The Tree of Life and Beginners Split Top Honors at This Year’s Gotham Independent Film Awards


It’s nearing the end of November, and awards season has begun! Last night the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) announced the winners of the 21st Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards at a star-studded ceremony in New York City. While the IFP managed to narrow down an expansive pool of excellent independent cinema to 29 nominations across seven categories, when it came time to determine the Best Feature winner, the five-person jury charged with its selection couldn’t pick just one. For only the second time in Gotham’s history, there was a tie, with The Tree of Life and Beginners splitting the top honor.

Other awards went to Better This World, Like Crazy, Pariah, Scenes of a Crime and Girlfriend. The Descendants and Martha Marcy May Marlene, both of which were nominated in three categories, took home not a single award between them.

The winner of this year’s Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You Award is Grover Babcock and Blue Hadaegh’s documentary Scenes of a Crime, which will receive a one-week run at New York’s Cinema Village theater, advertising in The New York Times and $15,000 in prize money.

This year marked the first of IFP’s Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers’ “Live the Dream” grant, a new initiative that draws much-needed support to emerging women directors by providing $25,000 to an alum of IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Labs toward the completion, distribution and audience engagement strategies for their feature debut. This year’s grant went to Lucy Mulloy for her upcoming film Una Noche.

Along with the grant and the annual awards, the ceremony played host to special career tributes to actors Gary Oldman and Charlize Theron, director David Cronenberg and Tom Rothman, chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment. The event was streamed live to an international audience at www.ifp.org, but if you couldn’t make it to your computer in time, here’s a complete run-down of the winners:

Best Feature (tie)
Beginners
The Tree of Life

Best Documentary
Better This World

Breakthrough Director Award
Dee Rees, Pariah

Breakthrough Actor Award
Felicity Jones, Like Crazy

Best Ensemble Performance Award
Beginners

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You Award
Scenes of a Crime

Gotham Independent Film Audience Award
Girlfriend

Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ grant
Lucy Mulloy, Una Noche

For more information, visit gotham.ifp.org.

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