The Gotham Award Nominations Usher in Awards season with The Descendants, Beginners and Martha Marcy May Marlene

The long awards season run kicked off this morning with the announcement of nominations for the Gotham Independent Film Awards. (They are basically like an east coast version of the Independent Spirit Awards). Leading the way is one of the supposed Oscar frontrunners, the George Clooney dramedy The Descendants from director Alexander Payne which will compete for Picture, Ensemble and Breakthrough Actor for Shailene Woodley. However, the amazing new drama Martha Marcy May Marlene actually grabbed the most nominations with 4 nods including Picture, Ensemble, Breakthrough Director (Sean Durkin) and Breakthrough Performance for Elizabeth Olsen. Another film nominated for Picture and Ensemble is the brilliant Beginners (starring Oscar sure thing Christopher Plummer) which should continue to pop up on kudos lists in the weeks to come. Take a look at all the nominees below and check back for the winners when the ceremony is held Nov. 28th.

The nominees for the 21st Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards are:

Best Feature

Beginners
Mike Mills, director; Leslie Urdang, Dean Vanech, Miranda de Pencier, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, producers (Focus Features)

The Descendants
Alexander Payne, director; Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Meek’s Cutoff
Kelly Reichardt, director; Neil Kopp, Anish Savjani, Elizabeth Cuthrell, David Urrutia, producers (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Take Shelter
Jeff Nichols, director; Tyler Davidson, Sophia Lin, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

The Tree of Life
Terrence Malick, director; Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Grant Hill, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Best Documentary

Better This World
Katie Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega, directors; Katie Galloway, Kelly Duane de la Vega, Mike Nicholson, producers (Loteria Films, Picturebox, Motto Pictures and Passion Pictures; ITVS in association with American Documentary | POV)

Bill Cunningham New York
Richard Press, director; Philip Gefter, producer (Zeitgeist Films)

Hell and Back Again
Danfung Dennis, director; Mike Lerner, Martin Herring, producers (Docurama Films)

The Interrupters
Steve James, director; Alex Kotlowitz, Steve James, producers (The Cinema Guild)

The Woodmans
C. Scott Willis, director; Neil Barrett, Jeff Werner, C. Scott Willis, producers (Lorber Films; Kino Lorber, Inc.)

Best Ensemble Performance

Beginners
Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic, Kai Lennox, Mary Page Keller, Keegan Boos (Focus Features)

The Descendants
George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges, Robert Forster, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, Nick Krause, Amara Miller, Mary Birdsong, Rob Huebel (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Margin Call
Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Stanley Tucci, Aasif Mandvi (Roadside Attractions)

Martha Marcy May Marlene
Elizabeth Olsen, Christopher Abbott, Brady Corbet, Hugh Dancy, Maria Dizzia, Julia Garner, John Hawkes, Louisa Krause, Sarah Paulson (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Take Shelter
Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Tova Stewart, Shea Whigham, Katy Mixon, Kathy Baker, Ray McKinnon, Lisagay Hamilton, Robert Longstreet (Sony Pictures Classics)

Breakthrough Director

Mike Cahill for Another Earth (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Sean Durkin for Martha Marcy May Marlene (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Vera Farmiga for Higher Ground (Sony Pictures Classics)

Evan Glodell for Bellflower (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Dee Rees for Pariah (Focus Features)

Breakthrough Actor

Felicity Jones in Like Crazy (Paramount Vantage)

Elizabeth Olsen in Martha Marcy May Marlene (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Harmony Santana in Gun Hill Road (Motion Film Group)

Shailene Woodley in The Descendants (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Jacob Wysocki in Terri (ATO Pictures)

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You

Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same
Madeleine Olnek, director; Laura Terruso, Madeleine Olnek, producers

Green
Sophia Takal, director; Lawrence Michael Levine, producer

The Redemption of General Butt Naked
Eric Strauss, Daniele Anastasion, directors and producers

Scenes of a Crime
Blue Hadaegh & Grover Babcock, directors and producers

Without
Mark Jackson, director; Mark Jackson, Jessica Dimmock, Michael Requa, Jaime Keeling, producers

New this year, IFP is proud present the inaugural euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ grant, a $25,000 cash award for an alumnus of IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Labs. This grant aims to further the careers of emerging women directors by supporting the completion, distribution and audience engagement strategies of their first feature film.

The nominees are:

Jenny Deller, director, FUTURE WEATHER
Lucy Mulloy, director, UNA NOCHE
Rola Nashef, director, DETROIT UNLEADED

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