The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival announced the winners of the two Heineken Audience Awards last night at the wrap party in New York City. The two awards – one for narrative and one for documentary – are the favorites by the audiences who voted as they exited the theater.
The audience choice for best narrative film was “Chef,” written and directed by Jon Favreau.
RELATED: Jon Favreau Talks “Chef”
“Keep On Keepin’ On,” directed by Alan Hicks, was chosen for the Documentary award. Hicks was also honored at the festival awards on Thursday with the award for Best New Documentary Director.
“Keep On Keepin’ On” chronicles 89-year-old trumpeting legend Clark Terry, who has mentored jazz wonders like Miles Davis and Quincy Jones. Terry’s most unlikely friendship is with Justin Kauflin, a 23-year-old talented blind piano player with debilitating nerves. As Justin prepares for the most pivotal moment in his budding career, Terry’s ailing health threatens to end his own, according to the press release.
Each award comes with a cash prize of $25,000.
Throughout the festival, which kicked off on April 16, audiences voted for the Heineken Audience Awards by completing nomination ballots when they exited their films. Films in the World Narrative Competition, World Documentary Competition, Viewpoints, Midnight, and Spotlight sections were eligible.
“These films happen to share the common theme of following one’s dreams, the challenging journey to achieve them, and how it cannot be done without true friendship, family and support,” said Genna Terranova, Director of Programming, Tribeca Film Festival. “We are pleased that both films captured the hearts of the New York audiences as they had our own.”
Upon hearing the news, Alan Hicks commented, “Mate, that’s unbelievable. I was just honored to get into the festival in the first place. Never would have imagined coming away with the audience award and the Best New Director award. I’m just stoked! I don’t have any other words in my vocab, I’m just stoked! It was a dream of mine to premiere at Tribeca, and that in itself was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. This warm response to the film is such an honor, and I’m so happy to get Clark’s story out to the world the way that we have. Clark will be so happy.”
Jon Favreau commented, “I am so grateful just to be a part of this prestigious festival and to be recognized and honored by the audience of my hometown is truly humbling.” He’ll be donating the $25,000 to City Harvest, the world’s first food rescue organization dedicated to feeding New York City’s hungry men, women, and children.
“Chef” – a movie filmed with so much delectable goodies that you will leave the theater famished and searching for food – stars Favreau as talented and dynamic chef Carl Casper who has a social media-fueled meltdown directed at the food critic (Oliver Platt) who gives him a bad review. This lands him in hot water, out of work, with no prospects. He hits the road with his son – with whom he bonds over food – and his sous chef (John Leguizamo) to launch a brand new food truck business.
In addition to Favreau and Platt, the star-studded cast includes Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, Amy Sedaris and Sofia Vergara, who plays the nicest ex-wife I’ve ever seen onscreen. It’s a yummy, heart-warming story that will be out in theaters soon.
“Chef” and “Keep On Keepin’ On” are screening today, Sunday, April 27, as are the rest of the films that won awards at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. Specific show times for all of the winning films can be found on the Tribeca Film Festival website.
All other 2014 Tribeca Film Festival award winners were announced previously at an awards event on Thursday, April 24, 2014. Check out the full list of award winners., which include “Goodbye to All That,” “Zero Motivation,” “Five Star” and “The Phone Call.”