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by Peter Knegt
October 24, 2013 10:00 AM
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'12 Years a Slave' Leads Eclectic 2013 Gotham Award Nominations

The complete nominations for the 23rd Gotham Independent Film Awards:

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)

A musical sequence from "The Act of Killing." Drafthouse Films

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)


"Fruitvale Station." TWC

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
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.

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 Director:

Scott Foundas, Lead Film Critic, Variety
Eric Kohn, Lead Film Critic, Indiewire
Christy Lemire, Film Critic, and co-host, What the Flick?!
Andrew O’Hehir, Film Critic,
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 Reporter
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


  • Alex | October 24, 2013 3:48 PMReply

    Go Dane DeHaan and Ain't Them Bodies Saints!

  • hal | October 24, 2013 12:54 PMReply

    I think it is weird that two documentaries in the Best Documentary category are films where the filmmakers didn't shoot anything at all. Both "My Nixon" and "Let the Fire Burn" are great films made by the editors who had amazing archives to work with and the editors should win lots of awards. But what about filmmaking being about actually creating film? Archival films are fine to recut but you'd think the documentary committee could value the great films this year that were shot by filmmakers and then edited. Strange.

  • Brett | October 24, 2013 4:49 PM

    Um Rachael, do you think archival footage just magically appears all in one place? Completely cleared and ready to edit? If you had read anything about the films you would know they took years to make. In LET THE FIRE BURN's case 10 years. And a quick glace at the press notes would reveal the director DID indeed shoot modern-day interviews which he then abandoned as he didn't want the footage marred by how the subjects feel now versus then. Finally, I believe awards are given on the basis of the final product, not effort involved in the production. As final films, I can say, in my opinion, both My Nixon and Let the Fire Burn are among the best films released this year. BTW this wasn't meant to be personal but I HAVE spent years of my life out in the field, following a story, making decisions about locations, scenes, and characters and deciding how I are would capture events as they unfold, frequently with many twists and turns - thank you very much.

  • Rachael | October 24, 2013 4:36 PM

    Brett - You obviously haven't spent years of your life out in the field following a story, making decisions about locations, scenes, and characters and deciding how you are going to capture events as they unfold, frequently with many twists and turns. There's a huge difference between that level of effort and sitting in the editing room with an editor with only an archive putting a film together.

  • Brett | October 24, 2013 1:40 PM

    I think it's strange that you insinuate that filming original footage somehow constitutes a a more deserving film for a "Best Documentary" award. A documentary can be anything from 100% found footage to 100% new footage. In my mind creating a film of just found footage frees the audience up for a more objective experience, something that is VERY hard to achieve. Really now, what's the big difference in editing 100s of hours of archival footage from many different sources or 100s of hours of new footage? You still have to find the compelling story. I assure you neither film was "made" by the editor.

  • jimbo | October 24, 2013 10:17 AMReply

    yes this is a total joke. upstream color for best feature before mud and all is lost? and short term 12?

  • shelly | October 24, 2013 10:09 AMReply

    The breakthrough director category is a mess just like last year. By not including Destin Cretton they basically wrote it off as picking their personal favorites. Him and Ryan Coogler are the only true breakthroughs this year.

  • p | October 24, 2013 10:08 AMReply

    Seriously, Scarlett Johansson in Don Jon? I like her but don't think that performance is worthy of getting nominations. The best performance in that film was from Julianne Moore but even so, I wouldn't nominate her. Like, come on! Where's Greta Gerwig or Julia-Louis Dreyfus?!