The Tribeca Film Festival announced the 2016 Audience Award winners Saturday, with the Narrative audience prize in the 15th annual festival going to the post-apocalyptic thriller Here Alone, and the Documentary award going to The Return.
Directed by Rod Blackhurst and written by David Ebeltoft, Here Alone stars Lucy Walters, Gina Piersanti, Adam David Thompson and Shane West in a story set after a virus has destroyed civilization, leaving humanity divided into two groups: the uninfected, and those whom the virus has turned into insatiably violent savages. Ann, Chris and Olivia, three survivors living deep in the woods, must constantly defend themselves from the infected while foraging for supplies, but when a supply expedition goes awry, one among their number must make a terrible choice. The film had its world premiere at Tribeca and played in the Midnight section.
Directed by Kelly Duane de la Vega and Katie Galloway and written by Kelly Duane de la Vega, Katie Galloway and Greg O’Toole, The Return charts life for those who received life sentences under California’s harsh and hugely controversial “three strikes law” who were set free when the law was overturned in 2012. The film examines how one reintegrates into society after making peace with a life sentence, presenting an unbiased observation of the issues with re-entry through the eyes of recently freed lifers. It world premiered at Tribeca and played the World Documentary section.
The runner-up in the Narrative Feature category was Children of the Mountain (USA, Ghana), written and directed by Priscilla Anany. It follows a young Ghanaian woman who becomes a victim of cruelty and superstition when she gives birth to a deformed and sickly child. Cast aside by her lover, she becomes convinced she suffers from a ‘dirty womb,’ and sets off on a quest to heal her son and create a future for them both. Starring Rukiyat Masud, Grace Omaboe, Akofa Edjeani, Adjetey Annang, Agbeko Mortty (Bex), Dzifa Glikpo, Mynna Otoo, the Twi language film world premiered at Tribeca 2016 and played in the Viewpoints section.
Finally, the Documentary Feature runner-up was Midsummer in Newtown, director Lloyd Kramer’s look at the ongoing process by which the city of Newtown, Connecticut recovers from the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Following the children attending Sandy Hook from auditions to opening night as they create a rock-pop version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, the film shows how they find their voice, build their self-confidence, and ultimately shine in an examination of how artistic expression can pierce through the shadow cast by trauma. Midsummer in Newtown had its world premiere during the festival and screened as part of the Spotlight section.
Tribeca 2016’s audience award winners and runners-up will screen Sunday April 24 at Regal Battery Park Stadium 11, alongside the festival’s Jury prize winners. Here Alone plays at 12:45pm and 6:45pm, The Return at 3:45pm and 9:45pm, Children of the Mountain at 3:15pm, and Midsummer in Newtown at 1:30pm.