The first film awards show of the season, the Gotham Independent Film Awards, has booked a 2013 date and set two new competitive acting categories for a ceremony that has a track record of honoring indie talent and titles before they go on to attract the Hollywood kudo spotlight.
For the first time the Gotham Awards, presented Dec. 2 by the New York-based nonprofit Independent Filmmaker Project, will hand out trophies for best actor and actress, in addition to the breakthrough performer laurel that has been awarded in prior years. Also on IFP’s 2013 awards roster are returning kudos for feature, doc and breakthrough director; the latter award has been named in honor of Bingham Ray, the late film industry exec who was a much-loved fixture of the indie community.
The Gotham Audience Award, the winner of which is selected by festivalgoers who vote online, will be back again this year, but the ensemble acting award will no longer be an annual laurel but will instead be handed out on an occasional basis. An award for films that have not yet secured distribution has been discontinued, although a festival of undistributed films will continue through a partnership with the Museum of Modern Art.
In past years, the Gothams have lavished early recognition on subsequent Hollywood awards-season contenders including “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “The Tree of Life,” “Winter’s Bone” and “The Hurt Locker.”
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The 23rd annual ceremony will be held at Cipriani Wall Street in downtown Manhattan. Submissions for the six competitive categories are accepted through Sept. 20, with noms announced Oct. 24.