FF2 is proud to present Nora Lee Mandel’s coverage of the Tribeca Festival’s Annual Nora Ephron Award. Thank You, Nora!
The pandemic creatively inspired the winners of the 9th Annual Nora Ephron Award for female filmmakers at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. Directors Chanel James and Taylor Garron won the Ephron Award, with its $25,000 prize, for as of yet.
Mentored by executive producers Mark and Jay Duplass for their Duplass Brothers Productions, the charismatic Garron also wrote and starred in the Zoom-based film. The Award for a World Premiere was “created to honor the spirit and vision of the legendary filmmaker and writer”. This year’s jurors were: actor and political activist Patricia Arquette; producer Mollye Asher; screenwriter and film producer Leslie Dixon; writer, director, and actor, Judith Godreche; and actress, producer, activist, and author Sharon Stone. I estimate that eight U.S. and international films directed by women were in competition for the award. Winners also receive a piece of art; this year’s was Sheila Berger’s 2014 pencil on paper piece, In Between.
The pandemic influenced the formats and subjects of several millennial rom coms in the Festival. But as of yet also incorporates the political, social, and racial upheavals experienced during the past year in Brooklyn. Seen mostly through the lenses of friends and family relationships, as well as a video diary, the story adds clever casual excursions within quarantine for visual variety. Garron’s parents co-star – as her character’s parents.
This year’s Festival offered a hybrid of theatrical screenings around New York City and nationally streaming selections. From last year’s “At Home” version, the 2020 Ephron Award winner Israeli director Ruthy Pribar celebrated the New York opening of Asia during the Festival, where the film’s Best Actress winner Shira Haas participated in “Tribeca Talks: Storytellers.” Asia is now being distributed nationally by Menemsha Films.
There’s much anticipation for the next work by Nia DaCosta, whose debut film Little Woods won the Ephron Award in 2018. Jordan Peele immediately selected her to help develop and direct the Hollywood “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 horror film Candyman through his Monkeypaw Productions, with a reported $30million budget. Delayed a year by the pandemic, Universal Pictures will release it in theaters on August 27. DaCosta kept genre fans updated with videos, such as for Juneteenth. Currently, DaCosta is directing a Hollywood franchise flick The Marvels for Disney, due for late next year, with other films lined up.
What Are Prior Nora Ephron Award Winners Doing Now?
2013 Farah Goes Bang (USA) Written and directed by Meera Menon
Menon regularly directs TV series.
2014 Zero Motivation (Israel) Written & Directed by Talya Lavie
Lavie’s Honeymood debuted at the 2020 Tribeca Festival and is making festival rounds.
2015 Sworn Virgin (Albania/Italy) Directed by Laura Bispuri and co-written by Bispuri with Francesca Manieri
Bispuri is completing her third film, Il paradiso del pavone
2016 Adult Life Skills (U.K.) Written & Directed by Rachel Tunnard
Tunnard wrote the scripts for Military Wives, released in the U.S. last year, and Aardman’s upcoming Chicken Run sequel.
2017 The Divine Order (Switzerland) Written & Directed by Petra Volpe
Volpe’s mini-series Labyrinth of Peace was shown on Swiss TV in November and won two acting awards.
2019 Initials S.G. (Argentina) Co-Written & Co-Directed by Rania Attieh
Attieh is directing TV series.
For all the winners, their Ephron Award is always prominently listed in each bio.
© Nora Lee Mandel (6/30/21) — Special for FF2 Media
Featured Photo from as of yet
Bottom Photo from Asia: Credit Daniella Nowitz
Photos Courtesy of Tribeca Festival