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OSCAR WATCH: Tribeca Fest Awards

Posted on the 27 April 2014 by Shane Slater @filmactually

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), "I Won't Come Back" (Estonia) and "Vara: A Blessing" (Bhutan).
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" 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
Güeros
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)
Chef
Heineken Audience Award (Documentary Feature)
Keep On Keepin' On
Tribeca Online Festival Best Feature Film
Vara: A Blessing

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