'Give Up Tomorrow' Wins Audience Award at Tribeca Film Festival

6:35 PM PST 04/30/2011 by Gregg Kilday

Michael Collins' documentary tells the story of Paco Larrañaga, a culinary student who was arrested for the kidnap, rape and murder of two sisters.

Michael Collins' documentary Give Up Tomorrow has been named the Heineken Audience Award winner at the 10th annual Tribeca Film Festival.

The film tells the story of a culinary student, Paco Larrañaga, who, at 19 years old, was arrested in 1997 for the kidnap, rape and murder of two sisters on the provincial island of Cebu in the Philippines. Despite demonstrable evidence of his innocence, he was tried in what became known as the Philippines' trial of the century.

Tomorrow also received a special jury mention in the fest's world documentary competition. Collins' victory had an added significance for Tribeca's efforts to support film: The filmmaker is an alumnus of the Tribeca Film Institute's Tribeca All Access program, and the documentary was supported by the Tribeca Film Institute's Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund.

The audience award, which includes a cash prize of $25,000, was announced Saturday night at the festival¹s wrap party at the Eye Beam in New York City.

"From the first standing ovation of Give Up Tomorrow at its premiere at the festival, it was clear that audiences were passionate about the portrayal of Paco Larrañaga's unjust incarceration. We hope that the film will raise awareness of Paco¹s plight and lead to his freedom," Nancy Schafer, exec director of the festival said.

The movie will screen Sunday at 12 noon and 9 p.m. at Clearview Cinemas Chelsea, as part of a day of screenings of all the films that won awards at the 2011 festival.

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