Durst's directorial debut a triumph


NEW YORK -- Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst's feature directorial debut "The Education of Charlie Banks" took home the Made in NY best narrative feature award Thursday night at a Tribeca Film Festival awards ceremony in Chinatown.

Durst, who also won $5,000 with the award, was on a plane back to Los Angeles during the ceremony. His curly haired star Jesse Eisenberg accepted on his behalf. "I'm not Fred in a wig," he joked, "(but) I'm not going to tell him if it means I get the $5,000."

Eisenberg noted that "Fred grew up in the South, but he was so adamant about making (the film) authentically on location in New York."

"Enron" director Alex Gibney's political torture expose "Taxi to the Dark Side" was named best documentary feature.

Gibney described the film, about the process of uncovering torture by the U.S. military, "very hard to make because of the human depravity we had to watch.

"I can remember being here during Sept. 11. Out of the wreckage downtown there was a sense of hope that emerged, and it was hijacked by some people who played on our fears. I hope this film is a prod to turn the taxi of our government around," he added.

Gibney's film was one of the few high-profile titles among work from mostly unknown filmmakers in the competition categories selected from 18 narrative and 16 documentary features.

More than $270,000 in cash prizes were awarded to the filmmakers.

David Volach's Israeli drama "My Father My Lord" (Hofshat Kaits) took home the top Founders Award for best narrative feature and $50,000. Writer-director Nouri Bouzid's terrorism-themed "Making Of" won $15,000 for best screenplay, and his star Lofti Abdelli took the best actor in a narrative feature film award. Marina Hands won best actress in a narrative feature film as the title character in Pascale Ferran's D.H. Lawrence adaptation "Lady Chatterley."

Festival co-founders Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal presented the Founders Award.

Enrique Begne was named best new narrative filmmaker and given $25,000 for his Mexican drama "Two Embraces" (Dos abrazos). Vardan Hovhannisyan also won $25,000 and the best new documentary filmmaker honor for his Armenian war chronicle "A Story of People in War & Peace." A special jury docu mention was given to Paul Taylor's look at a South African orphanage, "We are Together" (Thina Simunye).

Esther Robinson won $5,000 and the NY Loves Film documentary award, sponsored by the New York State Governor's Office for Motion Picture and Television Development, for "A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory." Andrew Piddington's "The Killing of John Lennon" won the narrative Made In NY special jury recognition award.

Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Awards were given to Dee Rees for her docu work-in-progress "Eventual Salvation" and Ben Rekhi for his narrative screenplay "Waste," with $10,000 for each recipient. Marilyn Fu won $5,000 and the TAA screenplay award for "The Sisterhood of Night."

The World Narrative Competition jurors were Chris Cooper, Edie Falco, Goran Paskaljevic, Catalina Sandino Moreno and Barry Sonnenfeld. World Documentary Competition jurors were Heidi Ewing, Whoopi Goldberg, Jehane Noujaim, Raoul Peck and Gideon Yago. Made in New York Competition jurors were Minnie Driver, Dave Fear, Alex Gibney, Leah Rozen, Oren Rudavsky and Mercedes Ruehl, while the New York Loves Film Documentary Competition jurors were Eric Bogosian, Marshall Fine, Susan Lyne, Patrick McCarthy, Sheila Nevins, Gene Seymour and Ivanka Trump.

The audience-chosen Cadillac Award and $25,000 will be awarded Saturday.