2019 IFP Gotham Awards Announce Dec. 2 Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in NYC, Submission Deadline is Sept. 19


The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) announced today that the 29th IFP Gotham Awards will take place this year at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on Monday, Dec. 2.

Submissions for the competitive categories open on Thursday, Aug. 1 and close on Thursday, Sept. 19.  The competitive categories include Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, Breakthrough Actor, the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award, along with two television categories – Breakthrough Series (over 40 minutes) and Breakthrough Series (under 40 minutes).

Online applications, along with full criteria are available at http://gotham.ifp.org.

Nominees will be announced on Thursday, Oct. 24 and winners will be honored at Cipriani Wall Street on Dec. 2.  The Audience Award is voted on between Nov. 24 and Nov. 30.

The eligibility requirements for submissions are as follows as gathered from their website:

There will be eight (8) competitive awards in 2019 – Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Actor, Best Actress, Breakthrough Actor, Best Screenplay, the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award, and the IFP Gotham Audience Award. All eligible submissions must meet the following basic criteria for competitive awards:

  • Filmmaking with a point of view.
    Each IFP Gotham Award™ will be given to individual films or performers in films where the vision of an individual director, producer, writer or writer/director is abundantly evident, and where the film cannot be classically defined as a “work for hire.”
  • Films must be American.
    The film must be directed and/or produced by (a credited lead producer [“produced by”] a U.S. citizen or U.S.-based filmmaker.
  • Feature-length (defined as over 70 minutes). Series or multi-part works can only be submitted in the Breakthrough Series categories.
  • Films made with an economy of means.
    Budget level and sources of financing are taken into consideration during criteria review.
  • Screening availability by the Nominating Committees.
    The film must be submitted by password protected viewing link (direct link or third party “screening room”) or on DVD by the deadline or otherwise made available for screening by nominating committee. (Not applicable to the Gotham Audience Award)
  • Theatrical, Day and Date, or Digital Platform Release.
    The release can be through a theatrical releasing entity or by direct or self-distribution by filmmakers, either in an exclusively theatrical release or day and date with digital platforms or VOD release.

Feature films must be scheduled for a theatrical and/or digital platform release during calendar year 2019 (Midnight January 1 – 11:59 pm December 31). Films will only be considered in the year in which they first meet the release criteria. By the submission deadline, films must have a confirmed 2019 release date and booking. See special criteria for cable and digital platforms below.

Theatrical Release: The release can be through a theatrical releasing entity or by direct or self-distribution by filmmakers, either in an exclusively theatrical release or day and date with digital platforms or VOD release. The film must be screened for paid admission in a commercial motion picture theater in New York City and/or Los Angeles County and must run for a minimum of seven consecutive days. The film must be advertised, marketed, and available for press review during the New York and/or Los Angeles County run in a manner considered normal and customary to the industry for the official theatrical release of independent films and not as an “under the radar” release for awards consideration only. The film can be publicly exhibited in film or digital formats, delivered to the screen by an image and sound file format suitable for exhibition in existing commercial cinema sites.

Digital Platform/Pay TV: Films that are not released theatrically but have played Gotham Award qualifying festivals and are subsequently released exclusively via a digital platform or PayTV/Cable or VOD in 2019 may qualify for consideration in all relevant categories, with the stipulation that the films first screened at one of the following qualifying festivals: Berlin, Cannes, DOC NYC, Hot Docs, IDFA, New York Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Toronto International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, True/False, Venice International Film Festival. . The digital platform release can be via streaming, VOD, DTO, or DTR.

Last year, the Gothams awarded Chloé Zhao’s “The Rider” as their top pick while RaMell Ross’ “Hale County This Morning, This Evening” took home the Documentary prize.  Ross’ film went on to be nominated for an Oscar, alongside fellow nominee “Minding the Gap.”

In the acting categories, there wasn’t too much overlap as Ethan Hawke (“First Reformed”) and Toni Collette (“Hereditary”) took honors from the IFP but failed to garner the Academy’s attention.  Only two acting nominees translated to AMPAS’ ballots: Adam Driver of “BlacKkKlansman” and Richard E. Grant of “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

The Gothams will be added to the Circuit Hub for predictions beginning Monday, Aug. 12.