Brie Larson saves the day in the First Trailer for "Captain Marvel"                The Toronto International Film Festival boosts "Green Book" with its Top Prize                Updated Academy Award predictions for early September                "White Boy Rick" is a compelling character study and period piece                Taking a look at potential Best Supporting Actress contenders                Shane Black gives "The Predator" his signature clever spin                Venice Film Festival award winners include "The Favourite" and "Roma"                Taking a look at potential Best Supporting Actor contenders                Watch out for Ben Foster in Best Supporting Actor for "Leave No Trace"                "The Favourite" releases a new Trailer to build off of its positive festival buzz                "All About Nina" and "Fahrenheit 11/9": Films to look forward to in September                Trailer for "The Front Runner" and Buzz from Telluride suggest another Oscar player for Jason Reitman                Taking a look at potential Best Actress contenders                "First Man" launches a New Trailer after a soaring debut at the Venice Film Festival                A late August update to Academy Award predictions        

“Carol”, “The Diary of a Teenage Girl”, “Spotlight”, and “Tangerine” lead the Gotham nominations

spotlight michael keaton mark ruffalo
The 2015 precursor season has officially begun folks. Yes, nominations have been announced for the 25th Annual IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards. By and large, the Gotham Awards and their nominations start off the precursors, with this year being no exception. As always, some curveballs were thrown, as well as some likely Oscar winners seeing their first citations. If you love independent film and potential smaller Academy Award nominees, it’s hard not to dig what the Independent Filmmaker Project (or IFP) has come up with here once again. I’ll discuss their nominations a bit below, with the full list available to read as well, but just know that they’ve gotten the precursors off to a very nice start…

Cate Blanchett Carol in car
Leading the charge at Gotham this year was The Diary of a Teenage Girl, which received four nominations, the most of any title. The movie was cited in Best Feature, Best Screenplay (Marielle Heller), Best Actress (Bel Powley), and Breakthrough Director (Heller), certainly helping to keep it in play going forward and not be forgotten. The same goes for Tangerine, which was nominated in Best Feature and twice in Breakthrough Actor (for both Kitana Kiki and May Taylor). Carol also had a nice morning, scoring nods in Best Feature, Best Screenplay (Phyllis Nagy), and Best Actress (Cate Blanchett), while Spotlight maintained its early frontrunner status by receiving noms in Best Feature and Best Screenplay (Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer), as well as a Special Jury Award for Ensemble Performance.

Joining those nominees will be others like Grandma (Best Actress for Lily Tomlin), Heaven Knows What (Best Feature and Breakthrough Actor for Arielle Holmes), I’ll See You in My Dreams (Best Actress for Blythe Danner), Love & Mercy (Best Actor for Paul Dano and Best Screenplay), and Room (Best Actress for Brie Larson), just to name a few. It’s an eclectic group for sure, one that will have both big time Academy Award players as well as ones who will see their moment in the sun only be here with Gotham. It’s a nice mix, with the Oscar contenders almost being like a bonus. We’ll see who emerges victorious later on in the season, but for now, I dug these nominations…

Here’s the full press release:

New York, NY (October 22, 2015) – The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the nation’s premier member organization of independent storytellers, announced today the nominees for the 25th Annual IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards.  The Gotham Awards is one of the leading awards for independent film and signals the kick-off to the film awards season. For 2015, the eight competitive film awards include Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Actor, Best Actress (presenting sponsor euphoria Calvin Klein), Breakthrough Actor, Best Screenplay, the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director award, and the Gotham Audience Award. In addition to the competitive awards, Gotham Award Tributes will be given to actors Helen Mirren and Robert Redford, director Todd Haynes, and Industry Tribute recipient producer Steve Golin.

As the first major awards ceremony of the film season, the IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards provide critical early recognition and media attention to worthy independent films. The awards are also unique for their ability to assist in catapulting award recipients prominently into national awards season attention. This year the Gotham Awards will also be presenting two new awards for serialized television and web content. Those nominations will be announced next week.

Twenty-five films received nominations this year. In addition, the nominating committee for the Best Actor and Best Actress categories category voted to award a Special Jury Award jointly to cast members Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci and Brian D’Arcy James for their ensemble work in Spotlight. Beyond these individual actors, the committee cited the Spotlight cast as “an outstanding ensemble in which every performance, in every role, of every size, is beautifully realized.” In recognition of the strong work by female actors this year, the jury also chose to include six nominees for Best Actress.

“We congratulate this year’s nominated independent storytellers, who represent a richly diverse range of cinematic achievements that are bold, risk-taking, and beautifully crafted, ” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director of IFP and the Made in NY Media Center.
 
Nominees are selected by committees of film critics, journalists, festival programmers, and film curators. Separate juries of writers, directors, actors, producers, editors and others directly involved in making films will determine the final Gotham Award recipients.

The Gotham Audience Award nominees are comprised of the 14 films nominated for Best Feature, Best Documentary, and the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award. The winner will be selected by online voting of IFP members. Voting for that award begins November 18th at 12:01 AM EST.

The Gotham Awards ceremony will be held on Monday, November 30th at Cipriani Wall Street.

The 2015 IFP Gotham Independent Film Award nominations are:

Best Feature

Carol
Todd Haynes, director; Elizabeth Karlsen, Tessa Ross, 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)

Spotlight
Tom McCarthy, director; Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Blye Pagan Faust, producers (Open Road Films)

Tangerine
Sean Baker, director; Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou, Marcus Cox & Karrie Cox, producers (Magnolia Pictures)

Best Documentary

Approaching the Elephant
Amanda Rose Wilder, director; Jay Craven, Robert Greene, Amanda Rose Wilder, producers (Kingdom County Productions)

Cartel Land
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 Carpigano 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)

Best Screenplay
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)

Best Actor*
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)

Best Actress*
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)

Breakthrough Actor
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 15 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.

Sponsors
The Premier Sponsors of the 25th Anniversary IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards are Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and The New York Times, and the Platinum Sponsors are euphoria Calvin Klein and Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward Office of Film, Music and Entertainment. The Official Water Sponsor is FIJI Water and the Official Wine Partner is Line 39 by O’Neill. Additionally, the awards will be promoted nationally in an eight-page special advertising section in The New York Times in November 2015.

2015 IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards – Alphabetical List of Nominated Films

99 Homes
Best Actor

Approaching the Elephant
Best Documentary

Appropriate Behavior
Breakthrough Director

Cartel Land
Best Documentary

Carol
Best Feature
Best Screenplay
Best Actress

The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Best Feature
Best Screenplay
Best Actress
Breakthrough Director

Experimenter
Best Actor

Gabriel
Breakthrough Actor

Grandma
Best Actress

Heart of a Dog
Best Documentary

Heaven Knows What
Best Feature
Breakthrough Actor

I’ll See You in My Dreams
Best Actress

James White
Breakthrough Director
Best Actor

Listen to Me Marlon
Best Documentary

The Look of Silence
Best Documentary

Love & Mercy
Best Actor
Best Screenplay

Mediterranea
Breakthrough Director

The Mend
Breakthrough Director

Mistress America
Breakthrough Actor

Results
Best Actor

Room
Best Actress

Spotlight
Best Feature
Best Screenplay
Special Jury Award – Ensemble Performance

Tangerine
Best Feature
Breakthrough Actor
Breakthrough Actor

Welcome to Me
Best Actress

While We’re Young
Best Screenplay

About IFP
The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) champions the future of storytelling by connecting artists with essential resources at all stages of development and distribution. The organization fosters a vibrant and sustainable independent storytelling community through its year-round programs, which include Independent Film Week, Filmmaker Magazine, the Gotham Independent Film Awards and the Made in NY Media Center by IFP, a new incubator space developed with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. IFP represents a growing network of 10,000 storytellers around the world, and plays a key role in developing 350 new feature and documentary works each year. During its 36-year history, IFP has supported over 8,000 projects and offered resources to more than 20,000 filmmakers, including Debra Granik, Miranda July, Michael Moore, Dee Rees, and Benh Zeitlin. More info at www.ifp.org.

About the Gotham Independent Film Awards by IFP
The IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards, selected by distinguished juries and presented in New York City, the home of independent film, are the first honors of the film awards season. This public showcase honors the filmmaking community, expands the audience for independent films, and supports the work that IFP does behind the scenes throughout the year to bring such films to fruition.

Stay tuned for more on this precursor and these awards hopefuls going forward!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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