Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" and Ryan Coogler's "Fruitvale Station" were rather expected inclusions among the 5 finalists for the 4th annual Gotham Independent Film Audience Award. They'll compete against much less publicized documentaries: Samantha Buck's “Best Kept Secrets,” which takes on Newark public school for students with special needs; Tadashi Nakamura's “Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings,” which profiles a ukelele legend; and Ramona S. Diaz's “Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey,” which follows the replacement frontman for the band Journey. Notably, none of the films are directed by white men, which is more or less unheard of at film awards shows.
The Independent Filmmaker Project set its top five nominees for the 4th annual Gotham Independent Film Audience Award. 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.
First round voting began October 24th and ended on November 5th. That list had been comprised tomorrow at 10:00 am to select a final winner and ends November 24th at 11:59 pm. You can vote online for their favorite film here starting then.
The 2013 Gotham Audience Award Nominees:
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)
Ryan Coogler, director; Nina Young Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker, producers
(The Weinstein Company)
Best Kept Secret
Samantha Buck, director; Danielle DiGiacomo, producer
(Argot Pictures and P.O.V./American Documentary)
Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey
Ramona S. Diaz, director; Capella Fahoome Brogden, Ramona S. Diaz, producers
Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings
Tadashi Nakamura, director; Donald Young, producer
(Center for Asian American Media and PBS)