and the winner is ...

The Tribeca Film Festival Just Gave Its Biggest Award to a 19-Year-Old

Initials S.G. Photo: Falco Ink.

The 2019 Tribeca Film Festival is coming to a close, and the festival announced the Jury Prize winners Thursday night. The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature went to Burning Cane, Phillip Youmans’s movie about the fractured relationship between a mother and son in rural Louisiana. Youmans is the first African-American director to win the award, and the youngest director to have a feature in Tribeca (he wrote, directed, and shot the film at age 17). Rania Attieh will take home the Nora Ephron Award for Initials S.G., starring Diego Peretti and Julianne Nicholson. In the acting categories, Haley Bennett won Best Actress in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film for Swallow, and Wendell Pierce won Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film for Burning Cane.

This year’s Tribeca jurors included Angela Bassett, Jenny Lumet, Steve Zaillian, Justin Long, Piper Perabo, Debra Messing, Chloë Sevigny, and DeWanda Wise. The winners of the Audience Awards will be announced on Saturday, May 4. See the full list of winners and special jury mentions below.

U.S. Narrative Competition Categories

Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature – Burning Cane
Best Actress in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film – Haley Bennett in Swallow
Jury special mention: “For her always surprising and deeply engaging work in Stray Dolls, Geetanjali Thapi.
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.
Best Screenplay in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film – Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy for Blow the Man Down.

International Narrative Competition Categories

Best International Narrative Feature – House of Hummingbird (Beol-sae) (South Korea, USA)
Best Actress in an International Narrative Feature Film – Ji-hu Park in House of Hummingbird (Beol-sae) (South Korea, USA)
Best Actor in an International Narrative Feature Film – Ali Atay in Noah Land
Best Cinematography in an International Narrative Feature Film – Cinematography by Kang Gook-hyun for House of Hummingbird (Beol-sae) (South Korea, USA)
Best Screenplay in an International Narrative Feature Film – Noah Land (Nuh Tepesi) written by Cenk Ertürk (Germany, Turkey, USA)

Documentary Competition Categories

Best Documentary Feature – Scheme Birds (Scotland, Sweden)
Best Cinematography in a Documentary Film – Cinematography by Yang Sun, Shuang Liang for Our Time Machine (China)
Best Editing in a Documentary Film – Editing by Jennifer Tiexiera for 17 Blocks (USA)
Special Jury mention: “This brave film uses editing to reveal narrative layers that weren’t immediately apparent, challenging and surprising viewers along the way. The special jury mention goes to Rewind.”

Nora Ephron Award

The Nora Ephron Award – Rania Attieh for Initials S.G. (Iniciales S.G.) (Argentina, Lebanon, USA) directed by Rania Attieh, Daniel Garcia.

Best New Narrative Director Competition

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

New Documentary Director Award

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

Narrative Short Competition Categories

Best Narrative Short – Maja (Denmark) directed by Marijana Jankovic.
Special Jury Mention: “This film celebrates the humanity and ingenuity of a character from the margins of society on a propulsive, fast-pedaling quest for the best tortilla in New York, The Dishwasher directed and written by Nick Hartanto, Sam Roden.
Shorts Animation Award – My Mother’s Eyes (U.K.) directed and written by Jenny Wright.
Best Documentary Short – Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl) (U.K.) directed by Carol Dysinger.
Special Jury Mention: “An unflinching and delicate portrait of a loving father with a haunted past who bravely decides to stand up to the powers that be in Ferguson, Missouri, in St. Louis Superman.”
Student Visionary Award – Jebel Banat (Egypt) directed and written by Sharine Atif.
Special Jury mention: “Set in rural China, this stunningly cinematic short Pearl (Zhen Zhu) follows the strife of a small family down a path of rupture and loss.”

Storyscapes Award

Storyscapes Award – The Key (USA, Iraq), created by Celine Tricart. 

Tribeca Film Festival Gives Its Biggest Award to 19-Year-Old