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October 20, 2008


Ballast Trailer

There's actually no award ceremony for Guerrilla Filmmakers, we're working on that. For now, the closest event that honor Guerrilla Films is the Gotham Awards, that this year swifts to "Gothan Independent Film Awards". Guerrilla Films on red.

IFP announced today the nominees for the 18th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards™ which will take place on Tuesday, December 2nd at New York City’s Cipriani Wall Street. It also announced the new name for the awards, making the subtle shift from the Gotham Awards to the Gotham Independent Film Awards™.

Presented by IFP, the nation's oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers, the Gotham Independent Film Awards™ is one of the leading awards for independent film and the first major honors of the film awards season. The awards provide critical early recognition for worthy independent films, such as past winners Juno(2007), Half Nelson (2006), and Junebug (2005).

Garnering four separate nominations – the most for this year – is Ballast, Lance Hammer’s directorial debut and multiple-award winner from festivals as diverse as Sundance, Berlin, Deauville and others. The film is currently being self-distributed by Hammer’s Alluvial Film Company with the help of marketing consultant Steven Raphael’s Required Viewing. It was nominated for Best Feature, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor and Best Ensemble Performance.

Six films received two nominations, including Antonio Campos’ directorial debut from Cannes Afterschool; Courtney Hunt’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Frozen River; Jonathan Demme’s current release Rachel Getting Married; Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut from Cannes Synecdoche, New York; Woody Allen’s latest Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Tom McCarthy’s sophomore effort, The Visitor.

A total of 22 films received nominations in six categories: Best Feature, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor, Best Ensemble Performance, and Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You™.

New this year, the recipient of the Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You™ will receive a cash award of $15,000 provided by Artists Public Domain, the non-profit dedicated to supporting the artistic vision of filmmakers working outside of the commercial mainstream, and D.R. Reiff & Associates Inc., a full service brokerage firm specializing in Arts & Entertainment Insurance.

“Contradicting the doom and gloom stories about the state of independent film, 2008 has proven to be an extremely strong year for an immensely diverse group of filmmakers tackling a range of subjects and forms in new and dynamic ways,” says Michelle Byrd, executive director of IFP. “Impressively, nearly 50% of our titles are directorial debuts.”

IFP previously announced that actor Penélope Cruz, president of HBO Documentary Films’ Sheila Nevins, and filmmakers Gus Van Sant and Melvin Van Peebles will be presented with Tributes at this year’s awards ceremony.

Selecting this year’s nominees were 18 critics, journalists, and film programmers (see list below). Final award recipients will be determined by separate juries of writers, directors, actors, producers, casting directors, composers and others directly involved in making films. The recipient of The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You™ award will be determined by the editors of Filmmaker Magazine, a publication of IFP, and a curator from The Museum of Modern Art.

The 18th Annual Gotham Independent Film Award™ nominees are:


Ballast - Lance Hammer, director; Lance Hammer, Nina Parikh, producers (Alluvial Film Company)

Frozen River - Courtney Hunt, director; Heather Rae, Chip Hourihan, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

Synecdoche, New York - Charlie Kaufman, director; Anthony Bregman, Charlie Kaufman, Spike Jonze, Sidney Kimmel, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

The Visitor - Tom McCarthy, director; Mary Jane Skalski, Michael London, producers (Overture Films)

The Wrestler - Darren Aronofsky, director; Scott Franklin, Darren Aronofsky, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)


Chris & Don: A Love Story - Guido Santi & Tina Mascara, directors; Julia Scott, Tina Mascara, Guido Santi, James White, producers (Zeitgeist Films)

Encounters at the End of the World - Werner Herzog, director; Henry Kaiser, producer (THINKFilm / Image Entertainment)

Man on Wire - James Marsh, director; Simon Chinn, producer (Magnolia Pictures)

Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired - Marina Zenovich, director; Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Lila Yacoub, Marina Zenovich, producers (THINKFilm in association with HBO Documentaries)

Trouble the Water - Tia Lessin & Carl Deal, producers/directors (Zeitgeist Films)


Ballast - Micheal J. Smith, Sr., JimMyron Ross, Tarra Riggs, Johnny McPhail (Alluvial Film Company)

Rachel Getting Married - Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Bill Irwin, Tunde Adebimpe, Mather Zickel, Anna Deavere Smith, Anisa George, Debra Winger (Sony Pictures Classics)

Synecdoche, New York - Philip Seymour Hoffman, Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams, Catherine Keener, Emily Watson, Dianne Wiest, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hope Davis, Tom Noonan (Sony Pictures Classics)

Vicky Cristina Barcelona - Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz (The Weinstein Company)

The Visitor - Richard Jenkins, Hiam Abbas, Haaz Sleiman, Danai Gurira (Overture Films)


Antonio Campos for Afterschool 

Dennis Dortch for A Good Day to Be Black & Sexy (Magnolia Pictures)
Lance Hammer for Ballast (Alluvial Film Company)
Barry Jenkins for Medicine for Melancholy (IFC Films)
Alex Rivera for Sleep Dealer (Maya Releasing)


Pedro Castaneda in August Evening (Maya Releasing)

Rosemarie DeWitt in Rachel Getting Married (Sony Pictures Classics)
Rebecca Hall in Vicky Cristina Barcelona (The Weinstein Company)
Melissa Leo in Frozen River (Sony Pictures Classics)
Alejandro Polanco in Chop Shop (Koch Lorber Films)
Micheal J. Smith, Sr. in Ballast (Alluvial Film Company)


Afterschool - Antonio Campos, director; Josh Mond, Sean Durkin, producers

Meadowlark - Taylor Greeson, producer/director
The New Year Parade - Tom Quinn, director; Steve Beal, Tom Quinn, producers
Sita Sings the Blues - Nina Paley, producer/director
Wellness - Jake Mahaffy, director; Jake Mahaffy, Jeff Clark, producers


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