Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Winning the Best Feature, Best Screenplay, and a Special Jury Award for Ensemble Performance was Spotlight, director Tom McCarthy’s dramatic retelling of the Boston Globe’s investigative unit’s coverage in 2002 of the Archdiocese of Boston sex abuse scandal. McCarthy also shared Spotlight’s Best Screenplay win with co-writer Josh Singer.
The award for Best Documentary went to The Look of Silence, Joshua Oppenheimer’s film that follows an optician as he confronts the men who killed the brother he never knew during the 1965-66 Indonesian genocide. The harrowing and moving documentary serves as a companion piece to Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing, for which he previously won the 2013 Gotham Award for Best Documentary.
Winning the award for Best Actor was Paul Dano for his transformative, emotional turn as the young Brian Wilson in Love & Mercy. Bel Powley was voted Best Actress for her emotionally detailed and varied performance in The Diary of a Teenage Girl, in which she plays a teen artist who starts an affair with her mother’s boyfriend.
The Gotham Independent Film Audience Award, voted by IFP members, went to Tangerine, director Sean Baker’s technically audacious, micro-budget comedy that follows two transgender sex workers on a wayward Christmas Eve revenge mission through the streets of L.A. Also awarded for Tangerine, Mya Taylor was voted the Breakthrough Actor award for her portrayal of Alexandra.
Jonas Carpignano won the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director award, given to the director of a first feature, for Mediterranea, his timely and visually stunning debut chronicling two friends’ harrowing journey to cross the Mediterranean Sea to immigrate to Italy.
For the first time, the Gotham Awards presented two Breakthrough Series awards for achievement in episodic content in television and digital media. The Breakthrough Series– Long Form award winner was Mr. Robot, created by Sam Esmail. The USA Network series follows Elliot, a young programmer who works as a cyber-security engineer by day and a vigilante hacker by night.
The Breakthrough Series– Short Form award went to Shugs & Fats, a comedic web series that follows two Hijabis striving to find themselves in New York by adopting the latest Western trends of self-expression and personal growth. Shugs & Fats was created by Nadia P. Manzoor and Radhika Vaz, who also star as the title characters.
Also presented by IFP for the fifth year at the ceremony was the euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ grant, a $25,000 cash award for an alumna of IFP’s Independent Filmmaker & Screen Forward Labs. This grant aims to further the careers of emerging women directors by supporting the completion, distribution and audience engagement strategies of their first feature film or episodic series. The winner of the 2015 grant was Chanelle Aponte Pearson, director of 195 Lewis, a web series that follows a diverse group of young women as they navigate the realities of being black and queer in New York City.
As previously announced, in addition to the competitive awards presented, a Special Jury Award was presented by Emmy Rossum to eight actors from the cast of Spotlight for their ensemble work in the film, “in which every performance, in every role, of every size, is beautifully realized.” Career Tributes were also given during the ceremony to actors Helen Mirren (presented by Robert De Niro) and Robert Redford (presented by Dan Rather), director Todd Haynes (presented by Julianne Moore) and producer Steve Golin (presented by Alejandro G. Iñarritu).
A Gotham Appreciation Award, a special recognition to honor an individual behind the scenes who has been an integral part of making the independent film scene what it is today, was given to Ellen Cotter, who has overseen every aspect of the Angelika Film Centers’ businesses for the past 15 years. The award, sponsored by Rentrak, was presented by Amy Ryan.
The Gotham Award ceremony was streamed live to a global audience at www.ifp.org.
The 25th Annual Gotham Independent Film Award recipients are:
Best Feature, presented by John Turturro
Directed by Tom McCarthy
Produced by Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, and Blye Pagan Faust
Released by Open Road Films
The Best Feature jury included Paul Haggis, Rebecca Hall, Jon Kilik, Lee Percy, and Jim Taylor.
Best Documentary, presented by Cynthia Nixon
The Look of Silence
Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer
Produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen
Released by Drafthouse Films
The Best Documentary Jury included Zachary Heinzerling, Jennie Livingston, Peter Nicks, Dawn Porter, and Tracy Droz Tragos.
Gotham Independent Film Audience Award, presented by Rosie Perez
Directed by Sean Baker
Produced by Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou, Marcus Cox & Karrie Cox
Released by Magnolia Pictures
The Audience Award was voted for on-line by IFP members.
Best Actor, presented by Glenn Close
Paul Dano in Love & Mercy
Released by Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate, and River Road Entertainment
The Best Actor Jury included Grant Heslov, Sabine Hoffman, Melanie Lynskey, Paul Mezey, and Shonda Rhimes.
Best Actress, presented by Harvey Keitel
Bel Powley in The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Released by Sony Pictures Classics
The Best Actress Jury included Debra Granik, Lisa Kudrow, Daniel Minahan, Brian Oliver, and John Waters.
Best Screenplay, presented by Matt Dillon
Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer for Spotlight
Released by Open Road Films
The Best Screenplay Jury included Albert Berger, Andrew Fierberg, Courtney Hunt, David Schwab and Corey Stoll.
Breakthrough Actor, presented by Sarah Paulson and Michael Shannon
Mya Taylor, Tangerine
Released by Magnolia Pictures
The Breakthrough Actor Jury included Effie Brown, Mike Cahill, Fisher Stevens, Dylan Tichenor, and Tanya Wexler.
Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director, presented by Julie Taymor
Jonas Carpignano, Mediterranea
Released by Sundance Selects
The Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Jury included Paul Bettany, Ed Lachman, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Julie Taymor.
Breakthrough Series – Long Form, presented by Mariska Hargitay
Sam Esmail, Creator
The Breakthrough Series – Long Form Jury included Tom Gilroy, Scott Hornbacher, Lars Knudsen, Alia Shawkat, and Lili Taylor.
Breakthrough Series – Short Form, presented by Topher Grace
Shugs & Fats
Nadia P. Manzoor and Radhika Vaz, Creators
The Breakthrough Series-Short Form Jury included Michelle Ashford, Mesh Flinders, Ryan O’Nan, Susan Stover and Derek Waters
Special Jury Award for Ensemble Performance, presented by Emmy Rossum
Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Brian d’Arcy James, Billy Crudup, and Stanley Tucci
Released by Open Road Films
Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ Grant, presented by Lake Bell
Chanelle Aponte Pearson
The euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers’ ‘Live the Dream’ grant jury included Hilary Brougher, Melonie Diaz, and Laura Rosenthal.
The 2015 IFP Gotham Independent Film Award nominations
Todd Haynes, director; Elizabeth Karlsen, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley, producers (The Weinstein Company)
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Marielle Heller, director; Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit, Miranda Bailey, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)
Heaven Knows What
Josh and Benny Safdie, directors; Oscar Boyson, Sebastian Bear-McClard, producers (RADiUS)
Tom McCarthy, director; Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Blye Pagan Faust, producers (Open Road Films)
Sean Baker, director; Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou, Marcus Cox & Karrie Cox, producers (Magnolia Pictures)
Approaching the Elephant
Amanda Rose Wilder, director; Jay Craven, Robert Greene, Amanda Rose Wilder, producers (Kingdom County Productions)
Matthew Heineman, director; Matthew Heineman, Tom Yellin, producers (The Orchard and A&E IndieFilms)
Heart of a Dog
Laurie Anderson, director; Dan Janvey, Laurie Anderson, producers (Abramorama and HBO Documentary Films)
Listen to Me Marlon
Stevan Riley, director; John Battsek, RJ Cutler, George Chignell, producers (Showtime Documentary Films)
The Look of Silence
Joshua Oppenheimer, director; Signe Byrge Sørensen, producer (Drafthouse Films)
Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Desiree Akhavan for Appropriate Behavior (Gravitas Ventures)
Jonas Carpignano for Mediterranea (Sundance Selects)
Marielle Heller for The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics)
John Magary for The Mend (Cinelicious Pics)
Josh Mond for James White (The Film Arcade)
Carol, Phyllis Nagy (The Weinstein Company)
The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Marielle Heller (Sony Pictures Classics)
Love & Mercy, Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner (Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate, and River Road Entertainment)
Spotlight, Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (Open Road Films)
While We’re Young, Noah Baumbach (A24)
Christopher Abbott in James White (The Film Arcade)
Kevin Corrigan in Results (Magnolia Pictures)
Paul Dano in Love & Mercy (Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate, and River Road Entertainment)
Peter Sarsgaard in Experimenter (Magnolia Pictures)
Michael Shannon in 99 Homes (Broad Green Pictures)
Cate Blanchett in Carol (The Weinstein Company)
Blythe Danner in I’ll See You in My Dreams (Bleecker Street)
Brie Larson in Room (A24 Films)
Bel Powley in The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics)
Lily Tomlin in Grandma (Sony Pictures Classics)
Kristen Wiig in Welcome to Me (Alchemy)
Rory Culkin in Gabriel (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Arielle Holmes in Heaven Knows What (RADiUS)
Lola Kirke in Mistress America (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez in Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures)
Mya Taylor in Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures)
* The 2015 Best Actor/Best Actress nominating panel also voted to award a special Gotham Jury Award jointly to Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci and Brian d’Arcy James for their ensemble work in Spotlight. (Open Road Films).
Twenty writers, critics and programmers participated in the nomination process. The Nominating Committees for the 2015 IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards were:
Nominating Committee for Best Feature and Breakthrough Director:
Ty Burr, Film Critic, The Boston Globe
Eric Kohn, Deputy Editor & Chief Film Critic, Indiewire
Christy Lemire, Film Critic, ChristyLemire.com and co-host, What the Flick?!
Andrew O’Hehir, Film Critic, Salon.com
Joshua Rothkopf, Film Editor, Time Out New York
Nominating Committee for Best Documentary:
Joanne Feinberg, Curator and Consultant, FeinFilm
Cynthia Fuchs, Film-TV Editor, PopMatters
Mike Maggiore, Programmer, Film Forum
Rachel Rosen, Director of Programming, San Francisco Film Society
David Wilson, Co-Conspirator, True/False Film Fest
Nominating Committee for Best Actor and Best Actress:
Bilge Ebiri, Film Critic, New York Magazine and Vulture
Mark Harris, Editor-at-Large, Entertainment Weekly
Ann Hornaday, Film Critic, The Washington Post
Amy Nicholson, Chief Film Critic, L.A. Weekly
Lisa Schwarzbaum, Freelance Journalist and Critic
Nominating Committee for Breakthrough Actor:
Florence Almozini, Associate Programmer, Film Society of Lincoln Center
Cara Cusumano, Senior Programmer, Tribeca Film Festival
David Ehrlich, Staff Writer, Rolling Stone
Rodrigo Perez, Founder and Editor, The Playlist
Ray Pride, Film Critic, Newcity; Editor, MovieCityNews.com; Contributing Editor, FILMMAKER.
Spotlight on Women Directors ‘Live the Dream’ Grant
For the sixth consecutive year, IFP is proud present the euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Directors ‘Live the Dream’ grant, a $25,000 cash award for an alumna of IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Labs or IFP’s Screen Forward Lab. In 2015, Screen Forward Lab directors have been included in this opportunity for the first time. This grant aims to further the careers of emerging women directors by supporting the completion, distribution and audience engagement strategies of their first feature film or episodic series. The nominees are:
Claire Carré, director, Embers
Deb Shoval, director, AWOL
Chanelle Aponte Pearson, director, 195 Lewis
Gotham Independent Film Audience Award
IFP members will determine the 7th Annual Gotham Independent Film Audience Award with nominees comprised of the 14 nominated films in the Best Feature, Best Documentary, and Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award categories. All IFP current, active members at the Individual Level and above will be eligible to vote. Voting will take place online from November 18th at 12:01 AM EST and conclude on November 25th at 5:00 PM EST. In addition, IFP will be scheduling screenings of the nominated films for IFP members in the theater at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP in Brooklyn. These screenings will take place from November 4-11. The winner of the Audience Award will be announced at the Gotham Awards Ceremony on November 30, 2015.
Gotham Appreciation Award
A Gothams Appreciation Award will be given to Ellen Cotter for her contribution to theatrical distribution, including leadership of the Angelika Film Centers.