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Lesbian Couple + Vampires Rule Gotham Awards

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Gotham Awards Nominations: Troubled Lesbian Couples, Ballerinas & Vampires

Ramon Novarro Beyond Paradise

The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), which bills itself the United States’ “oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers,” announced today the nominees for the 20th Gotham Independent Film Awards.

A total of 26 films, among them early awards-season favorites The Kids Are All Right, Black Swan, Blue Valentine, and Winter’s Bone, were shortlisted.

The Gotham Awards consist of six competitive categories: Best Feature, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor, Best Ensemble Performance and Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You.

Last year’s Best Feature winner, Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker, went on to win numerous other awards, including the Best Picture Oscar.

In addition to the competitive awards, actors Robert Duvall and Hilary Swank, director Darren Aronofsky, and Focus Features CEO James Schamus will be presented with career tributes.

The Gotham Awards’ 2010 ceremony will be held on Monday, Nov. 29, at Cipriani Wall Street in New York.

Full list of the 2010 Gotham Award nominees:

Best Feature

Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky, director; Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer, Brian Oliver, Scott Franklin, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Blue Valentine

Derek Cianfrance, director; Jamie Patricof, Lynette Howell, Alex Orlovsky, producers (The Weinstein Company)

The Kids Are All Right

Lisa Cholodenko, director; Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Celine Rattray, Jordan Horowitz, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Philippe Hellmann, producers (Focus Features)

Let Me In

Matt Reeves, director; Simon Oakes, Alex Brunner, Guy East, Tobin Armbrust, Donna Gigliotti, John Nording, Carl Molinder, producers (Overture Films)

Winter’s Bone

Debra Granik, director; Anne Rosellini, Alix Madigan-Yorkin, producers (Roadside Attractions)


Best Documentary

12th & Delaware

Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, directors/producers (HBO Documentary Films)

Inside Job

Charles Ferguson, director; Charles Ferguson, Audrey Marrs, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

The Oath

Laura Poitras, director/producer (Zeitgeist Films and American Documentary/POV)

Public Speaking

Martin Scorsese, director; Martin Scorsese, Graydon Carter, Margaret Bodde, Fran Lebowitz, producers (HBO Documentary Films)


Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Ilisa Barbash, directors; Ilisa Barbash, producer (Cinema Guild)


Best Ensemble Performance

The Kids Are All Right

Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson (Focus Features)

Life During Wartime

Shirley Henderson, Ciarán Hinds, Allison Janney, Michael Lerner, Chris Marquette, Rich Pecci, Charlotte Rampling, Paul Reubens, Ally Sheedy, Dylan Riley Snyder, Renée Taylor, Michael Kenneth Williams (IFC Films)

Please Give

Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, Ann Guilbert, Lois Smith, Sarah Steele, Thomas Ian Nicholas (Sony Pictures Classics)

Tiny Furniture

Lena Dunham, Laurie Simmons, Grace Dunham, Rachel Howe, Merritt Wever, Amy Seimetz, Alex Karpovsky, David Call, Jemima Kirke, Sarah Sophie Flicker, Garland Hunter, Isen Hunter (IFC Films)

Winter’s Bone

Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Dale Dickey, Lauren Sweetser, Garret Dillahunt, Kevin Breznahan (Roadside Attractions)


Breakthrough Director

John Wells for The Company Men (The Weinstein Company)

Kevin Asch for Holy Rollers (First Independent Pictures)

Glenn Ficarra and John Requa for I Love You Phillip Morris (Roadside Attractions)

Tanya Hamilton for Night Catches Us (Magnolia Pictures)

Lena Dunham for Tiny Furniture (IFC Films)


Breakthrough Actor

Prince Adu in Prince of Broadway (Elephant Eye Films)

Ronald Bronstein in Daddy Longlegs (IFC Films)

Greta Gerwig in Greenberg (Focus Features)

Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone (Roadside Attractions)

John Ortiz in Jack Goes Boating (Overture Films)


Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You

Kati with an i

Robert Greene, director; Douglas Tirola, Susan Bedusa, producers


Mike Ott, director; Frederick Thornton, Laura Ragsdale, Sierra Leoni, producers

On Coal River

Francine Cavanaugh and Adams Wood, directors; Jillian Elizabeth, Adams Wood, Francine Cavanaugh, producers

Summer Pasture

Lynn True and Nelson Walker, directors/producers; Tsering Perlo, co-director/co-producer

The Wolf Knife

Laurel Nakadate, director/producer


This year, the IFP has created a new award, The Festival Genius Audience Award.  To be eligible, a U.S. film must have won an audience award at a U.S. or Canadian film festival from November 2009 through October 2010.  The Festival Genius community, 200,000 film fans worldwide, will vote online for the winner. The nominees will be announced in early November and the winner will be revealed at the Gotham Awards ceremony.


Nominating Committee for Best Feature and Breakthrough Director:

Thelma Adams, Film Critic, US Weekly

Andrew O’Hehir, Film Critic,

Joshua Rothkopf, Senior Film Writer, DVD Editor, Time Out New York

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Film Critic, Entertainment Weekly


Nominating Committee for Ensemble Performance and Breakthrough Actor:

Dave Karger, Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly

Karen Durbin, Film Critic, Elle Magazine

Sam Adams, Film Critic, Philadelphia City Paper

Karina Longworth, Film Critic, LA Weekly

Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film, Museum of Modern Art


Nominating Committee for Best Documentary:

Cynthia Fuchs, Film-TV Editor, PopMatters

Sean Farnel, Director of Programming, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival

Mike Maggiore, Programmer and Publicist, Film Forum

Ronnie Scheib, Film Critic, Variety

The recipient of the Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near YouÒ award will be determined by the editors of Filmmaker Magazine, a publication of IFP, and a curator from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). All of these nominees will also be screened for the public at MoMA November 18 – 22.

Photo: The Kids Are All Right (Suzanne Tenner / Focus Features)

Nicole Kidman Potential Oscar Contender + Chicago Film Festival Winners

Aleksei Popogrebsky’s Russian drama How I Ended This Summer (above) was announced as the 2010 Chicago Film Festival’s Gold Hugo winner on Saturday, Oct. 16.

Set at a science station located in the Arctic Circle, How I Ended This Summer portrays the emotional and psychological difficulties faced by a veteran technician and an eager newcomer.

The Silver Hugo Special Jury Prize went to two movies: Hans Petter Moland’s A Somewhat Gentle Man (Norway) and Jorge Michel Grau’s We Are What We Are (Mexico).

Described as a “bittersweet smorgasbord of unforgettable characters, bawdy sex, and distinctly Scandinavian tragicomedy,” A Somewhat Gentle Man stars Stellan Skarsgård as a part-time gangster released from prison after twelve years. The ex-con must now decide if he’d rather pursue revenge against the snitch who turned him in or reestablish ties with his family.

In We Are What We Are, Mexico City’s police discover a woman’s finger in the stomach of the recently deceased patriarch of a down-on-their-luck family. While the police investigate the case of the intestinal finger, the man’s family is preoccupied with their next protein-rich meal.

Other Chicago Festival winners include Best Actor Youssouf Djaoro for Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s A Screaming Man, which also won Best Screenplay; Best Actress Liana Liberato for Trust; and a Silver Hugo for Daniel Burman’s Brother & Sister.

Also: the 2010 Chicago Film Festival will screen John Cameron Mitchell’s Rabbit Hole, the story of a husband and wife who struggle to save their marriage following the death of their young son, at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19.

Aaron Eckhart and Nicole Kidman, who has been mentioned as a shoo-in for the 2011 Best Actress Oscar, star as the bereaved parents in this screen adaptation of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

At 8:30 p.m., the Chicago festival will screen their annual “surprise movie.” The festival’s description of the event makes it sound as if the surprise could be TRON: Legacy or perhaps Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I, or maybe The King’s Speech, or possibly… See below:

Last year we wowed audiences with a journey into The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and this year we continue this tron-tastic legacy with another FREE advance screening of an upcoming mega-hit movie! No one will know what they’re seeing until the lights go down, but trust us you’ll be able to brag for the next three days about seeing this flick first. It’s going to be bigger than the skyline! More hoppin’ than Hogwarts! You and Gulliver won’t have to travel far, and you don’t have to wait for the king to make a speech inviting you?

All you have to do is show up at the AMC River East 21 wearing official Chicago International Film Festival apparel (or buy at the box office) and you’ll be able to see the biggest, burlesquiest, truly grittiest blockbuster before anyone else! Well, maybe not before Cher, Russell Crowe, Matt Damon, Colin Firth, Alan Cumming, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black, Janet Jackson, or Jeff Bridges?

And remember, the only way to get a ticket is by wearing a Chicago Film Festival T-shirt, sweatshirt or hoodie. So if you don’t have one already, be sure to pick one up at the Festival box office. The Surprise takes place Tuesday, October 19, 8:30 PM AMC River East Theaters.

Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis until capacity is reached.

Stellan Skarsgård, A Somewhat Gentle Man
Stellan Skarsgård (second from right) in Hans Petter Moland’s A Somewhat Gentle Man

Main Competition

The Gold Hugo for Best Film: How I Ended This Summer (Russia), directed by Aleksei Popogrebsky

The Silver Hugo – Special Jury Award: A Somewhat Gentle Man (Norway), directed by Hans Petter Moland

The Silver Hugo – Special Jury Award: We Are What We Are (Mexico), directed by Jorge Michel Grau

The Silver Hugo – Best Actor: Youssouf Djaoro of A Screaming Man (France/Belgium/Chad)

The Silver Hugo – Best Actress: Liana Liberato of Trust (USA)

The Silver Hugo: Brother & Sister (Argentina), directed by Daniel Burman

The Silver Hugo – Best Screenplay: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun of A Screaming Man (France/Belgium/Chad)

Gold Plaque: Márta Mészáros in recognition of her career in international cinema, on the occasion of Last Report on Anna (Hungary)

Silver Plaque: The Matchmaker (Israel), directed by Avi Nesher


StarNew Directors Competition

The Gold Hugo: Shahada (Germany), directed by Burhan Qurbani

The Silver Hugo: Norman (USA), directed by Jonathan Segal

Gold Plaque: Erratum (Poland), directed by Marek Lechki


StarDocufest Competition

The Gold Hugo: Beautiful Darling (USA), directed by James Rasin

The Silver Hugo: The Minutemen (USA), directed by Corey Wascinski

Gold Plaque: Moving to Mars (UK/Thailand), directed by Mat Whitecross

Silver Plaque: Sex Magic (USA), directed by Jonathan Schell, Eric Liebman


StarShort Film Competition

The Gold Hugo: Deeper Than Yesterday (Australia), directed by Ariel Kleiman

The Silver Hugo:The Swimmers (Cuba), directed by Carlos Lechuga

Gold Plaque: Grandmothers (Brazil), directed by Michael Wahrmann

Gold Plaque: The Descent (Israel), directed by Shai Miedzinski

Silver Plaque – Best Animation: Stanley Pickle (UK), directed by Victoria Mather


Featuring Zoé Félix, Eric Savin, and Arié Elmaleh, Yann Gozlan’s Captifs / Caged won Best Picture honors on Sunday, Oct. 17, at the 2010 edition of ScreamFest LA Horror Film Festival.

Co-written by Gozlan and Guillaume Lemans, Caged tells the story three humanitarian aid workers kidnapped for mysterious reasons somewhere in Eastern Europe. As per the 2010 ScreamFest LA website, “held captive, cared for and kept alive in an oppressive and sinister setting, the three prisoners soon discover with horror what their kidnappers truly have in store for them…”

Set in Medieval England during the plague and revolving around the exploits of a daring knight and a beautiful satan worshiper, Chris Smith’s Black Death won four awards: Best Director, Best Actor (Sean Bean), Best Cinematography (Sebastian Edschmid), and Best Musical Score (Christian Henson). Also in the cast: Eddie Redmayne and Carice van Houten.

Full list of 2010 ScreamFest LA winners:


Chris Smith – BLACK DEATH


Zoe Felix – CAGED

CONTROLLED by Craig Cambria

THE PACK – Olivier Gajan

BLACK DEATH – Sebastian Edschmid

BLACK DEATH -Christian Henson




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