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‘Moonrise Kingdom’ & ‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’ Take Top Prizes At Gotham Awards

'Moonrise Kingdom' & 'Beasts Of The Southern Wild' Take Top Prizes At Gotham Awards

After months and months of a sort of awards season cold war, this week sees people actually start to be nominated and win things. The first major nods of the year are announced on Thursday with the Independent Spirits, and last night saw the first proper ceremony of the year, with “Sleepwalk With Me” director/star Mike Birbiglia hosting the 22nd Annual Gotham Awards in NYC.

The Gotham Awards is traditionally the first serious event of the season, even if their impact on the awards race at large tends to be minimal with a remit that tends to exclude many of the major Oscar contenders, especially in a studio-heavy year like this one. Still, the last few winners included “The Tree Of Life” and “Winter’s Bone,” which ended up among Best Picture nominees, so Focus Features must be feeling pleased that their “Moonrise Kingdom” beat out “The Master,” “Bernie,” “The Loneliest Planet” and “Middle Of Nowhere” for the Best Feature prize. “Moonrise Kingdom” has been generally deemed to be on the cusp of getting an Oscar nomination, and the more help it gets from precursor awards, the better its chances of actually scoring a nod from the Academy.

Another film that’s in the Academy hunt, “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” also did well, with helmer Benh Zeitlin taking the Breakthrough Director award, and the film itself taking the first annual Bingham Ray award, named in honor of the independent film legend who passed away at Sundance in January. Elsewhere, Emayatzy Corinealdi, star of the acclaimed “Middle of Nowhere,” won the Breakthrough Acting award, while Rosemarie DeWitt, Mark Duplass and Emily Blunt took Best Ensemble Performance for Lynn Shelton‘s “Your Sister’s Sister.” Neither are likely to pick up steam with the Academy, but look for them to figure in the Independent Spirit nominations on Thursday.

Finally, “How To Survive A Plague” took Best Documentary, SXSW favorite “An Oversimplification Of Her Beauty” won Best Film Not Playing At A Theater Near You, and Jared Leto‘s self-portrait “Artifact” won the Audience Award. Stacie Passion, helmer of “Concussion,” won the grant for female filmmakers, and Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, David O. Russell and Jeff Skoll were all given tribute awards. Read the full list of winners and nominees below. [Indiewire]

Best Feature
The Loneliest Planet
The Master
Middle Of Nowhere
Moonrise Kingdom

Best Ensemble Performance
Moonrise Kingdom
Safety Not Guaranteed
Silver Linings Playbook
Your Sister’s Sister

Best Breakthrough Actor/Actress
Mike Birbiglia – Sleepwalk With Me
Emayatzy Corinealdi – Middle Of nowhere
Thure Lindhart – Keep The Lights On
Melanie Lynskey – Hello, I Must Be Going
Quvenzhane Wallis – Beasts Of The Southern Wild

Best Breakthrough Director
Zal Batmanglij – Sound Of My Voice
Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky – Francine
Jason Cortlund and Julia Halperin – Now, Forager
Antonio Mendez Esparza – Aqui y Alla
Benh Zeitlin – Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Documentary
How To Survive A Plague
Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present
Room 237
The Waiting Room

Best Film Not Playing At A Theater Near You
An Oversimplification Of Her Beauty
Red Flag
Sun Don’t Shine
Tiger Tail In Blue

Audience Award
Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Once In A Lullaby: PS-22 Chorus Story
The Invisible War

Tribute Awards
Marion Cotillard
Matt Damon
David O Russell
Jeff Skoll

Bingham Ray Award
“Beasts Of The Southern Wild”

Euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight On Women Filmmakers ‘Live The Dream’ Grant
Stacie Passon

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