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Gotham Awards: 'Moonrise Kingdom' Wins Best Feature

5:51 PM PST 11/26/2012 by Jordan Zakarin
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"Moonrise Kingdom"

UPDATED: Winners at New York's indie film awards include the Jared Leto-directed documentary "Artifact," "Beasts" director Benh Zeitlin and "The Middle of Nowhere's" Emayatzy Corinealdi.

NEW YORK -- Mike Birbiglia kicked off the IFP Gotham Film Awards with a monologue drafted from the work of others. Without a writing staff, he turned to his Twitter followers for jokes, and in a move that left the audience equally in stiches and on edge, he recited -- word for word -- honoree David O. Russell's infamous rampage against Lily Tomlin on the set of I Heart Huckabees.

Having worked at the Gotham Awards in the coat check when he first arrived to start a comedy career in New York, it was a manifest destiny... or something like that.

Alex Karpovsky and Melanie Lynskey presented the night's first award: the Gotham Independent Film Audience Award.

The trophy, which was voted for online, went to the documentary film Artifact by director Jared Leto, who said as he accepted his award, "I feel like Beasts of the Southern Wild should be up here."

VIDEO: 'Moonrise Kingdom' Director Wes Anderson on 'Stealing' From Kubrick, Polanski

Immediately after, Beasts got its moment on stage, as Margin Call director JC Chandor presented the Sundance favorite's helmer Benh Zeitlin with breakthrough director. "It feels like you're on the yellow brick road sometimes," Zeitlin said following his win.

Emily Blunt and Jack Black -- one-time co-stars in Gulliver's Travels and part of Gotham-nominated films -- bantered a bit before offering up the breakthrough actor Award, which went to Emayatzy Corinealdi from The Middle of Nowhere. Corinealdi beat out Birbiglia (Sleepwalk With Me), Lynskey (Hello I Must Be Going) and Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts).

The winner of the Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You Award went to An Oversimplication of Her Beauty, directed by Terence Nance and produced by Nance, Andrew Corkin and James Bartlett. The film tells the love story between two young African Americans.

Presenter Oliver Platt gave out the inaugural Bingham Ray Award -- in honor of the indie veteran who died in January -- to Zeitlin.

STORY: From 'Lincoln' to 'Skyfall': Why the Best Picture Race Has Something for Everyone

Amy Adams introduces the first tribute of the evening to Silver Linings Playbook director Russell. "We met at the Early World Cafe," recalled Adams, who starred in Russell's The Fighter. "I think he takes all his meetings there, not sure if he still does. I believe he had the chicken enchiladas."

The best ensemble cast award went to Your Sister's Sister, which stars Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt and Rosemarie Dewitt, all of whom shared in accepting the award. Duplass, who produced the film, thanked his co-stars for working for $100 a day.

Director David France's How to Survive a Plague, about how AIDS became a manageable condition, won best documentary feature following a tribute to Marion Cotillard presented by Billy Crudup.

Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, which made $65 million at the worldwide box office according to Box Office Mojo, took home the evening's biggest prize: best feature. Stars Jared Gilman and Kaya Howard accepted on the film's behalf.

Philiana Ng contributed to this report.

For the complete list of winners, go on to the next page.

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