Iranian Drama "About Elly" Wins Narrative Feature Prize at Tribeca

At the eighth annual Tribeca Film Festival, the top awards went to Iranian drama “About Elly” and American documentary “Racing Dreams.”

“About Elly” (Darbareye Elly), written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, won the Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature.  The film follows a group of college friends who reunite for a weekend getaway along the Caspian Sea, where one of them mysteriously disappears.  The jurors for the World Narrative Competition (Bradley Cooper, Uma Thurman, Todd Haynes, Meg Ryan, and Richard Fischoff) noted, “The universality of the characters and themes and the director’s riveting grasp of this story make About Elly a film that collapses barriers and deepens our understanding of the world we share.”

“Racing Dreams,” Marshall Curry’s documentary on young go-karters who aspire to become NASCAR racers, won the prize for Best Documentary Feature.  “Is it nature or nurture? Is it the car or the driver?” asked the World Documentary Competition jurors (Liz Garbus, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Whoopi Goldberg, Morgan Spurlock, and Brian Williams). “While those eternal questions will live on, we reacted with unanimous, unquestioned affection for Racing Dreams, and found it a completely compelling, entertaining film of incredible quality.”

Norwegian director Rune Denstad Langlofor was honored as Best New Narrative Filmmaker for his film “North” (Nord), while Ian Olds was named Best New Documentary Filmmaker for “Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi,” which HBO acquired for broadcast during the festival.  Ciaran Hinds won Best Actor for Conor McPherson’s “The Eclipse” (Ireland), which was picked up for U.S. distribution by Magnolia Pictures at the festival.  Zoe Kazan won Best Actress for her role in Bradley Rust Gray’s “The Exploding Girl” (USA).

A Special Jury Mention went to the documentary “Defamation,” director Yoav Shamir’s exploration of anti-Semitism in today’s world.

The Heineken Audience Award was given to Raymond De Felitta’s family drama “City Island,” starring Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies, Alan Arkin, and Emily Mortimer.  Runner-up was the documentary prizewinner “Racing Dreams.”

Best New York Narrative went to “Here and There” (Tamo i ovde), first-time director Darko Lungulov’s tale of a New Yorker who travels to Belgrade.  Best New York Documentary was awarded to “Partly Private,” director Danae Elon’s look at circumcision now and through history.  

For a complete list of the awards, including shorts and student films, go to


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