Tribeca2021: Best U.S. Narrative Film at Fest is ‘The Novice’

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CHICAGO – Going both ways … in-person screenings in New York City and virtual/online for at-home enjoyment proved a success for the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. The 20th Fest announced their Jury Competition Award Winners on June 17th, with honorees that included Games and Podcasts for the first time.

The top prizes went to “The Novice,” directed by Lauren Hadaway (Best U.S. Narrative), “Brighton 4th,” directed by Levan Koguashivili (Best International Narrative) and “Ascension,” Directed by Jessica Kingdon (Best Documentary).

Best U.S. Narrative Feature for 2021 is ‘The Novice,’ directed by Lauren Hadaway
Photo credit: Tribeca Film Festival

Awards were distributed in the following feature film competition categories – U.S. Narrative, International Narrative, Documentary, New Narrative Director, and the Nora Ephron Prize, honoring a woman writer or director. Awards were also given in the short film categories – Narrative, Documentary, Student Visionary and Animation. New Directors were also honored with Narrative Awards, Documentary (AKA the Albert Maysles Award) and The Nora Ephron Award.

“It’s been a challenging time for filmmakers, storytellers, and actors, and we’re so proud to honor the perseverance and dedication many of them displayed while working through the many obstacles that arose as a result of COVID-19,” said Cara Cusumano, Festival Director and Vice President of Programming. “Each of these recipients truly embody the spirit of our creative community.” The following are the jury awards for the 20th Tribeca Film Festival of 2021, by category…

StarU.S. Narrative Competition

Matthew Leone (Left) in ‘God’s Waiting Room’
Photo credit: Tribeca Film Festival

The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature: “The Novice,” directed by Lauren Hadaway

Best Actress in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film: Isabelle Fuhrman in “The Novice”

Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film: Matthew Leone in “God’s Waiting Room”

Best Cinematography in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film: Todd Martin for “The Novice”

Best Screenplay in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film: Hannah Marks for “Mark, Mary & Some Other People”

Special Jury Prize for Artistic Expression: Director Nana Mensah for “Queen of Glory”

StarInternational Narrative Competition

‘Brighton 4th,’ directed by Levan Koguashivili
Photo credit: Tribeca Film Festival

Best International Narrative Feature: “Brighton 4th” (Russia/Georgia/Bulgaria), directed by Levan Koguashivili

Best Actress in an International Narrative Feature: Shira Haas in “Souad” (Egypt/Tunisia/Germany)

Best Actor in an International Narrative Feature: Levan Tediashvili in Brighton 4th

Best Cinematography in an International Narrative Feature Film: Elizabeth Vogler for “Roaring “20’s” (France)

Best Screenplay in an International Narrative Feature Film: Boris Frumin for “Brighton 4th” 

StarDocumentary Competition

’Ascension,’ Directed by Jessica Kingdon
Photo credit: Tribeca Film Festival

Best Documentary Feature: “Ascension” (USA), directed by Jessica Kingdon

Best Documentary Cinematography: Bing Liu & Joshua Altman for “All These Sons” (USA)

Best Documentary Editing: Shannon Swan for “The Kids” (USA)

StarShort Film Competition

’Girl with a Thermal Gun,’ Directed by Rongfei Guo
Photo credit: Tribeca Film Festival

Best Narrative Short: “Girl with a Thermal Gun,” directed by Rongfei Guo (China)

Best Animated Short: “Navozande The Musician,” directed by Reza Riahi (France)

Best Documentary Short: “Coded,” directed by Ryan White (USA)

Student Visionary Award: “Six Nights,” directed by Robert Brogden (USA)

StarNew Narrative and Documentary Director Competition

Best New Narrative Director: Nana Mensah director of “Queen of Glory”

Best New Documentary Director: (AKA the Albert Maysles Award) Jessica Kingdon for “Ascension”

StarThe Nora Ephron Prize

Chanel James and Taylor Garron director of “As of Yet” (USA)

ADDITIONALLY: For Podcast, Tribeca X, Games and Immersive Awards, CLICK HERE.

The 2021 Tribeca Film Festival will take place through June 20th, 2021. For tickets, events schedule and all information click on senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

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© 2021 Patrick McDonald,

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