Netflix’s Alice Wu’s “The Half of It,” a teenage spin on Cyrano de Bergerac, has won the top award from the Tribeca Film Festival. Organizers of the Ribeca Film Festival announced winners Wednesday.
A little over 15 years later, Alice Wu is back with her second film, The Half of It, released May 1 on Netflix.
This time, though, the character is a high schooler, Ellie Chu, who lives in the fictional, very white town of Squahamish with her immigrant father. She’s in love with a girl named Aster Flores. But instead of pursuing her own feelings, opts to help a boy woo Aster via love letters and text messages.
Over the course of the movie, Ellie and Paul become close friends and teen hearts get broken—a classic teenage.
The film festival had been set to take place from April 15 through April 26 in New York City. The coronavirus pandemic forced the festival to reschedule. But jury members were able to view the films electronically and vote on winners.
“We are fortunate that technology allowed for our jury to come together this year to honor our filmmakers,” said Jane Rosenthal, Tribeca Film Festival co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “Despite not being able to be together physically, we were still able to support our artists.”
Festival director Cara Cusumano added that, “The jury chose to recognize a daring; innovative; entertaining; diverse group of films and filmmakers; and the festival is pleased to honor all of them with our first ever virtual awards ceremony.”
Lucas Hedges, Terry Kinney and Cherien Dabis made up the jury for the U.S. narrative categories, and selected Assol Abdullina (“Materna”) as best actress and Steve Zahn (“Cowboys”) as best actor.
Best documentary feature went to Bo McGuire’s “Socks on Fire.” Which McGuire describes as a “transgenerational docudrama couched in the battle royal for my Nanny’s throne.”
In the international competition, the Polish film “The Hater,” from director Jan Komasa. Its was selected as the best narrative feature. Jury members included Danny Boyle, William Hurt, and Demián Bichir.
Shira Haas, of the series “Unorthodox,” picked up best actress for the Israeli mother-daughter drama “Asia.”
“Asia,” from director Ruthy Pribar, also won the Nora Ephron Award. Above all from a jury that included Gina Rodriguez, Regina Hall and Lizzy Caplan.
The Associated Press