New York, NY [April 28, 2012] – The 11th annual Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), co-founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, and presented by founding sponsor American Express, announced the winners of the two Heineken Audience Awards tonight at the wrap party in New York City. This year for the first time two awards—one for narrative and one for documentary—were given to the audience choices for the best films. Any Day Now, directed by Travis Fine, was chosen to receive the Narrative award and BURN, directed by Tom Putnam and Brenna Sanchez, was chosen for the Documentary award. Each award comes with a cash prize of $25,000. Additionally as part of the Tribeca Film Festival Artists Awards program, Any Day Now receives the sculpture Ascension courtesy of Nathan Sawaya and BURNreceives Jacobs #16 "Blue Skies" courtesy of Peter Dayton & Winston Wächter Fine Art.
“It's gratifying to see audiences respond so overwhelmingly to these world premiere films,” said Nancy Schafer, Executive Director of the Tribeca Film Festival. “Both films strike uplifting and hopeful notes, and we look forward to them continuing to garner strong audience reaction long after the Festival is over.”
Throughout the Festival, which kicked off on April 18, audiences have been able to vote for the Heineken Audience Awards by completing nomination ballots upon exiting screenings of TFF films. Films in the World Narrative Competition, World Documentary Competition, Viewpoints, Spotlight and Cinemania sections were eligible.
Any Day Now begins when aspiring singer Rudy (Alan Cumming) pounds on the door to discover his neighbor's son Marco, a teenager with Down syndrome, left alone by his drug addicted mother with only the blaring stereo to keep him company. Family Services takes Marco, but days later Rudy sees him on the street and brings him home, where Rudy and his closeted district attorney partner Paul (Garret Dillahunt) become the stable family environment Marco has never had. But when authorities discover Rudy and Paul are gay, the men must battle a biased legal system to adopt the child they have come to love as their own. Set in 1970s Los Angeles and inspired by a true story, is a poignant and occasionally incendiary drama from TFF alum Travis Fine () that addresses gay adoption rights issues that are as relevant today as they were nearly 40 years ago. Augmenting the touching performances from Cumming and Dillahunt is Isaac Leyva, who offers a subtle yet impactful performance as a boy who inspires those around him to fight for what is right when no one else will. Cumming, Dillahunt and Leyva received a standing ovation for their performances at the premiere.
“We had a wonderful experience here two years ago,” said Fine. “We are absolutely thrilled and honored that audiences responded so strongly.”
BURN, executive produced by Denis Leary, introduces audiences to the men and women charged with saving Detroit, the once-roaring city that many have left for dead. With vast stretches of forsaken buildings left as kindling, the highest arson rate in the country, and a budget crisis of epic proportions, the city turns to new Fire Commissioner Donald Austin to shake up the system with hard-line decisions and drastic, often controversial measures. Cautiously regarded by the department as a bombastic outsider, the Detroit native sets out to demonstrate his commitment to helping his hometown rise from the ashes. Many of the film’s screenings at TFF were attended by members of the DFD and received standing ovations.
“We were told time and time again that there is no audience for a film about firefighters,” said Sanchez. Added Putnam, “We are so grateful for this honor and we hope it will help raise the profile of the film and let people know what’s going on in Detroit and across this country.”
Any Day Now will screen tomorrow (Sunday, April 29) at 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. and BURN at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at Clearview Cinemas Chelsea, as will the rest of the films that won awards at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. Specific times for the other films are available on the Festival website, www.tribecafilm.com. All other 2012 TFF award winners were announced previously at an awards show on Thursday, April 26, 2012. A full list of winners can be found at www.tribecafilm.com.
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