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"Martha Marcy May Marlene"
Martha Marcy May Marlene

The IFP have announced the nominees for their 21st Gotham Independent Film Awards.

Considered the kick off to awards season, this year’s leaders in nominations are Alexander Payne‘s The Descendants and Sean Durkin‘s Martha Marcy May Marlene with three nominations each.

Along with the competitive awards, Charlize Theron, Gary Oldman, David Cronenberg and Tom Rothman will each be presented with career tributes.

The full list of nominees are below. The awards will be handed out on Monday, November 28th at Cipriani Wall Street.

And from Nov. 18-21 be sure to check out the nominees of the Best Film Not Playing At A Theater Near You (selected by us at Filmmaker) when they screen at MoMA.


The nominees for the 21st Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards are:


Best Feature



Mike Mills, director; Leslie Urdang, Dean Vanech, Miranda de Pencier, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, producers (Focus Features)


The Descendants

Alexander Payne, director; Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)


Meek’s Cutoff

Kelly Reichardt, director; Neil Kopp, Anish Savjani, Elizabeth Cuthrell, David Urrutia, producers (Oscilloscope Laboratories)


Take Shelter

Jeff Nichols, director; Tyler Davidson, Sophia Lin, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)


The Tree of Life

Terrence Malick, director; Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Grant Hill, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)



Best Documentary


Better This World 

Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega, directors; Katie Galloway, Kelly Duane de la Vega, Mike Nicholson, producers (Loteria Films, Picturebox, Motto Pictures and Passion Pictures; ITVS in association with American Documentary | POV)


Bill Cunningham New York

Richard Press, director; Philip Gefter, producer (Zeitgeist Films)


Hell and Back Again

Danfung Dennis, director; Mike Lerner, Martin Herring, producers (Docurama Films)


The Interrupters

Steve James, director; Alex Kotlowitz, Steve James, producers (The Cinema Guild)


The Woodmans

C. Scott Willis, director; Neil Barrett, Jeff Werner, C. Scott Willis, producers (Lorber Films; Kino Lorber, Inc.)



Best Ensemble Performance



Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic, Kai Lennox, Mary Page Keller, Keegan Boos (Focus Features)

The Descendants


The Descendants

George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges, Robert Forster, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, Nick Krause, Amara Miller, Mary Birdsong, Rob Huebel (Fox Searchlight Pictures)


Margin Call

Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Stanley Tucci, Aasif Mandvi (Roadside Attractions)


Martha Marcy May Marlene

Elizabeth Olsen, Christopher Abbott, Brady Corbet, Hugh Dancy, Maria Dizzia, Julia Garner, John Hawkes, Louisa Krause, Sarah Paulson (Fox Searchlight Pictures)


Take Shelter

Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Tova Stewart, Shea Whigham, Katy Mixon, Kathy Baker, Ray McKinnon, Lisagay Hamilton, Robert Longstreet (Sony Pictures Classics)



Breakthrough Director


Mike Cahill for Another Earth (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Sean Durkin for Martha Marcy May Marlene (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Vera Farmiga for Higher Ground (Sony Pictures Classics)

Evan Glodell for Bellflower (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Dee Rees for Pariah (Focus Features)



Breakthrough Actor


Felicity Jones in Like Crazy (Paramount Vantage)

Elizabeth Olsen in Martha Marcy May Marlene (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Harmony Santana in Gun Hill Road (Motion Film Group)

Shailene Woodley in The Descendants (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Jacob Wysocki in Terri (ATO Pictures)



Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You


Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same

Madeleine Olnek, director; Laura Terruso, Madeleine Olnek, producers



Sophia Takal, director; Lawrence Michael Levine, producer


The Redemption of General Butt Naked

Eric Strauss, Daniele Anastasion, directors and producers


Scenes of a Crime

Blue Hadaegh & Grover Babcock, directors and producers



Mark Jackson, director; Mark Jackson, Jessica Dimmock, Michael Requa, Jaime Keeling, producers



New this year, IFP is proud present the inaugural euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ grant, a $25,000 cash award for an alumnus of IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Labs. 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.


The nominees are:

Jenny Deller, director, FUTURE WEATHER

Lucy Mulloy, director, UNA NOCHE

Rola Nashef, director, DETROIT UNLEADED


The 2nd Annual Gotham Independent Film Audience Award will be voted on again by the independent film community, 230,000 film fans worldwide.  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 November 2010 through October 2011.  Voting begins today at http://gotham.ifp.org/audience_award.  The nominees will be announced November 7th and the winner will be revealed at the Gotham Awards ceremony.


The recipient of the Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You award is determined by the editors of Filmmaker Magazine, a publication of IFP, and a curator from The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). All of these nominees will also be screened for the public at MoMA from November 18 – 21.

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