2013 Gotham Nominations, Led by ’12 Years a Slave,’ ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ and ‘Upstream Color,’ Boost Spirit and Oscar Hopefuls

2013 Gotham Nominations, Led by '12 Years a Slave,' 'Inside Llewyn Davis' and 'Upstream Color,' Boost Spirit and Oscar Hopefuls

Steve McQueen’s slavery drama “12 Years a Slave” is leading this year’s Gotham Awards with three nominations, for Best Feature, Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Breakthrough Actor (Lupita Nyong’o). This will boost its profile heading into the year-end awards corridor. 

Meanwhile, the Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis” and Shane Carruth’s “Upstream Color” each received two nominations, including Best Feature. This could help the Oscar perennials’ “Inside Llewyn Davis,” which is currently in the middle of the Oscar pack, while “Upstream Color” is more likely to be heading for Indie Spirit contention. The other two titles in that category are Richard Linklater’s “Before Midnight” (Sony Pictures Classics) and David Lowery’s “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” (IFC/Sundance Selects), two dark-horse indies who need more spotlights like this to have a fighting chance in this year’s crowded Oscar field dominated by well-funded big-studio entries. The critics will likely give both a boost at year’s end with multiple ten best lists and wins. Otherwise they too will score at the Indie Spirits. 

Ryan Coogler’s “Fruitvale Station” and Stacie Passion’s “Concussion” scored Bingham Ray Breakthrough Filmmaker nods, while the film’s stars, Michael B. Jordan and Robin Weigert, respectively, earned Breakthrough Actor nominations. While deserving, Jordan has to be considered an Oscar longshot at this point in the congested race for Best Actor.

In terms of Best Actor, Isaiah Washington (“Blue Caprice”), Robert Redford (“All Is Lost”), Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club”) and Oscar Isaac (“Inside Llewyn Davis”) join Ejiofor. Except for Washington, whose Sundance hit has not been widely seen, these well-reviewed performances are likely Oscar contenders. For Best Actress, Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”), Scarlett Johansson (“Don Jon”), Amy Seimetz (“Upstream Color”), Brie Larson (“Short Term 12”) and Shailene Woodley (“The Spectacular Now”) all got noms. All are Indie Spirit hopefuls, while Blanchett is a frontrunner for the Best Actress Oscar, and breakout Larson has earned raves but will remain a long shot unless she gets some well-deserved attention from critics groups. 

Among documentaries, nominations like this help the overwhelmed Academy doc branch to winnow the field of what to see. The Gotham nominees are critics’ darlings “Act of Killing,” “Crash Reel” and “Our Nixon” along with less well-known “First Cousin Once Removed” and “Let The Fire Burn.”

Full list of nominees after the jump.

The 2013 Gotham Independent Film Award nominations are:



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; Tony 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

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

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

Michael B. Jordan in Fruitvale Station (The Weinstein

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

Robin Weigert in Concussion (RADiUS-TWC)



Fifteen writers, critics and programmers participated in the
nomination process, considering 203 eligible submissions. The Nominating
Committees for the 2013 Gotham Independent Film Awards were:


Nominating Committee for Best Feature and Breakthrough

Scott Foundas, Lead Film Critic, Variety

Eric Kohn, Lead Film Critic, Indiewire

Christy Lemire, Film Critic, ChristyLemire.com and co-host,
What the Flick?!

Andrew O’Hehir, Film Critic, Salon.com

Dana Stevens, Movie Critic, Slate


Nominating Committee for Best Actor, Best Actress, and
Breakthrough Actor:

Justin Chang, Senior Film Critic, Variety

Noah Cowan, Artistic Director, TIFF Bell Lightbox

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post Film and Theater Film Critic

David Rooney, Film & Theater Critic, The Hollywood

Leah Rozen, freelance entertainment writer


Nominating Committee for Best Documentary:

Charlotte Cook, Director of Programming, Hot Docs Canadian
International Documentary Festival

Ben Fowlie, Founder & Executive Director, Camden
International Film Festival

Cynthia Fuchs, Film-TV Editor, PopMatters

Mike Maggiore, Programmer and Publicist, Film Forum

Sky Sitney, Festival Director, AFI Docs



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


The winner of this grant in 2012 was Stacie Passon for
Concussion, a Gotham Award nominee this year for the Bingham Ray Breakthrough
Director Award.


Gotham Independent Film Audience Award

The 4th 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 December 2012 through October 2013. Voting begins today at
http://gotham.ifp.org/audience_award for the 34 films on the eligibility
list.  The nominees will be announced
November 8, and the winner will be revealed at the Gotham Awards ceremony.

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