The Tribeca Film Festival handed out most of its awards Thursday night, but saved the last toast for Saturday night’s wrap party. The fest awarded the Heineken Audience Award to RUSH: Beyond the Lighted Stage, a documentary about the Canadian supergroup. The film was directed by Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn. The film covered the ups and downs of members singer/bass player Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart. The directors received a $25,000 cash prize, presented at tonight’s wrap party.
I’m still waiting for word of the first significant distributor acquisition of a Tribeca Festival film. There is word that the producers of the festival’s closing night documentary, Freakonomics, have acquired screen rights to a Vanity Fair article by The Blind Side author Michael Lewis, on the economic collapse of Iceland. Those producers are Chad Troutwine, Chris Romano and Dan O’Meara of Green Film. Freakonomics, a film based on the bestselling book by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, was acquired for distribution prior to the festival by Magnolia. Several buyers were ho-hum about the value of Tribeca for acquisitions. It has been a snore, actually. While co-founders Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal consider Tribeca to be a neighborhood festival, it seems like an emphasis on building up the market part of the festival could really help its viability.