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Tribeca Audience Awards Go to ‘The Rocket,’ ‘Bridegroom’

Kim Mordaunt and Linda Bloodworth Thomason win $25,000 prizes for Laotian drama, same-sex-marriage documentary

The Laos-set drama “The Rocket” and the documentary about same-sex unions “Bridegroom” have won the top audience awards at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Tribeca’s Heineken Audience Awards carry $25,000 cash prizes, which were given out at the festival's wrap party and awards announcement on Saturday night.

Australian director Kim Mordaunt made “The Rocket,” which follows a young boy in rural Laos as he tries to find a new home and escape the country’s legacy of war. On Thursday, the film also won the top jury prize, and non-professional actor Sitthiphon Disamoe (photo below) was named the festival’s top actor. 

Also read: Tribeca Prizes Go to 'The Rocket,' 'The Kill Team'

On the documentary side, “Designing Women” creator Linda Bloodworth Thomason won for her doc debut, “Bridegroom,” which follows a same-sex couple’s fight to have their union legally recognized.

Tribeca patrons ranked each film on a scale of 1-to-5 as they left all of the festival’s public screenings. TFF kept a running tally of the top-ranked films throughout the festival; in the final update before Saturday's announcement, “The Rocket” and “Bridegroom” were both in first place.  

The RocketAmong narrative films, “The Rocket” was followed by “A Birder’s Guide to Everything,” “Wadjda,” “G.B.F.” and “Before Midnight.” Among documentaries, “Bridegroom” was followed by “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me,” “Cutie and the Boxer,” “I Got Somethin’ To Tell You” and “McConkey.”

In the final tally, "A Birder's Guide to Everything" retained its second-place spot for narratives, while "Cutie and the Boxer" climbed from third to second on the doc side.

Additional screenings of the winning films will be added to the schedule on Sunday, the final day of the festival. Films that won many of the top jury awards, including “The Kill Team,”  “Broken Circle Breakdown,” “Whitewash,” “Oxyana,” “Let the Fire Burn” and “Before Snowfall,” will also be screened. 

In another Tribeca awards voted on by fans, the Tribeca Online Festival viewers gave the top prize to the documentary “Lil Bub & Friendz,” the story of the most popular cat on the internet.

A jury made up of Adam Goldberg, Penny Marshall and a team from 5-Second Films selected the winners of the first-ever #6SecFilms Vine competition, and gave the top awards to Kevin Polizzotto for “There is no sunny-side to this story,” Chris Donlon for “The Book Beetle,” Jethro Ames for “how to clear out your garage from a scary ghost” and Matt Swinsky for “Lazer’s close shave with Donald.”

The winning vines can be viewed at TribecaFilm.com.

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