The 2015-16 award season kicked off this morning with the announcement of the nominations for the 25th Gotham Independent Film Awards.
Leading the pack with four nominations is Marielle Heller’s “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” which received a Best Feature nod as well as ones for Breakthrough Director and Best Screenplay for Heller and Best Actress for Bel Powley. “Diary” centers on a 15-year-old aspiring artist who starts an affair with her mother’s boyfriend.
“Carol” and “Tangerine” were each nominated in two other categories: Best Actress for Cate Blanchett and Best Screenplay for Phyllis Nagy for the former and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor for the gender-neutral Best Breakthrough Actor prize for the latter.
One of the year’s most underrated gems, Desiree Akhavan’s bisexual rom com “Appropriate Behavior,” was the only other narrative woman-directed film to receive a nomination for a non-acting prize (joining “Diary” in the Breakthrough Director category).
The wealth of female performances led to an unusual six nods. In addition to Powley and Blanchett, Blythe Danner, Brie Larson, Lily Tomlin and Kristen Wiig were recognized.
Carol – Todd Haynes, director; Elizabeth Karlsen, Tessa Ross, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley, producers (The Weinstein Company)
The Diary of a Teenage Girl – Marielle Heller, director; Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit, Miranda Bailey, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)
Heaven Knows What – Josh and Benny Safdie, directors; Oscar Boyson, Sebastian Bear-McClard, producers (RADiUS)
Spotlight – Tom McCarthy, director; Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Blye Pagan Faust, producers (Open Road Films)
Tangerine – Sean Baker, director; Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou, Marcus Cox & Karrie Cox, producers (Magnolia Pictures)
Approaching the Elephant – Amanda Rose Wilder, director; Jay Craven, Robert Greene, Amanda Rose Wilder, producers (Kingdom County Productions)
Heart of a Dog – Laurie Anderson, director; Dan Janvey, Laurie Anderson, producers (Abramorama and HBO Documentary Films)
Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Desiree Akhavan for Appropriate Behavior (Gravitas Ventures)
Marielle Heller for The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics)
Carol, Phyllis Nagy (The Weinstein Company)
The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Marielle Heller (Sony Pictures Classics)
Cate Blanchett in Carol (The Weinstein Company)
Blythe Danner in I’ll See You in My Dreams (Bleecker Street)
Brie Larson in Room (A24 Films)
Bel Powley in The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics)
Lily Tomlin in Grandma (Sony Pictures Classics)
Kristen Wiig in Welcome to Me (Alchemy)
Arielle Holmes in Heaven Knows What (RADiUS)
Lola Kirke in Mistress America (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez in Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures)
Mya Taylor in Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures)
Spotlight on Women Directors ‘Live the Dream’ Grant
For the sixth consecutive year, IFP is proud present the euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Directors ‘Live the Dream’ grant, a $25,000 cash award for an alumna of IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Labs or IFP’s Screen Forward Lab. In 2015, Screen Forward Lab directors have been included in this opportunity for the first time. 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 or episodic series. The nominees are:
Claire Carré, director, Embers
Deb Shoval, director, AWOL