2013 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES
HEINEKEN AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS – THE ROCKET AND BRIDEGROOM
New York, NY [April 27, 2013] – The 12th annual Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), co-founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, and presented by founding sponsor American Express, announced the winners of the two Heineken Audience Awards tonight at the wrap party in New York City. Two awards—one for narrative and one for documentary—were given to the audience choices for the best films. The Rocket, directed by Kim Mordaunt, was chosen to receive the Narrative award; the film also took top honors at the Festival awards Thursday where it received both The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature and Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film for Sitthiphon Disamoe’s performance as Ahlo. Bridegroom, directed by Linda Bloodworth Thomason, was chosen for the Documentary award. Each award comes with a cash prize of $25,000.
Throughout the Festival, which kicked off on April 17, audiences have been able to vote for the Heineken Audience Awards by completing nomination ballots upon exiting screenings of TFF films. Films in the World Narrative Competition, World Documentary Competition, Viewpoints, Spotlight and Midnight sections were eligible.
“Our audiences have chosen two films that testify to the power of the human spirit and hope for change,” said Genna Terranova, Director of Programming. “Whether it’s the fight for marriage equality in the U.S. or a boy struggling against all odds in war torn Laos, audiences were clearly moved by these two inspiring stories.”
Set against the lush backdrop of rural Laos, The Rocket tells the story of scrappy ten-year-old Ahlo, who yearns to break free from his ill-fated destiny. After his village is displaced to make way for a massive dam, Ahlo escapes with his father and grandmother through the Laotian outback in search of a new home. Along the way, they come across a rocket festival that offers a lucrative—but dangerous—chance for a new beginning. With the help of his new friend Kia and her eccentric, James Brown-loving uncle, Ahlo sets out to build his own rocket, enter the contest and prove his worth to his family. The Rocket’s characters, mostly played by non-professional actors, embody the spirit of resilience and hope born out of a country affected by a legacy of war and undergoing a great economic change.
"We are thrilled that New York audiences who are so international were so engaged with The Rocket," said Sylvia Wilczynski producer of The Rocket. "We've seen both laughs and tears at our screenings, and loved meeting everyone throughout the Festival. This award goes to people of Laos."
Bridegroom chronicles the emotional journey of Shane and Tom, two young men in a loving and committed relationship. Unfortunately, their love is cut short by Tom’s accidental death, and his partner finds himself facing the failure of same sex marriage protections that leave him completely shut out and ostracized. Bloodworth Thomason sheds light on the often-overlooked struggles that same sex couples face as a result of marriage inequality. As this issue heads to the United States Supreme Court for deliberation, Bridegroom is poised as a timely and moving documentary about love and perseverance through loss.
"We are shocked. We were so grateful to just be selected for the Festival; we never imagined we would win the audience award," said Linda Bloodworth Thomason, director of Bridegroom. "Hopefully the power of this story will propel the film into theaters across America and beyond.”
The Rocket and Bridegroom will screen on Sunday, April 28, as will the rest of the films that won awards at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. Full details and specific timing can be found on www.tribecafilm.com. All other 2013 TFF award winners were announced at an awards show on Thursday, April 25, 2013. A full list of winners can be found at www.tribecafilm.com.
Quotes from the winners will be in the final release on the website after the announcement is made.
For film stills please visit www.image.net. Registration code 2604
About the Tribeca Film Festival:
The Tribeca Film Festival helps filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enabling the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center. It is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors.
Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center, to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of the lower Manhattan district through an annual celebration of film, music and culture, the Festival brings the industry and community together around storytelling.
The Tribeca Film Festival has screened more than 1,400 films from more than 80 countries since its first edition in 2002. Since inception, it has attracted an international audience of more than 4 million attendees and has generated an estimated $750 million in economic activity for New York City.
About the 2013 Festival Sponsors
As Founding Sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival, American Express is committed to supporting the Festival and the art of filmmaking, bringing business and energy to New York City and offering Cardmembers and festivalgoers the opportunity to enjoy the best of storytelling through film.
The Tribeca Film Festival is pleased to announce the return of its Signature Sponsors: Accenture, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Bloomberg, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), Brookfield, Cadillac, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, ESPN, GE FOCUS FORWARD (in partnership with cinelan), Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Heineken USA, JetBlue, Magnum® Ice Cream, NBC 4 New York, NCM Media Networks, The New York Times, and OppenheimerFunds. The Festival is also honored to welcome the following new Signature Sponsors: AT&T, IWC Schaffhausen, PepsiCo, and Sony Electronics.