Indie drama takes two awards at New York ceremony
Indie drama “Winter’s Bone” picked up notable awards-season momentum Monday night when writer-director Debra Granik’s pic topped the list of winners at the Gotham Independent Film Awards.The Roadside Attractions release scored two glass trophies at IFP’s annual New York indie film fete, taking home the prize for feature and another for its acting ensemble led by Jennifer Lawrence. Oscar juggernaut “The Hurt Locker” nabbed the same pair of laurels at the Gothams last year. Doc award went to Laura Poitras’ “The Oath,” about two brothers-in-law with associations to Al Qaeda, while another docu, Davis Guggenheim’s education-themed “Waiting for ‘Superman,'” took home the Gothams’ first Festival Genius Award. The New York-based kudo ceremony, now in its 20th year, is considered one of the early kickoff events of awards season. Recognition at the Gothams can help power a movie’s further success in the coming flurry of year-end film kudos. Winners in seven categories were announced Monday night, with “Holy Rollers” writer-director Kevin Asch taking the breakthrough award for helmer and “Daddy Longlegs” thesp Ronald Bronstein taking the same award for actor.In the tradition of awards winners, Asch thanked his mother, “who not only supported me my whole life but also invested in the film.” Director Mike Ott’s “Littlerock,” about Japanese siblings stranded in California, won the award for Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You, the category for pics that have not secured a distribution deal. As part of the prize, the film will receive a one-week run at Gotham’s Cinema Village, as well as advertising support and a cash prize of $15,000. Ceremony included career tributes to thesps Robert Duvall and Hilary Swank, helmer Darren Aronofsky and Focus Features topper James Schamus. Focus release “The Kids Are All Right” was nommed for feature and ensemble. The year’s winners were drawn from a femme-heavy pool of nominees — half of the 30 pics nommed were helmed by women — that included “Winter’s Bone” (which scored four noms) as well as “Tiny Furniture” and “Kids” (two each), all three of which came from female writer-directors. Juries of scribes, helmers, producers and other bizzers determined who would take home the hardware. Nominations were determined by separate teams of journos and curators. Eligibility criteria for the Gothams limit candidates to indie-distributed American features that come in on the lower end of the budget spectrum and display a distinct point of view. The 2010 edition of the Gothams, hosted by Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson, was held at Cipriani Wall Street.