The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) announced today that Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning director Ava DuVernay will receive the Director Tribute, and Academy Award and Golden Globe winning actor Sam Rockwell will receive the Actor Tribute at the 2019 IFP Gotham Awards. The first awards show of the season, the IFP Gotham Awards is one of the leading honors for independent film and media, providing critical early recognition to groundbreaking independent films and their writers, directors, producers, and actors with ten competitive awards categories.
“Ava DuVernay is a groundbreaking and influential filmmaker whose work casts an overdue and much needed light on the history of our nation’s systemic racism embedded in our institutions of justice today. She is enlightening and impactful to a new wave of filmmakers and her films are profoundly consequential to our nation’s continued endeavor to provide equal justice for all,” said Jeff Sharp, Executive Director of IFP, in a statement.
DuVernay’s most recent project is the Emmy-nominated “When They See Us,” which gave voice to the five teenage boys of color, often referred to as The Central Park 5, who were wrongfully convicted of a heinous crime they did not commit. Netflix released the 4-part series in May 2019. Currently, DuVernay is overseeing production on her critically acclaimed TV series “Queen Sugar” and her upcoming OWN series “Cherish the Day.”
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“We are equally delighted to present the deeply talented Sam Rockwell with the Actor Tribute,” Sharp said. “Sam simply brings brilliance to every role he plays — whether an anti-hero in an auteur-driven film, a hero in a studio tentpole or a legendary icon in a limited series. His compelling and genuine performances are a gift to us all. Both Ava and Sam are leaders and champions for independent film. Their support and dedication to the craft, community and IFP continue to inspire this generation.”
Rockwell will next be seen in Fox Searchlight’s highly anticipated World War II satire, “JoJo Rabbit.” The dark comedy, written and directed by Taika Waititi, could once again put Rockwell in the awards conversation.
The 2019 IFP Gotham Awards ceremony will be held on Monday, December 2, 2019, at Cipriani Wall Street, New York City.