"War Witch" and "Una Noche" win big at Tribeca awards

Filmmaker Kim Nguyen, center, speaks on stage with Tribeca Film Festival co-founders Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal at the 2012 TFF Awards during the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival at the Conrad Hotel on April 26, 2012, in New York. Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Filmmaker Kim Nguyen, center, speaks on stage with Tribeca Film Festival co-founders Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal at the 2012 TFF Awards on April 26, 2012, in New York.
Jemal Countess/Getty Images

(CBS/AP) "War Witch," the African child soldier drama, won best film at the Tribeca Film Festival Awards Thursday and the movie's 15-year-old star earned the best actress award.

Tribeca announced its winners as the 11th annual edition of the New York festival wound down.

Pictures: Tribeca Film Festival 2012

"War Witch," shot by Montreal filmmaker Kim Nguyen, was filmed in the Congo, where lead actor Rachel Mwanza had been previously living on the streets. Mwanza, who also won best actress at the Berlin Film Festvial, plays a pregnant teenager swept up in an unspecified revolution.

"I realized quickly that she has an immense talent," Nguyen said in an earlier interview. "When I asked her how she does it - how she bursts out in laughter, how she starts crying so normally - she just told me that she thinks of her past."

Best actor was given to both Dariel Arrechada and Javier Nunez Floria, who star in Lucy Mulloy's "Una Noche." The film is about Cuban teenagers, struggling in poverty, who decide to flee to Florida.

It's a fiction that became reality when Nunez Florian and another actor from the film, Analin de la Rua de la Torre, disappeared in Miamien route to Tribeca from Havana. It is believed  they defected. Arrechada attended the  Tribeca  premiere  and is  expected to return to Cuba  this weekend.

The film also won best cinematography for Trevor Forrest and Shloo odder's photography.

For a full list of winners click here. The Tribeca Film Festival concludes Sunday.

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