The 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, announced tonight at the Festival wrap party the winners of the two Audience Awards, powered by Infor. Two awards (one for narrative and one for documentary) were given to the audience choices for the Festival's best films.
Here Alone directed by Rod Blackhurst, receives the Narrative Award and The Return, directed by Kelly Duane de la Vega and Katie Galloway, was chosen for the Documentary Award. Each award comes with a cash prize of $10,000. Additionally, as part of the Tribeca Film Festival Artists Awards program, Blackhurst will receives Zak Kitnick’s Untitled (acrylic, ink and phosphorescent pigment on paper) and Duane de la Vega and Galloway will receives Clifford Ross’ Horizon XI (silver-Gelatin print).
“It's great to see audiences finding and supporting a true discovery film like Here Alone and the powerful and affecting documentary The Return. While very different films, both highlight the resilience of the human spirit,” said Genna Terranova, Festival Director, Tribeca Film Festival.
"We're thrilled to win this award," said Ariella Ben-Dov, producer of The Return. "We've had jammed screenings: at a prison, with school kids, with teachers. We feel we're going to make a big change with this movie."
Here Alone director Blackhurst mirrored Ben-Dov's excitement: "This is our first feature film and our Tribeca experience was filled with love and respect, it was life changing. We hope to be here again and hope other filmmakers can have the same experience we've had."
The runners-up were Children of the Mountain, directed by Priscilla Anany, for the Narrative Audience Award and Midsummer in Newtown, directed by Lloyd Kramer, for the Documentary Audience Award. Throughout the Festival, which kicked off on April 13th, audience members voted by using their mobile devices and going to TribecaFilm.com/Vote and rating the film they just screened on a scale of one to five stars. Only films in the U.S. Narrative Competition, International Narrative Competition, World Documentary Competition, Viewpoints, Spotlight, and Midnight sections were eligible.
Here's the full rundown on both the winners and runners-up:
Here Alone (USA)
Director: Rod Blackhurst
Writer: David Ebeltoft
Stars: Lucy Walters, Gina Piersanti, Adam David Thompson, and Shane West
A virus has ravaged human civilization, leaving two groups of survivors: those who have managed to avoid infection, and those driven to madness, violence, and an insatiable bloodlust. Living deep in the woods, Ann, Chris, and Olivia are forced to fend off the infected while foraging for supplies. But when a supply expedition goes terribly awry, one among their number must make a terrible choice. (World Premiere / Narrative / Midnight Selection)
The Return (USA)
Directors: Kelly Duane de la Vega and Katie Galloway
Writers: Kelly Duane de la Vega, Katie Galloway, and Greg O'Toole
How does one reintegrate into society after making peace with a life sentence? California’s controversial and notoriously harsh three-strikes law was repealed in 2012, consequently releasing large numbers of convicts back into society. The Return presents an unbiased observation of the many issues with re-entry through the varied experiences of recently freed lifers. (World Premiere / Documentary / World Documentary Selection)
Children of the Mountain (USA, Ghana)
Director and Writer: Priscilla Anany
Stars: Rukiyat Masud, Grace Omaboe, Akofa Edjeani, Adjetey Annang, Agbeko Mortty (Bex), Dzifa Glikpo, Mynna Otoo
When a young woman gives birth to a deformed and sickly child, she becomes the victim of cruelty and superstition in her Ghanaian community. Discarded by her lover, she is convinced she suffers from a "dirty womb," and embarks on a journey to heal her son and create a future for them both. In Twi with subtitles. (World Premiere / Narrative / Spotlight Selection)
Midsummer in Newtown (USA)
Director: Lloyd Kramer
Midsummer in Newtown is a testament to the transformative force of artistic expression to pierce through the shadow cast down by trauma. From auditions to opening night, we witness the children of Sandy Hook Elementary find their voice, build their self-confidence, and ultimately shine in a rock-pop version of A Midsummer’s Night Dream. (World Premiere / Documentary / Viewpoints Selection)