Gotham Independent Film Awards Winners Announced

12/01/2009 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

The Gotham Independent Film Awards are among the most prestigious awards ceremonies for independent film, starting as a ceremony to focus on independent film from the northeastern United States and eventually spreading to include the rest of the world (though they still haven't lost their roots).

There are six main categories: Best Feature, Best Ensemble Cast Performance, Best Breakthrough Actor/Actress, Best Breakthrough Director, Best Documentary, and Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You.

Kathryn Bigelow's brilliant and thoughtful portrait of a bomb squad working in modern Iraq, "The Hurt Locker," took the award for Best Feature as well as Best Ensemble, and leading performer Jeremy Renner also got a nomination in the Best Breakthrough Actor category. It's really a powerhouse of a film, completely destroying expectations for a war film. It also proved a pretty mature outing for Bigelow after two decades of hit-or-miss material. The cast is definitely deserving of their award, Renner especially was outstanding, and the Best Feature win gives the film some hope at getting attention from the Academy this year that a film released so early in the year usually wouldn't get.

The award for Best Breakthrough Actor/Actress went to Catalina Saavedra of "The Maid," which I unfortunately haven't had the pleasure of seeing but was also nominated for Best Feature.

"The Wrestler" scribe Robert D. Siegel took home the award for Best Breakthrough Director for his drama "Big Fan" starring Patton Oswalt as an obsessive New York Giants fan. It's another of many big independent films I've wanted to see this year.

The agricultural production doc "Food, Inc." received the award for Best Documentary. I doubt anyone expected different, it's been one of the most acclaimed documentaries of the year and is very likely going to go on to an Academy Award nomination as well.

Lastly, "You Won't Miss Me" won the award for Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You. I haven't seen it because, well, it's not playing at a theater near me.

Overall, it's great to see "The Hurt Locker" getting some much-deserved attention. A Serious Man, pretty easily my most-anticipated film of the year by far (sorry, "Avatar"), also managed nominations in Best Feature and Best Ensemble. It'd be great to see both go on to major Oscar contention early next year.

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes