NEW YORK -- A feature about Israeli female soldiers and a documentary about an American fighting in Libya took top jury prizes at the Tribeca Film Festival Thursday night.
"Zero Motivation," Talya Lavie's Hebrew-language look at a group of complicated soldiers on the cusp of adulthood, took the award for best narrative feature, while "Point and Shoot," Marshall Curry's movie about a Baltimore man who takes up arms on behalf of the rebels in Libya in 2011, took the top documentary prize.
Jury members cited Lavie as a "new, powerful force" and said that the film examined "women who must find their place and establish their identity in a world normally dominated by men and machismo. They do so with humor, strength and intellect. The filmmaker mirrors these same qualities."
The Oscar-nominated Curry made a film about Matthew Van Dyke, relying on footage from the soldier himself as he first begins fighting, then is imprisoned, then returned to fighting. Of "Point and Shoot," the jury said that Curry "creates an unsettlingly ambivalent and often darkly amusing portrait of a generation hellbent on documenting itself."
At a screening Wednesday, Van Dyke took to the front of the theater and explained why he chose Curry to collaborate with. "Marshall had been nominated for two Academy Awards and he seemed to be available, so it seemed like a decent choice," he quipped.
In the best new director categories, Josef Wladyka won in narrative for "Manos Sucias," his story of a marginalized community in Colombia, and Alan Hicks won on the documentary side for "Keep On Keepin' On," his story of trailing the 89-year-old jazz legend Clark Terry.
"The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq," Guillaume Nicloux's mind-bender about and starring the famous author also had a good night, coming away with a special jury mention in the top narrative prize and best screenplay. And in an unexpected turn the comedic actor Paul Schneider won a best actor prize for playing a man struggling to find his dignity in "Junebug" writer Angus MacLachlan's directorial feature "Goodbye To All That."
Audience awards will be handed out Sunday at Tribeca, when the Robert De Niro co-founded festival wraps its 13th edition.