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IFP Gothams honor two

LaGravenese, Aronofsky will receive awards Sept. 23

NEW YORK — “The Horse Whisperer” scribe Richard LaGravenese will receive the Independent Feature Project’s Gotham Writer Award, and “Pi” director Darren Aronofsky will be honored with IFP’s Gotham Open Palm Award at a gala ceremony Sept. 23 at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan.

The IFP’s main fundraising event, the Gothams attract more than 1,000 industryites.

“Richard LaGravenese is undoubtedly one of the most prolific writers in the film industry, having written 10 successful screenplays,” said IFP executive director Michelle Byrd.

LaGravenese’s screenwriting credits include “The Ref,” “The Little Princess,” “The Bridges of Madison County,” “Unstrung Heroes” and “The Mirror Has Two Faces.”

“Living Out Loud,” LaGravenese’s directorial debut starring Holly Hunter and Danny DeVito, will be released by New Line Cinema this fall.

The IFP Gotham Writer Award is sponsored by the New York Times Arts and Entertainment Group.

Sponsored by Entertainment Weekly, the IFP Gotham Open Palm Award is presented to a filmmaker who struggled to complete his first feature. It comes with a package of goods and services valued at more than $25,000.

Prior to winning the Open Palm Award, Aronofsky received the 1998 Sundance Film Festival directing award for dramatic competition.

“Darren’s meteoric rise from struggling IFP member shopping around scripts at the Independent Feature Film Market to joining the small cadre of New York directors with a multipicture deal is the kind of fantasy turned reality that eludes most,” said Byrd.

This year’s Open Palm jury consisted of actor-director Paul Bartel, writer-director Tom DiCillo, director-producer Barbara Kopple and film critics Janet Maslin and Amy Taubin.

A black-and-white psychological thriller, “Pi” will be released theatrically by Artisan Entertainment July 10.

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