Tribeca Festival 2023 Winners - Cypher directed by Chris Moukarbel
Cypher directed by Chris Moukarbel

Cypher, a riveting pseudo-documentary on rapper Tierra Whack by director Chris Moukarbel won the Founders Award for Best U.S. Narrative Feature at the 22nd annual Tribeca Festival. Moukarbel brilliantly documents her astronomical rise, going behind the scenes of concerts and music videos as she navigates fame. Jury commented on the win, saying “For its kaleidoscopic use of music, created imagery and found materials, in service of an interrogation of celebrity, conspiracy culture and the nature of narrative reality itself.”

Other top prizes went to A Strange Path by Guto Parente for Best International Narrative Feature, and Between the Rains by Andrew H. Brown and Moses Thuranira for Best Documentary Feature.

Awards were given in the competition categories for Feature Film, Short Film, Audio Storytelling, Immersive, Games, Human / Nature, AT&T Untold Stories, and Tribeca X.

“We take great pride in recognizing this year’s collection of diverse, trailblazing works and creators,” said Cara Cusumano, Festival Director and Vice President of Programming. “Today’s honorees are a compelling testament that storytelling across genres and platforms is on a vibrant and inspiring trajectory.”

Complete list of Winners and Special Jury Mentions of 2023 Tribeca Festival


Founders Award for Best U.S. Narrative Feature: Chris Moukarbel for Cypher, (United States) – World Premiere.

Best Performance in a U.S. Narrative Feature: Ji-Young Yoo for Smoking Tigers, (United States) – World Premiere.

Best Screenplay in a U.S. Narrative Feature: So Young Shelly Yo for Smoking Tigers, (United States) – World Premiere.

Best Cinematography in a U.S. Narrative Feature: Caroline Costa for The Graduates, (United States) – World Premiere.

U.S. Narrative Feature Special Jury Mention: Monica Sorelle for Mountains, (United States) – World Premiere.


Best International Narrative Feature: Guto Parente for A Strange Path, (Brazil) – World Premiere.

Best Performance in an International Narrative Feature: Carlos Francisco for A Strange Path, (Brazil) – World Premiere.

Best Screenplay in an International Narrative Feature: Guto Parente for A Strange Path, (Brazil) – World Premiere.

Best Cinematography in an International Narrative Feature: Linga Acácio for A Strange Path, (Brazil) – World Premiere.


Best Documentary Feature: Andrew H. Brown and Moses Thuranira for Between the Rains, (Kenya) – World Premiere.

Best Cinematography in a Documentary Feature: Andrew H. Brown for Between the Rains, (Kenya) – World Premiere.

Best Editing in a Documentary Feature: Mark Bukdahl and Orvar Anklew for The Gullspång Miracle, (Sweden, Norway, Denmark) – World Premiere.

Documentary Competition Special Jury Mention: David Gutnik for Rule of Two Walls, (Ukraine) – World Premiere.


Hugo Ruiz for One Night With Adela, (Spain) – World Premiere.


Jude Chehab for Q, (Lebanon, United States) – World Premiere.

Best New Documentary Director Award Special Jury Mention: co-Director Nate Pommer for Scream of My Blood: A Gogol Bordello Story, (United States) – World Premiere.

New Documentary Director Special Jury Mention: Jane M. Wagner for Break the Game, (United States) – World Premiere.


Gabriella A. Moses, Boca Chica, (Dominican Republic) – World Premiere.

Nora Ephron Award Special Jury Mention: Smoking Tigers, (United States) – World Premiere.


Common Ground, (United States) – World Premiere. Sobering yet hopeful, Common Ground exposes the interconnectedness of American farming policy, politics, and illness. Follow the solution-driven plight of Regenerative Farmers as they make a case for soil health across the continent and beyond. Directed by Rebecca Tickell, Josh Tickell. Produced by Rebecca Tickell, Josh Tickell, Eric Dillon.


Best Narrative Short: Annie-Claude Caron and Danick Audet for Dead Cat, (Canada) – World Premiere.

Narrative Short Special Jury Mention: Gabrielle Demers for Blond Night

Narrative Short Special Jury Mention: Annelise Hickey for Hafekasi

Best Animated Short: Mitra Shahidi for Starling, (United States) – World Premiere.

Student Visionary Award: Daniela Soria Gutiérrez for Fairytales, (Mexico) – World Premiere.

Best Documentary Short: Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson for Black Girls Play: The Story of Hand Games, (United States) – World Premiere.

Documentary Short Special Jury Mention: Devon Blackwell for Goodbye, Morganza


Main Competition – Storyscapes Award: Eloise Singer for The Pirate Queen: A Forgotten Legend, (United Kingdom) – World Premiere.

Storyscapes Special Jury Mention: Kinfolk for Kinfolk: Black Lands, (United States) – World Premiere.

New Voices Award: Terril Calder for Meneath: The Mirrors of Ethics, (Canada) – World Premiere.

New Voices Special Mention: Poulomi Basu for Maya: The Birth (Chapter 1), (United Kingdom, France, United States, India) – World Premiere.


KO_OP, Goodbye Volcano High, (Canada, United States) – World Premiere.

Special Jury Mention for Tribeca Games: Julián Cordero and Sebastian Valbuena for Despelote, (New York, Ecuador) – World Premiere.


Fiction Audio Storytelling Award: Alex Kemp for The Very Worst Thing That Could Possibly Happen (Wolf at the Door Studios) – World Premiere.

Narrative Nonfiction Audio Storytelling Award: Aline Laurent-Mayard for Free From Desire (Paradiso Media) – World Premiere.

Independent Fiction Audio Storytelling Award: Cory Choy and Feyiṣayo Aluko for Aisha – World Premiere.

Independent Nonfiction Audio Storytelling Award: David Modigliani for Shalom, Amore – World Premiere.


Color Book, (United States) – Following the passing of his wife, a devoted father is learning to raise his son with Down Syndrome as a single parent. While adjusting to their new reality, the two embark on a journey through Metro Atlanta to attend their first baseball game. Written and directed by David Fortune. Untold Stories is a multi-year, multi-tier alliance between AT&T and the Tribeca Festival that awards $1 million dollars, mentorship, and distribution support to systemically underrepresented filmmakers to produce their films. Color Book will also be guaranteed a premiere at the 2024 Tribeca Festival.


Best Feature: Farhoud Meybodi for Earthbound (Gjenge Makers) – Earthbound: Nzambi Matee, executive produced by Orlando Bloom, explores the life and achievements of Nzambi Matee, a Kenyan innovator and entrepreneur who is tackling the plastic waste epidemic in her hometown of Nairobi. Directed by Farhoud Meybodi.

Best Short: Rudy Valdez for Translators (U.S. Bank) – Translators, follows Harye, Densel, and Virginia, a few of the over 11 million child translators in the United States, as they translate for their parents in everyday situations. Directed by Rudy Valdez.

Best Series: Patrick Daughters for Full Bleed (Adobe) – Full Bleed, a documentary series taking viewers inside these iconic moments, going beyond the expected creator profile to explore what it takes to push boundaries, and examine how obstacles can become the conduit for groundbreaking work. Episode one of three, submitted here, centers the decade-long development of Freedom Tower with celebrated architect Daniel Libeskind. Directed by Patrick Daughters.

Best Immersive: Jamie Hewlett and Fx Goby for Gorillaz Presents… Skinny Ape (Google) – Gorillaz Presents… Skinny Ape, sets out to revolutionize the concept of musical performances by transforming the streets of New York and London into stages for two groundbreaking experiences. On December 17 and 18 fans gathered together to witness Gorillaz play in real life – actually larger than life – with Murdoc, 2D, Noodle and Russel towering over them in the midst of two of the world’s most iconic skylines. Created by Jamie Hewlett and Fx Goby.

Best Audio: Pedro Mendes for Making an Impossible Airplane (Atlassian) – Making an Impossible Airplane: The Untold Story of the Concorde, a podcast part of Atlassian’s brand evolution to be seen as a champion of open collaboration. Our goal was to tell a story that hadn’t been told before to engage audiences, solidify Atlassian’s philosophy & promise of ‘impossible alone’, and unleash the potential in each team: engineers in two different countries, with two different languages, two different units of measurement, forced together by politics. Directed by Pedro Mendes.

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