The Gold Knight: Awards season beginsWritten by James A. Molnar | The Gold Knight | firstname.lastname@example.org
December has not even begun and awards season is in full swing. And independent films are the first to be honored.
Two films out to a strong start are “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Moonrise Kingdom.” “Beasts of the Southern Wild” also appears to be a strong contender among independent films.
On Nov. 26, the irreverent, untelevised ceremony began with host Mike Birbiglia (“Sleepwalk with Me”) serenading the attendees at the Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. Then awards were given out for the 22nd Gotham Independent Film Awards.
Winners were announced in seven competitive categories with a total of 30 films nominated. Tributes were given to actors Matt Damon and Marion Cotillard, director David O. Russell and philanthropist Jeff Skoll, of Participant Media.
Here are the winners:
- Best Feature: “Moonrise Kingdom”
- Best Documentary: “How to Survive a Plague”
- Best Ensemble Performance: Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt and Mark Duplass, “Your Sister’s Sister”
- Breakthrough Actor: Emayatzy Corinealdi, “Middle of Nowhere”
- Breakthrough Director: Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
- Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You: “An Oversimplification of Her Beauty.” Awarded with a theatrical release package that includes a one-week run at Cinema Village in New York City, advertising support in The New York Times and a cash award of $15,000 from The Royal Bank of Canada.
- Film Audience Award: “Artifact”
- “Live the Dream” Grant (spotlight on women filmmakers): Stacie Passon for the upcoming film, “Concussion.” This is a $25,000 cash award for an alumna of IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Labs.
- Bingham Ray Award: Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” New award this year, given to an emerging filmmaker.
The ceremony is put on annually by the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers in the country. The event was streamed on IFP’s website.
Previous winners for Best Feature and Best Documentary include “Beginners” (2011), “The Tree of Life” (2011), “Better This World” (2011), “Winter’s Bone” (2010), “The Oath” (2010), “The Hurt Locker” (2009) and “Food, Inc.” (2009).
On the morning of Nov. 27 at The W Hotel in Hollywood, actors Anna Kendrick, Zoe Saldana and Common announced the nominees for the 28th Film Independent Spirit Awards.
“Silver Linings Playbook” and “Moonrise Kingdom” led the field of nominees with the most nominations — five apiece — and both were nominated for Best Feature. “Keep the Lights On” and “Bernie” rounded out the five nominees for Best Feature.
“Keep the Lights On,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “Middle of Nowhere” each had four nominations.
Winners will be announced on Feb. 23, 2013, on the evening before the 85th Academy Awards.
Notably, “The Sessions” did not earn nominations for feature, director or screenplay.
One surprise among the nominees was Matthew McConaughey, nominated for “Killer Joe” in the Male Lead category and for “Magic Mike” in Supporting Male.
Fox Searchlight was the distributor with the most nominations, nine, for “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Ruby Sparks, “Sound of My Voice” and “The Sessions.”
Here are the nominations:
- “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
- “Keep the Lights On”
- “Moonrise Kingdom”
- “Silver Linings Playbook”
- Wes Anderson, “Moonrise Kingdom”
- Julia Loktev, “The Loneliest Planet”
- David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”
- Ira Sachs, “Keep the Lights On”
- Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
- Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola, “Moonrise Kingdom”
- Zoe Kazan, “Ruby Sparks”
- Martin McDonagh, “Seven Psychopaths”
- David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”
- Ira Sachs, “Keep the Lights On”
Best First Feature
- “Fill the Void”: Rama Burshtein, Assaf Amir
- “Gimme the Loot”: Adam Leon, Dominic Buchanan, Natalie Difford, Jamund Washington
- “Safety Not Guaranteed”: Colin Trevorrow, Derek Connolly, Stephanie Langhoff, Peter Saraf, Colin Trevorrow, Marc Turtletaub
- “Sound of My Voice”: Zal Batmanglij, Brit Marling, Hans Ritter, Shelley Surpin
- “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”: Stephen Chbosky, Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich, Russell Smith
Best First Screenplay
- Rama Burshtein, Fill the Void
- Derek Connolly, Safety Not Guaranteed
- Christopher Ford, Robot & Frank
- Rashida Jones & Will McCormack, Celeste and Jesse Forever
- Jonathan Lisecki, Gayby
John Cassavetes Award (Given to the best feature made for under $500,000; given to the writer, director, and producer)
- “Breakfast with Curtis”: Laura Colella
- “Middle of Nowhere”: Ava DuVernay, Howard Barish, Paul Garnes
- “Mosquita y Mari”: Aurora Guerrero, Chad Burris
- “Starlet”: Sean Baker, Blake Ashman-Kipervaser, Kevin Chinoy, Patrick Cunningham, Chris Maybach, Francesca Silvestri
- “The Color Wheel”: Alex Ross Perry, Carlen Altman
Best Female Lead
- Linda Cardellini, “Return”
- Emayatzy Corinealdi, “Middle of Nowhere”
- Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
- Quvenzhané Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
- Mary Elizabeth, “Winstead Smashed”
Best Male Lead
- Jack Black, “Bernie”
- Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”
- John Hawkes, “The Sessions”
- Thure Lindhardt, “Keep the Lights On”
- Matthew McConaughey, “Killer Joe”
- Wendell Pierce, “Four”
Best Supporting Female
- Rosemarie DeWitt, “Your Sister?s Sister”
- Ann Dowd, “Compliance”
- Helen Hunt, “The Sessions”
- Brit Marling, “Sound of My Voice”
- Lorraine Toussaint, “Middle of Nowhere”
Best Supporting Male
- Matthew McConaughey, “Magic Mike”
- David Oyelowo, “Middle of Nowhere”
- Michael Péna, “End of Watch”
- Sam Rockwell, “Seven Psychopaths”
- Bruce Willis, “Moonrise Kingdom”
- Yoni Brook, “Valley of Saints”
- Lol Crawley, “Here”
- Ben Richardson, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
- Roman Vasyanov, “End of Watch”
- Robert Yeoman, “Moonrise Kingdom”
- “How to Survive a Plague”
- “Marina Abramovi?: The Artist is Present”
- “The Central Park Five”
- “The Invisible War”
- “The Waiting Room”
Best International Film
- “Amour” (France)
- “Once Upon A Time in Anatolia” (Turkey)
- “Rust And Bone” (France/Belgium)
- “Sister” (Switzerland)
- “War Witch” (Democratic Republic of Congo)
16th Piaget Producers Award (Honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.)
- “Nobody Walks,” Alicia Van Couvering
- “Prince Avalanche,” Derrick Tseng
- “Stones in the Sun,” Mynette Louie
19th Someone to Watch Award (Recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.)
- “Pincus,” David Fenster
- “Gimme the Loot,” Adam Leon
- “Electrick Children,” Rebecca Thomas
Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction Award (Presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant.)
- “Leviathan,” Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel
- “The Waiting Room,” Peter Nicks
- “Only the Young,” Jason Tippet & Elizabeth Mims
Robert Altman Award (Given to one film?s director, casting director and its ensemble cast.)
- Director: Sean Baker
- Casting Director: Julia Kim
- Ensemble Cast: Dree Hemingway, Besedka
- Johnson, Karren Karagulian, Stella Maeve, James Ransone
The nominating committees selected nominees in 13 competitive categories from 299 submissions. They followed these set of guidelines in determining the nominations: uniqueness of vision, original and provocative subject matter, economy of means (with particular attention paid to total production cost & individual compensation), and percentage of financing from independent sources.
Other awards include competitive categories for grants and recognition for excellence.
The committees are comprised of writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, actors, critics, casting directors, festival programmers and other working film professionals.
While neither the Gotham Awards nor the Spirit Awards directly impact the Oscars race, films and achievements being recognized and in the news cannot hurt.
Nominations for the 85th Academy Awards are announced Jan. 10, 2013.
Toledo Free Press Lead Designer and Film Editor James A. Molnar blogs about all things Oscar at TheGoldKnight.com. Watch him discuss movies on “WNWO Today” around 5:50 a.m. on Fridays. Also, listen to James discuss movies on “Eye on Your Weekend” on 1370 WSPD every Friday at 6 p.m.