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Gotham Award Nominations 2020: ‘First Cow,’ ‘Nomadland,’ and All Best Picture Noms by Women

"I'm Thinking of Ending Things," "I May Destroy You," and "Watchmen" also nabbed Gotham nominations this year.

"Nomadland," "The Forty Year Old Version," and "First Cow"

“Nomadland,” “The Forty Year Old Version,” and “First Cow”


The longest awards season ever kicks off today with the announcement for the 2020 Gotham Awards nominees. The awards ceremony, backed by the Independent Film Project (IFP), is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. As always, the Gothams are the first stop on the awards season journey, which this year will last until the Oscars ceremony all the way on April 25. The 2020 Gotham Awards are set to take place January 11, 2021, over a month delay from when the ceremony’s usually held, on the first Monday after Thanksgiving.

While the Gotham Awards don’t always overlap with the Oscars, they often play a key role in elevating films into the overall awards conversation since the ceremony is the first of the season. Past acting winners like Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”), Awkwafina (“The Farewell”), Ethan Hawke (“First Reformed”), and Toni Collette (“Hereditary”) all had Oscar momentum following the Gothams, with Driver nabbing an Oscar nom for Best Actor. Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” won last year’s Gotham Award for Best Feature on its way to a Best Picture nom at the Oscars. The Gotham Best Documentary winner “American Factory” repeated at the Oscars.

The eligibility period for the 2020 Gotham Awards ends February 28, 2021, meaning films that have yet to be released in theaters or PVOD such as A24’s “Minari” and Searchlight’s “Nomadland” are eligible for prizes. Films with budgets exceeding $35 million were automatically disqualified from Gotham Awards consideration. Major Oscar contenders from Netflix such as Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods,” David Fincher’s “Mank,” George Clooney’s “The Midnight Sky,” and Ryan Murphy’s “The Prom” were not eligible.

As Variety reported earlier this month: “For the narrative feature categories, 154 films were submitted to the 2020 Gotham Awards, up from 138 in 2019. There was no change in the number of documentaries at 128. For television series, 166 series (both long and short) represents a big jump compared to 122 in 2019 and 144 in 2018. The combined total submissions received by the IFP was 505 over all its categories. Even factoring in the newly created international feature, which had 57 films entries, it’s still a net increase from 388 in 2019.”

Check out the full list of nominees for the 2020 Gotham Awards below. Nominees are selected by committees made up of film critics and industry professionals. IndieWire’s own Eric Kohn, Kate Erbland, and David Ehrlich served on nomination committees for the 2020 Gotham Awards.

Best Feature
“The Assistant”
First Cow
“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”

Best Documentary
“76 Days”
“City Hall”
“Our Time Machine”
“A Thousand Cuts”

Best International Feature
“Cuties (Mignonnes)”
“Identifying Features”
“Martin Eden”

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Carlo Mirabella-Davis, “Swallow”
Rhada Blank, “The Forty Year Old Version”
Andrew Patterson, “Vast of Night”
Channing Godfrey Peoples, “Miss Juneteenth”
Alex Thompson, “Saint Frances”

Best Screenplay
“Bad Education,” Mike Makowsky
“First Cow,” Jon Raymond and Kelly Reichardt
“The Forty-Year-Old Version,” Radha Blank
“Fourteen,” Dan Sallitt
“The Vast of Night,” James Montague and Craig Sanger

Best Actor
Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Jude Law, “The Nest”
John Magaro, “First Cow”
Jesse Plemons, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”

Best Actress
Nicole Beharie, “Miss Juneteenth”
Jessie Buckley, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
Yuh-Jung Youn, “Minari”
Carrie Coon, “The Nest”
Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”

Breakthrough Actor
Sidney Flanigan, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Jasmine Batchelor, “The Surrogate”
Kelly O’Sullivan, “Saint Frances”
Orion Lee, “First Cow”
Kingsley Ben-Adir, “One Night in Miami

Breakthrough Series – Long Form
“The Great”
“Immigration Nation”

Breakthrough Series – Short Form
“I May Destroy You”
“Taste the Nation”
“Work in Progress”

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