UPDATED: With the book closed on Thanksgiving, the film industry is moving headlong into its compressed awards season, one of whose unofficial kickoffs is happening tonight in New York: the 29th edition of the IFP Gotham Awards.
As a light snowstorm hit the city Monday night, talent and execs from the specialty sector converged on Cipriani Wall Street. Refresh for updates throughout the show.
The first competitive award, Best Documentary, went to Netflix’s American Factory, whose producers include Participant and Michelle and Barack Obama’s Higher Ground.
Co-director Julia Reichert dedicated the win to “people who do the work,” including Cipriani Wall Street staff. “These people, working people, are under so much more pressure, have so much less pay,” she said, “while at the same time, the billionaires are choking the skyline of this city with playthings that are just for them. So, I ask: Is this the world we want to live in? That’s the question our film is asking.”
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Noah Baumbach won for Best Screenplay, extending Netflix’s streak. The film also got two other nominations and also won the Audience Award. He extended thanks to Netflix for “their partnership and support and also for rescuing the Paris Theater.” (The reprieve for the briefly shuttered New York institution came on the eve of Marriage Story‘s theatrical run.)
The overall field of nominees is led by A24 and Netflix. The latter company snagged 10 nominations, led by Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story. A24 has three of the five Best Feature nominees in The Farewell, Uncut Gems and Waves. Hustlers, the STX film starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu, is also up for the big prize, along with Marriage Story.
Big individual names getting the call today include Adam Sandler for Uncut Gems, Awkwafina for the Sundance hit The Farewell, Elisabeth Moss for Her Smell and Alfre Woodard for Clemency in the acting categories. Olivia Wilde also scored a Breakthrough Director nom for UA Releasing’s Booksmart.
The IFP is also giving out honorary awards at the ceremony: Laura Dern will receive the Actress Tribute, Sam Rockwell the Actor Tribute, Ava DuVernay the Directors Tribute and Glen Basner the Industry Tribute.
This year’s awards calendar is tighter than ever, with the Golden Globes on January 5 and the Oscars on February 9.
Last year, the Gothams’ Best Feature field included eventual multiple Oscar nominees The Favourite and If Beale Street Could Talk, while the top prize went Chloe Zhao’s The Rider. By and large, the winners didn’t closely correlate with the top nominees and winners at the Oscars, but that didn’t dim the enthusiasm for the 28th edition, held when the field lay wide open ahead.
2019 IFP Gotham Awards – Winners
Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert, directors; Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert, Jeff Reichert, Julie Parker Benello, producers (Netflix)
Marriage Story – Noah Baumbach
Marriage Story (Netflix)