Tribeca: 'The Rocket', 'Bridegroom' Win Audience Awards

The Rocket Tribeca Film Still - H 2013

The Rocket Tribeca Film Still - H 2013

The Laos-based drama and the marriage equality doc were chosen by the fest's attendees.

Feel-good drama The Rocket and marriage equality documentary Bridegroom were honored with Heineken Audience Awards Saturday at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Audiences voted through the fest by completing nomination ballots after exiting film screenings. They selected Rocket in the narrative category and Bridegroom in the documentary category. Each award includes a $25,000 cash prize.


“Our audiences have chosen two films that testify to the power of the human spirit and hope for change,” said Genna Terranova, Tribeca director of programming. “Whether it’s the fight for marriage equality in the U.S. or a boy struggling against all odds in war torn Laos, audiences were clearly moved by these two inspiring stories.”

The Rocket, from director Kim Mordaunt, also took home top honors Thursday at the festival, where it won the funders award for best narrative feature and best actor in a narrative feature film for Sitthiphon Disamoe’s performance as 10-year-old Ahlo. The film is set in rural Laos, and sees Ahlo attempt to escape his poor circumstances by entering a rocket building contest.

STORY: President Clinton Introduces Marriage Equality Doc 'Bridegroom'

Bridegroom, directed by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, tells the story of a young gay couple in Los Angeles, who had planned to be married as soon as it became legal. When one of them, Tom Bridegroom was killed in an accident, the surviving partner, Shane Bitney, found himself without any spousal rights and  not allowed to attend the funeral because Bridegroom’s family disapproved of homosexuality. 

Both films will screen on Sunday at the fest, along with other films that won awards at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival.