Gotham Awards 2011: Beginners and Tree of Life Top Winners

New York (November 28, 2011) – The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the nation’s oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers, announced today the winners at the 21st Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards ceremony in NewYork City’s Cipriani Wall Street.

Presented by IFP, the Gotham Independent Film Awards™ is one of the leading awards for independent film and the first major honors of the film awards season. As previously announced, the awards ceremony streamed live in its entirety to a global audience at

A total of 29 films received nominations in seven competitive categories, including: Best Feature, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor, Best Ensemble Performance, Audience Award and Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You.

For the second year, IFP will honor the recipient of the Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You award with a theatrical release package so the winner WILL show at a Theater Near You. The package includes a one-week run at Cinema Village in New York City, advertising support in the New York Times, and a cash award of $15,000 from The Royal Bank of Canada.

New this year, IFP is proud present the inaugural euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ grant, a $25,000 cash award for an alumnus of IFP’s Independent Filmmaker 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.

In addition to the competitive awards, career tributes were given to actors Gary Oldman and Charlize Theron (Theron tribute sponsored by euphoria Calvin Klein), director David Cronenberg and Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairman and CEO, Tom Rothman.

The 21st Annual Gotham Independent Film Award Recipients:

Best Feature presented by Tilda Swinton

A Tie between:


Directed by Mike Mills

Produced by Leslie Urdang, Dean Vanech, Miranda de Pencier, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen

Released by Focus Features


Directed by Terrence Malick

Produced by Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Grant Hill

Released by Fox Searchlight

The Best Feature Jury included: Anne Carey, Jodie Foster, Nicole Kidman, Lee Percy, and Natalie Portman


Best Documentary presented by director Bennett Miller and documentarian Chris



Directed and produced by Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega

Produced by Mike Nicholson

The Best Documentary Jury included: Jonathan Caouette, Keiko Deguchi, Rachel Grady, Chris Hegedus and Stanley Nelson


Breakthrough Director Award presented by Alexander Payne and Felicity Jones


Writer and director of Pariah

Released by Focus Features

The Breakthrough Director Jury included: Ellen Kuras, Anthony Mackie, John Cameron

Mitchell, Mike S. Ryan, Mira Sorvino


Breakthrough Actor Award presented by actors Stanley Tucci and Melissa Leo.


Actor in Like Crazy

Released by Paramount Vantage

The Breakthrough Actor Jury included: Chris Eyre, Melissa Leo, Anne Rosellini, Ira Sachs and Jeffrey Wright


Best Ensemble Performance Award presented by actor/director Vera Farmiga and

actor Peter Facinelli

Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic, Kai Lennox,

Mary Page Keller, Keegan Boos


Released by Focus Features

The Best Ensemble Performance Jury included: Lena Dunham, Ryan Fleck, Peter Hedges, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Emily Watson.


Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You Award presented by actor Judy Greer

and RBC CEO, Mark Standish


Blue Hadaegh & Grover Babcock, Directors and Producers

The recipient of The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You award was

determined by the editors of Filmmaker magazine, a publication of IFP, and a curator

from The Museum of Modern Art.

Gotham Independent Film Audience Award sponsored by Heineken USA and presented by actors Sarah Paulson and Zachary Quinto.


Justin Lerner, Director

Produced by Jerad Anderson, Kristina Lauren Anderson, Justin Lerner, Shaun O’Banion

The Audience Award was voted on line by filmgoers who love movies.


euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ grant

presented by Shailene Woodley.


for upcoming film UNA NOCHE

The euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers’ ‘Live the Dream’ grant jury

included: Zoe Cassavetes, Katherine Dieckmann, Judy Greer and Jon Kilik.

The Premier Sponsors of the Gotham Independent Film Awards™ are Royal Bank of

Canada (RBC) and The New York Times, Presenting Sponsor euphoria Calvin Klein,

Official Partners: Heineken USA (sponsor of the Gotham Independent Film Audience

Award); Russian Standard Vodka; charitybuzz; MoMA; Andaz Wall Street; Official

Haircare Partner BaBylissPRO and Official Wine Partner Mionetto Prosecco.


About Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP)

The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) is the nation’s oldest and largest not-forprofit

advocacy organization for independent filmmakers. Since its debut at the 1979

New York Film Festival, IFP has supported the production of over 7,000 films and

offered resources to more than 20,000 filmmakers, providing an opportunity for many

diverse voices to be heard. IFP believes that independent films enrich the universal

language of cinema, seeding the global culture with new ideas, kindling awareness,

and fostering activism. The organization championed the early work of pioneering

independent filmmakers Charles Burnett, Todd Haynes, Mira Nair, Michael Moore, Joel

and Ethan Coen, Kevin Smith, and Todd Solondz. IFP continues to play a vital role in

launching first films of many of today’s rising stars on the independent scene including

Debra Granik (“Down to the Bone”), Miranda July (“Me, You and Everyone We Know”),

and Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden (“Half Nelson”).

IFP represents a network of 10,000 filmmakers in New York City and around the world

and fosters the development of 350 feature and documentary films each year. Through

its workshops, seminars, conferences, mentorships, and Filmmaker Magazine, IFP

schools its members in the art, technology, and business of independent filmmaking.

The year-round program includes Independent Film Week, Envision, The Cross-Media

Forum, The Gotham Awards, and the Independent Filmmaker Labs. IFP’s programs

promote diverse voices in independent film by working to include racial,