The Tribeca Film Festival has given its top U.S. narrative jury prize to Rachel Israel’s “Keep the Change,” a love story about and starring people with autism.
It also handed best international narrative feature to Elina Psykou’s “Son of Sofia” and best documentary feature to “Bobbi Jene” from Elvira Lind.
Israel’s film is an offbeat romantic comedy that uses nonactors, many on the autism spectrum, to tell its tale; the film is partly set in a New York support group, where an unlikely relationship blossoms. In awarding the prize, the jury issued a statement citing a “world full of vibrant characters often under-represented in cinema” and a “unique yet universal love story told in a way we’ve never seen.”
“Sofia” deals with a young boy who comes from Russia to Greece at the time of the 2004 Athens Olympics. And “Jene” centers on an American dancer who returns home after many years with an Israeli company.
The festival touted the fact that all the major winners were women, including some of the artists behind “Treehugger: Wawona,” which won Tribeca’s digital Storyscapes award.
The fest continues in the coming days with star-laden screenings of “Reservoir Dogs” and “The Godfather,” concerts from the likes of Puffy and Flock of Seagulls and a conversation between Bruce Springsteen and Tom Hanks.