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Jessica Kingdon’s “Ascension” highlights 2021 Tribeca jury award winners

Thursday marked the ninth day of  the 2021 Tribeca Festival, and with it came the annual announcement of the jury competition award winners. Tribeca boasted that this year’s awards ceremony honored ...
June 18, 2021

Thursday marked the ninth day of  the 2021 Tribeca Festival, and with it came the annual announcement of the jury competition award winners.

Tribeca boasted that this year’s awards ceremony honored the most diverse line-up of creators in the festival’s 20-year history, while awarding US$165,000 in cash prizes.

The festival comes to an end this weekend on June 20.

The top prize in the non-scripted side of the ceremony, for best documentary feature, went to Ascension, a film directed and produced by Jessica Kingdon, and co-produced by Kira Simon-Kennedy and Nathan Truesdell. The film explores contemporary China’s identity as it relates to consumerism, innovation and social standing.

Kingdon also received the 2021 Albert Maysles Award for best new documentary director.

Best editing in a documentary feature went to Shannon Swan for The Kids, which revisits the cult 1990s indie film Kid 26 years later. Best cinematography in a documentary feature was awarded to Bing Liu and Joshua Altman for their film All These Sons about community-based programs in Chicago offering mentorship and healing to young men who could become perpetrators or victims of gun violence.

The short documentary award went to Coded. The film was directed by Ryan White and produced by Christopher Leggett, Jessica Hargrave, Conor Fetting-Smith, Rafael Marmor and Marc Gilbar. Coded is about illustrator J.C. Leyendecker whose legacy laid the foundation for modern out-and-proud LGBTQ+ advertisements.

“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 2021 jurors for the Best New Documentary Feature competition were Kirby Dick, Matt Tyrnauer and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. The jurors for the Documentary Director competition were Iyabo Boyd, Sabrina Schmidt Gordon and Omar Metwally.

Tribeca will make a special virtual screening series of award-winning films available for U.S. audiences via Tribeca at Home, this weekend on June 19 and 20.

The festival’s Audience Award winners, which are determined by audience votes, will be announced next week.

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