NEW YORK (AP) — “Keep the Change,” a romance about a couple who meet at a community for people on the autistic spectrum, and “Bobbi Jene,” a documentary about an American dancer in the Israeli dance company Batsheva, were the top winners at the 16th Tribeca Film Festival.
In the awards, announced in a ceremony Thursday night, Rachel Israel’s debut feature, “Keep the Change,” won the Founders Award for best narrative feature. The jury called it “a heartwarming, hilarious and consistently surprising reinvention of the New York romantic comedy, which opens a door to a world of vibrant characters not commonly seen on film.”
Tribeca co-founder Jane Rosenthal happily noted that all five feature film awards went to movies directed by women. The festival also gives an award, named after Nora Ephron, to a female director. That prize went to Petra Volpe, writer-director of “The Divine Order,” a drama about women’s suffrage in Switzerland.
“Bobbi Jene,” which follows the dancer Bobbi Jene Smith as she moved back the U.S., took the best documentary award and honors for its cinematography and editing. The jury praised director Elvira Lind’s film for “pushing nonfiction intimacy to bold new places.”
Best international feature went to Elina Psykou’s Greek drama “Son of Sofia.”
The director of the best narrative short, Kaveh Mazaheri, for “Retouch,” said he was unable to attend the festival because of Republican President Donald Trump’s proposed travel ban. Mazaheri, an Iranian filmmaker, said in a video message that he and his crew were unable to get visas for Tribeca. He said his absence was “a pity” due to Trump’s “fascinating decisions.”
Courts have halted Trump’s bid to stop immigration from six predominantly Muslim counties: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Trump has appealed the courts’ rulings, saying he’s trying to keep the United States safe.
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