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17th Gotham Awards noms: Great World of Sound nabs 3

The 17th Gotham Awards nominations have been announced – and the emphasis goes to back to smaller-budget indie fair with Craig Zobel's Great World of Sound picking up a trio of noms (best director, breakthrough actor and best film) and going up against perhaps a larger scale film in Sean Penn's Into the Wild which picked up noms for feature and actor (Emile Hirsch). Margot at the Wedding have got two reasons for showing up next month and also picking up a pair of noms is a film that claimed international attention with a presence at last year's Cannes – Day Night Day Night received a best director and breakthrough acting.   

While winners will be announced on November 27th, the Gotham Awards have chosen to honor six industry folk -: actor Javier Bardem, critic Roger Ebert, production designer Mark Friedberg, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, director Mira Nair and Jonathan Sehring, creator of the IFC Center. 

The Best Feature category features sees Paramont Vantage include a pair of films with the ante going to Sean Penn's picture, Fox Searchlight might benefit from an extra spotlight on their month of March title by Mira Nair and while Great World of Sound has received a wealth of attention it is Todd Haynes' Dylan in 6 variations that should be the winner.

The doc section is stronger than ever – and while Jimmy Carter Man From Plains and Sicko have more clout, I'm hoping that two of my fav. films of the year and Sundance entries of The Devil Came on Horseback
and My Kid Could Paint That duel it out for the award. I've got no clue where the recent fest release of Taxi to the Dark Side will fair in the category. 

It's too bad that there aren't enough Ensemble acting awards – the Best Ensemble cast award pokes into films that have been overlooked The Last Winter and Talk to Me and showcase films that are moments away from release in a great little picture in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead,
Margot at the Wedding and one of my favs from Sundance in
The Savages.

The breakthrough awards (Director and Actor) remind us of the up-and-coming talents. Having seen all the films in the Breakthrough Actor category, I think they are dead on with the acting selections – Ellen Page has the advantage. For Director we are looking at a two-way grudge match between Julia Loktev for Day Night Day Night and Zobel for The Great World of Sound

My favorite category is the “The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You” – a selection of films that I usually have not seen and never heard of even if I maintain a webzine dedicated to indie fair. The best part is all five nominees play out at the Museum of Modern Art prior to the ceremony in November. 

The 17th Annual Gotham Award nominees are:

Best Feature:

The Great World of Sound
Craig Zobel, director; Melissa Palmer, David Gordon Green, Richard Wright,
Craig Zobel, producers (Magnolia Pictures)

I'm Not There
Todd Haynes, director; Christine Vachon, James D. Stern, John Sloss, John
Goldwyn, producers (The Weinstein Company)

Into the Wild
Sean Penn, director; Sean Penn, Art Linson, Bill Pohlad, producers (Paramount Vantage & River Road Entertainment)

Margot at the Wedding
Noah Baumbach, director; Scott Rudin, producer (Paramount Vantage)

The Namesake
Mira Nair, director; Lydia Dean Pilcher, Mira Nair, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Best Documentary

The Devil Came on Horseback
Annie Sundberg & Ricki Stern, directors; Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg,
Gretchen Wallace, Jane Wells, producers (International Film Circuit)

Jimmy Carter Man From Plains
Jonathan Demme, director; Jonathan Demme, Neda Armian, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

My Kid Could Paint That
Amir Bar-Lev, producer/director (Sony Pictures Classics)

Michael Moore, director; Michael Moore, Meghan O'Hara, producers (The
Weinstein Company)

Taxi to the Dark Side
Alex Gibney, director; Alex Gibney, Eva Orner, Susannah Shipman, producers (THINKFilm)

Best Ensemble Cast:

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Albert Finney, Rosemary Harris, Ethan Hawke, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Brian F. O'Byrne, Amy Ryan, Michael Shannon, Marisa Tomei (THINKFilm)

The Last Winter
Connie Britton, Kevin Corrigan, Zach Gilford, James LeGros, Ron Perlman (IFC First Take)

Margot at the Wedding
Jack Black, Flora Cross, Ciarán Hinds, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh,
Zane Pais, John Turturro (Paramount Vantage)

The Savages
Philip Bosco, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Talk to Me
Cedric the Entertainer, Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mike Epps, Vondie
Curtis Hall, Taraji P. Henson, Martin Sheen (Focus Features)

Breakthrough Director
Lee Isaac Chung for Munyurangabo (Liberation Day)
Stephane Gauger for Owl and the Sparrow
Julia Loktev for Day Night Day Night (IFC First Take)
David Von Ancken for Seraphim Falls (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
Craig Zobel for The Great World of Sound (Magnolia Pictures)

Breakthrough Actor
Emile Hirsch in Into the Wild (Paramount Vantage)
Kene Holliday in The Great World of Sound (Magnolia Pictures)
Ellen Page in Juno (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Jess Weixler in Teeth (Roadside Attractions)
Luisa Williams in Day Night Day Night (IFC First Take)

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You (chosen by the editors of Filmmaker)

August the First
Lanre Olabisi, director; Shawn Alexander, Gabriel “Swede” Sedgwick, Nicky
Arzeu Akmal, Lanre Olabisi, producers

Ronald Bronstein, director; Marc Raybin, producer

Loren Cass
Chris Fuller, director; Chris Fuller, Frank Craft, Kayla Tabish, producers

Mississippi Chicken
John Fiege, director; John Fiege, Anita Grabowski, Victor Moyers, producers

Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa
Jeremy Stulberg & Randy Stulberg, directors; Eric Juhola, Jeremy Stulberg,
Randy Stulberg, producers

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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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