Aaaaaand, we’re off!
Award season officially began today with the announcement of the nominations for the Gotham Independent Film Awards, “a bellwether for indie titles and talent,” according to Variety. The story behind this fall/winter/spring’s races is that they’re light on gender and racial diversity. Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and Ava DuVernay’s Selma may end up revolutionizing how we envision prestige filmmakers (both will be released Christmas Day), but films about women seem sorely lacking this year.
That perception is supported by the Gotham nominations. No women directors are represented in the Best Feature category, and only one of the films in that group, Under the Skin, boasts a female protagonist. (Lest you get excited, remember that Scarlett Johansson’s character isn’t a human woman, but an extraterrestrial cannibal.)
Things look a little better for women in the Breakthrough Director category, with nods for Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and Eliza Hittman’s It Felt Like Love. The nonfiction films in the running for Best Documentary include Laura Poitras’ Citizenfour and Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez’s Manakamana.
Familiar faces like Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Scarlett Johansson (Under the Skin), and Mia Wasikowska (Tracks) will face off for the Best Actress prize against the recently resurgent Patricia Arquette and newcomer Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Beyond the Lights).
The Gotham winners will be announced at a ceremony on December 1, where Tilda Swinton will be honored for her career achievements.
Here are the female nominees:
Laura Poitras, director; Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky, producers (RADiUS, Participant Media, and HBO Documentary Films)
Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez, directors; Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Véréna Paravel, producers (The Cinema Guild)
Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Ana Lily Amirpour for A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Kino Lorber)
Eliza Hittman for It Felt Like Love (Variance Films)
Patricia Arquette in Boyhood (IFC Films)
Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Beyond the Lights (Relativity Media)
Julianne Moore in Still Alice (Sony Pictures Classics)
Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin (A24 Films)
Mia Wasikowska in Tracks (The Weinstein Company)
Joey King in Wish I Was Here (Focus Features)
Jenny Slate in Obvious Child (A24 Films)
Tessa Thompson in Dear White People (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)