Tribeca ’13: “Kill Team,” “Oxyana” among award winners

Afghan war doc The Kill Team (pictured) won the Best Documentary Feature prize at the 12th annual Tribeca Film Festival in New York, while Let the Fire Burn took the award for Best Editing in a Documentary Feature.
April 26, 2013

Dan Krauss’s war doc The Kill Team (pictured) won the Best Documentary Feature prize at the 12th annual Tribeca Film Festival in New York, along with a US$25,000 prize.

The film, which had its world premiere at the festival, offers an insider’s perspective on the notorious Maywand District killings of 2010 in Afghanistan, with first-hand testimonies from “kill team” members Adam Winfield and Jeremy Morlock.

The jurors for the 2013 World Documentary Competition were Joe Berlinger, Sandi DuBowski, Whoopi Goldberg, Mira Sorvino, and Evan Rachel Wood. A Special Jury Mention was given for Sean Dunne’s doc Oxyana.

In a joint statement, the jury said: “The Kill Team examines the fundamental flaw in the preparation of young soldiers for war that allows them to see people as targets without humanity, a culture of killing that looks to express itself even in times of peace.

“It masterfully combines vérité footage, talking head interviews and a private look into one family’s desperate fight in a seamless cinematic undertaking.”

Elsewhere, archival doc Let the Fire Burn took the award Best Editing in a Documentary Feature.

The film, which looks at the 1985 stand-off between the radical MOVE organization and Philadelphia authorities, is edited by Nels Bangerter and directed by Jason Osder, and takes a $5,000 prize.

Osder also got a Special Jury Mention in the Best New Documentary Director category, which was won by Oxyana director Sean Dunne, who takes the $25,000 prize.

Oxyana looks at the effects of an OxyContin addiction epidemic in the town of Oceana, West Virginia. The jury for the category – consisting of Jared Cohen, Taraji P. Henson, Riley Keough, Jason O’Mara and Josh Radnor – said the doc “is a major accomplishment, deeply sad without being sentimental, fearless, unblinking and deft in the filmmaker’s ability to coax harrowing stories from his subjects.”

Elsewhere, non-fiction films triumphed over narrative works in the online categories. Andy Capper and Juliette Eisner’s Lil Bub & Friendz was named Best Feature Film at the Tribeca Online Festival, picking up a $10,000 prize, while Minos Papas’s A Short Film About Guns was deemed Best Short Film, collecting $5,000.

The $5,000 Best Documentary Short prize went to Bess Kargman, for Coach, with a Special Jury Mention going to Michael Scalisi’s Royal American.

Finally, the Student Visionary Award went to Stephen Dunn’s Life Doesn’t Frighten Me, with a Special Jury Mention for Emily Harrold’s Reporting on the Times: The New York Times and the Holocaust.

The winners were named at a ceremony hosted at the Conrad New York in New York City yesterday (April 25).

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.