Alia Shawkat, Jeffrey Wright, ‘To Dust’ Win Top Awards at 17th Tribeca Film Festival

Photo Source: “To Dust”: Lily Rosenthal

The 17th annual Tribeca Film Festival wrapped its celebration of film April 29 in downtown New York City. Presented by AT&T and the Tribeca Film Institute, the 12-day fest concluded with a top prize for “To Dust,” written and directed by Shawn Snyder.

“To Dust” was singled out in the narrative category the prestigious Audience Award, voted upon by attendees. The film stars Matthew Broderick and Geza Rohrig, the latter playing a Hasidic cantor obsessed with how his late wife will decompose in the earth. “Mapplethorpe,” directed and written by Ondi Timoner and starring Matt Smith as the titular notorious photographer and artist, was the runner-up for the prize.

“I’m both ecstatic and bowled over by this news. Premiering at Tribeca Film Festival has been a dream and a homecoming, as Tribeca Film Institute was one of the earliest supporters of this strangely personal and oddly specific film,” said Snyder in a statement. “It was made entirely out of love and miracles, by incredible collaborators who believed in it from the start. I share this honor and the excitement with each and every one of them and want to give a special thanks to my producers, Emily Mortimer, Alessandro Nivola, Ron Perlman, Josh Crook, Scott Lochmus, and Jonathan Gray.”

In addition, taking home juried awards were actors Jeffrey Wright and Alia Shawkat, for “O.G.” and “Duck Butter,” respectively. Kent Jones’ debut “Diane,” starring Mary Kay Place, cleaned up as well, earning prizes from the jury for its screenplay and cinematography, as well as overall for narrative feature. The international narrative feature winner was Marios’ Piperides “Smuggling Hendrix.”

The 2018 festival screened an impressive 96 films, 46 percent of which were directed by women (the highest such percentage in the history of the fest). Highlights from this year’s slate included Desiree Akhavan’s Sundance champion “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” and Karen Gillam’s directorial debut “The Party’s Just Beginning,” as well as the performances of Jessica Chastain and Michael Greyeyes in Susanna White’s “Woman Walks Ahead,” Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams in Sebastian Lelio’s “Disobedience,” and Elle Fanning, as the woman behind the birth of horror literature, in “Mary Shelley.” Among the acquisitions deals made: Blue Fox Entertainment secured the North American distribution rights to “The Night Eats The World,” a French zombie thriller.

The fest’s programming included several television screenings as well, including National Geographic’s “Genius: Picasso” starring Antonio Banderas, director Vanessa Caswill’s adaptation of “Little Women” from PBS, and Starz’s new series “Sweetbitter.”

In addition, the festival continued its Tribeca Talks program, featuring panels of acclaimed working artists. The 2018 lineup included Nancy Meyers, Laura Poitras, and Alexander Payne, and Jason Reitman, as well as actors Alec Baldwin, Bradley Cooper, Jamie Foxx, Spike Lee, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

For more on the multitude of programming and events that make up the Tribeca Film Institute and its 17th festival, visit their website.

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