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12 Years a Slave Leads 2013 Gotham Award Nominations

12 Years a Slave

IFP this morning announced the nominations for the 2013 edition of the Gotham Independent Film Awards, with Steve McQueen’s Oscar front-runner 12 Years a Slave leading the pack with nods in three categories, Best Feature, Best Actor and Breakthrough Actor. Receiving two nominations were Alexandre Moors’ Blue Caprice, Stacie Passon’s Concussion, Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station, Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis and Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color.

Commenting on today’s release, Joana Vicente, Executive Director of IFP and the Made in NY Media Center, said, “The Gotham Awards celebrate and showcase the very best of the vibrant, entertaining, challenging, and innovative films presented by our community, and help new audiences discover this vital work. We congratulate this year’s master film artists, talented newcomers, and other nominees representing the rich and diverse spectrum of today’s independent filmmaking. We also want to thank our nominating committees of film critics, journalists, programmers and film curators for their dedication to selecting the nominees from so many worthy submissions.”

This year for the first time, there are Best Actress and Best Actor categories at the Gotham Awards, with the nods being divided between Oscar favorites (Robert Redford, Matthew McConaughey, Oscar Isaac, Cate Blanchett) and actors who have excelled in smaller indie titles (Isaiah Washington, Brie Larson, Amy Seimetz, Shailene Woodley).

The biggest surprises arguably come in the documentary category, with acclaimed but lower profile titles such as Alan Berliner’s First Cousin Once Removed and Jason Osder’s Let the Fire Burn getting shortlisted in what is a very competitive year for documentaries. (Only Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing could have been considered a dead cert for a nomination.) Also notable are the two nominations for Amy Seimetz, who is up for the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award for Sun Don’t Shine and Best Actress for Upstream Color. This is, interestingly, the second year in a row that Sun Don’t Shine is nominated for an award (last year, it was a Best Film Not Playing contender), while Stacie Passon — the winner of the Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ Grant in 2012 — also makes a second visit in two years to the Gothams with Concussion, this time getting a nod in the Breakthrough Director category.

The 2013 Gotham nominations also feature a healthy number of acknowledgments of work by Filmmaker‘s “25 New Faces” alumni, with films by Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station), David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints), Lucy Walker (The Crash Reel), Jason Osder (Let the Fire Burn), Penny Lane and Brian L. Frye (Our Nixon), Alexandre Moors (Blue Caprice) and Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12) all in contention.

Also being presented at Cipriani Wall Street on December 2 is the Gotham Audience Award;  voters can vote online for their favorite (of the 34 films on the longlist) at the Gotham Awards website.

The full list of nominations is below:

Best Feature

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)

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

David Lowery, director; Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Amy Kaufman, Cassian Elwes, producers (IFC Films)

Before Midnight

Richard Linklater, director; Richard Linklater, Christos V. Konstantakopoulos, Sara Woodhatch, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

Inside Llewyn Davis

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, directors; Scott Rudin, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, producers (CBS Films)

Upstream Color

Shane Carruth, director; Shane Carruth, Casey Gooden, Ben LeClair, producers. (erbp)


Best Documentary

The Act of Killing

Joshua Oppenheimer, director; Signe Byrge, Joshua Oppenheimer, producers (Drafthouse Films)

The Crash Reel

Lucy Walker, director; Julian Cautherly, Lucy Walker, producers (HBO Documentary Films)

First Cousin Once Removed

Alan Berliner, director and producer (HBO Documentary Films)

Let the Fire Burn

Jason Osder, director and producer (Zeitgeist Films)

Our Nixon

Penny Lane, director; Brian L. Frye, Penny Lane, producers (Cinedigm and CNN Films)


Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

Ryan Coogler for Fruitvale Station (The Weinstein Company)

Adam Leon for Gimme the Loot (Sundance Selects)

Alexandre Moors for Blue Caprice (Sundance Selects)

Stacie Passon for Concussion (RADiUS-TWC)

Amy Seimetz for Sun Don’t Shine (Factory 25)


Best Actor

Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Oscar Isaac in Inside Llewyn Davis (CBS Films)

Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features)

Robert Redford in All Is Lost (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)

Isaiah Washington in Blue Caprice (Sundance Selects)


Best Actress

Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics)

Scarlett Johansson in Don Jon (Relativity Media)

Brie Larson in Short Term 12 (Cinedigm)

Amy Seimetz in Upstream Color (erbp)

Shailene Woodley in The Spectacular Now (A24)


Breakthrough Actor

Dane DeHaan in Kill Your Darlings (Sony Pictures Classics)

Kathryn Hahn in Afternoon Delight (The Film Arcade and Cinedigm)

Michael B. Jordan in Fruitvale Station (The Weinstein Company)

Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Robin Weigert in Concussion (RADiUS-TWC)


Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ Grant

For the third consecutive year, IFP is proud present the euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ grant, a $25,000 cash award for an alumna 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:

Afia Nathaniel, director, Dukhthar

Gita Pullapilly, director, Beneath the Harvest Sky

Deb Shoval, director, AWOL


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