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by Brian Brooks
December 1, 2005 2:23 AM
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"Capote" and "Murderball" Win Top Gotham Awards; "Squid" & "Sex Addict" Also Honored

Bennett Miller's "Capote" and Henry-Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro's "Murderball" were among the big winners Wednesday night at the annual Gotham Awards, nabbing the Best Feature and Best Documentary awards respectively at a ceremony hosted this year by actress Kyra Sedgwick and presented by the Independent Feature Project (IFP). In addition to best feature, Miller also received the Gotham for "Breakthrough Director" for the Toronto '05 feature, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, while the Gotham award for "Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You" went to Caveh Zahedi's "I Am a Sex Addict."


Written by Dan Futterman, Sony Pictures Classics' "Capote" recounts the true-life drama of celebrity author Truman Capote's research surrounding the murder of a Kansas family, which eventually became the subject of his most successful book "In Cold Blood," catapulting him to superstardom. THINKFilm's Sundance '05 audience and special jury prize-winner "Murderball" tells the story of quadriplegics who play full-contact rugby in Mad Max-style wheelchairs, while undistributed "I am a Sex Addict" is an autobiographical comedy detailing the life of an insecure young man who becomes addicted to prostitutes, and finds himself unable to stop despite its toll on his relationships.


In the Gotham acting categories, Noah Baumbach's Sundance '05 winner "The Squid and the Whale" won the prize for "Best Ensemble Cast," honoring the film's stars Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Jesse Eisenberg, Owen Kline, William Baldwin, and Anna Paquin. The Samuel Goldwyn Films/Sony Pictures Releasing International joint release is the story of two boys dealing with their parents' divorce in 1980s Brooklyn.


The "Breakthrough Actor" Gotham prize, meanwhile, was awarded to Amy Adams for her role of Ashley in Phil Morrison's "Junebug," a Sony Classics release centering on the clash between a sophisticated Chicago art dealer who meets her middle-class in-laws in semi-rural North Carolina.


In addition to the six competitive prizes, actor Matt Dillon and director Jim Jarmusch received tributes Wednesday evening as previously announced, during the ceremony held at the Chelsea Piers in Manhattan's Westside, while Marilyn Agrelo's Slamdance '05 doc "Mad Hot Ballroom" received a "Celebrate New York" award.


NYC TV (Channel 25 in the city) will broadcast the show (and stream it live on the web at nyc.gov/tv) on December 6th, 8th and 10th from 9-11pm EST. The annual Gotham Awards, presented by IFP, celebrate the "authentic voices behind and in front of the camera in films made this year." The Independent Feature Project is a non-profit organization that aims to support the infrastructure and visibility of independent filmmaking. In addition to New York, IFP organizations can be found in Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Seattle.


[indieWIRE will have iPOP coverage from the Gotham Awards later this week on indieWIRE.com.]

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