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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

The Gotham Awards winners

The two most interesting awards for me: Nods for the relatively low-grossing marvel Hurt Locker, and for Best Film Not Playing Near You (for which I was a juror) for Ry Russo-Young’s You Wont Miss Me, which I liked a lot at Sundance. The full list of the IFP’s indie nods below. The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the nation’s oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers, announced today the winners of the 19th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards™ at a ceremony held at New York City’s Cipriani Wall Street. Twenty-two films received nominations in six competitive categories, including: Best Feature, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor, Gothams 2009_613.jpegBest Ensemble Performance and Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You®. For the second year, the recipient of the Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You award will receive a cash award of $5,000 provided by Reiff & Associates, a full service brokerage firm specializing in Arts & Entertainment Insurance.
In addition to the competitive awards, career tributes were presented to actors Natalie Portman and Stanley Tucci, filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow and producer/executives Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, Co-Chairman of Working Title Films.
Best Feature presented by actress Shohreh Aghdashloo.
THE HURT LOCKER Directed and produced by Kathryn Bigelow; Written and produced by Mark Boal; Produced by Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro. The Best Feature Jury: actress Shohreh Aghdashloo; filmmakers Julie Taymor and William Friedkin, producer Wendy Finerman and musician/composer Stewart Copeland.
Best Documentary presented by actor Melonie Diaz and filmmaker Brett Morgen
FOOD, INC. Directed and produced by Robert Kenner; Produced by Elise Pearlstein The Best Documentary Jury: editor Sabine Hoffman and filmmakers Edet Belzberg, Albert and Allen Hughes, Brett Morgen and Julia Reichert.
Breakthrough Director Award presented by actors Rosie Perez and Anthony Mackie
ROBERT SIEGEL Writer and director, BIG FAN. T Breakthrough Director Jury: actors William H. Macy and Rosie Perez, filmmaker Marc Forster, producer Heather Rae, director of photography Matthew Libatique, and editor Christopher Tellefsen.
Breakthrough Actor Award presented by actors Ellen Burstyn and Oliver Platt
CATALINA SAAVEDRA Actress, THE MAID. The Breakthrough Actor Jury included: actors Ellen Burstyn, Melonie Diaz and Oliver Platt, and filmmakers Jesse Peretz and David O. Russell.
Best Ensemble Performance Award presented by actress and author Brooke Shields and writer/director Richard LaGravenese. JEREMY RENNER, ANTHONY MACKIE, BRIAN GERAGHTY, RALPH FIENNES, GUY PEARCE, DAVID MORSE AND EVANGELINE LILLY in THE HURT LOCKER. The Best Ensemble Performance Jury: actors Dylan Baker, America Ferrera, Brooke Shields, writer/director Richard LaGravenese, and producer Susan Stover.
Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You Award presented by actors Patricia Clarkson and Sam Rockwell. YOU WONT MISS ME Ry Russo-Young, director, producer and co-writer.


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.
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The Premier sponsor of the 2009 Gotham Independent Film Awards™ is The New York Times. The awards were promoted nationally in an eight-page special advertising section in The New York Times on Tuesday, November 24th. Presenting Sponsors: A Diamond Is Forever, Focus Features, Stella Artois and Universal Pictures.
About Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP)
After debuting with a program in the 1979 New York Film Festival, the nonprofit IFP has evolved into the nation’s oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers, and also the premier advocate for them. Since its start, IFP has supported the production of 7,000 films and provided resources to more than 20,000 filmmakers’ voices that otherwise might not have been heard. IFP believes that independent films broaden the palette of cinema, seeding the global culture with new ideas, kindling awareness, and fostering activism.
Currently, IFP represent a network of 10,000 filmmakers in New York City and around the world. Through its workshops, seminars, conferences, mentorships, and Filmmaker Magazine, IFP schools its members in the art, technology, and business of independent filmmaking (there are special programs to promote racial, ethnic, religious, ideological, gender, and sexual diversity). IFP builds audiences by hosting screenings, often in collaboration with other cultural institutions and also bestows the Gotham Independent Film Awards™, the first honors of the film awards season. When all is said and done, IFP fosters the development of 350 feature and documentary films each year. www.ifp.org
About the Gotham Independent Film Awards™
The Gotham Independent Film Awards, selected by distinguished juries and presented in New York City, the home of independent film, are the first honors of the film awards season. This public showcase honors the filmmaking community, expands the audience for independent films, and supports the work that IFP does behind the scenes throughout the year to bring such films to fruition. For info: http://gotham.ifp.org

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“Film festivals, for those who don’t know, are not exactly the glitzy red carpet affairs you see on TV. Those do happen, but they’re a tiny part of the festival. The main part of any film festival are the thousands of people with festival passes hanging on lanyards beneath their anoraks, carrying brochures for movies you have never and will never hear of, desperately scrabbling to sell whatever movie it is to buyers from all over the world. Every hotel bar, every cafe, every restaurant is filled to the brim with these people, talking loudly about non-existent deals. The Brits are the worst because most of the British film industry, with a few honourable exceptions, are scam artists and chancers who move around from company to company failing to get anything good made and trying to cast Danny Dyer in anything that moves. I’m seeing guys here who I first met twenty years ago and who are still wearing the same clothes, doing the same job (albeit for a different company) and spinning the same line of bullshit about how THIS movie has Al Pacino or Meryl Streep or George Clooney attached and, whilst that last one didn’t work out, THIS ONE is going to be HUGE. As the day goes on, they start drinking and it all gets ugly and, well, that’s why I’m the guy walking through the Tiergarten with a camera taking pictures of frozen lakes and pretending this isn’t happening.

“Berlin is cool, though and I’ve been lucky to be doing meetings with some people who want to actually get things done. We’ll see what comes of it.”
~ Julian Simpson 

“The difference between poetry and prose, and why if you’re not acculturated to poetry, you might resist it: that page is frightening. Why is it not filled? The two categories of people who don’t feel that way are children and prisoners. So many prison poets; they see that gap and experience it differently. I’m for the gap!”
~ Poet Eileen Myles