Australian filmmaker Gabrielle Brady’s debut feature Island of the Hungry Ghosts and Dava Whisenant’s Bathtubs Over Broadway are among the documentary winners at the 17th annual Tribeca Film Festival.
Brady’s Island of the Hungry Ghosts (pictured), which details a high-security facility that indefinitely detains individuals seeking asylum on Australia’s Christmas Island, took home top honors from the New York-set festival, claiming the best documentary feature title in the Documentary Competition as well as a prize of US$20,000.
The selection jury commented that the award was handed out to a film demonstrating “extraordinary mastery of the full symphonic range of cinematic tools: cinematography, editing, score, sound design, and, perhaps greatest of all, an exquisite use of metaphor. To a film that moved us deeply, impressed us immensely, and made us feel we were witnessing nothing less than the emergence, fully formed, of a major new cinematic talent.”
The Documentary Competition category also awarded cinematographer Niels van Koevorden for his efforts in Tanzania Transit, while the editing award in the category went to Frederick Shanahan, Jon Kasbe and Caitlyn Greene for When Lambs Become Lions. Both categories provided winners with a $2,500 cash prize.
The Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award, meanwhile, was handed out to Whisenant’s Bathtubs Over Broadway, in which a disaffected comedy writer stumbles upon a hidden world of bizarre corporate entertainment and forms a connection to his fellow man. The winner also received a $10,000 cash prize.
Elsewhere, Kim A. Snyder’s Notes from Dunblane: Lessons from a School Shooting was named best documentary short. The film, which also received $5,000, documents a priest from Dunblane, Scotland offering support to the families of the Sandy Hook Massacre, 16 years after a school shooting in his own town.
Tribeca also honored innovation in storytelling with its Storyscapes Award, which went to Hero, created by Navid Khonsari, Vassiliki Khonsari, and Brooks Brown. The selection receives $10,000.
Finally, the For Every Kind of Dream series, directed by Mohammad Gorjestani for Jack Dorsey’s credit card processing company Square, was honored with the third annual Tribeca X Award, which recognizes excellence in storytelling at the intersection of advertising and entertainment.
“It is rewarding to honor films that tell important stories and moved our juries in profound way,” said Jane Rosenthal, CEO, executive chair and co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, in a statement. “Whether they excite, incite, inspire or simply entertain, it is a privilege to launch this worthy group with this special honor at Tribeca.”
This year’s festival included 99 feature length films across all genres, 55 short films, and 35 immersive storytelling projects from 46 countries.
The winners of the Audience Awards, which are determined by audience votes throughout the festival, will be announced on April 28.
For more information on all of the winning films at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, click here.