‘Spotlight’ sweeps Gotham Awards – Oscars next?

spotlight gotham awards

"Spotlight" emerged the big winner Monday night at the Gotham Independent Film Awards bestowed by the Gotham Filmmaker Project based in New York. It claimed prizes for best picture and screenplay plus honorary awards for its acting ensemble and producer Steve Golin.

The wins bolster "Spotlight's" position as the Oscar frontrunner considering "Birdman" snagged Best Picture here last year. However, the top prize is not always an Oscar crystal ball as "12 Years a Slave" learned two years ago when it lost the Gotham for Best Picture to "Inside Llewyn Davis," which wasn't even nominated by the academy.

Biggest upset was staged in the Best Actress race by Bel Powley ("Diary of a Teenage Girl") over Oscar frontrunners Brie Larson ("Room") and Cate Blanchett ("Carol").

The ceremony was held at Cipriani Wall Street in downtown Manhattan, hosted by "Broad City" stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer.

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The nominees for each category are listed below. They were decided by separate juries of "distinguished film critics, journalists, festival programmers, and film curators," according to its website. Winners were determined by "separate juries of writers, directors, actors, producers, editors, and others directly involved in making films." Winners are marked below by "X."

Best Feature
"Carol"
"The Diary of a Teenage Girl"
"Heaven Knows What"
X – "Spotlight"
"Tangerine"

Best Actor
Christopher Abbott, "James White"
Kevin Corrigan, "Results"
X – Paul Dano, "Love & Mercy"
Peter Sarsgaard, "Experimenter"
Michael Shannon, "99 Homes"

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, "Carol"
Blythe Danner, "I’ll See You in My Dreams"
Brie Larson, "Room"
X – Bel Powley, "The Diary of a Teenage Girl"
Lily Tomlin, "Grandma"
Kristen Wiig, "Welcome to Me"

Breakthrough Actor
Rory Culkin, "Gabriel"
Arielle Holmes, "Heaven Knows What"
Lola Kirke, "Mistress America"
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, "Tangerine"
X – Mya Taylor, "Tangerine"

Breakthrough Director
Desiree Akhavan, "Appropriate Behavior"
X – Jonas Carpigano, "Mediterranea"
Marielle Heller, "The Diary of a Teenage Girl"
John Magary, "The Mend"
Josh Mond, "James White"

Best Screenplay
"Carol, Phyllis Nagy 
"The Diary of a Teenage Girl," Marielle Heller 
"Love & Mercy," Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner
X – "Spotlight," Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer
"While We’re Young," Noah Baumbach

Best Documentary
"Approaching the Elephant"
"Cartel Land"
"Heart of a Dog"
"Listen to Me Marlon"
X – "The Look of Silence"

Audience Award
"Tangerine"

The First Gotham Appreciation Award
Ellen Cotter of Angelika Film Center Theaters

Breakthrough Series – Long Form
"Mr. Robot"

Breakthrough Series – Short Form
"Shugs & Fats"

Photo courtesy of Open Road Films

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