The nominees for this year’s 18th ANNUAL GOTHAM INDEPENDENT FILM AWARDS were announced earlier this morning, in a rare case of David winning out over Goliath (or at least much bigger Davids), LANCE HAMMER’s self-distributed debut, BALLAST, received the most nods.
Frankly, I’m surprised. Ballast is not the kind of film I imagine playing well with audiences; there’s no soundtrack, mumbled dialogue, and a plot that is hard to follow and depressing once you figure it out.
Gotham’s picks usually skew more viewer-friendly — like last year’s Breakthrough Actor winner, ELLEN PAGE for JUNO.
And then there’s the fact that WOODY ALLEN’s VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA is mentioned twice. I loved this movie, but I would love to see a comparison of Allen’s budget versus Hammer’s.
Does anyone know what qualifies a film as an independent release for the folks at Gotham?
The full list of nominees after the jump.
Best Feature Ballast Frozen River Synecdoche, New York The Visitor The Wrestler
Best Documentary Chris & Don: A Love Story Encounters at the End of the World Man on Wire Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired Trouble the Water
Best Ensemble Performance Ballast Rachel Getting Married Synecdoche, New York Vicky Cristina Barcelona The Visitor
Breakthrough Director Antonio Campos for Afterschool Dennis Dortch for A Good Day to Be Black & Sexy Lance Hammer for Ballast Barry Jenkins for Medicine for Melancholy Alex Rivera for Sleep Dealer
Breakthrough Actor Pedro Castaneda in August Evening Rosemarie DeWitt in Rachel Getting Married Rebecca Hall in Vicky Cristina Barcelona Melissa Leo in Frozen River Alejandro Polanco in Chop Shop Micheal J. Smith, Sr. in Ballast
Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You Afterschool Meadowlark The New Year Parade Sita Sings the Blues Wellness