Gotham Independent Film Awards to take place in New York City IFP, now called Independent Filmmaker Project, the nation’s oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers, today announced that the 20th Anniversary Gotham Independent Film Awards will take place again this year at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City, on Monday, November 29th.

The first award show of the season, the Gotham Independent Film Awards honor independently distributed American feature films made with an economy of means. Established in 1991, the Gotham Independent Film Awards celebrate the authentic voices behind and in front of the camera in the year’s best independent films. By recognizing that the best films come from a place that is more firmly rooted in the grasp of filmmakers – and not made by committee- the Gothams salute the innovative films and filmmakers whose passion and vision make their way onto the screen year after year. Each year IFP chooses a jury of 25 innovators and icons in documentary and feature directing, producing, cinematography, and acting to bestow five competitive awards on some of the best emerging and iconic filmmakers and actors working today. All nominees for these honors are determined by a selection committee of critics and programmers and the winners will be selected by jury.

In the wake of IFP’s new relationship with Festival Genius, the organization has created a new award – The Festival Genius Audience Award. To be eligible, a U.S. film must have won an audience award at a U.S. film festival from November 2009 through October 2010. The Festival Genius community, 200,000 film fans worldwide, will vote online for the winner. The winner will be announced at the Gotham Awards in November.

In addition, IFP has broadened the criteria for the Best Feature category to allow consideration of independent films that have premiered on digital platforms like VOD or Pay TV following festival runs, without them having played theatrically.

The Gothams provide critical early recognition to worthy independent films. Past winners include THE HURT LOCKER (2009), FROZEN RIVER (2008), INTO THE WILD (2007) and HALF NELSON (2006), all of which went on to numerous awards and Oscar™ nominations for – Kathryn Bigelow, Melissa Leo, Sean Penn, and Ryan Gosling, respectively.

In addition to seven competitive categories, the Gotham Independent Film Awards also recognizes those who have made significant contributions to independent filmmaking by selecting individuals to tribute. Last year the organization feted Stanley Tucci, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, Natalie Portman and Kathryn Bigelow. The 2010 Tributes will be announced in the fall.

“New York is the home of independent film, so it’s exciting that we are celebrating 20 Years of the Gotham Independent Film Awards,” said Joana Vicente, executive director of IFP. “This year’s event will bring back all those who were at the forefront of independent cinema and are still thriving today, as well as those who are being welcomed into the fold through their unique vision and daring films.”

Once again, IFP will partner with the Museum of Modern Art to present the Best Film Not Playing At a Theatre Near You public screening series in November 2010. The Best Film Not Playing At A Theatre Near You features films which are nominated in this category, that have achieved critical acclaim from the festival circuit, but have not yet been acquired theatrically by a distributor.

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