Tribeca celebrates unrest, undead

'Right One' and 'Back to Hell' claim top awards

Tomas Alfredson's Swedish vampire flick "Let the Right One In" and Gini Reticker's study of Liberian unrest "Pray the Devil Back to Hell" took home the Tribeca Film Festival's top narrative and docu feature awards Thursday.

Alfredson proved himself to be a winner even before the ceremony at the Target-Tribeca Filmmaker Lounge: The helmer is being pursued by several agencies looking to represent him.

As the fest wound down, buyers were cautiously circling available titles. Samuel Goldwyn Films vp acquisitions Peter Goldwyn, while praising Tribeca for charging a reasonable amount for industry passes in its effort to accommodate buyers, put the slow sales in perspective. Like recent Toronto and Sundance fests, he said, "It's just another festival dealing with a lack of strong independent movies. It's not a great year for independent film as a whole."

The best new narrative filmmaker award went to Huseyin Karabey for the romance "My Marlon and Brando," and the best new docu filmmaker award to Carlos Carcas for "Old Man Bebo," his profile of a Cuban mambo legend.

Thomas Turgoose and Piotr Jagiello shared the best narrative film actor award for Shane Meadows' "Somers Town," and Eileen Walsh took the best actress award for Declan Recks' "Eden."

The New York Loves Film Award went to "Zoned In," Daniela Zanzotto's portrait of an inner-city student, with the only Special Mention of the night going to another docu, Douglas Keeve's "Hotel Gramercy Park." Richard Ledes' thriller "The Caller" won the Made in NY narrative feature award.

But immediate sales weren't happening, even for the few titles -- such as "Fighter," "Bart Got a Room," "Trucker" and "Tennessee" -- attracting the most interest. IFC did pick up North American rights to "Fermat's Room" for its Festival Direct VOD platform, and Filmax picked up Spanish rights to "Paraiso Travel."