Director Kathryn Bigelow, actors Natalie Portman and Stanley Tucci, and producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner have been announced as recipients of tributes at the upcoming Gotham Independent Film Awards. All of the honorees for the awards - put on by Independent Film Project (IFP) - are involved with a 2009 release: Bigelow directed "The Hurt Locker," Tucci stars in both Nora Ephron's "Julie and Julia" and Peter Jackson's "The Lovely Bones," Portman is featured in the upcoming "Brothers," directed by Jim Sheridan, and Bevan and Fellner produced the Coens' "A Serious Man."
"Kathryn Bigelow's unparalleled ability to portray thrilling action and stomach churning suspense have been a mainstay of her work as a director", said Michelle Byrd, executive director of IFP, in a statement. "What sets her apart, however, is her ability to bring those talents to bear on films of any budget while also presenting characters with emotional gravity... From a young age it has always been obvious that Natalie [Portman] was a unique talent. Her maturity was evident from the beginning, both in the roles she chose and the quality of her performances. IFP is excited to salute her still young but already full career this year as she shows off her directing, producing, and acting talents in three different films this winter... Stanley Tucci is one of the most versatile stage and screen actors of his generation. He has been a longtime favorite in independent film but his recent successes in TV and more mainstream films have revealed his great talents to an even wider audience. With a new production company we look forward to more great films with Stanley in front of and behind the camera... Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan have a long-standing tradition of producing a variety of quality films covering a diversity of genres, topics and historical periods. Their impressive roster of seminal titles is a testament to their commitment to nurturing directors and talent."
The awards will take place Monday, November 30th at Cipriani Wall Street (this is a change from the previously announced date of Tuesday, December 1st), and is considered the first major ceremony of the awards season. Nominees for six competitive awards (Best Feature, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor, Best Ensemble Performance and Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You) will be announced October 19th.