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Gotham winners!

THINKFilm has not only got a winner on its hands – but may we dare say – its got the sort of potential that might see it cross into the mainstream golden evening of the award season – yep the Oscars might not look unattainable as I had first predicted. Given out last night, the Independent Film Project awards were prety much a Half Nelson tribute type of affair – winning in the breakthrough actor, director and picture categories with its closest rival being Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Babel which picked up 2 awards. Note: Rinko Kikuchi (the naked Jap) from Babel and the (always play the same role twice) young Shareeka Epps shared the same award.

THINKFilm has not only got a winner on its hands – but may we dare say – its got the sort of potential that might see it cross into the mainstream golden evening of the award season – yep the Oscars might not look unattainable as I had first predicted. Given out last night, the Independent Film Project awards were prety much a Half Nelson tribute type of affair – winning in the breakthrough actor, director and picture categories with its closest rival being Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Babel which picked up 2 awards. Note: Rinko Kikuchi (the naked Jap) from Babel and the (always play the same role twice) young Shareeka Epps shared the same award.

Filmmaker Amy Berg’s Deliver Us from Evil – a doc that unfortunately in my area spent very little time in theatres around my neighborhood lost out to the little seen Iraq in Fragments by James Longley. Finally in a category that I absolutely adore, Steve Barron’s Choking Man picked up the Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You Award.

Gotham Awards Tributes went out to Kate Winslet, Edward Norton, duo Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban, Ellen Kuras, trio Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and finally a Gotham Awards Humanitarian Tribute to Tim Robbins.

Below you have the full list of noms and the winners are denoted by this symbol (*).

FEATURE
“The Departed” — Martin Scorsese
*”Half Nelson” — Ryan Fleck
“Little Children” — Todd Field
“Marie Antoinette” — Sofia Coppola
“Old Joy” — Kelly Reichardt

DOCUMENTARY
“Deliver Us From Evil” — Amy Berg
“Following Sean” — Ralph Arlyck
“An Inconvenient Truth” — Davis Guggenheim
*”Iraq in Fragments” — James Longley
“Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple” — Stanley Nelson

ENSEMBLE CAST
*”Babel”
“For Your Consideration”
“Little Miss Sunshine”
“A Prairie Home Companion”
“Shortbus”

BREAKTHROUGH DIRECTOR

*Ryan Fleck — “Half Nelson”

Rahmin Bahrani — “Man Push Cart”

Laurie Collyer — “Sherrybaby”
So Yong Kim — “In Between Days”
James Marsh — “The King”

BREAKTHROUGH ACTOR
Abigail Breslin — “Little Miss Sunshine”
*Shareeka Epps — “Half Nelson”
Melinda Page Hamilton — “Sleeping Dogs Lie”
Rinko Kikuchi — “Babel”
Channing Tatum — “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints”

BEST FILM NOT PLAYING AT A THEATER NEAR YOU
*”Choking Man” — Steve Barron
“Colma: The Musical” — Paul Kolsanoff
“In Between Days” — So Yong Kim
“The Great Happiness Space” — Jake Clennell
“Wristcutters: A Love Story” — Goran Dukic
 

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, 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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