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2013 Gotham Awards: ‘Inside Llewyn Davis,’ ‘Fruitvale Station,’ ‘Short Term 12,’ ‘Dallas Buyers Club’; Lee Daniels Talks Racism: “I Became Very Angry At White People”

IFP's 23nd Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards - ShowThe Coen brothersInside Llewyn Davis won Best Feature tonight at the fourth annual IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards but lost some of the spotlight to presenter Lee Daniels, who made some eyebrow-raising remarks. Kicking off awards season in NYC, the trophy show propelled the CBS period folk music drama and Fruitvale Station, Dallas Buyers Club, and docu The Act of Killing toward the Oscars. The raucous audience at Cipriani Wall Street chattered so loudly during Daniels’ tribute speech his The Butler star Forest Whitaker that he tried to shush them with a few f-bombs. Gotham Awards 2013“Forest would like to hear all you talking through my speech, so shut the f*ck up,” admonished Daniels. He wasn’t the only presenter to complain onstage about the Gothams crowd, as Julie Delpy threatened to set herself on fire to get their attention while presenting another tribute, to Before Midnight helmer Richard Linklater.

Jared Leto GothamsBig wins went to Fruitvale Station, which nabbed Best Breakthrough Director and Actor for Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan, respectively. Dallas Buyers Club star and Oscar hopeful Matthew McConaughey won the Gothams’ inaugural Best Actor award and accepted via iPhone through co-star Jared Leto with his signature “All right, all right, all right.” Short Term 12‘s Brie Larson nabbed Best Actress honors, boosting the SXSW winner’s awards profile. Presenting Best Documentary, Morgan Spurlock took a shot at public television (“PBS: We pay more money than IFC”) before presenting the Gotham to Joshua Oppenheimer’s Oscar hopeful The Act of Killing.

Related: OSCARS: An Early Look At The Best Picture Race – Frontrunners In A Crowded Field

Host Nick Kroll (Kroll Show, The League) struggled with the ambivalent room early on with a roast of the indie scene: “To the people from L.A. or abroad, I hope you’re enjoying your tiny hotel room you had to pay for out of pocket because Magnolia or IFC wouldn’t pony up.” Riffing on the night’s nominees, he quipped, “A common theme in this year’s movies are the horrors we inflict upon one another – slavery, war, folk music… .” Unfortunately for Kroll, he was upstaged by New York Mayor Bloomberg. “Independent filmmakers and New York have a lot in common… We both want Harvey Weinstein to be nice to us.” Boosting local filmmaking versus runaway production to neighboring Canada while presenting the tribute to his Media and Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver, Bloomberg joked, “For the record: the mayor of Toronto and the mayor of New York do not have a lot in common.” Read More »

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Gothams Give Tribute To Late ‘Sopranos’ Star James Gandolfini

By | Wednesday November 20, 2013 @ 7:11am PST
Mike Fleming

The upcoming Gotham Awards will include the posthumous presentation of a tribute to James Gandolfini, whose The Sopranos costar Steve Buscemi will do the honors on December 2 at Cipriani Wall Street. It is an honor previously bestowed on Forest Whitaker, Richard Linklater and Katherine Oliver.

“We are honored to pay tribute to a man whose life and work has inspired and moved so many who knew him personally, or through his vast body of work on the stage and screen, where he collaborated with so many independent artists to bring to life unforgettable, iconic characters,” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director of the IFP and the Made in New York Media Center by IFP.

Gandolfini has been lighting up the screen opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the Nicole Holofcener-directed Enough Said, and next stars opposite Tom Hardy in Animal Rescue. He won three Best Actor Emmys for his iconic role as Tony Soprano.

“James Gandolfini was a friend, an inspiration, and an extraordinary talent whose presence is missed by all of us who knew and loved him. It is an honor to present this tribute at the Gotham Awards recognizing his impact,” said Steve Buscemi.

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‘Fruitvale Station,’ ’12 Years A Slave’ On IFP Gotham Award Audience Award Short List

By | Thursday November 7, 2013 @ 7:09am PST
Mike Fleming

The Independent Filmmaker Project set its top five nominees for the 4th annual Gotham Independent Film Audience Award. To be eligible, a U.S. film must have won an audience award at one of the top 50 U.S. or Canadian film festivals from December 2012 through October 2013.

First round voting began October 24th and ended November 5th at 12:00 am, and comprised 36 audience award-winning films from the top 50 US and Canadian film festivals. Round two voting begins November 8th at 10:00 am to select a final winner and ends November 24th at 11:59 pm. Filmgoers can vote online for their favorite film at

2013 Gotham Audience Award Nominees

12 Years a Slave
Steve McQueen, director; Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Bill Pohlad, Steve McQueen, Arnon Milchan, Anthony Katagas, producers
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Fruitvale Station
Ryan Coogler, director; Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker, producers
(The Weinstein Company)

Best Kept Secret
Samantha Buck, director; Danielle DiGiacomo, producer
(Argot Pictures and P.O.V./American Documentary)

Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey
Ramona S. Diaz, director; Capella Fahoome Brogden, Ramona S. Diaz, producers

Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings
Tadashi Nakamura, director; Donald Young, producer
(Center for Asian American Media and PBS)

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Gotham Awards To Fete NYC Film Czar Katherine Oliver

By | Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 7:00am PDT

The Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment will receive this year’s Gotham Awards Industry Tribute. Katherine Oliver will be honored December 2 at the 23rd annual Gotham Independent Film Awards at Cipriani Wall Street in NYC. The Industry Tribute is awarded to a career veteran who has significantly influenced the motion picture industry, and Oliver — in addition to overseeing all film, TV, and digital production in New York City — has long been a champion of independent film and media. “We are honored to dedicate our 2013 Gotham Industry Tribute to Katherine Oliver, who has made an indelible impact in the entertainment industry in New York City and beyond,” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director of the Independent Filmmaker Project. Nominees for the IFP Gotham Awards will be announced October 24.

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‘Moonrise Kingdom’ Wins IFP Gotham Award For Best Picture

By | Monday November 26, 2012 @ 7:27pm PST
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: The Wes Anderson-directed Moonrise Kingdom captured the Best Picture Award at the 22nd Independent Feature Project’s Gotham Awards. Tonight’s fete at Cipriani Wall Street is the first of many awards gatherings, with this one specifically dedicated to the celebration of the best of independent film. The awards were hosted by Mike Birbiglia, who was up for a Breakthrough Actor Award for Sleepwalk With Me. Hate to say it, but he seemed to sleepwalk through his opening monologue, though it’s kind of a Gotham Award tradition to see awkward openings of the show. Birbiglia did a word for word recitation of David O Russell’s fit of anger toward Lily Tomlin in the virally distributed clip caught on the set of the 2004 film I Heart Huckabees. Nobody laughed, and after The Fighter and now Silver Linings Playbook, didn’t Russell (who was among those being honored tonight for career achievement) deserve some new material?

IFP Award For Best Feature

WINNER: Moonrise Kingdom. The Wes Anderson-directed film won over the following nominees:

The Loneliest Planet
The Master
Middle Of Nowhere

IFP Best Documentary Award:

WINNER: How To Survive A Plague, the acclaimed AIDS activism docu written and directed by David France. Other nominees:

Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present
Room 237
The Waiting Room Read More »

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IFP Gothams Honor Careers Of Matt Damon, David O Russell And Participant’s Jeff Skoll

By | Monday October 1, 2012 @ 6:56am PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING… Matt Damon, David O Russell and Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll will be awarded career tribute honors at the 22nd Gotham Independent Film Awards. The trio will be feted on November 26 at Cipriani Wall Street along with the usual awards that focus on the year’s indie fare.

The honorees are in the middle of films that should factor in awards season. Damon stars in the Gus Van Sant-directed Focus Features drama Promised Land (he wrote the script with co-star John Krasinski), which was produced by Skoll’s Participant Media. Russell helmed Silver Linings Playbook, the Weinstein Company drama that stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro, and which premiered to raves at the Toronto Film Festival.

“Each has a unique voice and clearly defined vision of cinema for today’s generation, bringing perspective and relevance to the film world today,” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director of the IFP.

Damon has always made time for indie films in between the big studio jobs like The Bourne Identity, with credits that include Good Will Hunting, Finding Forrester and Gerry. Russell got his start in indie fare, and while his last Oscar-nominated film The Fighter was released by Paramount, it was put together independently. Skoll, who launched Participant Media to make issue … Read More »

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IFP Gotham Awards Lands Host: Mike Birbiglia

By | Wednesday September 12, 2012 @ 2:36pm PDT
Mike Fleming

If Oscarcast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron had their hopes pinned to Mike Birbiglia as host, they’re going to be mighty disappointed. The IFP Gotham Awards got there first. Mike Birwhovula? Read on for the breathless announcement:

New York, NY (September 12, 2012) – The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the nation’s oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers announced today that comedian/writer-director/actor Mike Birbiglia will serve as the host of the IFP’s Gotham Independent Film Awards™ show on Monday, November 26, 2012 in New York City.

“We are so thrilled that Mike Birbiglia will be hosting the Gotham Awards this year,” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director of IFP. “Coming off an exciting year as a debut director, with a hit film under his belt, Birbiglia’s charm and humor are sure to delight our audience.”

The announcement comes on the heels of the superb theatrical opening of SLEEPWALK WITH ME, Mike Birbiglia’s directorial feature film debut. An established screen, stage and radio personality has gone on to create three of his own Comedy Central TV specials, after releasing three lauded comedy albums. He is a veteran comedian having appeared on Letterman, Kimmel, Carson Daly, Conan, Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Fallon.

“I couldn’t be more excited about hosting the Gotham awards,” says Birbiglia. “I’ve only attended once before; that was as a coat check guy (and I’m not kidding), where I worked with my sister Gina. I don’t mean to brag, but I must

Read More »

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