NEW YORK – Smuggling Hendrix written and directed by Marios Piperides took home the top award for Cyprus with the Best International Narrative Feature win at the Tribeca Film Festival. The winners were announced on April 29, the final day of the illustrious festival. For his win, Piperides receives $20,000 and the art award “Can We Turn Our Rage to Poetry” by Joan Snyder.
The award was presented by well-known actor Ray Liotta on behalf of the jury. Along with Liotta, the jurors for the 2018 International Narrative Competition were Florence Almozini, Martha Coolidge, Andre Holland, and Haifaa Al Mansour.
The jury comment, as quoted on the Tribeca Film Festival website, “For its unique, comedic exploration of a complicated absurd political situation told in a clear, personal compelling way, the Best International Narrative Feature Award goes to Smuggling Hendrix.”
The film follows Yiannis, a faded musician, played by Adam Bousdoukos, who is about to leave Cyprus for a better life abroad, but sees his plan turned upside down when his dog runs away and crosses the Buffer Zone that separates the Greek South from the Turkish North, according to the film’s description which asks “Can he smuggle him back in?”
Kent Jones’ intimate drama Diane won three awards at the 17th annual Tribeca Film Festival, including best narrative feature.
Best documentary went to Gabrielle Brady’s Island of the Hungry Ghosts, about an Australian detention center on a remote jungle island in the Indian Ocean.
The festival’s Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award was given to Dava Whisenant for Bathtubs Over Broadway. The film chronicles the discovery by Steve Young, a longtime writer for David Letterman’s Late Night, of a long-forgotten world of “industrial musicals” — lavish productions put on by major corporations at annual sales meetings.
The Nora Ephron Award, which honors female filmmakers, went to Nia DaCosta for Little Woods, a neo-western thriller starring Tessa Thompson and Lily James.
Other winners included Ali Shawkat (Duck Butter) for best actress, Jeffrey Wright (O.G.) for best actor, and the virtual reality installation Hero won the festival’s Storyscapes Awards for immersive storytelling.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.