The 25th annual Gotham Independent Film Awardspresented by IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project) held their annual awards ceremony last night, with the film "Spotlight," winning most of the honors. The Gotham Awards mark the first award show of the season and honors the best in independent filmmaking. The evening was hosted by Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer and the awards were given out at the Cipriani Wall Street in New York, New York, on Monday, November 30, 2015. The Gotham Awards winners are determined by small juries, made up of industry members. The awards show was not televised, but was available for viewing via the Internet.
"Spotlight," took home the top honors, winning Best Feature, Best Screenplay and a special award for the Ensemble Cast. The actors among the honor cast members were Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Stanley Tucci, John Slattery, Brian d’Arcy James, Billy Crudup and Liev Schreiber. This gives "Spotlight," a great deal of momentum as the award season takes off and is already and early favorite to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Film.
"Tangerine," a film made using three iPhone 5 smart phones, and featuring actors with no prior industry experience, took home two honors. The film won the Audience Award and an Award for Breakthrough Actor to Mya Taylor.
Probably the most shocking part of the night was when Bel Powley from "The Diary of a Teenage Girl," won the award for Best Actress Award, completely surprising many that thought Brie Larson for "Room," or Lily Tomlin for "Grandma," who were the main competitors for the prize.
Not a surprise when the gifted Paul Dano took home the honor for Best Actor for his stirring performance as the young Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys in "Love & Mercy." Watch for Dano to continue to receive nominations and honors throughout award season. This young actor has all the makings of an "A" list star and this is just the beginning of what appears to be fruitful career as an actor.
The Gotham Awards recognized four individuals for their Tribute Awards. The winners were producer Steve Golin ("Spotlight"), actress Helen Mirren ("Trumbo"), director Todd Haynes ("Carol") and actor/filmmaker Robert Redford ("Truth").
Don't worry if you don't see your favorite actor or film being considered, this is still quite early in the season and the Gotham Awards honor just small independent films.
A complete list of the winners are as follows:
Best Feature "Spotlight"
Best Actress Bel Powley as Minnie Goetze "The Diary of a Teenage Girl"
Breakthrough Series – Longform "Mr. Robot"
Best Actor Paul Dano as Brian Wilson "Love & Mercy"
Best Documentary "The Look of Silence" Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
Audience Award "Tangerine"
The First Gotham Appreciation Award Ellen Cotter of Angelika Film Center Theaters
Special Jury Award – Ensemble Performance Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci, Brian d’Arcy James, Liev Schreiber, and Billy Crudup "Spotlight"
Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Jonas Carpigano "Mediterranea"
Breakthrough Series – Short Form "Shugs & Fats"
Best Screenplay Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer "Spotlight"