treatment and returns with her 5 year old son to her native Berlin. But she finds that her family is not the bastion of love and security that she had hoped. Austrian actress Feo Aladag makes a compelling directorial debut with this film, won the Label Europa Cinemas Award at the Berlin Film Festival, where it made its world premiere debut. The film has also been nominated for eight German Film Awards.

Aladag received a cash prize of US $25,000 and the art piece "Study: Northern City Renaissance" commissioned by Sting and created by Stephen Hannock. A Special Jury Mention went to the Italian film LOOSE CANNONS, directed by Ferzan Ozpetek and written by Ferzan Ozpetek and Ivan Cotroneo.

The Best New Narrative Filmmaker prize was won by French director Kim Chapiron for the French/Canadian co-production DOG POUND. The film, which made its world premiere at the Festival, is the intense story of three young men who are taken to a youth prison filled with terror and violence. Chapiron, who has directed more than a dozen short films and made his feature debut in 2005 with the gritty SHEITAN starring Vincent Cassel, is definitely a filmmaker to watch. He received a cash prize of USD $25,000 sponsored by American Express, the Festival's leading sponsor.

European actors were also singled out for their performances at this year's event. Eric Elmosnino won the Best Actor prize for his reincarnation of 1960s French cultural icon Serge Gainsbourg in the musical drama biopic GAINSBOURG, JE T'AIME....MOI NON PLUS, written and directed by Joann Sfar. The actor received two BusinessElite ticket vouchers for anywhere that sponsor Delta Airlines travels.

Best Actress honors went to German actress Sibel Kekilli for her powerful performance as the abused wife in the German film WHEN WE LEAVE, written and directed by Feo Aladag. She also received two BusinessElite ticket vouchers for anywhere that sponsor Delta Airlines travels.

A European documentary filmmaker was also singled out for a terrific achievement. UK director Clio Barnard won the Best New Documentary Filmmaker prize of USD $25,000 sponsored by American Express for THE ARBOR, which made its world premiere at the Festival. The film is set in a housing project in Northern England, where the playwright Andrea Dunbar grew up and drew upon for most of her work. The film, a debut feature for director Clio Barnard, focuses on the playwright's troubled relationship with her daughter and presents an unconventional life told in an unconventional style.

For more information on these and other Tribeca films, visit:

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