Earlier this week The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) announced the winners of the 25th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards.

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The ceremony was held at Cipriani in New York City. Writer/Director Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight was the big winner of the night, receiving Best Feature, Best Screenplay, and a Special Jury Award for Ensemble Performance. The compelling film tells the true story of The Boston Globe’s investigative coverage of the Archdiocese’s brazen attempt to cover up hundreds of sex abuse incidents within the church. Stars Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Brian d’Arcy James and Billy Crudup, were on hand to accept their awards. Spotlight will likely be nominated for Best Picture this year.


Another noteworthy moment was when Sean Baker’s Tangerine won the Audience Award. The comedy follows two transgender sex workers as they embark on a Christmas Eve revenge mission. Star Mya Taylor won the Breakthrough Actor award for her portrayal of Alexandra. Last year, this award went to Tessa Thompson for Dear White People. Mya unfortunately wasn’t there to accept her award in person because she missed her flight. She did make it to New York in time to attend a special screening of the film, hosted by Laverne Cox at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center during the week. She was then joined by Oscar winner Melissa Leo and director Ira Sachs at a MoMA hosted “Contenders” screening of the film.

Career tributes were given to Helen Mirren (presented by Robert De Niro), Robert Redford (presented by Dan Rather), director Todd Haynes (presented by Julianne Moore) and producer Steve Golin (presented by Alejandro G. Iñarritu). Mirren gave stellar performances in Trumbo and Woman In Gold this year. Redford played Dan Rather in Truth and Haynes directed Carol, which is one of the best films of the year.

The 25th Annual Gotham Independent Film Award recipients are:

For Best Feature, presented by John Turturro


Directed by Tom McCarthy

Produced by Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, and Blye Pagan Faust

Released by Open Road Films

The Best Feature jury included Paul Haggis, Rebecca Hall, Jon Kilik, Lee Percy, and Jim Taylor.

For Best Documentary, presented by Cynthia Nixon

The Look of Silence

Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer

Produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen

Released by Drafthouse Films

The Best Documentary Jury included Zachary Heinzerling, Jennie Livingston, Peter Nicks, Dawn Porter, and Tracy Droz Tragos.

For the Gotham Independent Film Audience Award, presented by Rosie Perez


Directed by Sean Baker

Produced by Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou, Marcus Cox & Karrie Cox

Released by Magnolia Pictures

The Audience Award was voted for on-line by IFP members.

For Best Actor, presented by Glenn Close

Paul Dano in Love & Mercy

Released by Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate, and River Road Entertainment

The Best Actor Jury included Grant Heslov, Sabine Hoffman, Melanie Lynskey, Paul Mezey, and Shonda Rhimes.

For Best Actress, presented by Harvey Keitel

(presenting sponsor euphoria Calvin Klein)

Bel Powley in The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Released by Sony Pictures Classics

The Best Actress Jury included Debra Granik, Lisa Kudrow, Daniel Minahan, Brian Oliver, and John Waters.

For Best Screenplay, presented by Matt Dillon

Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer for Spotlight

Released by Open Road Films

The Best Screenplay Jury included Albert Berger, Andrew Fierberg, Courtney Hunt, David Schwab and Corey Stoll.

For Breakthrough Actor, presented by Sarah Paulson and Michael Shannon

Mya Taylor, Tangerine

Released by Magnolia Pictures

The Breakthrough Actor Jury included Effie Brown, Mike Cahill, Fisher Stevens, Dylan Tichenor, and Tanya Wexler.

For Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director, presented by Julie Taymor

Jonas Carpignano, Mediterranea

Released by Sundance Selects

The Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Jury included Paul Bettany, Ed Lachman, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Julie Taymor.

For Breakthrough Series – Long Form, presented by Mariska Hargitay

Mr. Robot

Sam Esmail, Creator

USA Networks

The Breakthrough Series – Long Form Jury included Tom Gilroy, Scott Hornbacher, Lars Knudsen, Alia Shawkat, and Lili Taylor.

For Breakthrough Series – Short Form, presented by Topher Grace

Shugs & Fats

Nadia P. Manzoor and Radhika Vaz, Creators

The Breakthrough Series-Short Form Jury included Michelle Ashford, Mesh Flinders, Ryan O’Nan, Susan Stover and Derek Waters

Special Jury Award for Ensemble Performance, presented by Emmy Rossum


Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Brian d’Arcy James, Billy Crudup, and Stanley Tucci

Released by Open Road Films

For the euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ Grant, presented by Lake Bell

Chanelle Aponte Pearson

195 Lewis

The euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers’ ‘Live the Dream’ grant jury included Hilary Brougher, Melonie Diaz, and Laura Rosenthal.