November 23, 2009

IFP Announces the Jurors for 19thAnnual Gotham Independent Film Awards™

Patricia Clarkson, Richard LaGravenese, Rosie Perez and Sam Rockwell

New York, NY (November 23, 2009) – The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the nation’s oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers announced today the line-up of jurors determining the recipients of the 19th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards. The awards ceremony will be held at Cipriani Wall Street on Monday, November 30. As previously announced, career tributes will be presented as part of the ceremony to actors Natalie Portman and Stanley Tucci, filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow and producer/executives Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, Co-Chairman of Working Title Films. The awards ceremony will be hosted by the up-and-coming comedian, Kumail Nanjiani.

Newly confirmed award presenters include: actors Patricia Clarkson, Rosie Perez and Sam Rockwell and writer/director Richard LaGravenese. They are joining the previously announced line-up of presenters including: Shohreh Aghdashloo, Ellen Burstyn, Joel and Ethan Coen, Willem Dafoe, Anthony Mackie, Oliver Platt, Jim Sheridan, Brooke Shields and Meryl Streep.

Competitive awards will be given out across six competitive categories including: Best Feature, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor, Best Ensemble Performance and Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You®.

For Best Feature, jurors include: Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actress Shohreh Aghdashloo (House of Sand and Fog, “House of Saddam”); Academy Award-nominated and Tony Award-winning theater director filmmaker Julie Taymor (Frida, Across the Universe), Academy Award-winning veteran filmmaker William Friedkin (The French Connection, The Exorcist), Academy Award-winning producer Wendy Finerman (Forrest Gump, The Devil Wears Prada) and Police co-founder and film composer Stewart Copeland (Rumble Fish, Wall Street).

For Best Documentary, jurors include: Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Edet Belzberg (Children Underground, The Recruiter), Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Brett Morgen (On the Ropes, Chicago 10), editor Sabine Hoffman (Private Lives of Pippa Lee, Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela), filmmaking duo Albert and Allen Hughes (Menace II Society, upcoming The Book of Eli), and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Julia Reichert (Seeing Red, A Lion in the House).

For Breakthrough Director, jurors include: Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actor William H. Macy (Fargo, Magnolia), filmmaker Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Quantum of Solace), Academy and Emmy Award-nominated actress Rosie Perez (Do the Right Thing, Fearless), producer Heather Rae (Frozen River, Trudell), director of photography Matthew Libatique (Requiem for a Dream, Inside Man), editor Christopher Tellefsen (The People vs Larry Flynt, Analyze This).

For Breakthrough Actor, jurors include: Academy, Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Ellen Burstyn (Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Requiem for a Dream), actress Melonie Diaz (Raising Victor Vargas, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints), former bassist for the Lemonheads and filmmaker Jesse Peretz (The Chateau, First Love Last Rites), Tony and Emmy Award-nominated actor Oliver Platt (Bullworth, Frost/Nixon), and filmmaker David O. Russell (Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees).

For Best Ensemble Performance, jurors include: prior Gotham Award recipient for Breakthrough Actor Dylan Baker (Happiness, The Laramie Project), Emmy Award-winning actor America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty,” Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants), Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and filmmaker Richard LaGravenese (The Fisher King, P.S. I Love You), model/actor/author Brooke Shields (“Lipstick Jungle,” “Suddenly Susan”), and producer Susan Stover (High Art, The Business of Strangers).

Nominees and recipient of the Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You are determined by the editors of Filmmaker magazine, an IFP publication and a curator from the Museum of Modern Art ’s Department of Film.

Gotham Independent Film Awards™ provide critical early recognition and media attention to worthy independent films. Previous winners for Best Feature and Best Documentary include FROZEN RIVER (2008), TROUBLE THE WATER (2008), INTO THE WILD (2007), SICKO (2007), HALF NELSON (2006), IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS (2006), CAPOTE (2005), MURDERBALL (2005), SIDEWAYS (2004) and THE AGRONOMIST (2004). The awards are also unique for their ability to assist in catapulting its Breakthrough Actor recipients prominently into national awards season attention, including recent winners and ultimate Oscar® contenders: Melissa Leo (2008), Ellen Page (2007), Rinko Kikuchi (2006), Amy Adams (2005) and Catalina Sandino Moreno (2004).

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