Gotham Awards Adds TV, Digital Media Honors

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Joana Vicente

The Independent Filmmaker Project will present two breakthrough series awards.

The Gotham Independent Film Awards is expanding its focus to include new TV and digital media series.

The New York-based awards, which have long recognized the best in independent film, will this year include two breakthrough series awards.

The honors will recognize continuing or limited serialized content in the long-form (episodes running 30 minutes or longer) and short-form (episodes mostly running under 20 minutes) categories. Only shows that premiered within the last year (Sept. 1, 2014-Aug. 31, 2015) will be eligible.

Nominations will not be made by open submission but instead based on recommendation of committees of critics, journalists, curators, programmers and others not directly involved in producing and distributing TV and new media content.

“IFP programs have long supported independent and innovative storytellers, and we continue to do that across a growing diversity of content strands and platforms,” Joana Vicente, executive director of the Independent Filmmakers Project, which presents the Gotham Awards, said in a statement.  “On the 25th anniversary of the Gotham Awards we thought it was time to acknowledge significant accomplishment in the field of serialized content — and to do so in the manner that the Gothams honor other 'breakthrough' talent.”

In announcing Thursday the addition of these two new categories, bringing the total number of its competitive awards to 10, IFP said it was recognizing "that the spirit and vision of the best of ‘independent film’ is also realized in content created for a variety of platforms in a variety of lengths and formats."

The IFP added: "The awards will honor exceptionally realized new series that expand the possibilities of creative, independent storytelling in serialized content. The series should be realized with an economy of means, and characterized by innovation, risk taking, creative freedom and vision, and the introduction of new voices and non-traditional subject matter that enrich the landscape or push the boundaries of 'television.'"

The 25th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards are set for Monday, Nov. 30 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. Todd Haynes, Steve Golin, Robert Redford and Helen Mirren will receive this year's director, industry, actor and actress tributes. Nominees in the Gotham Awards' competitive categories, including the new breakthrough series awards, will be announced on Oct. 22.

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