Confused by the differences between the Indie Spirits and the Gotham Awards, which both celebrate the best of independent filmmaking? Read on to find out what makes each of these awardfests stand out from the other, beyond just a matter of timing. The Indie Spirits are handed out just 24 hours before the Oscars while the Gothams kick off awards season in late November.
While the Indie Spirits consider only those films made for $20 million or less, the Gothams restrict eligibility to American films with a distributor that were made with “a economy of means.”
The Gothams and Spirits used to be handed out by the East and West Coast branches of the same organization, the Independent Feature Project. Then in 2006, the Californians broke off from New York and three other IFP groups in 2006 and formed Film Independent.
The Gotham Awards split the acting categories into gender specific prizes that include supporting performances but have just a single breakthrough category. And while there is no longer a competitive Ensemble award, an honorary one is often bestowed, as it was this year to the cast of “Moonlight.”
The Spirits echo the Academy Awards (indeed these prizes are traditionally doled out on the day before the Oscars) with a full slate of acting awards as well as prizes for directing, writing, cinematography and foreign film. This year’s nominees were revealed on Nov. 22, i.e., six days before the Gotham Awards take place.
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