Last night the Independent Filmmaker Project hosted the 25h Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards at Cipriani Wall Street. The stars were all out for the famous New York ceremony.
Celebs and guests alike enjoyed mingling during the cocktail hour featuring delicious drinks by Maestro Dobel Tequila. At dinner attendees sipped lovely Line 39 Wine as the winners and tributes were announced. We also enjoyed Fiji Water at the Gala.
Winning the Best Feature, Best Screenplay, and a Special Jury Award for Ensemble Performance was Spotlight, director Tom McCarthy’s dramatic retelling of the Boston Globe’s investigative unit’s coverage in 2002 of the Archdiocese of Boston sex abuse scandal. McCarthy also shared Spotlight’s Best Screenplay win with co-writer Josh Singer.
Winning the award for Best Actor was Paul Dano for his transformative, emotional turn as the young Brian Wilson in Love & Mercy. Bel Powley was voted Best Actress for her emotionally detailed and varied performance in The Diary of a Teenage Girl, in which she plays a teen artist who starts an affair with her mother’s boyfriend.
The Gotham Independent Film Audience Award, voted by IFP members, went to Tangerine, director Sean Baker’s technically audacious, micro-budget comedy that follows two transgender sex workers on a wayward Christmas Eve revenge mission through the streets of L.A. Also awarded for Tangerine, Mya Taylor was voted the Breakthrough Actor award for her portrayal of Alexandra.
Jonas Carpignano won the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director award, given to the director of a first feature, for Mediterranea, his timely and visually stunning debut chronicling two friends’ harrowing journey to cross the Mediterranean Sea to immigrate to Italy.
The Breakthrough Series– Short Form award went to Shugs & Fats, a comedic web series that follows two Hijabis striving to find themselves in New York by adopting the latest Western trends of self-expression and personal growth. Shugs & Fats was created by Nadia P. Manzoor and Radhika Vaz, who also star as the title characters.
Also presented by IFP for the fifth year at the ceremony was the euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ grant, a $25,000 cash award for an alumna of IFP’s Independent Filmmaker & Screen Forward Labs. This grant aims to further the careers of emerging women directors by supporting the completion, distribution and audience engagement strategies of their first feature film or episodic series. The winner of the 2015 grant was Chanelle Aponte Pearson, director of 195 Lewis, a web series that follows a diverse group of young women as they navigate the realities of being black and queer in New York City.
The Gotham Award ceremony was streamed live to a global audience at www.ifp.org.