The eighth annual Tribeca Film Festival announced the winner of The Heineken Audience Award – City Island – tonight at the Tribeca Filmmaker Lounge, sponsored by Union Square Ballroom, in New York City.
The voting process for The Heineken Audience Award had been taking place throughout the duration of the Festival, as audiences were encouraged to fill out nomination ballots upon exiting screenings of Festival films. Final results were tabulated and announced during the Festival wrap party. Raymond De Felitta, director of City Island, will receive a cash prize of $25,000.
City Island, which made its World Premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, is directed and written by Raymond De Felitta. The film tells the story of the Rizzo family, who lives on a little-known island in the Bronx that is as quaint and sleepy as any New England town. But the Rizzos are not as picturesque as the island they inhabit, and like most families, they all stop at nothing to avoid the truth. Vince (Andy Garcia) is the worst offender. He is a prison guard who is secretly taking acting lessons and plotting a new career. His daughter is moonlighting as a stripper, while young Vinnie Jr. has a hidden fetish involving a 300-pound neighbor. Vince’s wife Joyce (Julianna Margulies) is the family’s rock—usually—but lately she can’t get her mind off of the mysterious hired help, whose identity only Vinnie knows. The film draws refreshing comedic performances from Garcia and Margulies, and memorable turns from Emily Mortimer and Alan Arkin as, respectively, a fellow student and the teacher in Vince’s acting class.
“We have had a rich tradition of documentaries taking the audience award at Tribeca, and this year we are delighted to have a smart, crowd-pleasing comedy with an outstanding ensemble cast, led by Andy Garcia and Julianna Margulies, take home The Heineken Audience Award for Raymond De Felitta’s City Island,” said Nancy Schafer, Executive Director, Tribeca Film Festival. “Raymond is a returning filmmaker who has made a smart family comedy, and we hope that audiences around the world will get to enjoy the film as much as Tribeca audiences have.”