The Independent Feature Project has announced the nominees for its Open Palm Award for outstanding directorial debut and the winners of the breakthrough actor and Anthony Radziwill Documentary Achievement Awards for the 11th annual Gotham Awards.
The six Open Palm Award nominees are Henry Bean for “The Believer,” starring Summer Phoenix, Theresa Russell and Billy Zane; Michael Cuesta for “L.I.E.,” starring Brian Cox and to be released by Lot 47 in the fall; Dan Minahan for “Series 7,” released by USA Films in March; John Cameron Mitchell for “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” to be released by Fine Line in July; Randy Redroad for “The Doe Boy,” starring James Duval; and David Wain for “Wet Hot American Summer,” starring Janeane Garofalo, Paul Rudd and Molly Shannon.
The winner, who’ll be revealed at an Oct. 1 ceremony in Manhattan, will receive roughly $60,000 in services for a second project. Previous recipients include Karyn Kusama (“Girlfight”), Darren Aronofsky (“Pi”) and Jennie Livingston (“Paris is Burning”). Jury included Stacy Cochran, Nora Ephron, Entertainment Weekly film critic Owen Gleiberman, James Ivory and Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers.
Yolonda Ross will receive the breakthrough actor award for her debut turn in HBO Films’ “Stranger Inside,” which has picked up aud awards at the San Francisco Intl. Film Festival and the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema. Jury included Aronofsky, Edie Falco, Marcia Gay Harden, Philip Seymour Hoffman and director Alison Maclean (“Jesus’ Son”).
Edet Belzberg will receive the second annual Anthony Radziwill docu prize for “Children Underground,” about abandoned children fending for themselves on the streets of Bucharest, Romania. Pic, which won the special jury prize this year at Sundance, will show for two weeks at Film Forum this fall.
The Gotham Awards ceremony, which takes place during the annual IFP Market, is IFP’s main fund-raiser. It will air Oct. 5 on Bravo.
Among this year’s sponsors are ABC, Bravo, HBO, The Independent Film Channel, The New York Times, and Variety.