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The Act of Killing, Fruitvale Station & Inside Llewyn Davis Top 2013 Gotham Awards

While technically this was Forest Whitaker’s big night (Actor Tribute plus the weight he threw behind as a producer accolades for a small San Fran based film), if tonite’s Gothams awards informs us on how future noms might pan out for the “bigger” award shows, it’s that there are no tapering off signs for Fruitvale Station, that a Coen bros. film Inside Llewyn Davis has just become a partner alongside 12 Years a Slave as the front-runner for Best Picture slots for the Indie Spirits and Oscars, and that Joshua Oppenheimer should get the ultimate speech ready for The Act of Killing. Ryan Coogler’s big Sundance winner went 2 for 2 in the Breakthrough Director and Actor categories, while the heart, soul and spirit of Short Term 12 in Brie Larson rightly beat out her group of peers to win the Best Actress award. Here’s hoping that it picks up steam elsewhere. The Best Actor award (accepted by Jared Leto via an awkward iphone call) went to Matthew McConaughey making him the odds on favorite for an Oscar quest early next year.

Best docu went to Joshua Oppenheimer‘s gem – which I think might be the best docu film of, forget about the year, but the past decade, and speaking of docus, Gita Pullapilly who got her start in docu filmmaking walked away with some nice coin for her debut narrative TIFF-presented Beneath the Harvest Sky. Here are the categories/noms for the ’13 edition of the Gothams.

Best Feature
12 Years a Slave
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
Before Midnight
Winner: Inside Llewyn Davis
Upstream Color

Best Documentary
Winner: The Act of Killing – Joshua Oppenheimer, director; Signe Byrge, Joshua Oppenheimer, producers (Drafthouse Films)
The Crash Reel – Lucy Walker, director; Julian Cautherly, Lucy Walker, producers (HBO Documentary Films)
First Cousin Once Removed – Alan Berliner, director and producer (HBO Documentary Films)
Let the Fire Burn – Jason Osder, director and producer (Zeitgeist Films)
Our Nixon – Penny Lane, director; Brian L. Frye, Penny Lane, producers (Cinedigm and CNN Films)

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Winner: Ryan Coogler for Fruitvale Station (The Weinstein Company)
Adam Leon for Gimme the Loot (Sundance Selects)
Alexandre Moors for Blue Caprice (Sundance Selects)
Stacie Passon for Concussion (RADiUS-TWC)
Amy Seimetz for Sun Don’t Shine (Factory 25)

Best Actor
Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Oscar Isaac in Inside Llewyn Davis (CBS Films)
Winner: Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features)
Robert Redford in All Is Lost (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)
Isaiah Washington in Blue Caprice (Sundance Selects)

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics)
Scarlett Johansson in Don Jon (Relativity Media)
Winner: Brie Larson in Short Term 12 (Cinedigm)
Amy Seimetz in Upstream Color (erbp)
Shailene Woodley in The Spectacular Now (A24)

Breakthrough Actor
Dane DeHaan in Kill Your Darlings (Sony Pictures Classics)
Kathryn Hahn in Afternoon Delight (The Film Arcade and Cinedigm)
Winner: Michael B. Jordan in Fruitvale Station (The Weinstein Company)
Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Robin Weigert in Concussion (RADiUS-TWC)

Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ Grant
Afia Nathaniel, director, Dukhthar
Winner: Gita Pullapilly, director, Beneath the Harvest Sky
Deb Shoval, director, AWOL

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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