‘Locker,’ ‘Fan’ top Gotham noms

Ceremony will be on Nov. 30 at Cipriani Wall St.

Nominees for IFP’s 19th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards were unveiled Monday, led by three noms each for “The Hurt Locker” and “Big Fan.”

Some 23 films, skewing indie and somewhat New York-originated, were nommed across six competitive categories for feature, documentary, breakthrough director, breakthrough actor, ensemble performance and Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You. The Gothams ceremony is set for Nov. 30 at Cipriani Wall Street.

Kathryn Bigelow’s bomb-diffusing actioner “The Hurt Locker,” which was picked up by Summit after its premiere at the 2008 Toronto film fest, scored noms in the feature, breakthrough actor (Jeremy Renner) and ensemble cast categories.

“Big Fan,” a Sundance competition entry this year, was helmed by “The Wrestler” scribe Robert Siegel. Pic grabbed noms for feature, breakthrough director and breakthrough actor (Patton Oswalt).

The Coen brothers’ “A Serious Man,” distributed by Focus Features, reps the feature category’s sole studio specialty arm nominee. Pic also got an ensemble performance nom.

Rounding out the feature category are two other Sundance ’09 bows: Cherien Dabis’ “Amreeka” and Sebastian Silva’s “The Maid.” (Latter also grabbed a breakthrough actor nom for Catalina Saavedra.) Though the film is set in Chile and Silva is Chilean, the filmmaker lives in New York and thus qualifies for the Gotham kudo.

Key nomination criteria is that the features are made with a point of view, the filmmaker must be U.S.-based or U.S.-born, and the film distributed independently and made with an economy of means.

“Independent cinema continues to thrive in 2009,” said Michelle Byrd, IFP’s exec director. “Ranging from the small gems produced on micro-budgets to extraordinary films from specialty distributors, the nominees all share the type of creative vision and risk-taking that are a hallmark of independent film.”

Nominees were selected by four committees comprised of film critics, journalists and curators.

Final awards will be voted on by juries made up of individuals working in the film business. Winner of the Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You category will be selected by the editors of IFP’s Filmmaker magazine and a MoMA curator.

On top of the competitive prizes, career tributes will be given to Kathryn Bigelow, Natalie Portman, Stanley Tucci and producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.

Last year, “Frozen River” won the Gothams feature kudo.

All nominated films also will be screened for the public at MoMA from Nov. 19-22.

The list of nominees follows.

Best Feature

Cherien Dabis, director; Christina Piovesan, Paul Barkin, producers (National Geographic Entertainment)

“Big Fan”
Robert Siegel, director; Jean Kouremetis, Elan Bogarin, producers (First Independent Pictures)

“The Hurt Locker”
Kathryn Bigelow, director; Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier, Greg Shapiro, producers (Summit Entertainment)

“The Maid”
Sebastian Silva, director; Gregorio Gonzàles, producer (Elephant Eye Films)

“A Serious Man”
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, directors/producers (Focus Features)

Best Documentary

“Food, Inc.”
Robert Kenner, director; Robert Kenner, Elise Pearlstein, producers (Magnolia Pictures)

“Good Hair”
Jeff Stilson, director; Chris Rock, Kevin O’Donnell, Nelson George Jenny Hunter, producers (Liddell Entertainment and Roadside Attractions in association with HBO Films)

“My Neighbor My Killer”
Anne Aghion, director/producer (Gacaca Productions)

Michael Almereyda, director; Michael Almereyda, Laurie Butler, producers (Post Factory Films

James Toback, director; James Toback, Damon Bingham, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

Best Ensemble Performance

Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Martin Starr, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Ryan Reynolds (Miramax Films)

“Cold Souls”
Paul Giamatti, Dina Korzun, Emily Watson, Katheryn Winnick, David Strathairn (Samuel Goldwyn Films)

“The Hurt Locker”
Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce, David Morse, Evangeline Lilly (Summit Entertainment)

“A Serious Man”
Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Fred Melamed (Focus Features)

Algenis Perez Soto, Rayniel Rufino, Michael Gaston, Andre Holland, Ann Whitney, Richard Bull, Ellary Porterfield, Jaime Tirelli (Sony Pictures Classics)

Breakthrough Director

Cruz Angeles for “Don’t Let Me Drown”

Frazer Bradshaw for “Everything Strange and New”

Noah Buschel for “The Missing Person” (Strand Releasing)

Derick Martini for “Lymelife” (Screen Media Films)

Robert Siegel for “Big Fan” (First Independent Pictures)

Breakthrough Actor

Ben Foster in “The Messenger” (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Patton Oswalt in “Big Fan” (First Independent Pictures)

Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker” (Summit Entertainment)

Catalina Saavedra in “The Maid” (Elephant Eye Films)

Soulémane Sy Savané in “Goodbye Solo” (Roadside Attractions)

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You

“Everything Strange and New”
Frazer Bradshaw, director; Laura Techera Francia, A.D. Liano, producers

“Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench”
Damien Chazelle, director; Jasmine McGlade, producer

“October Country”
Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher, directors/producers

“You Won’t Miss Me”
Ry Russo-Young, director/producer

“Zero Bridge”
Tariq Tapa, director; Tariq Tapa, Josée Lajoie, Hilal Ahmed Langoo, producers