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'Una Noche,' 'War Witch' Among Big Winners At Tribeca Film Festival Awards

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The Tribeca Film Festival awards ceremony took place on Thursday, and the controversial Cuban film "Una Noche" turned out to be the toast of the town. Though "War Witch" won the award for Best Narrative Feature and Rachel Mwanza was named Best Actress, "Una Noche" became the breakout story of the festival after two of its actors disappeared en route to New York.

Director Lucy Mulloy, cinematographers Trevor Forrest and Shlomo Godder were honored for their work on the film. Actors Dariel Arrechada and Jaiver Nunez Florian both won Best Actor in a Narrative Feature.

Other big winners include Nisha Pahuja's "The World Before Her" for Best Documentary Feature, Bryan Buckley's "Asad" for Best Narrative Short and Frederic Golding's "On the Mat" for Best Feature Film in the festival's online competition.

Florian and Anailin de la Rua de la Torre, were flown from Cuba to the United States last week and were supposed to make their way to New York last Friday in order to promote the film. But instead, the pair stayed in Miami, according to 20-year-old Arrechada, who traveled with them.

"I'm here alone in New York, " Arrechada said.

The Cuban actor also told The Huffington Post that he and his colleagues are unable to reach the two actors, and do not know of the pair's current whereabouts.

The full list of winners, via press release, is available below the gallery.

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WORLD NARRATIVE COMPETITION CATEGORIES:

The jurors for the 2012 World Narrative Competition were Patricia Clarkson, Dakota Fanning, Mike Newell, Lisa Schwarzbaum, Jim Sheridan, and Irwin Winkler.

• The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature – War Witch, directed by Kim Nguyen (Canada). Winner receives $25,000 and the art award “The Wrinkles of The City, Los Angeles, Carl revealed on wood, 2011” by JR. Sponsored by AKA. The award was given by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Larry Korman, President of AKA.

Jury Comments: “This indelible character study of a girl who becomes a woman before our eyes in the midst of harrowing war gives words to the unspeakable. Riveting, heartbreaking, vivid, and eloquent, the movie balances scenes of crazy enemy hatred with moments of luminous private love.”

• Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film – Dariel Arrechada and Javier Nuñez Florian as Raul and Elio in Una Noche, directed by Lucy Mulloy (UK, Cuba, USA). Winners split $2,500. The award was given by Patricia Clarkson.

Jury Comments: “We give the award for Best Actor in a Narrative Feature to Dariel Arrechada and to Javier Nuñez Florian in Una Noche, for potent individual performances that together are even greater than the sum of their parts. Playing Raul and Elio, young Cuban men who goad each other on in a dream of fleeing Havana for a fantasy of Miami, Dariel locates Raul’s danger and sexual power as precisely as Javier taps into Elio’s essential sweetness. Both young actors are nonprofessionals who took great risks to tell a daring story. Each won our hearts.”

• Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film – Rachel Mwanza as Komona in War Witch, directed by Kim Nguyen (Canada). Winner receives $2,500. The award was given by Jim Sheridan.

Jury Comments: “A nonprofessional actress, this remarkable young woman—barely a teenager when the movie was shot—so fully inhabits her role that there are no borders to her stunning performance, no distance at all between the actress and the unforgettable character Komona.”

• Best Cinematography in a Narrative Feature Film – Cinematography by Trevor Forrest and Shlomo Godder, for Una Noche, directed by Lucy Mulloy (UK, Cuba, USA). Winner receives $5,000 and $50,000 in post-production services provided by Company 3. The award was given by Lisa Schwarzbaum.

Jury Comments: “Una Noche reveals a Havana we could never otherwise see, in its jumble of vibrant life, decay, and making do. There’s a ‘you are there’ documentary immediacy to the picture, shot on the fly and in the streets, that keeps us enthralled.”

o Special Jury Mention – Alex Catalan for Unit 7. The announcement was made by Lisa Schwarzbaum.

• Best Screenplay for a Narrative Feature Film – All In (La Suerte en Tus Manos), written by Daniel Burman and Sergio Dubcovsky and directed by Daniel Burman (Argentina). Winner receives $5,000. The award was given by Irwin Winkler.

Jury Comments: “We are impressed with the movie’s elegant and thoughtful balance of comedic lightness and deepness of soul; its ability to locate universal issues regarding families, lovers, kids, and running a business within the tangy specificity of an Argentinean Jewish poker-playing milieu; and its ability to cram vasectomies and rock ’n’ roll rabbis into the same story without breaking a sweat. Comedy is hard; All In handles it with ease.”

BEST NEW NARRATIVE DIRECTOR:

The jurors for the 2012 Best New Narrative Director Competition were Camilla Belle, Whoopi Goldberg, Susannah Grant, Zach Helm, Courtney Hunt, Kellan Lutz and Leelee Sobieski.

• Best New Narrative Director – Lucy Mulloy, director of Una Noche (UK, Cuba, USA). Winner receives $25,000, presented by American Express; $50,000 in post-production services provided by Company 3; and the art award “Red Top, 2012” courtesy of Stanley Whitney & Team Gallery, New York. The award was given by Leelee Sobieski and Deb Curtis from American Express, Vice President, Entertainment Marketing & Sponsorships.

Jury Comments: “Lucy Mulloy’s Una Noche rang the bell inside all of our little director hearts. We simply thought the film was awesome, and it only grew in our esteem as we spoke of it after. It is a film that immediately connects any audience member it can find to the undeniable, hopeful, and naïve intentions of the young. It is so rich in its motivations, and so breathtaking in its outcomes, it is thoughtful and entertaining in perfect balance. Mulloy pulled us through social portrait to family drama, to true crime, to thriller, all with skill, grace, the realized intent of a sophisticated filmmaker, and deep love for humanity. So, Lucy, we would like you to accept the 2012 Best New Narrative Director award, and please consider us for your next picture.”

o Special Jury Mention – P. Benoit, director of Stones in the Sun; and Sharon Bar-Ziv, director of Room 514. The announcement was made by Leelee Sobieski and Deb Curtis from American Express.

WORLD DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION CATEGORIES:

The jurors for the 2012 World Documentary Competition were Julia Bacha, Kim Cattrall, K’naan, Michael Moore, and Lucy Walker.

• Best Documentary Feature – The World Before Her, directed by Nisha Pahuja (Canada). Winner receives $25,000 and the art award “An Unpeopled Land in Uncharted Waters, 2010” by Kara Walker; courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York. The award was given by Julia Bacha.

Jury Comments: “With unprecedented access, great compassion, and a keen eye for the universal, this year’s winner takes a hard and clear-eyed look at the trials of growing up female in today’s fast-changing world. Following young women who have taken diametrically opposed decisions on how to tackle the influence of global forces in their communities, the filmmaker takes us on a journey to examine how the pressures of faith, fashion, and family are bringing up a generation of women who are desperately searching for meaning amidst a reality of few real choices.”

o Special Jury Mention – The Revisionaries, directed by Scott Thurman. The announcement was made by Michael Moore.

• Best Editing in a Documentary Feature – The Flat (Hadira), edited by Tali Halter Shenkar, directed by Arnon Goldfinger, (Israel, Germany). Winner receives $5,000. The award was given by Lucy Walker.

Jury Comments: “For a story so skillfully told that even though we thought this subject had been covered already by many great films, to our surprise a new story emerged that took us by surprise, left us on the edge of our seat, and will stay with us. The story is based on a complicated and murky journey into the unknown; however, thanks to the sure-handed and deceptively simple editing, it unfolded so clearly and powerfully that even a scene of the filmmaker and his mother lost in a rainy graveyard becomes beautifully climactic and memorable. This is a lesson in how a modestly shot family history can transcend its personal nature and become universal in its insights into human psychology thanks to great filmmaking craft.”

BEST NEW DOCUMENTARY DIRECTOR COMPETITION:

The jurors for the 2012 Best New Documentary Director Competition were Stuart Blumberg, Jared Cohen, Rachel Grady, Bethann Hardison, Sal Masekela, Ricki Stern, and Olivia Wilde.

• Best New Documentary Director – Jeroen van Velzen for Wavumba (Netherlands). Winner receives $25,000, presented by American Express; and the art award “Untitled, 1980/2000” courtesy of Cindy Sherman & Metro Pictures. The award was given by Sal Masekela and Deb Curtis from American Express.

Jury Comments: “A modern day ‘Old Man and the Sea’ tale, set off the coast of Kenya, this lyrical film depicts the story of Masoud, a legend of shark fishing who, along with his young protégé, strives to end his days with one last grand catch. We the jury especially appreciated this new director’s confidence of style, his restraint and his deep relationship to a culture fast disappearing. It is a hypnotic story of man and nature, unafraid of silence, and full of a terrible beauty. We look forward to his next endeavor with great anticipation.”

o Special Jury Mention – Christian Bonke and Andreas Koefoed, directors of Ballroom Dancer. The announcement was made by Sal Masekela and Deb Curtis from American Express.

SHORT FILM COMPETITION CATEGORIES:

The 2012 Best Narrative Short Competition jurors were Maureen Chiquet, Hugh Dancy, Aline Brosh McKenna, Bridget Moynahan, Drew Nieporent, Mohammed Saeed Harib, and Shari Springer Berman.

• Best Narrative Short – Asad, directed by Bryan Buckley (USA). Winner receives $5,000, sponsored by Persol; 10,000 feet of film stock donated by Kodak; and the art award “Nantes, 2009” courtesy of Walton Ford & Paul Kasmin Gallery. The award was given by Shari Springer Berman and Andrea Dorigo, President of Luxottica/Persol.

Jury Comments: “Asad is a lyrical, moving and beautifully realized portrayal of a world we rarely get to see in cinema. Every shot of the film is well thought out and specific to this unique world—a fishing village in Somalia. Yet Asad’s most astounding achievement is boasting an array of brilliant performances by a cast of Somali refugees. Congratulations to writer/director Bryan Buckley and his amazing cast on making a short film that is rather large in spirit, ambition and accomplishment.”

o Special Jury Mention – Ritesh Batra, writer and director of Café Regular Cairo. The announcement was made by Shari Springer Berman.

The 2012 Best Documentary and Student Short Competition jurors were Scooter Braun, Robert Hammond, Brett Ratner, Susan Sarandon, James Spione, Shailene Woodley, and Susan Zirinsky.

• Best Documentary Short – Paraíso, directed by Nadav Kurtz (USA). Winner receives $5,000, sponsored by Persol, and the art award “Harmonium Mountain V” by Clifford Ross. The award was given by James Spione and Andrea Dorigo, President of Luxottica/Persol.

Jury Comments: “This film is a beautifully crafted portrait of a group of men with a sense of humanity and a very unique view of the world. In 10 minutes we were drawn into a story that told us about human nature, quality of life, economics, race, the importance of family and mortality. The men may be invisible to the world rushing below them, but they see through the windows they’re washing—deep into the lives and souls of the people behind the glass. It’s cinematically exquisite, with light so rich it’s thrilling to watch.”

o Special Jury Mention – David Darg and Bryn Mooser, directors of Baseball in the Time of Cholera. The announcement was made by James Spione.

• Student Visionary Award – Stitches, directed by Adiya Imri Orr (Israel). Winner receives support from Apple and the art award “Waterfall 104f” courtesy of Kim Keever & Kinz + Tillou Fine Art. The award was given by Susan Sarandon.

Jury Comments: “Stitches is a well written, powerfully acted film that exposes the rawness of two life partners who have decided to have a baby and now find themselves at the precipice of their relationship. The world around them still treats them like they don’t quite belong. Every confrontation, every expression feels like you’re touching an exposed nerve. Life, as you discover in this film, is not always neat.”

o Special Jury Mention –Tati Barrantes and Andinh Ha, writers and directors of Adirake. The announcement was made by Susan Sarandon.

TRIBECA (ONLINE) FILM FESTIVAL CATEGORIES:

The 2012 Tribeca (Online) Film Festival winners were voted on by visitors to tribecafilm.com.

• Tribeca (Online) Film Festival Best Feature Film: On The Mat, directed and written by Fredric Golding (USA). Winner receives $10,000, presented by American Express. The award was given by Geoffrey Gilmore and Deb Curtis from American Express.

• Tribeca (Online) Film Festival Best Short Film: CatCam, directed by Seth Keal (USA). Winners receive $5,000. The award was given by Geoffrey Gilmore.

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