Gotham Awards nominations: All nominees for best feature come from women directors

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Julia Garner stars in “The Assistant.” [Bleecker Street Media photo]

New York, NY – The Independent Filmmaker Project, billed as the nation’s premier member organization of independent storytellers, has announced the nominees for the 30th Annual IFP Gotham Awards.

And in the best feature category, all five nominated films come from women directors: “The Assistant” from Kitty Green, “First Cow” from Kelly Reichardt, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” from Eliza Hittman, “Nomadland” from Chloé Zhao and “Relic” from Natalie Erika James.

It’s the first time in the Gotham Awards’ three-decade history that women direct all the nominees for best feature, according to Variety.

Other women directors to receive nominations include Ramona S. Diaz’s “A Thousand Cuts” for best documentary; Fernanda Valadez’s “Identifying Features” and Maïmouna Doucouré’s “Cuties (Mignonnes)” for best international feature; Radha Blank’s “The Forty-Year-Old Version” for Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award and best screenplay; and Reichardt  and Jon Raymond for best screenplay.

The IFP Gotham Awards is one of the leading awards for independent film and signals the kick-off to the film awards season. As the first major awards ceremony of the season, the IFP Gotham Awards provide critical early recognition and media attention to worthy independent films. The awards are also unique for their ability to assist in catapulting award recipients prominently into national awards season attention, according to a news release.

“We congratulate the 2020 IFP Gotham Award nominees. In this unprecedented year we look forward to bringing the industry together and shining a light on some incredible films and television shows. We are proud to be celebrating our 30th anniversary in our resilient city, and continuing the core mission of IFP, independent storytelling.” said Jeffrey Sharp, Executive Director of IFP, in a statement.

Forty-one films and series received nominations this year. Nominees are selected by committees of film critics, journalists, festival programmers, and film curators. Separate juries of writers, directors, actors, producers, editors and others directly involved in making films will determine the final IFP Gotham Award recipients.

Frances McDormand stars in the film “Nomadland.” [Searchlight Pictures]

The 2020 IFP Gotham Award nominations are:

Best Feature

“The Assistant”

Kitty Green, director; Kitty Green, Scott Macaulay, James Schamus, P. Jennifer Dana, Ross Jacobson, producers (Bleecker Street)

“First Cow”

Kelly Reichardt, director; Neil Kopp, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani, producers (A24)

“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”

Eliza Hittman, director; Adele Romanski, Sara Murphy, producers (Focus Features)


Chloé Zhao, director; Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, Chloé Zhao, producers (Searchlight Pictures)


Natalie Erika James, director; Anna Mcleish, Sarah Shaw, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riva Marker, producers (IFC Midnight)


Best Documentary

“76 Days”

Hao Wu, Weixi Chen, Anonymous, directors; Hao Wu, Jean Tsien, producers (MTV Documentary Films)

“City Hall”

Frederick Wiseman, director; Frederick Wiseman, Karen Konicek, producers (Zipporah Films)

“Our Time Machine”

Yang Sun, S. Leo Chiang directors; S. Leo Chiang, Yang Sun, producers (Passion River Films)

“A Thousand Cuts”

Ramona S. Diaz, director; Ramona S. Diaz, Leah Marino, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn, producers (PBS Distribution | FRONTLINE )


Garrett Bradley, director; Lauren Domino, Kellen Quinn, Garrett Bradley, producers (Amazon Studios)


Best International Feature


Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles, directors; Emilie Lesclaux, Saïd Ben Saïd, Michel Merkt, producers (Kino Lorber)


Kantemir Balagov, director; Alexander Rodnyansky, Sergey Melkumov, producers (Kino Lorber)

“Cuties (Mignonnes)”

Maïmouna Doucouré, director; Zangro, producer (Netflix)

“Identifying Features”

Fernanda Valadez, director; Astrid Rondero, producer (Kino Lorber)

“Martin Eden”

Pietro Marcello, director; Pietro Marcello, Beppe Caschetto, Thomas Ordonneau, Michael Weber, Viola Fügen, producers (Kino Lorber)


Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, directors; Paul Young, Nora Twomey, Tomm Moore, Stéphan Roelants, producers (Apple)


Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

Radha Blank for “The Forty-Year-Old Version” (Netflix)

Channing Godfrey Peoples for “Miss Juneteenth” (Vertical Entertainment)

Alex Thompson for “Saint Frances” (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Carlo Mirabella-Davis for “Swallow” (IFC Films)

Andrew Patterson for “The Vast of Night” (Amazon Studios)

Writer/director/star Radha Blank appears in “The Forty-Year-Old Version.” [Netflix]

Best Screenplay

“Bad Education,” Mike Makowsky (HBO)

“First Cow,” Jon Raymond, Kelly Reichardt (A24)

“The Forty-Year-Old Version,” Radha Blank (Netflix)

“Fourteen,” Dan Sallitt (Grasshopper Film)

“The Vast of Night,” James Montague, Craig Sanger (Amazon Studios)


Best Actor

Riz Ahmed in “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios)

Chadwick Boseman in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)

Jude Law in “The Nest” (IFC Films)

John Magaro in “First Cow” (A24)

Jesse Plemons in “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” (Netflix)


Best Actress

Nicole Beharie in “Miss Juneteenth” (Vertical Entertainment)

Jessie Buckley in “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” (Netflix)

Yuh-Jung Youn in “Minari” (A24)

Carrie Coon in “The Nest” (IFC Films)

Frances McDormand in “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)


Breakthrough Actor

Jasmine Batchelor in “The Surrogate” (Monument Releasing)

Kingsley Ben-Adir in “One Night in Miami…” (Amazon Studios)

Sidney Flanigan in “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” (Focus Features)

Orion Lee in “First Cow” (A24)

Kelly O’Sullivan in “Saint Frances” (Oscilloscope Laboratories)


Breakthrough Series – Long Format (over 40 minutes)

“The Great,” Tony McNamara, creator; Tony McNamara, Marian Macgowan, Mark Winemaker, Elle Fanning, Brittany Kahan Ward, Doug Mankoff, Andrew Spaulding, Josh Kesselman, Ron West, Matt Shakman, executive producers (Hulu)

“Immigration Nation,” Christina Clusiau, Shaul Schwarz, Dan Cogan, Jenny Raskin, Brandon Hill, Christian Thompson, executive producers (Netflix)

“P-Valley,” Katori Hall, creator; Katori Hall, Dante Di Loreto, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Liz W. Garcia, executive producers (STARZ)

“Unorthodox,” Anna Winger, Alexa Karolinski , creators; Anna Winger, Henning Kamm, executive producers (Netflix)

“Watchmen,” Damon Lindelof, Creator for Television;  Tom Spezialy , Nicole Kassell , Stephen Williams, Joseph E. Iberti, executive producers (HBO)


Breakthrough Series – Short Format (under 40 minutes)

“Betty,” Crystal Moselle, Lesley Arfin, Igor Srubshchik, Jason Weinberg, executive producers (HBO)

“Dave,” Dave Burd, Jeff Schaffer, creators; Dave Burd, Jeff Schaffer, Saladin K. Patterson, Greg Mottola, Kevin Hart, Marty Bowen, Scooter Braun, Mike Hertz, Scott Manson, James Shin,  executive producers (FX Networks)

“I May Destroy You,” Michaela Coel , creator; Michaela Coel, Phil Clarke, Roberto Troni, executive producers (HBO)

“Taste the Nation,” Padma Lakshmi, David Shadrack Smith, Sarina Roma, executive producers (Hulu)

“Work in Progress,” Abby McEnany, Tim Mason, creators, Abby McEnany, Tim Mason, Lilly Wachowski, Lawrence Mattis, Josh Adler, Ashley Berns, Julia Sweeney, Tony Hernandez, executive producers (SHOWTIME)


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