"Give Up Tomorrow," a documentary tracing the story of a 19-year-old culinary student who was arrested in 1997 for the kidnap, rape, and murder of two sisters on the provincial island of Cebu in the Philippines, won the audience award at the Tribeca Film Festival, organizers announced Sunday evening.
Director Michael Collins will receive a cash prize of $25,000. The movie also received a special jury mention in the world documentary competition at the festival. The film follows the story of Paco Larrañaga, who has maintained his innocence since his conviction and whose case has attracted support internationally from legal-rights groups and foreign governments who have questioned the fairness of his trial.
"From the first standing ovation of 'Give Up Tomorrow' at its premiere at the festival it was clear that audiences were passionate about the portrayal of Paco Larrañaga's unjust incarceration. We hope that the film will raise awareness of Paco's plight and lead to his freedom," Nancy Schafer, executive director of the Tribeca Film Festival, said in a statement.
-- Julie Makinen
Photo: "Give Up Tomorrow" director Michael Collins, left, and producer Marty Syjuco at the premiere of their film at Tribeca Film Festival. Credit: Dario Cantatore / Getty Images