Tribeca: 'Burning Cane,' 'Scheme Birds' Among Awards Winners

Burning Cane-Publicity Still-H 2019
Phillip Youmans

'House of Hummingbird' won best international narrative feature and Rania Attieh won the Nora Ephron Award for 'Initials S.G.'

The 2019 Tribeca Film Festival on Thursday announced the winners in its competition categories, with all three of the main feature awards going to first-time directors.

Phillip Youmans' Burning Cane, set amid the cane fields of rural Louisiana where a deeply religious mother struggling to reconcile her beliefs with the love she has for her troubled son, won the founders award for best narrative feature in the U.S. narrative competition category, with star Wendell Pierce taking best actor honors and Youmans being recognized for the film's cinematography.

Youmans, the youngest director to have a feature at Tribeca, is the first African-American helmer to win this award. Youmans wrote, directed and shot the film at the age of 17.

The award for best actress in a U.S. narrative feature film went to Haley Bennett for her work in Swallow, while the prize for best screenplay in a U.S. narrative feature went to Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy for Blow the Man Down.

In the international narrative competition, the best feature award went to South Korea's Beol-sae (House of Hummingbird), which also won the awards for best actress (Ji-hu Park) and cinematography (Kang Gook-hyun). Noah Land, meanwhile, picked up honors for best actor and screenplay in an international narrative feature.

The best documentary feature award went to Scheme Birds, with Our Time Machine winning for best cinematography in that category and 17 Blocks receiving the prize for best editing in a documentary film.

Scheme Birds, directed by Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin, also collected the Albert Maysles new documentary director award.

The best new narrative director award went to The Gasoline Thieves' Edgar Nito.

Rania Attieh won the Nora Ephron award, designed to honor the spirit and vision of the late filmmaker and writer, for Initials S.G.

All four short awards recipients are female directors.

The festival awarded $165,000 in cash prizes, and a number of the winners were presented with original pieces of art created by contemporary artists.

Encore screenings of the award-winning films will take place Sunday, the final day of the festival.

The audience award winners, announced on Saturday, are Plus One (best narrative feature) and Gay Chorus Deep South (best documentary feature), with See You Yesterday and Watson as the respective runners-up in those categories.