Monday, November 28, 2011
Curiously, there was a tie for the Best Feature Award. It was presented simultaneously to both Mike Mills' Beginners and to Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life. Natalie Portman explained by video that the jury had a difficult time deciding between the films and could not decide between the two very different choices. Accepting his award, Mills joked "I'm surprised that everyone on that jury saw our film." Beginners also picked up the prize for Best Ensemble Performance.
The Breakthrough Director Award went to Dee Rees for Pariah. It was presented by Alexander Payne and Felicity Jones. Jones was herself a winner for Breakthrough Actor for her role on Like Crazy. Her award was presented by Stanley Tucci and Melissa Leo.
The award for Best Documentary was presented to Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega's Better This World, while the Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You was awarded to Scenes of a Crime by director/producers Blue Hadaegh and Grover Babcock.
The first prize of the evening was the Gotham Independent Film Audience Award which went to Girlfriend. It had been up against Buck, Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey, The First Grader and Wild Horse, Wild Ride. The award was decided by online voting.
Alexander Payne‘s The Descendants and Sean Durkin‘s Martha Marcy May Marlene both led with three nominations each. They both also went home empty-handed.
Complete list of nominees for the 21st Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards
Best Feature (TIE)
Beginners, Mike Mills, director; Leslie Urdang, Dean Vanech, Miranda de Pencier, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, producers (Focus Features)
The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick, director; Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Grant Hill, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Better This World, Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega, directors; Katie Galloway, Kelly Duane de la Vega, Mike Nicholson, producers (Loteria Films, Picturebox, Motto Pictures and Passion Pictures; ITVS in association with American Documentary | POV)
Best Ensemble Performance
Beginners, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic, Kai Lennox, Mary Page Keller, Keegan Boos (Focus Features)
Dee Rees for Pariah (Focus Features)
Felicity Jones in Like Crazy (Paramount Vantage)
Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You
Scenes of a Crime, Blue Hadaegh & Grover Babcock, directors and producers
Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ grant
Lucy Mulloy, director, Una Noche
Gotham Independent Film Audience Award
Girlfriend, Justin Lerner
Gotham Award Industry Tribute