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AWARDS WATCH | Zobel, Penn, Baumbach Films Lead Gotham Nominations

AWARDS WATCH | Zobel, Penn, Baumbach Films Lead Gotham Nominations

More than four months before Oscar night, the annual awards season essentially got underway this morning as the IFP announced the nominations for its 17th annual Gotham Awards, honoring the best in independent film. Craig Zobel‘s low budget indie “Great World of Sound” was the biggest single nominee with three nods — for best feature, breakthrough director and breakthrough actor — topping a list that included double nominees “Into the Wild” and “Margot at the Wedding,” as well as Julia Loktev‘s “Day Night Day Night.” In total, 28 films were nominated in six categories: Best Feature, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor, Best Ensemble Cast, and Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You.

Embracing the term “independent,” the IFP is acknowledging a wide range of movies in announcing this year’s nominations. “2007 was an incredibly strong year for independent film,” noted IFP executive director Michelle Byrd, in a statement. “Ranging from the small gems produced on micro-budgets to extraordinary films from specialty divisions, the nominees all share the type of creative vision and risk-taking that are a hallmark of independent film.”

Other honorees to be saluted during the Gothams ceremony — held at New York City’s Steiner Studios on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 — will be six individuals singled out for the work in the industry, including actor Javier Bardem (“No Country For Old Men,” “Love in the Time of Cholera”), film critic Roger Ebert, production designer Mark Friedberg (“Across the Universe,” “The Darjeeling Limited”), New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, director Mira Nair (“The Namesake,” “Monsoon Wedding,” “Mississippi Masala”) and Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment.

Chatting with indieWIRE this morning, Michelle Byrd reiterated that the Gothams salute the best in independent film, no matter the budget. “It’s an acknowledgement that this is the range that people understand (as independent film),” she noted, and laughing, added, “We need to stop feeling guilty about it!”

The 17th Annual Gotham Award nominees are:

Best Feature

Great World of Sound
Craig Zobel, director; Melissa Palmer, David Gordon Green, Richard Wright,
Craig Zobel, producers (Magnolia Pictures)

I’m Not There
Todd Haynes, director; Christine Vachon, James D. Stern, John Sloss, John
Goldwyn, producers (The Weinstein Company)

Into the Wild
Sean Penn, director; Sean Penn, Art Linson, Bill Pohlad, producers (Paramount
Vantage & River Road Entertainment)

Margot at the Wedding
Noah Baumbach, director; Scott Rudin, producer (Paramount Vantage)

The Namesake
Mira Nair, director; Lydia Dean Pilcher, Mira Nair, producers (Fox Searchlight

Best Documentary

The Devil Came on Horseback
Annie Sundberg & Ricki Stern, directors; Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg,
Gretchen Wallace, Jane Wells, producers (International Film Circuit)

Jimmy Carter Man from Plains
Jonathan Demme, director; Jonathan Demme, Neda Armian, producers (Sony
Pictures Classics)

My Kid Could Paint That
Amir Bar-Lev, producer/director (Sony Pictures Classics)

Michael Moore, director; Michael Moore, Meghan O’Hara, producers (The
Weinstein Company)

Taxi to the Dark Side
Alex Gibney, director; Alex Gibney, Eva Orner, Susannah Shipman, producers

Best Ensemble Cast

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
Albert Finney, Rosemary Harris, Ethan Hawke, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Brian
F. O’Byrne, Amy Ryan, Michael Shannon, Marisa Tomei (THINKFilm)

The Last Winter
Connie Britton, Kevin Corrigan, Zach Gilford, James LeGros, Ron Perlman (IFC
First Take)

Margot at the Wedding
Jack Black, Flora Cross, Ciarán Hinds, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh,
Zane Pais, John Turturro (Paramount Vantage)

The Savages
Philip Bosco, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Talk to Me
Cedric the Entertainer, Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mike Epps, Vondie
Curtis Hall, Taraji P. Henson, Martin Sheen (Focus Features)

Breakthrough Director

Lee Isaac Chung for “Munyurangabo
Stephane Gauger for “Owl and the Sparrow
Julia Loktev for “Day Night Day Night” (IFC First Take)
David Von Ancken for “Seraphim Falls” (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
Craig Zobel for “Great World of Sound” (Magnolia Pictures)

Breakthrough Actor

Emile Hirsch in Into the Wild (Paramount Vantage)
Kene Holliday in “Great World of Sound” (Magnolia Pictures)
Ellen Page in “Juno” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Jess Weixler in “Teeth” (Roadside Attractions)
Luisa Williams in “Day Night Day Night” (IFC First Take)

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You

August the First
Lanre Olabisi, director; Shawn Alexander, Gabriel “Swede” Sedgwick, Nicky
Arzeu Akmal, Lanre Olabisi, producers

Ronald Bronstein, director; Marc Raybin, producer

Loren Cass
Chris Fuller, director; Chris Fuller, Frank Craft, Kayla Tabish, producers

Mississippi Chicken
John Fiege, director; John Fiege, Anita Grabowski, Victor Moyers, producers

Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa
Jeremy Stulberg & Randy Stulberg, directors; Eric Juhola, Jeremy Stulberg,
Randy Stulberg, producers

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